Aesthetica Creative Writing Award

Submissions Now Open for 2019

 

Hosted by the international art and culture publication Aesthetica Magazine, the Award is a celebration of excellence in Poetry and Short Fiction, and one of the UK’s most prestigious competitions. It presents writers with the opportunity to further their involvement with the literary world.

Prizes for the Creative Writing Award include:

  • £1,000 for each winner (Poetry and Short Fiction)
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual
  • Consultation with Redhammer (Short Fiction Winner)
  • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner)
  • One-year subscription to Granta
  • Books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage

Entries are open for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award, presenting an opportunity for writers to showcase their Poetry and Short Fiction to international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world.

Prizes include: £1,000 for the Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Annual, consultation with Redhammer Management, membership to the Poetry Society, one-year subscription to Granta and a selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage.

Submit here: http://aestheti.cc/5xdj7

Hive Young Writers Awards

Great prizes including publication!

Hive Young Writers’ Competition is open to young people, aged 14 to 25, from across the whole of Yorkshire (home or study address). Whether stories or poetry (or both) are your thing, you can enter up to 3 pieces of work at any time before 4th Jan 2019.

There is no theme, simply write something sparked by one of twenty photographs you will find linked from the competition page. The photos, along with the related prompts and tips, are there to trigger ideas and creativity rather than as something you must strictly stick to. The main thing – send your best work!

Students/individuals and teachers (for classes) are all welcome to submit up to 3 pieces of fiction or poetry per person.

You’ll find everything you need to know here: http://www.hivesouthyorkshire.com/competition

Click here to download a flyer: http://www.hivesouthyorkshire.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/11/competition.pdf

If you wish to receive flyers/posters by post, drop us a line at kate@hivesouthyorkshire.com

Enjoy!

…..

Hive South Yorkshire is the hub for young writers (14 to 30) in the South Yorkshire region. Whether you like to write as a hobby, want to express yourself better with words, or are focused on a writing career – whatever your interest or ability – Hive is here to help you achieve your writing goals and connect with a wider young writers’ community. 

Web: www.hivesouthyorkshire.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/HiveYoungWriters
Twitter: www.twitter.com/HiveSouthYorks
Instagram: www.instagram.com/hivesouthyorkshire

The Northern Fiction Alliance comes to York St John, October 24th

 

The Northern Fiction Alliance is an exciting collective of publishers joining together to showcase publishing in the North of England. Manchester’s Comma Press and The York Centre for Writing here at York St John University are delighted to host the first #NorthernFictionAlliance Roadshow in Yorkshire, following the sell-out success of the inaugural Roadshow event in Manchester last year. This event will see the members of the Alliance – some of the most innovative and exciting indies in the UK – showcasing their work. Come along to hear from some of the most interesting writers and publishers currently working in the UK.

Publisher and authors reading on the night will include:

  • And Other Stories, with Northern Book Prize winner Amy Arnold
  • Bluemoose Books
  • Comma Press, with Gaia Holmes
  • Dead Ink Books, with SJ Bradley
  • Peepal Tree Press
  • Tilted Axis Press, with Hamid Ismailov
  • Valley Press, with Nora Chassler

This event will serve as an opportunity to establish new contacts and to celebrate the new work being produced in the North of England. Please book your free ticket here.

Our students also have the opportunity to attend free masterclasses with NFA writers.

2.30-3.45pm: Workshop: Novelists SJ Bradley and Northern Book Award winner Amy Arnold on research and writing. Book your free ticket here

4-5.30: Workshop: Poet and novelist Nora Chassler and poet Gaia Holmes discuss place and writing. Book your free ticket here

Don’t miss this great opportunity to make connections with publishers and to hear from some exciting new writers!

The Discovery Hub – Post Graduate Intern Post – Super Opportunity!

The Discovery Hub, Co/ Converge, York St John University, Lord Mayor’s Walk, York, YO317EX

Manager: Emma McKenzie – Discovery Hub Team Lead. e.mckenzie1@yorksj.ac.uk 07785607771

The Discovery Hub is funded by Tees Esk and Wear Valleys NHS Foundation Trust (TEWV) and is based within Converge (www.yorksj.ac.uk/converge) at York St John University. Converge offer a range of educational courses to people who have lived experience of mental health illness as part of a recovery journey re-claiming skills and identity.

