creative writing groups cambridge

Meet the team

Made up entirely of students, the CUPPS committee works hard to organise term cards for the academic year. Reach out to us with your suggestions and get involved. 


We are the first university-wide creative writing society in Cambridge for both poetry and prose. Our goal is to provide an active, dedicated platform where students can pursue a passion for literature in a collaborative and inclusive environment.

We host speaker events, student sharing groups, workshops, open-mics and more. We want to help connect the existing creative community, as well as create more spaces for readers and writers to come together. You can find all our upcoming events on our term card and stay up to date through our social media.

Cambridge Writing Centre

Our aim at the Centre is to organise and host regular free or affordable readings, seminars, workshops and talks all year round. Some of these take place at Anglia Ruskin University, while others are run in collaboration with different cultural centres and organisations around and beyond Cambridge.

creative writing groups cambridge

Are you a writer or performer? There are opportunities to participate in CWC events.

For a full list of events in and around ARU, visit the Culture Calendar .

Research Seminar Series

In this exciting series of events ARU staff, students and invited visiting speakers share their creative writing research followed by an open floor for questions and discussion. The series is driven by the exploration of the overarching question framing all creative writing research: what is creative writing research? How do we define this relatively new research field, and how do we communicate the value of creative writing research to the wider research community?

Future Karaoke

Our regular reading series brings together local and visiting writers, students and special guests for hybrid online literary jams, with each writer reading one new piece of work based on a set theme.

creative writing groups cambridge

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First Story

Creative writing charity for young people

creative writing groups cambridge

Everyone has a voice.

First Story helps students find theirs.

creative writing groups cambridge

We’re England’s leading creative writing charity for young people.

Our talented professional writers equip students in underserved communities with the confidence and skills to tell their own stories.

Watch Miles’ Story to learn more.

creative writing groups cambridge

Our flagship Young Writers Programme places an inspiring professional writer in residence in a partner school for an academic year. Writers work intensively with a consistent group towards the publication of a printed anthology.

First Story writers are acclaimed and award-winning authors, poets and playwrights, with the skills to transform students’ creativity, confidence and ability.

creative writing groups cambridge

The Young Writers Programme

Our flagship provision includes a professional writer in residence, sixteen weeks of extracurricular creative writing workshops, a published anthology, support and resources for teachers, plus exclusive access to year-round activities and opportunities.

Our anthologies

Since 2008, we’ve published thousands of poems and stories by young writers, in hundreds of beautifully produced anthologies—all of which are in the collection of the British Library.

We are committed to amplifying emerging voices from underrepresented communities and to providing platforms for our young writers to be read and heard.

creative writing groups cambridge

100 Word Story Competition Winners 2023/24 

2 May 2024 //  by  First Story

This year’s 100 Word Story Competition again demonstrated the talent amongst our young writers. Over 270 students from First Story partner schools…

100 Word Story Competition Winners 2023/24  Read More

First Story bursary opportunities for PGCert Teaching Creative Writing at University of Cambridge

11 March 2024 //  by  First Story

For the sixth year running, First Story are collaborating with the University of Cambridge Institute of Continuing Education to offer…

First Story bursary opportunities for PGCert Teaching Creative Writing at University of Cambridge Read More

A day of creative collaboration – First Story Writers at the Courtauld Gallery

30 January 2024 //  by  First Story

We recently reignited our partnership with London’s Courtauld Gallery, which had previously hosted Schools Connect Events before the pandemic. 10 of…

A day of creative collaboration – First Story Writers at the Courtauld Gallery Read More

Six Word Story Competition Winners 2023/24 

24 January 2024 //  by  First Story

Our annual Six Word Story competition is a challenge in concise storytelling. Inspired by Ernest Hemingway’s famous six word story “For…

Six Word Story Competition Winners 2023/24  Read More

Six Word Stories auction raises over £16,000

14 November 2023 //  by  First Story

As part of activities during 2023 to celebrate First Story’s milestone 15th birthday, we launched a unique literary auction on…

Six Word Stories auction raises over £16,000 Read More

‘First Story is 15’ party highlights

10 November 2023 //  by  First Story

On 2 November 2023 at the Institute of Contemporary Arts in London, First Story celebrated reaching a milestone birthday. Our…

‘First Story is 15’ party highlights Read More

Announcing: Folio Prize Mentorships 2023/24

9 November 2023 //  by  First Story

We are now in the seventh year of our partnership with the prestigious Folio Prize, through which talented First Story…

Announcing: Folio Prize Mentorships 2023/24 Read More

Why six words?

23 October 2023 //  by  First Story

First Story recently challenged best-selling and prize-winning authors, including Michael Morpurgo, Neil Gaiman, Elif Shafak, our Ambassador, Tracy Chevalier and…

Why six words? Read More

All of life in six words

16 October 2023 //  by  Antonia Byatt

My friend said, if your young writers can do it, then why wouldn’t you ask professionals?  Like all good things,…

All of life in six words Read More

Six Word Stories auction to raise vital funds for First Story

9 October 2023 //  by  First Story

A collection of acclaimed and best-selling authors have written original six word stories to be auctioned in aid of First…

Six Word Stories auction to raise vital funds for First Story Read More

Summer Residential 2023 highlights

5 October 2023 //  by  First Story

The Summer Residential is an opportunity for students who have shown great potential during the First Story Young Writers Programme…

Summer Residential 2023 highlights Read More

It All Started in the Library at The Bulwell Academy

28 September 2023 //  by  First Story

Joel Hunt, school librarian at The Bulwell Academy in Nottingham, has come to the end of his first year as…

It All Started in the Library at The Bulwell Academy Read More

creative writing groups cambridge

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MSt in Creative Writing

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This course is not open for online applications. If you would like to enquire about this course please do so using the 'Ask a question' button.

creative writing groups cambridge

The Master of Studies (MSt) in Creative Writing is designed for those who wish to develop high-level skills in creative writing both in fiction and non-fiction literatures. The MSt is taught over two years in short, intensive study blocks. It has been designed to be accessible to those in full- or part-time employment and to international students.

Progression for students who have completed this course is provided in a number of ways: some students may use this course as a progression route into a PhD in Creative Writing or in English Literature at other Universities, or they could go on to study the Postgraduate Certificate in Teaching Creative Writing at ICE. 

