Richard Beard Archive

Scope and Content

Typescripts, notebooks, notes, drafts, correspondence, press-cuttings, ephemera, electronic discs.

Administrative / Biographical History

Richard Beard (1967- ) is an English novelist, non-fiction writer and Creative Writing Fellow at the University of East Anglia. He has previously taught on the MA in Creative Writing (Prose Fiction) at UEA from which he also graduated in 1995. He currently teaches on the MFA (Master of Fine Arts).

Beard has published six novels including, Dry Bones (2004), The Cartoonist (2000), and Lazarus is Dead (2011). His first novel X20: a novel of not smoking (1996), was a New York Times Summer Reading Selection. Damascus (1998) was a New York Times Notable Book. Beard has published two retellings of biblical stories: Lazarus is Dead (2011) and Acts of the Assassins (2015), which was short-listed for the Goldsmiths Prize.

His first work of non-fiction, Muddied Oafs: the last days of rugger (2003) was long-listed for the William Hill Sports Book of the Year Award. Manly Pursuits (2006) examines what makes Australians so competitive. Becoming Drusilla (2008) tells the story of long-time friend Dru who underwent gender reassignment. His memoir The Day That Went Missing was published in 2017.

Beard was shortlisted for the 2008 BBC National Short Story Prize and long-listed for the 2010 Sunday Times EFG Short Story Award. His short stories have appeared in Granta and Prospect and have been recorded for BBC Radio 4. In 1997 and 2015 he received an Arts Council Authors Award and in 2000 was the recipient of a grant from the K. Blundell Trust. He was selected as a writer-in-residence at Gladstone's Library (2013).

Beard has been Director of The National Academy of Writing in London (2009-2017). He is a visiting Professor at the University of Tokyo (2016/17 and 2003-2006).


The collection is one of many individual deposits forming part of the wider British Archive for Contemporary Writing, est. 2015.

  • RB/1/A Unpublished novels
  • RB/1/B Noble Desires; Short stories
  • RB/2/A-B Notebooks
  • RB/2/C X20 ; Forum/Erotic Stories magazine; The Cartoonist
  • RB/3/A-D Acts of the Assassins
  • RB/4 Lazarus is Dead ; Becoming Drusilla
  • RB/5 Muddied Oafs
  • RB/6 The Cartoonist
  • RB/7 Damascus
  • RB/8 Manly Pursuits ; Dry Bones ; Correspondence

Access Information

Other than where a specific access restriction is noted, the collection is open for consultation in the Archives Department by appointment during its advertised opening hours.

Acquisition Information

Deposited on loan in 2016 by the creator and author, Richard Beard.

Other Finding Aids

Conditions Governing Use

Reproductions can be supplied in hard copy or digital format subject to physical condition and the terms of deposit. A charge is made for this service. Copyright restrictions may apply and the advice of the Archives department should be sought for any use of reproductions other than personal research.

Custodial History

Loan deposit.

Personal Names