The Discovery Hub supports access to Converge from secondary mental health care services and also uses York St John as a launch pad to community learning and educational opportunities for those wishing to branch access other educational environments across the city.

We are looking for a post graduate intern with training in creative writing to support the development of partnership project working for the Discovery Hub and Converge. The graduate intern will be responsible for supporting and delivering staging ground creative writing classes in the local community that act as a step towards enrolling with Converge creative writing classes. These classes are aimed at building confidence, communication and trust with a view to stepping into new opportunities and maintaining well-being. TEWV are also developing a ‘trauma informed care’ aspect to their delivery of recovery focused work. This involves exploring ‘what has happened to a person’ rather than ‘what is wrong with the person’. There will be the opportunity for a graduate intern to support the creation of a project to explore trauma informed care – primarily in supporting the delivery of a memoir and autobiographical writing course and on a secondary basis making links with Storying Sheffield (www.storyingsheffield.com ) to develop storying workshops across the city.

The current classes that run in partnership with community organisations are:

  • Ecotherapy Connect to Nature at St Nicks. St Nicks is a 24 acre nature reserve. The team leader for the Discovery Hub has successfully been running a series of creative writing courses over the last three years that promote connecting to nature for well-being. The Graduate Intern would support the development of this class and support the team leader building an anthology of work for publication with St Nicks.
  • St Leonards Creative Writing – Last September we piloted a creative writing class at St Leonards hospice in York supporting people experiencing bereavement to make new connetions and to learn a new skill. The pilot was highly successful. The Graduate Intern would support running this course again with a Converge creative writing tutor Helen Kenwright.

Pending courses due to run in 2019:

  • Memoir and autobiographical writing course: A course aimed at exploring personal stories and narratives. This course will also investigate the craft of writing memoir and autobiography and look at the practical and ethical implications of this genre. The graduate intern will support the development and running of the course alongside the Discovery Hub Team Leader.
  • Storying York: A set of workshops run from health buildings exploring individual identity through creative writing and promoting Converge and Discovery Hub opportunities as a service to support recovery.

Desirable skills:

  • Previous experience of working with Converge either in a paid or voluntary capacity.
  • Experience of mental health illness, either through your own lived experience, or in support of others – either personal or through paid employment.
  • The ability to support others in an individual capacity during course sessions. In particular helping students who are anxious and nervous about engaging in creative writing classes.
  • The ability to engage with community partnership projects to support existing staging ground creative writing classes. This would involve liaising with other community programmes and establishing strong working relationships and developing creative writing opportunities.
  • A good working knowledge of existing Converge Creative writing classes so that a smooth transition can be made between classes from the wider community into Converge.
  • The ability to support developing individual talent within Converge creative writing opportunities. This may involve aspects such as helping an individual to explore a writing genre, seek out formal higher education opportunities, or to assist in bringing together written work for an anthology.

Historical Fiction Workshop at Beyond the Vote

Image result for beyond the vote york

Creative Writers!

Come and join me this Saturday afternoon  to immerse yourself in the heady 1920s! As part of the wonderful Beyond the Vote Festival I will be giving a Creative Writing Workshop on historical fiction.     We will focus on the immediate aftermath of women gaining the vote; years when women’s employment, domestic lives, sexual and bodily identities were all undergoing massive changes. How can you use historical research to create interesting and believable characters and put them in a world that evokes the era for your readers? Can a knitting magazine be as important a key to your historical character as their attitude to female suffrage? We will debate such questions, look at a range of research materials and, most importantly, begin your own pieces of historical fiction.

The workshop runs from 3-4.30pm. For some of you this might be a deal breaker as you are already committed to a potentially historic football match. But, as writers of historical fiction know, there are many individual responses to ‘historic’ events and missing England v Sweden might not even have registered with you. If that is the case, please use the link above to sign up to this free public event and I look forward to seeing you there.

