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Thread: MCNA Writer's Bursary

  1. #1
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    MCNA Writer's Bursary

    I thought this was a bit odd. If it's genuine, it looks very good. If not, I haven't a clue what they could be up to.

    MCNA is pleased to announce that it is awarding an £18,000 Writer’s Bursary to allow a promising writer to dedicate up to 12 months writing a work of fiction.
    This is the page on the bursary:
    http://www.medicalcasenotes.co.uk/bursary/

    But here is the main website, and I'm struggling to understand what the link is between a medical assessment company specialising in medical negligence cases and creative writing.
    http://www.medicalcasenotes.co.uk/

    What do people think? Is this a philanthropic gesture from a business, or is this something...odd?
    Last edited by Tilly; 07-08-2006 at 01:13 AM.

  2. #2
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    http://www.medicalcasenotes.co.uk/bursary/faqs.htm

    Why is MCNA running this Bursary?
    We decided earlier this year to make some form of financial contribution to the Arts. Our normal business is providing medical reports to the legal profession and these are, by their nature, serious factual reports. We decided to establish a creative writing bursary as a counterbalance to this.
    Will the Bursary have to be paid back if I am not published or if I don’t finish the novel within 12 months?
    No, you will not have to pay back the Bursary. You will be encouraged to complete your novel and approach publishers, however, whether or not you are successfully published will not affect the Bursary.
    Extremely odd.
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  3. #3
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CaoPaux
    I'm glad I'm not the only one . When I got the leaflet I was going to post the info. on the novel writing forum. And then I looked at the website. I thought it was better off here.
    Last edited by Tilly; 07-08-2006 at 05:03 AM.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tilly
    But here is the main website, and I'm struggling to understand what the link is between a medical assessment company specialising in medical negligence cases and creative writing.
    I have to admit, my first thought was, "Does somebody high up in this company have a family member who wishes they could have their novel-writing underwritten?" My imagination has since failed to produce a better explanation, but I'm still on quantities of antihistamines and that limits my ability to think for large stretches of ti--ooh, shiny.
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  5. #5
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Or, their accountant said, "Woo, guys, you need a tax write-off, and you need it now."

  6. #6
    Now departed. Rest in peace, Scott, from all of us at AW Requiescat In Pace Popeyesays's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Or, their accountant said, "Woo, guys, you need a tax write-off, and you need it now."
    Since they are paying in Pounds, one must know that British tax rates are truly devastating.

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  7. #7
    Who's going for a beer? waylander's Avatar
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    They certainly have some reputable people on board as judges.
    I'm not sure this sort of thing would qualify as a tax write-off over here.

  8. #8
    'bye soloset's Avatar
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    The thing that catches my eye is the clause on the Terms page that states they have the right to cancel the bursary for any reason at any time. That'd be devastating if it happened, say, right before the second payment, given that they are asking you to give up your day job.

    It might just be what it represents to be, a chance for them to feel philanthropic and for some struggling author to get paid to write. I don't like contests, but that doesn't make all of them fishy.
    #

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  9. #9
    practical experience, FTW
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    I would say that writing awards funded by businesses are not uncommon in Britain, no idea why. I can think of a few off the top of my head inclusing ones funded by Orange mobile phones who also fund a lot of writing courses and have done for years and Northern Rock Bank who in my area fund a yearly £60 000 award/bursary for one writer as well as other writing awards. The bursaries I have been given in the past have also had get out clauses in them for both parties, especially if the payments are staggered.

    This is a new one and it came to me through a legitimate writers support agency who do check out anything they put out on their email list. If I see anything on their info list that I think would be of use to AW writers I post it, but if this looks at all dodgy then please remove the thread. I would hate to feel in any way responsible for all those £12 cheques being sent out.

  10. #10
    practical experience, FTW
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    Sorry, Tilly - didn't mean to hijack your thread, I also started a thread about this bursary and should have posted the above on there.

  11. #11
    practical experience, FTW Tilly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by endless rewrite
    Sorry, Tilly - didn't mean to hijack your thread, I also started a thread about this bursary and should have posted the above on there.
    I'm glad you put the information here, you didn't hijack it at all .

    (If you'd posted about jellied eels, then it would be hijacking the thread. I just hijacked my own thread, didn't I? It's the heat. Apparently the roads are melting.)

  12. #12
    New Fish; Learning About Thick Skin
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    Re MCNA Bursary

    We were informed about the MCNA bursary by the Arts Council, England, who also fund our site YouWriteOn.com.

    The bursary has a very prestigious judging board (see list below) including professional author Martyn Bedford, who is also a literary professional for YouWriteOn.com providing free professional critiques for new writers, and teaches creative writing at Manchester University and has judged for well established awards like the Betty Trask Awards. Hope the information on the panel below helps for those considering it.