To watch the MSt Creative Writing and MSt Writing for Performance Information Session recording from our MSt Open Week 2023, click here .

View our MSt open afternoon held on 13 December 2022

Watch MSt students talk about their experience of the course »

You will be guided in the production of creative work in a range of genres and styles, and also in critical reflection on your own work and that of other writers. The course tutors and guest speakers are all established literary professionals.

Who is the course designed for?

The MSt aims to facilitate students' creative practice, whether for their own personal creative development as writers or because their professional work impinges on these areas.

Aims of the programme

By the end of the course students should have:

  • Developed their own writing and self-editing skills in a range of fiction and non-fiction genres
  • Developed a solid and substantial understanding of the history (in terms of innovative developments) of fiction and non-fiction writing and of critical, analytical and narrative theory

Teaching and learning

The MSt in Creative Writing is structured around four modules taught during year 1 of the course and a presentation module during year 2, each of which students must attend. In the first year, each of the four modules is preceded by guided preparatory reading and other activities, and followed by two writing assignments: one critical and one creative.

A Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) offers learning support to students while they are on the programme, including learning resources, and peer-to-peer and student-to-tutor discussion between modules to build a virtual community of practice.

The first year is characterised by variety. Students will engage and experiment with a wide variety of genres, building on existing strengths and exploring unfamiliar territories.

Module 1: Writing for readers: the art of poetry and the craft of criticism  ( 23 - 26 September 2024 )

This module will combine close critical reading of selected examples of poetry and autobiographical prose with the writing of both by students.

Module 2: Writing fiction: imagined worlds (25 - 28 November 2024)

This module focuses on prose fiction, examining the relationship between memory, imagination and research and exploring the essential concerns of the fiction-writer, including plot and narrative, voice and character and the importance of place.

Module 3: Writing for performance: monologue and polyphonic scripts (3 - 6 February 2025)

This module explores various forms of writing for an audience, encompassing writing for radio, theatre, television, cinema and other forms of scripted public address and performance.

Module 4: Writing life: creative non-fiction (12 - 15 May 2025)

This module explores the concept of creative non-fiction and examines examples drawn from a range of sub-genres. These are likely to include biography, memoir, travel-writing and writing about the environment. Sessions on study and research skills will prepare students for Year 2. Visiting speakers for this module will include those from the world of publishing.

The second year is characterised by focus on a specialist genre. Students will work independently to explore further and develop their own literary and critical skills, resulting in an extended piece or portfolio of writing. They will work under the supervision of an expert in their chosen field with whom they will have regular contact.

Students will have five supervisions in the second year. Supervision dates will be arranged between students and supervisors (these can be face-to-face or remote software). The fifth and final supervision will usually take place at around the time of the only module in the second year, the Presentation and Discussion of Portfolios to be held on 20-21 April 2026. 

It is essential that students attend all modules on the dates given above as their ability to complete the course will be severely compromised by missing any of these.

Find out more

If you have any questions about this course, would like an informal discussion on academic matters before making your application, or would like to know more about the admissions process, please complete this enquiry form with your questions .

Following the first module, students will produce 750 words of poetry and a critical commentary of 3,000 words. For each of the following three modules students will produce 4,000 words of creative prose and a critical commentary of 3,000 words.

Students will produce a portfolio consisting of 15,000 words of creative prose (or an equivalent quantity of poems) and a 3,000-word critical commentary.

Students are given formal written feedback on their assignments and informal feedback throughout the course, including during tutorials and supervisions. Tutors produce a report for each student at the end of Year 1 and supervisors produce termly reports for each student during Year 2.

Expected academic standard

Applicants for this course will normally have achieved a good UK 2.i honours degree or overseas equivalent.

There is provision to accept non-standard applicants who do not satisfy the standard academic criterion. Such applicants must produce evidence of relevant and equivalent experience and their suitability for the course.

Language requirement

  • IELTS Academic: Overall band score of 7.5 (with a minimum of 7.0 in each individual component)
  • CAE: Grade A or B (with at least 193 in each individual element) plus a language centre assessment
  • CPE: Grade A, B, or C (with at least 200 in each individual element)
  • TOEFL iBT: Overall score of at least 110 with no element below 25

The fees for 2024 will be £8,925.00 per annum for Home students (total Home course fee across the 2 years being £17,850.00) and £15,630.00 per annum for EU/Overseas students (total EU/Overseas course fee across the 2 years being £31,260.00). The combined graduate fee includes college membership. The fee can be paid in eight equal instalments. Students on this course can apply to Downing , Lucy Cavendish , Selwyn , St Edmund's , or Wolfson . Please note there are only a limited number of college places available for this course at Downing and Selwyn Colleges so please indicate a second choice of college on your application form if you are selecting either as your first choice.   

Students will be expected to cover the application fee (£50 online), accommodation whilst in Cambridge and any costs of travel to Cambridge.   Please note that, although you will be a member of a college, you will not be entitled to college accommodation.

ICE fees and refunds policy

For information on a loan from Student Finance England for course fees and a contribution towards living costs, please see

The Institute of Continuing Education offers the Joy Brandon bursary. Find out more  here . 

Applications will be accepted online until Wednesday 17th January 2024 . Interviews for shortlisted candidates will be held in late February/early March either in person or by remote software if candidates are unable to attend in person.  Candidates will be contacted to arrange convenient times during the previous week.

You are required to provide supporting documents as part of your application.  

Please ensure that you have your CV, writing sample, research proposal and personal statement ready before you start your application, as they will be submitted as part of the application form and cannot be submitted later.

Apply online when you are ready to start the application process. Please read the attached file "Supporting documents required for application" which gives more details about the supporting documents required as part of your application. Please note that one of the writing sample requirements has changed from the last application round. 

Visa requirements 

Student visa sponsorship is not offered for this course. International students who do not already hold a UK visa or immigration status that permits study may enter the UK as a visitor in order to attend teaching sessions. 

The visitor immigration route is used to support students on part-time courses longer than 6 months where the majority of time is spent outside the UK and attendance in Cambridge is only required for short teaching sessions. To meet the requirements of holding this immigration status for study purposes, students are expected not to remain in the UK for extended periods of time. It is not possible as a visitor on a course of more than 6 months to make the UK your main study location or residence or make frequent or successive visits to stay in the UK for extended periods.   

