Writing the Future – Lit Fest Review

Rating: 3/5

Review:

The workshop led by Abi Curtis and Luke Kennard was definitely afternoon. Set out much like a University session we explored a broad range of Science Fiction writing and genre tropes. Some excellent writing was created from the exercises given to us, especially great writing from some people who claimed to have no prior knowledge of Sci-Fi, so the workshop must have worked! Being quite a Science Fiction buff I found it quit enjoyable to get together with a group and discuss the genre, the only thing was it all felt a bit short for time! Maybe next time a longer session would be great to really explore some more in detail. But as I say I’m a great admirer of anything Sci-Fi so I may be biased! For someone trying to get into the genre it’s a great way to start! If it’s on again next year I would recommend attending.

Writing and the Natural World: Kathleen Jamie and William Atkins

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Rating: 4/5

Review:

Writing and The Natural World was the first event of the York Literature Festival held at York St John and also the first free event of the festival. The panel was hosted by Naomi Booth and consisted of prose writer William Atkins and award winning poet and non-fiction writer Kathleen Jamie. Both writers read extracts from their books which spoke about the Natural World. Atkins’ read from his first book The Moor (2014). The book takes the reader on a journey across the moors of England exploring both their history and their present beauty as well their relationship with man. Atkins is currently working on an account of desert journeys to be published in 2018. Kathleen Jamie read an extract from her book Sightlines: A Conversation with the Natural World (2012) in which she explores her native Scottish landscapes. The extract she shared was the story of four Killer Whales swimming amongst Seals in the most northern part of the Hebrides which she watched with great excitement and wrote very vividly. She also shared three other poems from her extensive collection of work. At the end there was a short Q&A in which both writers voiced their discomfort with being labelled as ‘Nature Writers’ as they believe it limits their writing topics, instead the prefer to be known as ‘Travel Writers’.

The most striking thing about the talk was the idea of “Don’t research: Encounter” a beautiful piece of advice for any aspiring writer hoping to write nature or anything else!

Next Week at the York Lit Fest!

Here’s a quick list Just to remind you all what’s going on next week in the lit fest! Be sure to book tickets before they all go – free events for YSJ students will be in bold!

Monday 14th March

  • We’re not in Kansas Anymore: Creating Engaging Worlds in Fiction Writing – King’s Manor, 10am to 12noon (£8)
  • Literary Walk – Museum Gardens – 10:30am to 12noon (£6/£5 pay on the day)
  • U A Fanthorpe: Berowne’s Book – Quaker Meeting House, 7.30pm to 9.15pm (£5)
  • Tanya Landman, Carnegie Medal Winner – St Peter’s School, 6.30pm to 7.30pm
  • Writing Comedy: The Art of Stand Up – Temple Hall YSJ, 7pm to 8.30pm

Tuesday 15th March

  • Stalin’s Englishman – The Lives of Guy Burgess – York Explore Library and Archive, 2pm to 3pm (£6)
  • Margaret Drabble in Conversation – St Peter’s School, 7pm to 8.30pm (£7)

Wednesday 16th March

  • Sci-Fi Workshop with Adam Roberts – Skell 037 YSJ, 2pm to 4pm
  • Why Sci-Fi Conquered the World (And What You Can Do to Stop It!) – Fountains Lecture Theatre YSJ, 7pm to 8pm
  • Professor Steve Jones: Why Genetics Matters – St Peter’s School, 7pm to 8.30pm
  • Dave and Miles’ Rumbustuous Book Quiz! – City Screen Basement, 8pm to 10pm (£3)

Thursday 17th March

  • Writing The Sonnet with Lizzi Linklater – King’s Manor, 10am to 12noon (£8)
  • The Frigate Anthology Launch Event – Quaker Meeting House, 4pm to 6pm (£5)
  • John O’Farrell: There’s Only Two David Beckhams A Football Fantasy – St Peter’s School, 7pm to 8.30pm (£7)
  • Student Showcase – Quad South Hall YSJ, 7pm to 9pm

Friday 18th March

  • Uncut Cords: Changing Families, Changing Carers – Quaker Meeting House, 2pm to 4pm (£3)
  • Poetry and Migration – Temple Hall YSJ, 7pm to 8.30pm
  • Vince Cable: After the Storm – St Peter’s School, 7pm to 8.30pm (£7)

Saturday 19th March

  • Pennine Poets 50th Birthday Party – Black Swan, 1pm to 3pm (£3)
  • York Literature Festival/York Mix Poetry Competition Results – Black Swan, 3.30pm to 5.30pm
  • No More Champagne: Politicians and Their Money – St Peter’s School, 7pm to 8.30pm (£7)
  • Austen Society Lecture: Jane Austen’s Emma in Context – Quaker Meeting House, 2pm to 3pm (£8)

Sunday 20th March

  • Family Day – York Explore Library and Archives, 11am to 4pm, (£2)

For more information look here. For tickets look here, and register to see individual events! Hope to see you there!