 

Beyond The Walls 2018: The Art Of It All

Now that both the York Literature Festival and the launch of Beyond the Walls 2018 have drawn to a close and the excitement has begun to subside, there is finally a moment to pause for a breath before the rush of assignments begins. Now there is an opportunity for us, Editorial team 2 of the Beyond the Walls Anthology 2018, to share our experiences from the last 12 weeks.
Nobody can quite prepare you for the volume of work organising a cover for an anthology is, combined with the task of then having to select readers for an event as grand as the York Literature Festival: Beyond the Walls launch. It was a big ask, and an even bigger weight of pressure, made greater by the continual praise of our module director, Dr. Kimberly Campanello, for the previous year’s hard work and success on the module. The reputation of our predecessors was upon us, and we weren’t about to be the team that couldn’t maintain it. But amidst all of that pressure, we pulled it off and in doing so learnt a little about the industry and gained some valuable skills for the future.

So, here’s how we did it:

The Process
The process of selecting the cover started on the rocks. The call for submissions showed us that even though there is a wide community of artists at York St John, to begin with not everyone was as excited about Beyond the Walls as we were. Initially, we didn’t receive very many submissions, but thanks to the hard work of the Promotions team, we eventually had a total of 27 artwork submissions, all of a high standard, meaning that our decision wasn’t an easy one. We were presented with a variety of styles and forms of art work for the cover, meaning that we had to decide what the overall vision we wanted for this year’s cover was going to be, in comparison to last year’s. Once we had decided, we compiled a list of our first choice down to our last to be reviewed by Kimberly and our Subject Director Dr. Naomi Booth who agreed our choice:

The winning design above was sent across to Jamie McGarry, who integrated it into Valley Press’s house style, producing this result:

When the final choice was made, our work was by no means over. Preparations for the event itself were well underway and with the main attraction out of the way we were then tasked with selecting five readers for the launch event. Which in itself was difficult because all of the work included in the anthology as selected by Editorial team 1 was of a very high standard. This was an important part of the process as we had to ensure that we selected a nice range of both forms and styles. Being involved in the event first-hand meant that we were able to see the event start to come together at the dress rehearsal, and hear some of the beautiful work from the anthology spoken aloud.

The Module
We thought we would also use this opportunity to briefly discuss the Publishing Production and Performance module and the valuable information we have learnt about the industry over the course of the semester. For anyone in first year joint or single honours creative writing, we would highly suggest selecting this module in your second year. Not only do you learn so much from guest speakers who vary from writers, to publishers and agents, but you also come away with a better understanding of running events, writing cover letters to publishers and the importance of literary movements. All of this helps to shape your own writing through a better understanding of the publishing industry.

This module forces you out of your comfort zone in the best sort of way.

Valley Press
The contact with independent publishers such as Valley Press, who we have been collaborating with to publish the anthology this year, was an enlightening experience and introduced us to the pressures that publishers face regularly to create high-quality events and products. It feels rewarding for all of on the module to have this opportunity and knowing that at the end of it all we were part of creating a successful launch and a beautiful anthology. What other module on the English literature or creative writing degrees would allow you to work first hand with a publisher and even visit their headquarters?

Editorial Team 2
Beyond the Walls 2018

BA Creative Writing Student Profiles

Students on the 2nd year BA (Hons) Creative Writing module Publishing, Production and Performance compiled writer profiles from their colleagues.

Alex McGowan

I am a second year Creative Writing and English Literature student. I love studying at York St John and I have learnt so much more about my craft by coming here. Now my writing is so much stronger and I have the confidence to try new forms, for example script.

My writing tends to lean towards the spooky and macabre, but I adore grounding this in friendships and ordinary life. Currently, my favourite author is V. E. Schwab, I adore her world building and the way she develops character. At the moment I am slowly working on an urban fantasy novel known as ‘Late Nights’, here is an extract from it:

It was recommended that tourists avoid the street of Hallow Way in Barebrough. It was the site of the towns graveyard and Mason House. This building was an old block of flats overrun by ivy and virginia creeper. The house was comprised of three storeys each with its own unique style. The ground floor was made of brown brick and has blacked out windows, designed for the more sensitive guests. The first floor had bricks that appeared to be burnt black and the arched windows curved inward. The second floor was red bricked and had Georgian style windows.

