Courttia Newland to read at MIRLive


Our first MIRLive will take place on May 13th 2016 and we are looking for readers to join Benjamin Wood and Courttia Newland.


MIRLive takes over from Hubbub and will continue to showcase the best of Birkbeck alongside guest readers. This special event will take place at The Harrison (28 Harrison St, London WC1H 8JF) on the Friday before Birkbeck’s Arts Week and will officially launch MIROnline to the world. Benjamin Wood will be reading and we’ll be announcing more special guests over the next few weeks.

We’re looking for readers of prose and poetry to take part in the event and are looking forward to reading your submissions. Email your work to by April 15th. (Please follow the guidelines below.)


Benjamin Wood was born in 1981 and grew up in northwest England. He holds an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of British Columbia, Canada, which he attended with the support of a Commonwealth Scholarship.Whilst studying in Canada, he was appointed as Fiction Editor of the literary journal PRISM International. The stories he selected and edited during his tenure included a finalist and winner of the Journey Prize. Benjamin’s first novel THE BELLWETHER REVIVALS was shortlisted for the Costa First Novel Award and the Commonwealth Book Prize. Its French translation LE COMPLEXE D’EDEN BELLWETHER (Editions Zulma, 2014) won one of France’s foremost literary awards, le Prix du Roman Fnac, and has gone on to become a bestseller. In 2013, Benjamin served as the British Council’s Writer in Residence in Istanbul, Turkey, where he began researching and writing his second novel, THE ECLIPTIC. It was published by Scribner (UK) in July 2015, and is forthcoming from The Penguin Press (USA)  in May 2016, and Editions Robert Laffont (2017). Benjamin is currently a Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Birkbeck, University of London. He lives near London with his wife and son.

Courttia Newland is the author of seven works of fiction including his debut, The Scholar. His latest novel, The Gospel According to Cane, was published in 2013 and has been optioned by Cowboy Films. He was nominated for the Impac Dublin Literary Award, The Frank O’ Conner award, The CWA Dagger in the Library Award, and The Theatre 503 Award for playwriting as well as numerous others. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on Radio 4. A forthcoming story, Reversible, is included in the Faber Anthology Sex and Death. He is associate lecturer in creative writing at the University of Westminster and is completing a PhD in creative writing. His latest work, Cosmogramma, a collection of speculative fiction short stories, will be published by Jacaranda in 2017.

Submissions policy

  • Any Birkbeck creative writing student, both current and previous, BA, MA or Certificate, can submit work for consideration.
  • There is no restriction on the type of work. You can submit a complete short story or an extract, a novel extract, poetry, life writing, adapted screenplay etc.
  • Submissions should be unpublished. However, previously published work will be considered in some circumstances.
  • Length:
    Prose: up to 1500 words 
    Poetry: up to 150 lines
  • The MIRLive team will decide which submissions to select and the running order of the night.
  • No editorial input will be provided. Work will be selected as it stands.
  • No significant changes can be made once the work has been selected.
  • You should submit only one piece of work per event (or a selection of poems up to 150 lines).
  • Please make sure you are happy with your work before you submit it. The team reserves the right not to accept an updated, replacement version, even if it arrives before the deadline.
  • Submissions should be sent as an attachment to, with the subject line ‘MIRLive Submission’.
  • Please send your work in a readable word (.doc or .docx) format.
  • You will be advised whether your submission has been selected at least one week before the event.

Selected work

Selected work will be read at the next event.

If your work is selected, you will be asked to provide a brief (+- 50 words) biography written in the 3rd person, and a photo, to include on a handout and publish on the website. Subject to the author’s permission, a podcast of the reading may be made available on the website. Copyright remains with the individual author.

13 April 2016