Beyond The Walls Showcase review by Lucy Pettigrew

York Centre for Writing’s Beyond the Walls is an annual anthology celebrating York St John University’s Creative Writing students.

Lucy Pettigrew reviews this year’s launch event on 27th March 2019 as part of the York Literature Festival.

On the evening of the 27th of March, it was time for the Beyond The Walls Student Showcase, organised by second-year students undertaking the Publishing, Production and Performance module. As soon as I walked into the SU coffee lounge I knew it was going to be an amazing night as it had been transformed into a cosy, welcoming place for the third-year and MA students to share their work with us. Props to the marketing team that was behind the set-up of the coffee lounge – the place looked amazing! Plus, there were free drinks which was a bonus!

The evening started with an inspiring introduction from Creative Writing Subject Director Dr. Naomi Booth, and was followed by a short introduction to the first reader from Ethan Newton-Hamer and Hannah Petch (who seemed very comfortable on the stage – you were both great hosts!).

The event spanned over two hours and included a huge variety of different types of writing – from speculative fiction to poetry and singing; there was something for everyone. I especially enjoyed The Mourning After by Caitlain Horan which was a piece about grief that struck a chord with me – it was really refreshing to hear someone put my thoughts into words. However, all of the writing was phenomenal – there wasn’t a piece I didn’t thoroughly enjoy; I was amazed by how talented all the writers are; go YSJ! The talent in our University never fails to amaze and inspire me.

I also just want to mention the YSJ Singing Society who were also incredible during their sets to break up readings – they gave me chills with their harmonies and arrangements. I especially liked their cover of Ex’s and Oh’s by Elle King which was executed perfectly. Well done guys!

After the last performance from the amazingly talented Tia Welsh, Ethan and Hannah took to the stage again to give a final thanks to the amazing Adelle Stripe who oversaw the Publishing, Production and Performance module and to the marketing director Erin Abrey who oversaw the event. I just want to say a massive thank-you to everyone who made the night as amazing as it was – all of you were incredible and it was great to see everything you’ve worked so hard for come together!

I also can’t not mention the fantastic editing and podcasting teams who have worked so hard on pulling the Beyond The Walls anthology together and creating a podcast surrounding it. Make sure to keep an eye out for the anthology when it’s released and support the wonderful talents that are included.