Please read the information about Visas for International Students

How often do the MSt courses run? All of the MSt programmes in the Creative Writing portfolio currently have an annual intake.

Is the course taught online, or is it possible to complete the course by distance-learning? The MSt is not a distance-learning course. You will be required to attend teaching sessions in Cambridge.

Can I complete the course on a full-time basis in one year? No, the MSt is only available as a two-year, part-time course.

Are there any sources of funding available? The Institute of Continuing Education offers the Joy Brandon bursary. Find out more  here . 

How many applications do you receive in relation to places available per year? This varies between programmes and depending on the year. For the 2021 cohort of the MSt in Creative Writing there were roughly 6 applications for each place being offered. 

How many references are required? We require two references. References need to be submitted from professional e-mail addresses, so please ensure that you enter the relevant details into the online application form.

What kind of references should I provide? We prefer academic references from people who, if at all possible, are able to comment on your writing skills and experience, and your ability to study at Master’s level. 

What happens if I am not able to provide academic references? We can accept professional references.

Can I nominate an ICE tutor as my referee? Yes, you may nominate an ICE tutor to act as your referee. 

How long should the Personal Statement be? As a guide, we suggest that the Personal Statement is 500-1000 words long. We would ask you not to exceed 1000 words. An ability to write to a specific word count is an important part of studying at Master’s level as it is in the life of a professional writer!

Is there an advantage to submitting my application early? No, all applications will be considered together after the closing date of the course. While there is no advantage to submitting your application early, we would recommend you do not leave submission until the last minute to avoid any technical difficulties.

What is the time commitment outside of the teaching modules? The teaching teams can provide more specific guidance about what is expected but there is a difference in focus between year 1 and year 2 of each course. Year 1 is based around blocks of teaching and shorter assignments whilst year 2 is the dissertation year where students work on their dissertations with regular individual supervisions. 

Can I attend modules on one of the other MSt in creative writing programmes? No, you will only be able to access the teaching sessions that form part of the MSt course onto which you are admitted.

What happens outside of the taught modules? You will be reading extensively and working on assignments, the details of which will be given to you at the end of each module. You will also be encouraged to engage with tutors and fellow students via the course’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) platform.

Can I apply for multiple courses? Yes, you are welcome to submit applications for more than one course, although you would not normally be permitted to undertake more than one MSt at the same time. You are recommended to apply for the course that is most suited to your interests and skills.

Can I use the same referees and writing samples for each separate application? Yes, providing they meet the criteria set out for each application within the Supporting documents file (available on the website).

Can I complete more than one MSt? Although you are welcome to apply for and complete a second MSt course in a subsequent year, it should be noted that you cannot be awarded more than one MSt from the University of Cambridge.

Do I need to have studied creative writing beforehand? You do not need to have previously studied creative writing; however, you would be expected to demonstrate an interest in creative writing and you will be required to provide recent samples of writing as part of your application.

Will I become a College member and do I need to pay College fees? Yes, all of our MSt programmes are matriculated courses meaning that College membership is a requirement. At the time of applying, you will be asked to specify your College preference from a list provided. College places are limited and we liaise with Colleges on your behalf. College fees are included in your course fees.

Will I meet publishers and agents? Yes, there will be opportunity to meet with publishers and agents. During each of the intensive 4-day modules you will have opportunity to hear from numerous guest speakers on a variety of topics and from a variety of genres. 


Course dates

Course duration.

Academic Directors, Course Directors and Tutors are subject to change, when necessary.

Qualifications / Credits

Course code.

Institute of Continuing Education Madingley Hall Madingley Cambridge CB23 8AQ

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creative writing groups cambridge

CU Poetry & Prose Society

CUPPS is the first university-wide literary society at Cambridge, hosting workshops, sharing sessions and speaker events, as well as publishing an annual anthology of student writing.

CUPPS is the first university-wide literary society at Cambridge. The society aims to create an enthusiastic and inclusive community where you can foster your passion for creative writing and literature. We celebrate student writing, no matter your level of experience or your medium of choice!

Our Failed Novelists writers group meet regularly to share their writing and gain valuable feedback from friendly faces, while the UniSlam team competes annually in national slam poetry competitions across the UK. Beyond this, we host regular open mic nights where you can share your own work or simply enjoy the work of others. We also bring in professional writers to share their experiences and tips for nuturing your interest in writing, whatever the form. 

We don't collect membership and are open to all! Sign up to our mailing list or follow our Instagram to hear about upcoming events and feel free to just turn up!

Please log in to change your memberships.

  • Writing Groups
  • Competitions
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  • Flash Fiction

Upcoming Events

7th may – mike levy.

Continue reading 7th May – Mike Levy

Flash Fiction Competition

4th June – Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Results Night

Continue reading 4th June – Flash Fiction Competition 2024 Results Night

Our monthly writers’ events are held at: Hartington Grove Meeting House.

91-93 Hartington Grove Cambridge CB1 7UB

Non-members are welcome to attend most events, at a charge of £3. Please contact our chairman Harry Goode if you would like to come along.

If you have any suggestions for speakers you would like to hear at our writers’ events, please contact our programme secretary, Karin Milner.

Recent Events

2nd april -agm 2024.

Continue reading 2nd April -AGM 2024

Short Story Competition

5th March – Short Story Competition Judging Evening

Continue reading 5th March – Short Story Competition Judging Evening

6th February – Cecilia Vinesse with agent, Molly Ker Hawn, of The Bent Agency

Continue reading 6th February – Cecilia Vinesse with agent, Molly Ker Hawn, of The Bent Agency

December Social!

Continue reading December Social!

Hannah Hooton

7th November – Life Writing Workshop

Continue reading 7th November – Life Writing Workshop

Tim Love

3rd October – Slow Reading Workshop

Continue reading 3rd October – Slow Reading Workshop

5th September – Freya Bromley

Continue reading 5th September – Freya Bromley

6th June – Flash Fiction Competition 2023

Continue reading 6th June – Flash Fiction Competition 2023

2nd May – AGM 2023

Continue reading 2nd May – AGM 2023

4th April – Dr. Jon Stone

Continue reading 4th April – Dr. Jon Stone

7th March – Short Story Competition Awards Night

Continue reading 7th March – Short Story Competition Awards Night

7th February – Susan Grossey

Continue reading 7th February – Susan Grossey

Cambridge Creative

Writing Company


We believe that stepping into new surroundings opens the mind to new ideas, and that beautiful surroundings inspire.