Even after living here for three years Isaac still found that the longer they stared at the building the more askew it became. Though they had bigger things to worry about right then. Isaac had left their keys at work, again. No amount of bag rummaging and muttered swearing had helped to solve the problem. All their bag had coughed up was a tub of chocolate spread, a broken mug and two strips of Strattera. Isaac made the executive decision to give up searching when a shiver ran up their arms. At the obscenely large door they whispered, “Please.”

Twitter: @alex_h_l_m

Charlotte Bennett

I joined York St John University in the Autumn of 2016 to study Creative Writing. I am currently a member of the Promotional team for the launch of Beyond the Walls 2018. I am also a part-time tutor of English and maths at Explore Learning. After reading poems written by my Dad, the spark of my interest in the creative arts was lit. I enjoy reading all lengths of fiction, and my preference of writing surrounds the world of poetry and short stories.

I was published in the 2017 edition of Beyond the Walls with my two poems: ‘We March’ and ’26 Letters of Courage’ which you can read below:

26 Letters of Courage 

Always breathing

Courage does

Exist. Forged

Godlike her

Imagination jumps,

Kicks. Levitates

Minds. Never

One person.

Questing radiantly

She thrives

Untamed. Voyaging

With xenia,

Youthfully zoetic.

She is courage.

 

WE MARCH

Hands holding, minds moulding, we unfold the truth

We the people, the women, the men

Our Future is female

The present ours to take

 

Why are you marching?

We march to change lives, save lives

We march to live a better life

Free from aggression, oppression is not progression

March forwards

 

Fight like a girl

I will not be silent

We will not be silent,

So Hear our voices

Respect existence, expect resistance

 

Twitter: @charlottesvoice

Instagram: charlotteee666

 

Tia Welsh

I am a Second Year Single Honours Creative Writing Student. I absolutely love this course. Reading and writing is pretty much an everyday habit for me (I can’t get enough of it!) My writing is inspired by everything and anything. Authors such as Neil Gaiman, Ransom Riggs and Joanne Harris have influenced my writing style, which tends to relate a lot to water.  I have even been lucky enough to meet Joanne Harris at my home’s literary Festival; Manx Lit Fest in the Isle of Man and have my own poem published as part of an anthology.

I also happen to be a Course Representative and enjoy supporting all my course mates, ensuring they remain happy during their time of study. I have written opening chapters for two of my novels and a play on homelessness-I hope to develop these further into the future!

You can follow me on:

Twitter: @TiaWelshIoM ‏

The Trip to the Beyond: Editing Beyond the Walls 2018

Editorial Team 1 developed many lifelong skills and useful industry knowledge during the production of Beyond the Walls 2018, including how to face and overcome professional challenges. This blog post will give insight into what was expected of the team, activities we have completed, and the numerous valuable experiences we have had on the Publishing, Production and Performance module.

Overview of our role

Our team was tasked with organising and reviewing all submissions for the anthology. We also decided on the acceptance of pieces based on specific parameters provided by the module director on behalf of the YSJ Creative Writing course. This included selecting work by all 3rd year and MA students and ensuring that the material was appropriate for international distribution, whilst also doing our best to guarantee that York St John’s reputation, including all individuals working on this project, remained at a high standard. We also had to make sure the length of the anthology didn’t exceed the price point for the publisher and its eventual readers. This process was overseen by the module director, Dr. Kimberly Campanello, who made final decisions on the manuscript.

Another important aspect of our role for the Beyond the Walls Anthology was producing the manuscript. We imported all final pieces into a document and focused on finalising format and layout, writing the preface and acknowledgements, and ensuring that all names were spelt correctly whilst adhering to other requirements. Arguably, this was our favourite part of our role since we could finally witness the anthology coming together; the challenges we had endured at the beginning of the project were non-existent at this point since we only felt euphoria at producing the final manuscript.

