A fond farewell and a warm welcome!

November 1, 2023
Anna and sharon

We are heartbroken and excited in equal measure to be saying goodbye to our colleague and friend, Sharon Duggal, and to be welcoming Anna Jefferson to the New Writing South team. 

After nearly five years Sharon is leaving to take up an RLF Fellowship at the University of Brighton. This is a brilliant opportunity for her to concentrate on her own writing, and the luckiest of breaks for students who will benefit from her wisdom and support. This we know because it was the luckiest of breaks for New Writing South when she came to work with us.  

Sharon has, quite simply, turned NWS around. She has invited some the most exciting, talented writer/tutors working in the UK today to deliver a uniquely engaging, accessible programme of masterclasses and expert courses; she has created wonderful community projects and helped an extraordinary range of novice and more experienced writers find their voice. She has been an advocate, an activist and a passionate believer in the power of writing and has raised our game as we work for equity, diversity and equality of opportunity across our sector. And, of course, she is a fine writer – we’re all looking forward to the joy of her third novel., which she is currently working on.

NWS will continue to build on Sharon’s legacy and wish her the success and recognition she so richly deserves.   

We are delighted to announce that Anna Jefferson will be joining New Writing South in January 2024 in the role of Artistic Director. After 18 years working in the creative industries (most recently as Arts Council England’s Relationship Manager, Theatre in the South East) we know she will bring a wealth of experience and energy to this new role. 

As a fiction writer and playwright, Anna knows the literature sector well. She has published three novels, with her fourth, The List for Living, due for publication in 2024 with Penguin Random House, Germany. She founded and co-directed Broken Leg Theatre and has written and toured five plays nationally and also co-directs Writing Around the Kids, a creative writing organisation working with mothers of young children. 

We will leave the last word to Anna: “I’m delighted to be joining New Writing South. It is an organisation I have huge admiration for and its commitment to supporting and encouraging new, emerging and established writers from diverse communities is something I am passionate about. Writing is a huge part of my life, both personally and professionally and I am thrilled to be joining the organisation.”

Lesley Wood