For these reasons, our teaching takes place in lovely locations in Cambridge's historic city centre:


Jesus College

Jesus College, in the heart of Cambridge, is over 500 years old. The ambience of the Cranmer Room is sure to inspire. This is where we teach our Tuesday and Thursday evening classes starting in autumn 2024. Parking is available on site.

The Box Cafe

The Box Cafe on Norfolk Street is the site of our Friday evening meetups. Funky art, tasty food, and hot drinks.



The Montefiore Room in Michaelhouse is is not only in the middle of Cambridge, it's inside a fantastic cafe. Some Saturday classes will take place here.

More Blossom.jpeg

creative writing groups cambridge

Cambridge Writers' Workshop

Cambridge writers’ workshop budapest & prague writing retreat – july 19-27, 2024.

creative writing groups cambridge

July 24-25, 2023- Final Workshop and Spoken Word Paris

creative writing groups cambridge

Dear Reader,

We started our final day in Paris coming together and workshopping our work using the Liz Lerman method and Felicia Rose Chavez’s Artist Statement. In Chavez’s anti-racist model, it is the writer who initiates the dialogue. It begins with a brief summary of your work and three solid questions pertaining to your work that you want critiqued during your workshop time. This is a great way to understand the author and to see what they are looking for as you dive into their work. This workshop time was inspiring, as each writer genuinely engaged in one another’s pieces. I could not help but be in awe of the community that we had created within the past week we had been together. Not only did we lift each other up, but we inspired each other.

We concluded our time together by attending Spoken Word Paris at La Cave Café, a writing community that meets weekly to share their poems, stories, and songs. There only rule is to make the words come alive, and to keep it five minutes! As I weaved throughout the bar and down a steep staircase, I spotted a thick, wooden windowless door at the bottom. As I pushed open the door, I heard the words of poetry sliver up the steps. I was intrigued as I made my way down the steps of this underground world. When I opened the door, a wall of dense air hit me, seeming to hold onto the words of every writer as much as it was holding onto the warmth. I was passed a fan and I watched the entire room fanning themselves, willing to sit in this sweaty basement to hear everyone’s amazing stories.

Tonight’s theme was “push.” Starting at 8:45 p.m., countless writers from all over the world presented their work from poetry to song-writing centering around this theme. Our fellow Co-Director Diana Norma was the feature poet of the night and presented some of her work centering around her heritage, food, and her family. I felt that I could relate to her work through my own writing, as food and family overlap so much in my life, and inspire my writing. Cherishing your roots and passing them down through your own words is one of the ways in which I and many other writers claim their stories. A few of our writers presented their works which included some of their recently workshopped pieces. Their words seems to lift off the page as they read in confident voices that sizzled the room. I enjoyed being a part of the audience this time, but I think next time, I would love to be on that stage as boldly as the others were.

The next day, we concluded our Paris Writing Retreat over a buttery croissant and discussed our writing goals for the future. During this time, we also decided to meet again over Zoom and connect over the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop NING member network . It was amazing to reflect back on how everyone grew and connected in such a short time. Although we were sad to part ways, we are looking forward to seeing everyone accomplish their writing goals and hopefully see them on future retreats!

Corrine Previte, Manager

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

July 22, 2023- A Day at Versailles

creative writing groups cambridge

We made it to Versailles! Today, we had a free day to explore the beautiful palace. I couldn’t believe that Louis XIV roamed this incredible large palace. I was in awe of its vastness as it went on for miles. The city of Versailles is quaint and charming, with restaurants and shops to wander in and out of.

Today also served as a day of reflection as our writers ventured into the gardens to continue their writing projects. Many of our writers visited the Marie Antoinette House for inspiration (which had just opened to the public). Her house was filled with embroidered upholstery, intricate wall designs, and beautiful pieces of artwork, including a portrait of Antoinette herself. Some of our other writers wandered deeper into the groves of the palace and stumbled across the Queen’s Hamlet, which was used by Marie Antoinette as an extra space to relax and host guests. Personally, it reminded me of the cottage in Snow White and the Seven Dwarves; I even thought I saw her myself working throughout the assortment of gardens filled with growing vegetables and opulent flowers. The house also had a pond with a tower (with vines inching up its legs) overlooking it with fish waiting to be greeted. The space was certainly the queen’s own fairytale.

As I flâneused around, I couldn’t help but notice how each part of the castle grounds gleamed as the sun began to set. This whole palace made me channel my inner flâneur as I took note of the intricacies of each corner of the palace. I was especially intrigued with the Great Hall of Mirrors. The chandeliers sparkled reflecting off of the walls made of glass. I thought of past kings and queens roaming such an ornate place every day of their lives.

As the sun began to set, the castle grounds began to light up as the fountains danced to music. The light show had begun. Each statue was surrounded by a sea of lights. The night ended with a beautiful fireworks show. We all watched in awe, feeling invigorated in a place with so much history and beauty. I couldn’t help but to be grateful to be part of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop.

Corrine Previte, Manager Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

July 21, 2023- Essays, Flâneurs, Provocateurs and Writing the Moment through Food

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Welcome to Day 3 of our Paris Writing Retreat, where we engaged in a craft of writing seminar titled “Flâneurs, Essays, and Provocateurs” taught by Rita Banerjee. Today we explored what it specifically means to be a flâneur. We also looked at the structures of essays and thought about how evocative essays are attempted and constructed. We learned about how being a flâneur and an essayist are intimately combined. We studied how essayists from Montaigne to James Baldwin to Lauren Elkin to Audre Lorde to Yoko Tawada redefined the environment they inhabit and create a space for electric art. For our walking tour portion of the class, Rita challenged us to channel our inner flâneurs and flâneuses by being open to the all of our senses while through the lively Parisian streets.

The second half of the day, Diana Norma Szokolyai taught “Writing the Moment through Food.” We began our session with a moment of mindfulness where we tried an assortment of French delicacies, such as foie gras. Many of us discovered that foods can evoke a range of emotions and memories. For example, one of us was brought back to our grandmother’s house, while others recalled moments with friends. For me, it brought a sense of warmth and comfort, specifically the Biscoff cookie. I was transported to a rainy New England day where I was sitting inside curled up with a cup of tea and a good book. Fall scented candles like Pumpkin Spice were lit in the background as I wrapped a soft blanket around me (can you tell I’m excited for fall?).

