In mid-March, just before the lockdown, we were thrilled to announce the success of Exeter Canal and Quay Trust’s bid to Arts Council England National Lottery Projects towards a further two years of Quay Words at Exeter Custom House.

The project will go ahead.  A grant of £98,000 and £60,000 from ECQT secures the continued development of an accessible, democratic and hands-on literature hub at this iconic Exeter location.  Quay Words showcases literature as a diverse art form and is a central pillar of Exeter’s successful bid to gain UNESCO City of Literature status.

Working with a strong coalition of Exeter collaborators, we can forge ahead with a range of exciting plans, all very much based on what audiences and participants told us during consultations and the pilot phase.  Please do keep the feedback coming.  You can email us here:  customhouse@literatureworks.org.uk.

As the main delivery partner of Exeter Canal and Quay Trust, Literature Works will continue to build the Quay Words programme, celebrating words and stories.  We are looking to establish identifiable, lasting and meaningful strands: ways in and opportunities to develop; free family activities; collaboration with schools, students and young writers; concessions, bursaries, membership options and community-based, socially-engaged work.

We very swiftly set about adapting the project plan in response to the lockdown, with two additional virtual writer residencies now in the pipeline – one for a writer from Devon – apply here , another with an international bias – as well as an online writing course, a virtual storytelling commission, online one-to-one writing feedback sessions and an online zine making commission.  Further details will be announced here.  Quay Words is a community of literature lovers and earlier this year, we launched a free one-year membership offer. At this unique time, community is more important than ever and we want to welcome you to ours. Becoming a member of Literature Works entitles you to advance notification of Quay Words events and promotions.  When we are all able to meet again, you will receive priority booking and special members only discounts to our programme. If you are interested, you can sign up here.

Meanwhile, we can’t wait to welcome Tjawangwa Dema as Quay Words writer-in-residence for the month of July.  Tjawangwa Dema’s residency was confirmed before the lockdown and we are looking together at how we create a range of virtual opportunities for you to meet and engage with her as Quay Words writer-in-residence.  Tjawangwa follows in the footsteps of two very different but equally fabulous previous resident writers:  Louisa Adjoa-Parker and Natasha Carthew.  You can read more about their residencies here.

We are also recruiting.  We are looking for a new full-time Literature Works team member for the duration of Quay Words 2020-22.  We are looking for a committed and dynamic Project Officer to co-ordinate Quay Words and contribute to other Literature Works business.  If you love books, reading and the arts, this could be for you.  The position will be based at the University of Plymouth Office, with regular working in Exeter and main responsibility for co-ordinating the Quay Words programme.  Full recruitment details here.