Next Week at the York Lit Fest!

To get you all pumped for the Lit Fest we’re going to tell you everything that’s going on before every week! Enough time for you to grab tickets and make arrangements to see some awesome literature being performed, spoken about, and maybe even write some! (Events that are free for YSJ students will be in bold)

Thursday 10th March

  • VIP Festival Launch: York Stories – At the York Theatre Royal three novelists will discuss setting their novels in York! Check out how York shapes modern literature for just £10 with food and wine included.

Friday 11th March

  • Writing and the Natural World – A reading and discussion on writing the natural world with contemporary authors Kathleen Jamie and William Atkins! Catch this event at York St John in Temple hall at 7pm!
  • Saw Owt Slam Presents: International Women’s Week Word Riot – Held at the City Screen Basement you can explore the wonders of feminist poetry with headliner Sophia Walker and even some local poets, before signing up for the open mic and sharing your own poems. Just £7 for this inspiring event
  • Right Here, Write Now – Fancy seeing a performance where you write the script? Come see the comedic hilarity of improvisation, simply give them suggestions to act out and enjoy. Hosted by Paul Birch at the Frigate theatre this event is only £5, a bargain night for comedy.
  • Michael Portillo – Michael Portillio, former politician now broadcaster, talks about his exciting career in the media, but mostly, there will be talk of trains! This event is held at the National Railway Museum, a great day out for any train lovers!

Saturday 12th March

  • York Novelists Workshop: From Ideas to Publication – This is a must attend for the creative students! Held at Bennett’s Cafe and Bistro see how to transform your ideas into print.
  • York St John Con – The event we’ve all been waiting for! Held in Temple Hall the YSJ Con will be filled with great experiences all day including; a Zine Workshop, Poetry and Comics Workshop, and even a Fan Fic Opem Mic. If you fancy sharing your embarrassing Harry Potter fan fiction, give it a go!
  • Hoglets – An adorable event for children (and their parents) aged 2 to 5, a mixture of songs games and crafts to introduce kids to the theatre, held at the Frigate Theatre.
  • How NOT to submit your manuscript – Exactly what it says on the box. Three of the UK’s leading literary agents will tell you how to get your novel published, as well as how not to! Complete with a Q&A this event is held at the Frigate Theatre, so all unpublished writers should check it out!
  • Wendy Cope – Come see one of Britain’s most popular poets discuss her work and her life. A great event for fans or anyone interested in poetry held at the Grand Opera House.
  • Bedtime Story – Another one for the kids! Mini Custard Children’s Theatre are recounting a wonderful story for children and their tired parents at the Frigate Theatre, be sure to bring a blanket and warm milk!
  • Arthur Smith plus Support: Mike Barfield – Arthur Smith, playwright (amongst many other things) recounts his life and work and general grumpiness that led him to where he is now. With support from Private Eye Cartoonist Mike Barfield it’s sure to be a fun night! Held at the Grand Opera house.

Sunday 13th March

  • Val McDermid in Conversation – One of the biggest names in Crime Fiction will be in conversation with Festival Director Miles Salter about her work, and crime fiction. A must see for all crime lovers (fiction that is!) as there will be a book signing afterwards! Held at St Peter’s School in Clifton.

For more information look here. For tickets look here, and register to see individual events! Hope to see you there!

Creative and Critical Writing

Creative and Critical Writing

Professor Nicholas Royle reads from his remarkable novel Quilt.

Followed by a discussion with Senior Fiction Editor Vicky Blunden from the publisher Myriad Editions.

York St John University, Temple Hall, 27th March 2015:  3-5pm

FREE booking here; quilt https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/creative-and-critical-writing-professor-nicholas-royle-reading-event-tickets-14373885679

Nicholas Royle lives in Seaford and is Professor of English at the University of Sussex.

