Category Archives: Event

Expressions of interest invited for The Creative Writing Blog!

This is the link to the form you can use to express your interest in writing and/or editing for the exciting and dynamic YSJ Creative Writing Blog –

Please complete this form if you are interested in writing for The CWB (The Creative Writing Blog.)

These are the options available to you:

Be a Staff Writer: We occasionally identify topics to be covered or events to be reviewed. These are first offered to our Staff Writers (typically a staff writer will contribute 3-5 pieces to the blog per academic year).

Be a Sub-Editor: In addition to writing regularly for the blog, co-editors also format and upload work by other students, workshop ideas for features and series and recruit fellow students to the blog team. They are also a friendly, informal point of contact for new writers.

Be an Assistant Editor. PLEASE NOTE, THIS ROLE IS ONLY OPEN TO POSTGRADUATE APPLICANTS. As an Assistant Editor you will work closely with the blog editors to shape the character and content of the blog. You will be responsible for managing Sub-Editors and commissioning and editing new posts. This is an excellent role if you are looking to acquire experience in publishing or journalism.

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!

Writing Surgery for Third Years! (with cake…)

We will be running a special writing surgery for third years on 14th February from 2:30 in the upstairs bar of the Student Union building. Refreshments will be provided.

This writing surgery will be an opportunity to bring pieces of your writing to discuss with a tutor and with each other. You can bring work you are developing for modules, your dissertation/creative writing project, writing competitions, or anything else you are working on. Feel free to bring more than one piece of writing.

We will also be briefly discussing postgraduate study and career planning. YA writer and RLF Fellow Zoe Marriott will talk to you about her writing career and about how you can get additional support with your writing as you develop your dissertations. Please confirm attendance at the Eventbrite link so we can order the right amount of catering (coffee and cakes). The bar will be open from 4:30-6 upstairs specifically for us.

Book your place (and cake) here

Writing workshop at the hostel.

York St John University Creative Writing students on the 2nd year Publishing, Production and Performance module are seeking submissions of writing and art for Beyond the Walls, an anthology showcasing work by YSJ students.

Last year’s edition of Beyond the Walls

The anthology will be published and distributed internationally by Valley Press. Additionally, we will select five of the published writers to read from their work at the Beyond the Walls launch event on the 21st of March at The Basement at City Screen as part of York Literature Festival. Selected readers will share the stage with Valley Press authors Nora Chassler and Nigel Forde.

This is an outstanding platform to showcase your work.

We are looking for fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction on any subject or theme. You may submit work previously written for your modules.

We are also seeking visual art, photography or design images for the cover. Last year’s gorgeous Van Gogh-inspired cover was designed by BA (Hons) Design student Ellen Shaw.

Submission Guidelines:

Please provide a cover letter along with your submission identifying your name, programme and year.

1. max 1200 word count for prose

2. max 3 poems per submission

3. max 3 images submitted as JPEGS or with a link to portfolio

4. You may submit in more than one genre/form

Email work as attachments to

The submission window opens on Friday, January 26 and closes at 11:59 pm on Friday, February 16.



York Literature Festival Events

York St John University supports and hosts a number of events as a partner of York Literature Festival. The festival promotes the arts in York, with an emphasis on literature, spoken word and poetry. They also feature music, comedy, cinema and theatre in the programme. This year the festival will run from Thursday 15 March 2018 until Monday 26 March 2018 across a number of venues in York. The York St John programme of events taking place at York St John University and York Theatre Royal are as follows:

Thursday 15 March – Launch of York Literature Festival and York Centre for Writing (with Fiona Mozley and YSJ Creative Writing Staff) 

For full details and to book tickets please visit the Theatre Royal page.


Tuesday 20 March – Poetry Workshop with Geraldine Monk and Nisha Ramayya

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Tuesday 20 March – Geraldine Monk and Nisha Ramayya

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Wednesday 21 March – Research, Writing & Revision: The Art of Paperback Writing with Jack Sheffield

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Wednesday 21 March – Beyond the Walls Anthology Launch and Student Showcase

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Thursday 22 March – Launch of the Pollination Project Anthology

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Friday 23 March – 200 Years of Frankenstein 1818-2018: Mary Shelley’s monstrous legacy, with Angela Wright

For full details and to book free tickets please visit the Eventbrite page.


Saturday 24 March – Writers and Artists One Day Creative Writing Conference

For full details and to book tickets please visit the Writers and Artists Website.

Storytelling and Spoken Word Laboratory


How To Be A Magpie

Storytelling and Spoken Word Laboratory

With storyteller Cath Heinemeyer and spoken word artists Imogen Godwin and Henry Raby


Round 1. 24th Jan, 1-2:15, Quad South Hall. We will steal elements of a strange Siberian folktale, and pass them through the prism of drama to make rapid words for performance.

Round 2. 31st Jan, 1-2:15, Quad South Hall. We will receive a missive from another group working on the same story on the other side of our city, and answer it. And vice versa.