After we had our food tasting, we walked down rue Daguerre, where we encountered a variety of food markets. These markets provided an assortment of options from vibrant strawberries and tomatoes to rolls of cheese and meat for a future charcuterie board. The smells of breads and cheeses filled my nostrils as people’s conversations slipped into my ears. My inner flâneur was on high alert as I took everything in with each step I took. Our first stop on this street was a honey store, Famille Mary, where we tried a range of flavors from different regions throughout France. Each batch of honey had a sense of fullness and pureness of taste that already has me thinking about going back for more. I personally bought honey from the Pyrenees, which I look forward to using in my tea on that rainy New England day.

As our journey down rue Daguerre continued, we entered into one of Paris’ oldest cemeteries, Montparnasse Cemetery, housing many of France’s famous artists, philosophers, and writers. European cemeteries are set up so that the tombstone lies above the ground. Many people choose to leave flowers, mementos, and tributes. Just a handful of artists that we saw buried there were: photographer Gisèle Freund, writer Marguerite Duras, and philosophers Jean-Paul Sartre and Simone De Beauvoir, whose shared grave was covered in lipstick marks and mementos. Some of us left pens at Duras’ grave.

As we walked further, Diana Norma showed us where famous writers and artists like Picasso, Rilke, Modigliani, Man Ray, and Louie Aragon lived. We also came across apartments where many writers and artists still live in creative communities. This portion of the walk evoked my inner provocateur as I began to wonder, how could I be an agent of change as much as these artists were? In what way could I push the boundaries of societal norms, specifically in the realm of education? I sense another journal entry coming on as I seek to explore both my inner flâneur and provocateur.

July 23, 2023- What Makes a Memoir?

creative writing groups cambridge

In today’s lecture, we discovered “What Makes a Memoir” led by Rita Banerjee. The overall message I received from this class is that memoir is part of our every day routine. You don’t need to be an expert to write one, but memoir requires vulnerability and can push us into an areas of discomfort. At times, I even have a hard time telling my own life story to others. But the great part about writing a memoir is you can choose how you want it written by claiming your own voice and experiences. Michelle Zauner’s Crying in H Mart is a great example of raw and authentic writing. Another one of my favorite examples is Eat, Pray, Love by Elizabeth Gilbert. I couldn’t help both envy and be inspired by the journey she took. She had so much will to take a year off and reclaim herself, particularly in a world that wants us to staying grounded and focused in our established careers and community. These are both great reads and fantastic examples of memoirs.

Later on in the day, we had writing time and time to explore the city. I decided to visit the Louvre. I could not believe the size of this museum, I could have spent all day in there. Now, I did see the infamous Mona Lisa, and there was a long line to see her up close. Museum goers waited anxiously to get a glimpse, raising their arms over the sea of people in hopes that their camera could capture her wry smile. I couldn’t help but wonder, if she were to write her own memoir, what would she include in it? What’s her story? What was truly at stake in her life? How different was her life compared to mine?

I pondered these questions as I moved throughout the museum and observed other sculptures and paintings. As I walked further into the depth of the museum, I then began to question the artists who created these works of art. What story were they trying to convey in each one of their works? What sort of struggles or triumphs were they itching to tell? I think one great aspect about a memoir is that it gives you a chance to claim your story, and there is power in that. As I wrap up this post, Rita left us on an encouraging note and said “Don’t have the journey planned, see where your writing takes you. Let the structure bubble through you.” I plan to use these words as inspiration as I tease out my own memoir.

Cambridge Writers’ Workshop

July 20, 2023 – Paris Writing Retreat Classes Begin!

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Welcome back to our Paris Writing Retreat blog! Today, we began our time in Paris and attended two great lectures. We began our day with our first craft of writing seminar titled “CREDO & Literary Salon” led by our Co-Directors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai. As a resource, this class used Cambridge Writers’ Workshop’s CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos and Sourcebook for Creative Writing (C&R Press) , which presents different types of “Credos” or “I believe” statements, manifestos, creative advice and exercises. According to the synopsis a Credo is a “call to arms. It is a declaration…an act of an individual pushing back against society, against established stigmas, taboos, values, and norms.”

I think every writer should have a CREDO or at least challenge themselves by writing one. Having just arrived in Paris, sitting with a group of writers it felt empowering to think about what I believed in. This exercise encouraged me to write the following: “I believe in the fact that every human is capable of doing hard things. I believe that everyone should be loved with the same respect and the dignity that they deserve. Everyone should be open and honest and come forward with calm minds. Minds that aren’t restless or fearful of what the world has to offer.” This CREDO exercise has left me thinking that it would be a great way to introduce a future novel and get into character. The aforementioned quotes are only a small excerpt of the page I wrote for this practice.

We were challenged to create our own credos after reading other credos. Here are some brief excerpts from our CREDO statements:

  • “We’re surrounded by obligations. Writing is of me, it is an organ, a ritual.”
  • “Writing is a compulsive act.”
  • “Believe in leisure, not a metric of performance”
  • “Being present is a kind of perfection. A rejection of time.”

After lunch, we had our next craft of writing seminar which was titled “Surrealism in Paris and Beyond” taught by Diana Norma Szokolyai. In the class, we discussed the origin of surrealism and its impact on artists and writers from the 20th century to today. We learned about the tools surrealists use to access the subconscious. We explored the texts of the Surrealist Manifestos, as well as learned about key figures of the movement like André Breton, Yvan Goll, Dora Maar, Louis Aragon, Salvador Dalí, Tristan Tzara, René Magritte, Frida Kahlo, Pierre Reverdy, Méret Oppenheim and more. Since we were staying in Montparnasse, it was interesting to learn about the writers and artists who were connected to the surrealist movement. It was inspiring to read contemporary authors, who are inspired by surrealism, such as Ada Limón and Adam McOmber.

We tried surrealist writing exercises meant to cross the bridges between dreams and reality and go beyond rational thought into the subconscious. I had never done this form of writing before, but I wanted to challenge myself, specifically the dream journaling and automatic writing. Automatic writing seemed daunting to me, it’s a challenge to just write without stopping and going back, crossing something out and editing it altogether (does anyone else’s process look like this? With a bunch of scribbles on the page? Yeah, mine too). To be honest, I think writing without stopping can create the best work from an artist, but being okay with writing without editing needs to be a habit of mind beforehand.