    Ted
    www.youwriteon.com


    Our Judges:


    Diane Banks, Diane Banks Associates Literary Agency

    After 8 years in publishing, at Penguin and then Hodder & Stoughton, when she worked on authors as diverse as Stephen King, John le Carré, Jeffery Deaver, Meg Hutchinson, Jodi Picoult, Melvyn Bragg, David Mitchell and Andreï Makine, Diane Banks set up her literary agency, Diane Banks Associates, in 2005. She represents both fiction and non-fiction and is always on the look-out for new talent.

    Dr. Jason Whittaker, Falmouth University


    Jason Whittaker is a senior lecturer in English with Media Studies and Journalism at University College Falmouth, and has over a decade experience as a journalist and editor. He is the author of several books on William Blake and new media and technologies, his most recent books being Radical Blake (with Shirley Dent, Palgrave, 2002), The Cyberspace Handbook (2004) and Blake, Modernity and Popular Culture (with Steve Clarke, Palgrave 2006). He is currently working on a title on magazine publishing.


    Dr. Anthony Caleshu, University of Plymouth


    Anthony Caleshu is a Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at the University of Plymouth. Anthony's research interests include American literature, contemporary poetry and creative writing. His poetry and stories have been published widely on both sides of the Atlantic in magazines such as The Dublin Review, Poetry Review, and American Literary Review. Work from his collection of poems, THE SIEGE OF THE BODY AND A BRIEF RESPITE (Salt, 2004) was anthologised in The Forward Book of Poetry (2005) and New Irish Poets. He's been several times nominated for a Pushcart Prize (USA) and was short-listed for the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize for Best New Poet in 2004. Anthony is currently teaching at Plymouth University and working on a number of creative projects including: a novel, a collection of stories, a new play and a monograph on the poet James Tate. Anthony is also Chair of the Peninsula Arts Literature Series in Plymouth.


    Val Taylor, University of East Anglia


    Val Taylor is Director of Scriptwriting at UEA, Research Supervisor for UEA's PhD in Critical and Creative Writing. Theatre Dramaturg, Script & Screenplay Consultant, with particular specialism in adaptation. Val also works as a Theatre Director and Writer.
    An associate of Bird's Eye View, Managing Partner of Playwrights East and a consultant on screenwriter-training to Skillset, and previously Screen East.
    Publications and Production:
    Author: Stage Writing: A Practical Guide (Crowood Press 2002); 2 chapters in Theatre Theories (Anthony Frost, ed., Pen & inc Press, 2000); 1 chapter in Boxed Sets: Television Representations of Theatre (Jeremy Ridgman, ed., Arts Council of England / John Libbey Media/University of Luton Press, 1998).
    Dramaturg & Scriptwriter: Guardians of the Deep (Theatre for Africa at the Earth Summit, Johannesburg, RSA, 2002).
    Val is currently working with Michael Begley on a commission for the Bush Theatre and will shortly begin work with U.S writer, Jordan Goldman on his new screenplay.


    George Green, Lancaster University

    George Green is a Lecturer in Creative Writing, Part II Director of Creative Writing and Convenor of the Campus MA at Lancaster University. Having written short stories, one of them the prize-winning 'Baby', George successfully moved into the realm of longer fiction, completing and recently publishing two novels: Hound and Hawk. His research interests are Irish fiction, 'the Western' and Biography.


    Sarah Duncan, Bristol University

    Sarah Duncan is a Novelist, Script-Writer and Creative Writing Tutor. Her first novel, Adultery for Beginners, was short listed for the Joan Hessayon New Writers Prize and became an international best seller. Her second, Nice Girls Do, has recently been published by Headline, and she is currently writing her third for them. Her short stories have been widely published and broadcast on Radio 4. She adapted one of them into a film script. The film, A Naked Eye, has gone on to win five international film festival best drama or best script awards, including Gold Medal at Houston, the world’s largest. She has an MA in Creative Writing and is an experienced creative writing tutor. She currently teaches on the Creative Writing Diploma at Bristol University and runs their Fiction Writing Workshop.



    Dr. Pádraigín Riggs, University College Cork, Ireland

    Dr Pádraigín Riggs is a Senior Lecturer in the Department of Modern Irish at University College, Cork. Author of Donncha Ó Céileachair: Anailís Stíliúil (1978) and Pádraic Ó Conaire: Deoraí (1994), both books dealing with the work of short story writers in Irish. Other publications include articles on various aspects of contemporary fiction in Irish. As well as teaching courses on the novel and short story in Irish, at undergraduate and postgraduate level, Pádraigín Riggs is a regular adjudicator for the annual Oireachtas Literary Competition - the major Irish literary competition.

    Ailsa Cox, Edge Hill University

    Ailsa is a prizewinning short story writer and critic. Her stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies including The Virago Book of Love and Loss, Manchester Stories 3 and London Magazine. She is also the author of, Writing Short Stories (Routledge), and, Alice Munro (Northcote House Writers and Their Work Series). Ailsa currently teaches writing at Edge Hill University.