Round 3. Thurs 1st Feb, 5:30-7:30, MB004. The Tale Exchange. The story made large at a spoken word event with Henry Raby. With pizza.


Free for all YSJU students – try and come to all 3 if you can.

This is a Things As They Are event. To book your place, email

York St John Creative Writing Students Perform in London

In February, four York St John Creative Writing students will perform collaborative experimental pieces.

University Camarade III – February Saturday 10th 2018: 

Rich Mix, London

7PM – FREE ENTRY / VENUE 2 / 35-47 Bethnal Green Rd, London E1 6LA

A unique collaborative event, students from the Creative Writing departments of Kingston University, Edge Hill University, York St John, and Glasgow present a dozen brand new works in collaboration. Featuring:


Abby Knowles


Abby Knowles is a poet from North Yorkshire. Struggling with work, childcare and wifing while gaining her Master’s Degree in Creative Writing, Abby is usually one solid poem away from a hilarious mental breakdown. Last week she did the school run with her trousers on backwards.




Tom Young



Cooking smoke. Aching knees. Heckles, hockles, shocks and burns. Dust from under floorboards congealing into thick, black mud in the nose. Weepy weekend people blowing home, howling into the hills. Fat heads, fat tongues. Malignant breaths, exuding regrets. Dead dells. Thomas Jonathon Young writes memories from the Dales of Durham.





Joe Shaw



Joe Shaw is an experimental poet and visual artist studying at York St. John university. His writing explores the concepts of queer aesthetics and identity. He won the Northern Youth’s ‘Slay on Words’ – a poetry slam collaboration between York universities in 2017.





David Yeomans chose the Creative Writing MA at York St John University to deepen his knowledge and practice of writing. Although set on course to write mass-market thrillers, he has found poetry and needs to explore this form. When not writing, he works as a full time NHS psychiatrist.




Social Media and Employability

Event description


This session is open to all students in the School of Humanities, Religion and Philosophy.


Do you use Twitter? Or Instagram? Have you thought about how your public profiles might impact on your experience of the job market? Come along to this bespoke session and learn about how to effectively manage your online presence. The session will be delivered by Andi Keeling on behalf of Edit Development, and the session will draw on real-life examples of student success, as well as exploring:

  • How to use social media responsibly and safely
    • Understanding your online footprint
    • Exploring how your social media profiles can impact on employability and your personal brand
    • Being aware of the consequences of sharing personal (and sometimes intimate) details online

If you have any questions, please contact Dr Anne-Marie Evans (

Welcome Semester Creative Writing Events!

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Welcome Semester Creative Writing Events for your Diary: – Meet some amazing writers, have a drink, get to know your writing community!

  • Graham Rawle, Graphic Novelist, on his projects. Monday the 9th of October. 11.00-12.30, Quad South Hall. No booking necessary.
  • Mark Illis and Zoe Marriott, Royal Literary Fund fellows, reading from their work. Wednesday 18th of October 5-6pm in the Chapel. Book free tickets here.
  • Laudanum Publishing Poetry Event with readings by Dr. Kimberly Campanello (YSJ Lecturer), Abigail Parry and Fran Lock Thursday the 26th of October 7-8.30pm in the Students Union. Book free tickets here.
  • Launch of two debut dystopian novels from YSJ Creative Writing staff Dr Naomi Booth and Prof Abi Curtis, Thursday 30th of November, 7-9pm in York Waterstones. Book free tickets here.

Event Info:

 Graham Rawle is a UK writer and collage artist whose visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. His weekly Lost Consonants series appeared in the Weekend Guardian for 15 years.

He has lectured and exhibited his work internationally, heading the design team that created the 4,000 sq ft (370 m2) ‘Hi-Life’ supermarket installation for EXPO 2000 in Hanover. As director of the Niff Institute, in 2001 he created a range of limited edition art pieces that form the Niff Actuals product range.

Among his astonishing published books are The Wonder Book of Fun, Lying Doggo, Diary of an Amateur Photographer and a reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz, which won 2009 Book of the Year and best Illustrated Trade book at the British Book Design Awards. His critically acclaimed Woman’s World, a novel created entirely from fragments of found text, is being made into a feature film.

Graham Rawle is a lecturer on the Sequential Design/Illustration MA at The Faculty of Arts (University of Brighton).

 Mark Illis, RLF Fellow

Mark Illis is a novelist and writer of short stories, who has also written for television, radio and film. He has been a literature development worker, a centre director for the Arvon Foundation and an editor for Yorkshire Arts Circus. In July 2017, his first Young Adult novel, THE IMPOSSIBLE, winner of a Northern Writers’ Award in 2015, will be published by Quercus. When teenagers in Gilpin start suffering from strange mutations, someone needs to find out what’s going on. Enter Hector, who’s suffering maybe the strangest mutation of all.