Dreams are also a common inspiration in writing but can also be difficult to depict through one’s art. I started dream journaling, and it was very interesting to tap into this new form of writing. My dreams tend to be vibrant, intense and colorful, which I think is in-line with future work I want to do to expand plot lines and emotional tone. It has been fun seeing how the zaniness and metaphor within one’s dreams come through in each person’s work. The results are both personal and fantastical all at once!

At night, we enjoyed a beautiful cruise on the Seine River and we were able to see all the landmarks lit up. Enjoy the photos below!

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July 19, 2023 – Bienvenue à Paris, mes amis!

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Today, was our first official day in Paris. We hit the ground running by having our first dinner at La Baraka where we were greeted by the resident feline, Fluky. With a warm meow for a hello, we walked inside to a beautiful courtyard filled with wisteria, wooden chairs, pillows, and wicker light fixtures. After a long day of traveling, we were served a comforting meal of couscous that could be mixed with chicken, sausage, chickpea stew, fish, kebabs, and a smooth and crisp wine that was hard to refuse (check it out below).

This meal involved introductions and deep conversation about the importance of the arts today. The big topic of discussion was: why is society diminishing the arts? For example, currently most of Hollywood’s writers and actors are on strike due to AI or artificial intelligence. The major concerns surrounding artificial intelligence are how and where it is being used, like writing TV shows or movies for us. Many writers and actors are concerned that this is going to be our future. Another burning question surrounding this issue was, how can artificial intelligence replicate one of the most important qualities of being human, such as empathy and overall emotions? I’ll let you answer that one for yourself. This led into our next part of the conversation of why we are holding this retreat and why our participants are here. We want to be able to create a space where all creativity and writing is nurtured. We also want to create a space where writers feel inspired and what better place than Paris? A city where the arts are alive and well. Many of our participants not only joined for the scenery but to also have a safe and inclusive space. They also joined to find inspiration and to fall in love with writing again.

The night went on as a saxophone melody started playing in the background. No one seemed to know where it came from except for one: Fluky. Fluky sat on the roof completely engaged by the art that was happening. He could not help but listen and close his eyes while his ears perked up at each note. I’m not sure about you all but we had never seen a cat so engaged and at peace with music playing. That’s the beauty of the arts, you never know what kind of emotion or feeling they can evoke, even for a cat. Art helps people to process emotions, surroundings, and to help better understand the world. As we wrap up this blog post, we not only encourage you to find joy in the arts but we encourage you all to be like Fluky. Engaged, appreciative, understanding, and open to transforming your art.

Juneteenth: Freedom Day

creative writing groups cambridge

Juneteenth, a day of remembrance and a day to rejoice in freedom. Let us celebrate what we have accomplished and what is yet to come!

CWW 2023 Paris Writing Retreat and Scholarship Application Deadline Extended!

creative writing groups cambridge

Due to the number of applications we received before midnight, we are excited to announce that our Paris Writing Retreat and Scholarship Application deadline has been extended to June 7, 2023. Please see details about the retreat and scholarship applications below:

The Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Paris Writing Retreat will be held from  July 19-25, 2023  in the historic, literary Montparnasse neighborhood of Paris. Writers will reside at Hôtel du Midi Paris Montparnasse (4 Avenue René Coty, 14th Arr., 75014, Paris, France).

The retreat features multi-genre writing and publishing workshops, craft of writing seminars, and generative writing sessions in a warm, welcoming, and collaborative atmosphere. Modeled after the French literary salon, the Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is known for its thought-provoking, inspiring, inclusive, and generative multi-genre workshop format. Participating writers will hone their craft and expand their writing skills, while working on new or existing projects.

There will also be time to explore the city of Paris in all of its historical, literary, and romantic charm. Situated in heart of Paris’ Montparnasse neighborhood, amongst the fresh and popular open air markets and charming boutiques, the hotel neighborhood is full of Parisian charm. Our classes will take place in the hotel meeting room, as well as a range of classes in the spirit of “flâneur” culture, set in the rich environment of literary cafés, museums, and other famous Parisian locations.

The faculty includes award-winning multi-genre authors Rita Banerjee and Diana Norma Szokolyai , who are known for their engaging and supportive teaching style.

The cost of the retreat is $4,500, which includes tuition for all workshops and classes in Paris, lodging, daily breakfast, special meals, and a trip to Versailles.

Using the online submission system, submit 5 to 10 pages of poetry, fiction, creative nonfiction, drama, or literary translation with a  $5 application fee by June 7, 2023 . Early applications are encouraged as seats are limited and some scholarships are available. Submit to the scholarship application on our Submittable if seeking a scholarship in one of the following categories: diversity, parenthood, or student/educator.

If you’re serious about writing and want to soak in some exquisite French culture this summer, join our retreat in Paris!

Visit for an application and complete guidelines. All genres welcome. Please email [email protected] or call 617-800-9901 for more information.

If you’d like to join us in Paris, please apply online by  June 1, 2023 , and include a $5 application screening fee and a  5-10 page writing sample of poetry, prose, drama, illustrated, or hybrid work .  Please also include the following in your cover letter:

1. Full Legal Name 

2. Contact Info (Telephone & Address) 

3. Age & Nationality (Participants should be 18+)

4. Prior creative writing experience and/ publications (not necessary) 

5. Creative writing goals for the retreat 

6. Short one paragraph biography 

7. Contact of Two Personal References (Name, Email, Address, Phone, Relationship to Applicant)

8. What would you bring to a writing workshop community? (communication skills, patience, listening skills, etc.)

Due to limited seats, early applications are encouraged!


Deadline: June 7, 2023


Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is delighted to announce that partial scholarships based on need and merit for the Paris Writing Retreat (July 19-25, 2023) are now available. Students can apply for scholarships of $250-$500, and further financial assistance may be available for students in need. Scholarships for BIPOC, LGBTQ+, writers who are students, writers who are parents, writers who are educators, and Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Alumnx are available.

To apply for a scholarship for our 2023 Paris Writing Retreat (July 19-25, 2023), please complete this two-step process:

  • Submit a 2023 Paris Writing Retreat Application
  • Submit a Scholarship Application and include a 1-2 page over letter that indicates which scholarship you are applying for, your reasons for applying, and how this scholarship will help you with your writing goals.

