York St John is hosting a number of exciting events at the Literature Festival this year. We’ve already given a few teasers on the blog. Now the full programme is up! Tickets will sell like hot-cakes, and many of the YSJ events are free, so get booking asap!
So it’s been a pretty exciting November. On the 7th we had a fabulous book launch with Nuala Casey and Matt Haig here at YSJ. Matt read from his latest novel, The Humans, and reminded us all why it’s great to be a human, from the point of view of an alien. Matt’s lively and moving writing is highly recommended. Nuala Casey, a graduate of the MA in Creative Writing here at YSJ, read from her debut novel, Soho 4 a. m. Nuala held the audience with her atmospheric and gritty prose, taking us through the shady streets of Soho. Nuala doesn’t wait around either, her next novel, Summer Lies Bleeding will be out next summer. Both writers responded to questions from the audience with generosity and refreshing honesty, and we all got an insight into the discipline and hard work necessary to become a successful writer.
Last week we were incredibly proud to see our first cohort of joint honours Creative Writing students graduate in the grand York Minster. We were all dressed in our finery, struggling to balance our hats and comparing our gowns. JT Welsch definitely won that particular contest…
We know that all our students are going on to do great things, and are happy to have the pleasure of continuing to teach some on our MA.
Finally, novelist Barrie Sherwood gave a wonderful reading of his latest work, Sandia, yesterday evening. Barrie was a lecturer here at YSJ for five years and recently left to teach in Singapore. It was lovely to see him again, and lots of his previous students turned up to wish him well and thank him for being an inspirational teacher. Barrie’s new novel is remarkable, a work that shows a novelist at the height of his ability. I was bowled over by the control and power of the prose. I can’t wait to read the whole thing.
There are more exciting events coming next year, including a reading of Holophin by Luke Kennard, who will be joined by Tom Chivers of brilliant independent press Penned in the Margins. We are also welcoming an literary agent, and looking forward to the York Literature Festival, where we’ll get to see Germaine Greer, Nicholas Royle, Alison Moore, Emily Berry, Helen Mort, Rebecca Goss (to name only a few).
Nicholas Royle is the author of First Novel, as well as six earlier novels including The Director’s Cut and Antwerp, and a short story collection, Mortality. He has edited numerous anthologies including Darklands, Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds and three volumes of The Best British Short Stories (2011–2013). A senior lecturer in creative writing at Manchester Metropolitan University, he also runs Nightjar Press, publishing original short stories as signed, limited-edition chapbooks, and works as an editor for Salt Publishing, where he has been responsible for Alison Moore’s Man Booker-shortlisted The Lighthouse and Alice Thompson’s Burnt Island among other titles.
Alison Moore’s first novel, The Lighthouse, was shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2012 and in the New Writer of the Year category of the National Book Awards 2012 before going on to win the McKitterick Prize 2013. Her debut collection, The Pre-War House and Other Stories, was nominated for the Frank O’Connor International Short Story Award 2013. She is an honorary lecturer in the School of English at Nottingham University. www.alison-moore.com
By booking on this event you can attend both the workshop and evening talk.