 Zoe Marriott, RLF Fellow

Zoë Marriott is the critically acclaimed author of eight feminist, diverse novels for young adults, which draw strongly on world mythology, fairytales and folklore. Her first book, The Swan Kingdom (Walker Books, 2007), based on Hans Christian Anderson’s ‘The Wild Swans’, was written when she was just twenty-one. It went on to become a USBBY Outstanding International book, was shortlisted for the Lincolnshire Young People’s book award, longlisted for the Branford Boase award, and was chosen for the 2009 International Reading Association booklist. Shadows on the Moon (Walker Books 2011), a Japanese-influenced retelling of ‘Cinderella’, is widely considered a classic of UK young adult fiction.. Her short story ‘Storm Clouds Fleeing from the Wind’ (Things I’ll Never Say anthology, Candlewick, 2015) was recommended for a James Tiptree Jr award.

 Laudanum Chapbook Anthology: Volume Two – Abigail Parry, Kimberly Campanello, Frances Lock, ed. by Tiffany Anne Tondut

‘As a showcase of vivid voices, taking a range of different approaches, this anthology doesn’t disappoint.’

–Becky Varley-Winter, Sabotage Reviews

 Abigail Parry has won a number of prizes and awards for her work, including the Ballymaloe Prize, the Troubadour Prize and an Eric Gregory Award. Her first collection, Jinx, will be published by Bloodaxe in 2018.

 Fran Lock is the author of three poetry collections, Dogtooth (Out-Spoken Press, 2017), The Mystic and the Pig Thief (Salt Publishing, 2014), and Flatrock (Little Episodes Publishing, 2011). She is the winner of the Ambit Poetry Competition 2014, and her poem Last Exit to Luton came third in the 2014 National Poetry Competition.

 Kimberly Campanello [Lectuer in Creative Writing at YSJ] was born in Elkhart, Indiana. Her most recent poetry book is Hymn to Kālī (Eyewear Publishing). She is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at York St John University.

Tiffany Anne Tondut is laudanum’s founding publisher, series editor and designer. Her poetry has been published in various publications including The Rialto, Magma, Poetry News and Best New British and Irish Poets 2016. In 2015 she was a prize winner in The Troubadour’s International Poetry Prize. She lives and works in London.

 Sealed by Naomi Booth [Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at YSJ]

 ‘There is an unbearable truth about the modern world to be found in this book, but it cannot be looked at, or talked of directly. There is only a state of dulled awareness about a terrifying epidemic, drawing closer, pulling tighter – until the final, visceral pages where the horror must come out in a rush of blood and desperation. What a delicate, provoking balance of apocalyptic vision and personal journey Sealed is. I loved it.’

– Aliya Whiteley, The Arrival of Missives

Timely and suspenseful, Sealed is a gripping modern fable on motherhood, a terrifying portrait of ordinary people under threat from their own bodies and from the world around them. With elements of speculative fiction and the macabre, this is also an unforgettable story about a mother’s fight to survive.

Naomi Booth was born and raised in West Yorkshire and is now based in York, where she lectures in Creative Writing and Literature at York St John University.

 Water & Glass by Abi Curtis

Abi Curtis’ [Prof. of Creative Writing at YSJ] first novel, Water & Glass, will be published in Autumn 2017 by Cloud Lodge Books

“Speculative fiction is nothing without a beating heart, something real and human (or animal) at stake, and Water & Glass has this in boatloads. On every page Curtis combines a poet’s eye for the perfect, resonant detail with a blockbuster’s suspense and delivery on story. As beautifully surreal and symbolic as it gets, there’s something unshakeably, alarmingly plausible about this novel and its dramatisation of the next century: what we stand to lose and what may already be too late to save. An urgent, gorgeously written debut.”

–Luke Kennard, award winning author of The Transition

Abi Curtis is Professor of Creative Writing at York St. John University and is an award-winning poet. In 2004, she received an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors. Her first poetry collection Unexpected Weather was published after winning the Crashaw Poetry Prize in 2008, and in 2013 Curtis received a Somerset Maugham Award for her second poetry collection The Glass Delusion.

Aesthetica Prizes

Facebook/ Newsletter:

The Aesthetica Creative Writing Award 2017 is open for entries, presenting an opportunity for emerging and established writers and poets to showcase their work to new international audiences and further their involvement in the literary world. Now in its 11th year, the award is an internationally renowned prize presented by Aesthetica Magazine and judged by literary experts, including Arifa Akbar, book reviewer for Monocle Radio and BBC Radio 5 Live and former Literary Editor at The Independent.

Prizes include:

  • £1,000 prize money Poetry Winner
  • £1,000 prize money Short Fiction Winner
  • Publication in the Aesthetica Creative Writing Anthology for 60 shortlisted writers
  • Consultation with Redhammer Management (Short Fiction Winner)
  • Full Membership to The Poetry Society (Poetry Winner)
  • Selection of books courtesy of Bloodaxe and Vintage
  • One year subscription to Granta

Short Fiction entries should be no more than 2,000 words. Poetry entries should be no more than 40 lines. Works previously published elsewhere are accepted.

Deadline for submissions is 31 August 2017. To enter, visit