    Prof. Pat Waugh, Durham University

    Pat is Head of the English Department at Durham University, where she has been for the last seventeen years. Her publications include: Metafiction: The Theory and Practice of Self-Conscious Fiction (Methuen, London and New York, 1984; 2nd edition,1988; 3rd edition, Routledge, 2003; Japanese edition 1988)pp. 176; Feminine Fictions: Revisiting the Postmodern (Edward Arnold, 1989); 1, Postmodernism: A Reader (Edward Arnold, London and New York), pp. 276; Practising Postmodernism/Reading Modernism (Routledge, 1992) Modern Literary Theory: (Edward Arnold, London and New York, pp. 430) ; The Harvest of the Sixties: English literature and its Backgrounds 1960-95 (Oxford University Press, 1995); Revolutions of the Word: Intellectual History and Twentieth Century Literature (Edward Arnold, 1997, pp. 370) ; with David Fuller, The Arts and Sciences of Criticism (Oxford UP, 1999); Literary Criticism and Theory: an Oxford Guide (Oxford UP, 2006, pp.600) and she is currently completing a book on literature, science and the good society and writing the Blackwell History of British and Irish Literature 1945-present).



    Dr. Clare Morgan, Oxford University
    <SPAN style="FONT-SIZE: 9.5pt; COLOR: black">
    As well as being Course Director for the Creative Writing course at Oxford University, Clare Morgan is a prize winning novelist, short story writer and poet. Her publications include A Touch of the Other (Gollancz/Hutchinson) and a collection of stories, An Affair of the Heart (Seren). Her work has appeared in the British Council New Writing series; Class Work (ed. Malcolm Bradbury); The New Penguin Book of Welsh Short Stories; and on Radio 4. She is a graduate of East Anglia’s MA in Creative Writing, and former Chair of the Literature Bursaries panel of the Arts Council of Wales. She has lectured in English at Oxford University since 1995, and is a regular reviewer for the Times Literary Supplement. She is Director of the Undergraduate Diploma in Creative Writing, on which she tutors in Fiction and Critical Analysis.
    Last edited by YouWriteOn; 09-13-2006 at 09:53 PM.

  13. #13
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    I've just heard that the MCNA bursary scheme has been scrapped due to "administrative difficulties". A shame, as that money should have been MINE.

  14. #14
    Your Genial Uncle Absolute Sage James D. Macdonald's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack
    I've just heard that the MCNA bursary scheme has been scrapped due to "administrative difficulties". A shame, as that money should have been MINE.
    Could you post a reference?

  15. #15
    Mostly Harmless SuperModerator CaoPaux's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by James D. Macdonald
    Could you post a reference?
    This is from their homepage:

    MCNA WRITER’S BURSARY
    We regret to announce that we cannot proceed any further with the MCNA Writer's Bursary.

    Following increasing difficulty with administering the bursary, we carefully considered our options and sadly, reached the decision to bring the bursary to an end.

    For those candidates who have applied, we will be writing to you very shortly and returning your administration fee in full. We strongly advise you to email us if you have applied under a pen name.

    We would like to thank everyone who applied, expressed an interest or encouraged our initiative. We are very sorry we cannot proceed any further with the project and we wish all candidates the best of luck with their future creative-writing pursuits.
    Admin fee...?
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  16. #16
    Such a nasty woman SuperModerator Old Hack's Avatar
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    The admin fee was the entry fee, I assume. I've rarely seen a writing competition in the UK without an entry fee.

    Incidentally, there was talk earlier in the thread about how odd it seemed for such a company/organisation to organise a literary award. Well, the Booker Prize (is it the Mann-Booker now?) is sponsored by Booker Cash and Carry. My parents used to go stock their restaurant kitchen from Booker's. Sadly, that's probably the nearest I'll ever get to winning that particular prize.

  17. #17
    On a wing and a prayer aruna's Avatar
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    I just read about the Bursary in The Author, wnet there - only to find it had closed down.

    Re the Booker Prize, interesting trivia: did you know that the Booker Prize originated in Guyana?
    Booker Brothers was a huge company that practically owned Guyana and got stinking rich from that enterprise which had its roots in slavery. In the 50s the company was led by a philanthropist, Jock Campbell, who began to turn it into a benevolent force.

    AFter Guyana got Independence in 1966, Jock Campbell had to return to England. There he met Ian Fleming, and began to get involved in publishing. As a result, Booker Brothers sponsored the Booker Prize.

    The novel I wrote last year tells this story; it's a fascinating one, but sadly nobody was interested.


    Quote Originally Posted by Old Hack
    The admin fee was the entry fee, I assume. I've rarely seen a writing competition in the UK without an entry fee.

    Incidentally, there was talk earlier in the thread about how odd it seemed for such a company/organisation to organise a literary award. Well, the Booker Prize (is it the Mann-Booker now?) is sponsored by Booker Cash and Carry. My parents used to go stock their restaurant kitchen from Booker's. Sadly, that's probably the nearest I'll ever get to winning that particular prize.
    Last edited by aruna; 10-09-2006 at 12:22 PM.
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