Category Archives: News

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

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.

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

Report on University Camarade by Abby Knowles, MA student

I’ve never been very good at sharing. I’ll be polite to your face during tapas but when you take the last olive I will abandon you quicker than I dropped my plan to wax at home on a weekly basis (pretty much immediately).

University Camarade performers and their lecturers

With this in mind, I applied to be part of University Camarade. This show is part of a wider event called The Enemies Project, that is being curated by SJ Fowler (www.stevenjfowler.com). The project is about ‘Contemporary poetry in collaboration, Innovative live literature and Performance Art’ (www.theenemiesproject.com). It’s basically poets sharing; their experiences, knowledge and performance space.

I was accepted onto the project and together with Tom Young, David Yeomans and Joe Shaw, we were paired with a student from another University and asked to create a five-minute experimental poem to perform in London.

What the Chuff is Experimental Poetry?

Good question. Apparently, a lot of things could be classed as experimental poetry: lists or streams of consciousness or shouting a nursery rhyme while sitting on a melon thinking about George Osborne.

The lovely thing about this genre is that you get to throw the ‘traditional’ rule books out the window. You can chuck your stanzas and your enunciation and your commas. Experimental poetry, for me, is all about the experience of the performance and the process reading of a non

                                                                                                                                                                        traditional

                                                                                                                                                                                                poem

                                                                                                                                                                                                               (ta-da!).

The Weekend in London Town

‘Kimberly Campanello’s love of books is more contagious than impetigo’, is a well-known phrase in the Creative Writing department (made up by me, just now).

As part of the weekend, Joe, Tom, David and I were accompanied to London with Kimberly and shown some of her favourite sights around the city. We visited the British Library, The Poetry Library, had half a pint at The French House (they only serve halves so it takes longer for all the writers to get pissed) and went to the alley where Dryden was stabbed to smile for a selfie.

This may sound strange for a Creative Writing student, but before I applied for this course I didn’t read a lot. I used to read when I was at school: I was avid and would write quotes on my bedroom walls in silver pen and I could spend hours in a book shop or library. When I read I felt clever, worthwhile and bloody marvellous.

Little by little I stopped reading. I worked. Ate. Had a baby, turned on the tv. I stopped being curious.

But then I went to London at the weekend with some writers and an engaging tutor. That young, intelligent girl I’ve kept stuffed full of reality tv and Maltesers got to peep out. I was spoken to as a writer and I felt encouraged and valued and really fucking happy.

I ended the trip in a bookshop. I bought myself something random just because the cover looked interesting and I bought my daughter a book about amazing women to read to her bedtime. I’ve hardly watched any tv since.

The University Camarade Process

Tom (partnered with Michael Sutton from Edge Hill University): “We had the balance of getting on with our own things but we came back and wrote in response to each other.”

David (partnered with Kieran Wyatt from Edge Hill University): “We emailed our poems back and forth with increasing frequency. I found I was looking forward to each new draft.”

Joe (partnered with Jennah Fletcher from Kingston University): “It was a challenge with distance and communication, but it’s made me learn about my own writing process and style.”

Me (partnered with Vilde-Valerie Torset from Kingston University): “I worried we wouldn’t have any common ground but once we started talking the process became easy.”

The subject matter for our poems varied: David and Kieran wrote about entrapment and enclosure, an intelligent piece conveying characters in contrast to one another.

Tom and Michael focused on their train journeys home (this is a basic description for what was an ELECTRIFYING performance – put your tea down and watch it now, right now).

Joe wrote about Sophia the Robot and how it has got Citizenship when a lot of humans don’t have that basic right. Jennah’s subject matter was different but their performance together was cleverly timed and delivered so that the poems became one entity.

Vilde-Valarie and I wrote about the performances we do as women, she from a young person’s point of view, me from a married mother’s point of view.

The Performance

Was fucking terrifying. The microphone looked enormous and I could hardly look up from my piece of paper.

Having said that, there was nothing but encouragement and support from the audience and fellow poets. Looking back at the performance, you can’t even tell I’m shaking and now I can’t wait to get back on stage and do some more poetry.

I will know for next time that microphones aren’t that intimidating and that five minutes is not a long time once you’re up there. If you get the chance to be part of this project you really should (even if it’s just to visit a library with Kimberly – that was worth it in itself).

As Tom so succinctly put it: ‘can we do that all over again?’

To view all our trip photos on Twitter click here.

Promoting Beyond the Walls 2018: Hello from the promotion team!

 

Promotions Team

This year we are already hard at work advertising the Beyond the Walls 2018 anthology, which will be published by Valley Press. So, here’s a quick update of what we’ve done, what’s coming up and how you can stay involved.

Just to let you know that the deadline to hand in your creative work for this anthology is 16th February. You may submit work previously written for your modules. The submission guidelines are:

  1. You must provide a cover letter that includes your name, programme and year of study.
  2. The max word count for prose (fiction or non-fiction) is 1200 words.
  3. The max number of poems is 3.
  4. The max number of images as JPEGS or a link to a portfolio is 3.
  5. You may submit in more than one genre/form.

You can email your work as attachments to: beyondthewalls2018@outlook.com

Our job as the promotion team is to promote the creation of the book and then the event that launches it. So, for now we are focusing on promoting the submission itself. To do this we had team meeting to create our social media.

First, we looked at previous years’ accounts and made the goal to have a stronger presence on these sites. The Facebook we created has already reached this goal.

Facebook Post

Facebook Post

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Come join on Facebook at YSJ Beyond the Walls 2018.

Our Twitter has also gained a following and even appeared in the SU:

SU Feed

Follow us at @beyondwalls2018

And last but certainly not least is our Instagram account, which you can find by searching: ysjbeyondthewalls2018.

Instagram Post

We knew it was important to get the word out, so we decided to come into lectures and speak to you face to face. Over tea and toasties, we organised who was going where and how we would inform you. We’ve already visited a few lectures and it has been and will continue to be a successful venture.

In the future we will be using our social media accounts to promote the launch which is part of York Literature Festival. This free event will take place on 21st March 2018 at 6.30pm in The Basement (City Screen). It includes readings by Valley Press authors Nigel Forde and Nora Chassler. Don’t forget to book your free tickets here.

We can’t wait to read your work so please remember to submit before the deadline the 16th February.

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 beyondthewalls2018@outlook.com

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

 

 

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 www.richmix.org.uk

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:

YVONNE LITSCHEL & BRONTE PLEASANTS
VILDE TORSET & ABBY KNOWLES
JAMIE TOY & EDWIN STEVENS
SILJE REE & HANNAH SUMMERS
EMILY MOYCE & JAI BROUGH
AMJAD HAJYASSIN & LUCY CASH
JENNAH FLETCHER & JOE SHAW
SVETLANA ONYE & HEATHER O’DONNELL
TOM YOUNG & MICHAEL SUTTON
KIERAN WYATT & DAVID YEOMANS

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

Description

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

Booking: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/social-media-and-employability-a-guide-for-students-tickets-39767098462

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 (a.evans@yorksj.ac.uk)