Andrew Cowan was born in Corby and educated at Beanfield Comprehensive and the University of East Anglia, where he is currently professor of creative writing and director of the creative writing programme. His first novel Pig was published in 1994 and won a Betty Trask award, the Ruth Hadden memorial prize, the Authors’ Club first novel award, a Scottish Arts Council book award, the Sunday Times young writer of the year award, and was shortlisted for five other literary prizes. Common Ground (1996) and Crustaceans (2000) both received Arts Council bursaries.
What I Know was the recipient of an Arts Council writers’ award and was published in 2005. His creative-writing guidebook, The Art of Writing Fiction, was published in 2011 and voted the Pearson Higher Education Product of the Year. His fifth novel Worthless Men was published in 2013 and shortlisted for the East Anglian book awards. Since 2008 he has given keynote papers at numerous international conferences and published several articles on creative-writing pedagogy.
Between 2002 and 2004, Andrew was an RLF Fellow at UEA. He joined the faculty at UEA as a senior lecturer in 2004 and was convener of the English literature with creative writing BA. From 2006 until 2011 he was convener of the creative writing (prose) MA. He teaches at BA and MA level and supervises a number of PhD students. In 2011 he wrote the University of East Anglia’s successful submission for the Diamond Jubilee round of the Queen’s Anniversary prizes for higher and further education.