Beyond the Walls 2018

We thoroughly enjoyed reading the variety of pieces submitted to the anthology, which had doubled since last year thanks to the work of the Promotions team, and we found it extremely difficult to not exceed the word count as there was so much strong work to potentially include. Working with Valley Press for the first time this year meant we had stricter deadlines than previous years, which pushed us to use a professional manner and maintain our editorial integrity at all times.

 

Trip to Woodend

Woodend in Scarborough

We visited Valley Press in Scarborough during this module to learn about the publishing process from the professional who would be assisting us with Beyond the Walls 2018, publisher Jamie McGarry.

We were informed of the short background of his company as he then explained all aspects of publishing from costs and printing, to roles in his team, genres preferred and the importance of an audience. This information was invaluable and encouraged us to change our approach to the anthology, ensuring professionalism and working closely with the other teams on the module to ensure that this project was to the highest standard; a piece of work we could be proud of.

Guest Speakers

Throughout the module we have had many guest speakers visit our class to share their professional experience. For our team, the speakers who have had the largest impact on our work include:

  • Rob O’Connor, the Director of York Literature Festival, who shared with us the importance of planning ahead, providing insight into areas we were not fully aware of, and expressing how important all our roles are to the York Literature Festival in regard to the anthology.
  • Donald Winchester, Professor Abi Curtis’s literary agent, who spoke about the agent-author relationship, offered advice on how to write to publishers and agents, and gave us knowledge of what to expect of writers submitting to our anthology.
  • Jamie McGarry, founder of Valley Press, who shared all aspects of publishing with us and has worked closely with our entire group to produce Beyond the Walls

Teamwork

From the beginning of this project we attempted to delegate jobs to different individuals at various times depending on who was available, therefore trying to create a fair workload for all. Being a team of 13 was extremely beneficial at the beginning of the project as it allowed us to read the submissions and gain an overall majority very quickly. However, towards the end of the project this became more difficult due to the various documents we had to write, making it challenging for us all to approve the style of writing and information included. We relied on our weekly meetings to discuss any issues and focused on creating documents during this time. We solely used professional communication channels, specifically Trello and email, which was sometimes challenging for us as students who are used to using social media in our personal lives.

To conclude, this project has been extremely valuable in developing our professionalism, creating a relationship with the publishing world, and forcing us to work to the best of our ability individually and as a team. This project is one we will never forget.

 

Editorial Team 1

Beyond the Walls Anthology 2018

Publishing, Production, Performance Module

 

Aesthetica Prize

Student Opportunity: Poetry & Short Fiction entries open for the Aesthetica Creative Writing Award!

Showcase your work to new international audiences and further your involvement in the literary world. Hosted by the international art and culture publication, Aesthetica Magazine, the Creative Writing Award aims to support and nurture new writing talent.

Prizes include: £1,000 for Short Fiction and Poetry winners, publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology for 60 finalists, publications courtesy of Bloodaxe Books and Vintage, and more.

Entries close 31 August. Submit at: http://aestheti.cc/5xdj7

Yeovil Lit Prize

This internationally acclaimed competition is open for entries on 1 January, and offers  opportunities for all writers. Now in its fifteenth year, we know several past winners have achieved success in the publishing world.

There are now FOUR categories, with significant cash prizes.

NOVEL

Synopsis and opening chapters, up to 15,000 words

SHORT STORY

Up to a maximum of 2,000 words

POEM

A poem with a maximum of 40 lines

WRITING WITHOUT RESTRICTION

Exciting and original – write whatever you like!

CLOSING DATE 31st MAY 2018

For full entry details please see our website at

www.yeovilprize.co.uk

Or write to Liz Pike at YCAA, The Octagon Theatre,
YEOVIL, BA20 1UX for an entry form. Please send an SAE.

The Yeovil Community Arts Association is a registered charity
(no 299372). All profits from The Yeovil Literary Prize are used to promote the arts and artistic endeavours in and around Yeovil.

The competition is organised by the Yeovil Community Arts Association with highly esteemed guest judges from the literary world