While there is no application fee, all scholarship applications are due by June 7, 2023. And early scholarship applications are encouraged.

Scholarship Categories

If you identify with one of the following identities and have a financial need, we offer partial scholarships. When you apply, please state which scholarship category you are applying to from the list below:

  • BIPOC 
  • Student 
  • Parent (of a child 0-22)
  • Cambridge Writers’ Workshop Alumnx

If you have any questions, please email [email protected] .

CWW Artistic Director Diana Norma Szokolyai Serving as a Panelist for 2023 WNBA Award

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Cambridge Writers’ Workshop is excited to announced that Diana Norma Szokolyai will be serving as a panelist for the WNBA Award 2023. This award will be presented to GrubStreet founder Evie Bridburg on Friday June 2nd, 2023 at Porter Square Books located on 25 White Street, Cambridge, MA. The event will begin at 6:00 p.m. with a “networking hour.” The panel discussion and award presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. This even is open to the public and refreshments will be served. For more information email [email protected] or check out their website

Award Recipient:

creative writing groups cambridge

Eve Bridbur g, Founder and Executive Director of GrubStreet

Eve Bridburg is the Founder and Executive Director of GrubStreet. Under her leadership, the organization has grown into a national literary powerhouse known for artistic excellence, working to democratize the publishing pipeline and program innovation. An active partner to the Mayor’s Office of Arts and Culture, Eve was the driving force behind establishing the country’s first Literary Cultural District in downtown Boston.

Having graduated from its inaugural class, Eve remains active with the National Arts Strategies Chief Executive Program, a consortium of 200 of the world’s top cultural leaders. She has presented on the importance of literary arts centers and the intersection of arts and civics at numerous conferences. Her essays have appeared in  The Boston Globe ,  Huffington Post ,  Cognoscenti ,  Writer’s Digest  and  TinHouse .

Eve serves on the Advisory Board of The Loop Lab, a Cambridge-based nonprofit dedicated to workforce development for underrepresented youth in the digital storytelling and media sectors. Eve worked as a literary agent at The Zachary Shuster Harmsworth Literary Agency for five happy years where she developed, edited, and sold a wide variety of books. Before starting GrubStreet, she attended Boston University’s Writing Program on a teaching fellowship, farmed in Oregon, and ran an international bookstore in Prague.

Here are the featured Panelists Below:

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Natalie Obando, Host WNBA National President

For nearly two decades  Natalie Obando  has worked in the world of books as a literary publicist. She is the founder of Do Good Public Relations Group, a literary PR firm that helps authors and publishers connect with their perfect reader through strategic and social good-based campaigns. Natalie is also the founder of the grassroots organization  Women of Color Writers Podcast and Programming . As the current National President of the Women’s National Book Association (WNBA), she oversees all eleven chapters across the nation as well as the national board and national programs. She is the founder and chair of Authentic Voices—a four-month-long program that immerses people from marginalized communities in a writing, editing, marketing, and publishing masterclass. Natalie has been a speaker at literary conferences across the United States, helping authors and publishers promote their work and drive equity in publishing.

creative writing groups cambridge

Serina Gousby, Panelist Program Manager,  Boston Writers of Color

Serina Gousby  is a writer, calligrapher, and Program Manager of the Boston Writers of Color program at GrubStreet. She oversees programming, engages with members through media outlets and monthly newsletters, and provides opportunities and guidance to self-identifying writers of color. As a poet, her work is published in Pangyrus, and she has performed at the Boston Poetry Marathon, HUBWeek, and Literary Death Match. Serina holds a BA in English with a concentration in Creative Writing and minor in Black Studies from Suffolk University. When she’s not writing poetry, she’s either writing on her blog, The Rina Collective, or creating artwork.

creative writing groups cambridge

Namrata Patel, Panelist Author

Namrata Patel  is an Indian American Amazon bestselling author of contemporary fiction. Her debut,  The Candid Life of Meena Dave , was critically acclaimed, including being named on The Center for Fiction’s best novel long list. Her writing examines diaspora and dual-cultural identity among Indian Americans, multi-generational tensions tied to assimilation, and historical awareness of Indian American achievements. Her sophomore novel,  Scent of a Garden , will be released in June 2023. Namrata has lived in India, New Jersey, Spokane, London, and New York City and currently calls Boston home. She has been writing most of her adult life.

creative writing groups cambridge

Diana Norma Szokolyai, Panelist Co-founder/Artistic Director,  Cambridge Writer’s Workshop Diana Norma Szokolyai is a writer, teacher and co-founder/Executive Artistic Director of Cambridge Writers’ Workshop . She is co-editor of CREDO: An Anthology of Manifestos & Sourcebook for Creative Writing and author of the poetry chapbooks Parallel Sparrows , and Roses in the Snow . Her poetry and essays appear in publications like Critical Romani Studies, The Poetry Miscellany, The Boston Globe , Up the Staircase Quarterly and MER VOX Quarterly . Her poetry has been anthologized in Other Countries: Contemporary Poets Rewiring History , Stone to Stone: Writing by Romani Women , and Teachers as Writers , as well as translated into German for the anthology of Romani poets from around the world Die Morgendämmerung der Worte, Moderner Poesie–Atlas der Roma und Sinti . She was awarded a 2021 Center for Arts and Social Justice Fellowship at Vermont College of Fine Arts She was award as 2021 Center for Arts and Social Justice Fellowship at Vermont College of Fine Arts for her work translating Romani poets into English. Other honors include honorable mention for Best Poetry Book in the 2014 Paris Book Festival and finalist for Hunger Mountain’s 2020 May Day Mountain Chapbook series. Together with Dennis Shafer, she founded ChagallPAC, an interdisciplinary arts organization that hosts performances, readings, and workshops, with a gallery space on Artists’ Row in Salem, MA. A first generation American of Hungarian Romani heritage, she holds an M.A. in French Literature & Cultural Studies from UConn, an Ed.M in Arts in Education from Harvard, and an M.F.A. in Writing from Vermont College of Fine Arts.

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What does it me…

What does it mean to be a scholar in an age of AI?

The article at a glance.