His academic writing is distinguished, in unusual ways, by playful language and linguistic invention. Since at least his early teens, when he wrote an abandoned work called The Foresight Saga, he has been fascinated by the strangeness of literature. This fascination has led to the publication of numerous books about literature, including the highly acclaimed Telepathy and Literature: Essays on the Reading Mind and The Uncanny. Despite their ‘academic’ appearances, such books contain unexpected interiors: Telepathy and Literature ends with a bizarre footnote comprising a short story called ‘Telephoning Home’; The Uncanny incorporates several pieces of short fiction. His latest academic work, Veering: A Theory of Literature, also contains numerous embedded fictions and indeed argues for a new conception of the relations between creative and critical writing.

‘An intense study of grief and mental disintegration, a lexical celebration and a psychological conundrum… Royle explores loss and alienation perceptively and inventively.’ – Guardian

‘A book of mythological power. Quilt is unforgettable, like all those great pieces of fiction that are fed by our immemorial root system, the human dream of metamorphosis.’ – Hélène Cixous

‘Royle’s baroque, athletic prose… confers a strong sense of the “strangeness” of English, “which, after all, belongs to no one” and should be continually reinvented.’ – Observer

Vicky Blunden is Senior Fiction Editor at Myriad Editions and winner of the IPG Young Independent Publisher of the Year Award in 2013. Myriad is an independent publisher based in Brighton, committed to nurturing new talent and publishing prize-winning fiction.

“Our graphic books explore tough subjects through narrative illustration. Our novels are original works of literary fiction, eclectic, bold and full of character.”

http://www.myriadeditions.com/about

Emergent Novelists

Jenn Ashworth, Evie Wyld, Emma Jane Unsworth

25th March 2015

FREE – Booking here: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/emergent-writers-three-novelists-event-at-york-st-john-university-tickets-14372244771

Temple Hall 7-9pmGospels

Three fiction writers read from and talk about their work. Don’t miss this.

Jenn Ashworth’s first novel, A Kind of Intimacy, was published in 2009 and won a Betty Trask Award. On the publication of her second, Cold Light (Sceptre, 2011) she was featured on the BBC’s The Culture Show as one of the UK’s twelve best new writers. Her third novel The Friday Gospels (2013) is published by Sceptre. She lives in Lancashire and teaches Creative Writing at Lancaster University. http://jennashworth.co.uk/

Evie Wyld was born in London and grew up in Australia and South London. She studied creative writing at Bath Spa and Goldsmiths University. Her first novel, After the Fire, a Still Small Voice, won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize and a Betty Trask Award and was shortlisted for the Orange Prize for New Writers, the Commonwealthbirds singing Prize and the International IMPAC Dublin literary award. In 2013 she was included on Granta Magazine’s once a decade Best of Young British Novelists list. Her second novel All the Birds, Singing, recently received The European Prize for Literature. It also won the Miles Franklin Award, the Encore Award and the Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize, was shortlisted for the Costa Novel Prize, the James Tait Black Prize and the Sky Arts Times Breakthrough Award and longlisted for the Stella Prize and the Bailey’s Women’s Prize for Fiction. She runs Review, a small independent bookshop in Peckham, south London. http://www.eviewyld.com/Unsworth

Emma Jane Unsworth’s first novel Hungry, the Stars and Everything (Hidden Gem) won a Betty Trask Award from the Society of Authors and was shortlisted for the Portico Prize 2012. Her short story ‘I Arrive First’ was included in The Best British Short Stories 2012 (Salt). She has worked as a journalist, a columnist for The Big Issue, and a barmaid. Her second novel Animals was published by Canongate in May 2014. She’s writing a third novel, as well as the screenplay of Animals, which has been optioned by BAFTA-nominated producer Sarah Brocklehurst and awarded funding by the BFI.

Festival Event: Ovid’s Heroines

pollardA Poetry Performance by Claire Pollard

23rd March, 8pm, Quad South Hall, York St John University

‘Ovid’s Heroides, written in Rome some time around 20BC, is a series of poems in the voices of women from Greek and Roman myth. Fifteen women – including Dido, Medea, Penelope and Ariadne – address the men they love. Poet Clare Pollard’s new free verse translation (published by Bloodaxe Books) rediscovers Ovid’s Heroines for the 21st Century, bringing to life a cast of women who are brave, bitchy, sexy, horrifying, heartbreaking and surprisingly modern.

Jaybird Live Literature brings the Heroines to the stage in a new live literature production. Clare reads, recites and performs her astonishing poems against a backdrop of Mediterranean light, and heartbreaking sound. Love letters fly back and forth between the ancient world and modern Britain – the messages of longing, suffering and beauty they bear are universal and timeless.’

Free – Book here https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/ovids-heroines-tickets-14371967943