Academic publishing has long been based on the premise of elite scarcity. With generative AI promising to lower barriers for producing exceptional articles, Professor Matthew Grimes asks how this will change the scholarly profession.

Category: AI and technology Insight

The academic profession, including in business schools, is like an exclusive members club. Faculty members seek tenure, promotions and greater prestige among peers based on a well-understood set of elite rules. A scholar whose article is published in the most prestigious journal, with the highest standards for acceptance and rejection, will achieve rewards in a way publication in a less-lauded journal may not. 

But this long-established code of the academic professor is based on a pivotal understanding: scarcity. The underlying premise is that there is a very limited number of truly exceptional journal articles competing for the career-advancing spots in the very best journals.  

AI can speed up article creation and more

So what happens when generative artificial intelligence (AI) upends this understanding by allowing the creation – all within ethical academic bounds and peer-acknowledged excellence – of far more than a limited number of exceptional articles, perhaps even a virtually limitless supply of them? 

Matthew Grimes.

That’s the focus of an editorial, ‘From scarcity to abundance’, in the Academy of Management Journal (AMJ) – one of the most elite journals in the field of business management, co-authored by Matthew Grimes, Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Futures at Cambridge Judge Business School. 

Elite academic articles often take many years to reach publication stage, but the authors say “generative AI tools now increasingly offer capabilities aimed to increase those efficiencies and the pace at which those efficiencies are realised by scholars” – a very polite way of saying that AI may seriously disrupt the entire supply chain for academic articles, which currently assumes a molasses-like speed. 

Then there’s another key question: can AI surface interesting research questions as well as the minds of human scholars? “The extent to which generative AI will augment or replace academics in the creative tasks associated with scholarship is a matter of debate (indeed, the authors of this editorial have internally expressed such debate), yet the potential should be taken seriously,” the editorial says. 

What does it now mean to be a scholar or academic journal? 

“We pose 2 questions, given the potential promise of generative AI to increase both the quantity and quality of scholarship,” says the editorial:

  • What does it mean to be a scholar when the know-what’and know-how barriers to becoming one are minimised (anyone who wants to can participate in scholarship)?
  • practical importance
  • theoretical intrigue
  • methodological rigor?

The editorial makes clear that the journal’s editors don’t have all the answers at this still-young point in the evolution of generative AI, but makes equally clear that these difficult questions need urgently to be asked. 

Asking awkward questions and prompting deep thinking of academics 

“The future of academic publishing in the age of AI poses very awkward questions for academics to be asking about ourselves, our colleagues and our profession,” says editorial co-author Professor Grimes. “We are all academics trained and working in an era where the scarcity of truly first-class research was the guiding principle, but we are looking at a rapidly advancing new era of generative AI in which the scarcity of knowledge production can no longer be assumed. 

“The editorial doesn’t attempt to curb the use of generative AI in producing scholarship: there are clearly some hazards such as well-documented ‘AI hallucinations’ (relevant but false information) and ‘deep research fakes’ (data manipulation to deceive the academic community), but there is also truly great research potential in AI in areas ranging from the creation of academic articles, to bridging the gap between academic theory and practice, to the ability to improve the peer-review system of evaluating the merits of academic literature. 

“Our purpose in writing this editorial is to prompt some deep thinking and soul searching amongst ourselves and our peers about what we want our profession to look like given the rapid advances in AI,” says Matthew. 

The authors say they don’t seek to codify the academic profession’s response to AI, but rather to examine different uncertainties that will affect scholarship. “We are merely at the beginning of a conversation we expect to be having for many years to come,” they say. 

Our purpose in writing this editorial is to prompt some deep thinking and soul searching amongst ourselves and our peers about what we want our profession to look like given the rapid advances in AI.

AI in academic journals: good faith should not be assumed 

The editorial also looks at how journals currently deal with generative AI, noting that the Academy of Management will soon publish guidelines on AI use for its suite of journals and conference submissions. 

“At the moment, however, many existing journal policies surrounding generative AI appear to be operating on the assumption that authors, reviewers, and editors will act in good faith,” the authors say. Given the risks such as “hallucinations” coupled with rapid advances in AI, “we believe such an assumption is inadequate” and that governance rules are needed such as specialised review protocols for papers that employ generative AI. 

The editorial then returns to what generative AI means for the academic profession. 

At the moment, however, many existing journal policies surrounding generative AI appear to be operating on the assumption that authors, reviewers, and editors will act in good faith … we believe such an assumption is inadequate.

Generative AI challenges the distinctive value of management scholarship 

“Our investigation of the implications of generative AI for management scholarship and for our profession is not meant as a call to arms to defend the profession and its current boundaries,” the editorial concludes. 

“Instead, in the short-term, we view this as a call to prepare ourselves, as well as our current and future PhD students, with the appropriate knowledge not only to use but, more critically, to evaluate algorithmic knowledge production.” 

“In the long term, we view this editorial as a call to rethink the distinctive value of our profession in a world of abundant management scholarship. In other words, we suspect that a plausible generative AI-led shift from scarce academic knowledge production to abundant academic knowledge production will inevitably increase the urgency around answering a fundamental question: To what problems in society is management scholarship the (unique) solution?” 

The editorial is co-authored by Professor Matthew Grimes of Cambridge Judge Business School, an editor of the AMJ, along with four of the journal’s other editors: Georg von Krogh of ETH Zurich, Stefan Feuerriegel LMU Munich, Floor Rink of the University of Groningen, and Marc Gruber of Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne. 

In the long term, we view this editorial as a call to rethink the distinctive value of our profession in a world of abundant management scholarship.

Featured faculty

Matthew grimes.

Professor of Entrepreneurship and Sustainable Futures

View Matthew's profile

Featured research

Grimes, M., von Krogh, G., Feuerriegel, S., Rink, F. and Gruber, M. (2023)  “From scarcity to abundance: scholars and scholarship in an age of generative artificial intelligence.”   Academy of Management Journal , 66(6): 1617-1624 (DOI: 10.5465/amj.2023.4006)

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  2. 11 Types of Writing Groups You Can Join

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  3. Mfa Creative Writing Uk

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    Cambridge Writers holds members-only writing competitions, which are free to enter and offer cash prizes. We use either external judges or member voting to determine the winners of different contests. Our results evenings are great fun, where works are read aloud and prizes awarded. There's a 1st prize of £100 for our short story competition ...

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