Where are they now? YSJ alumni Philip Price on Literature at Work: Publishing

In order to begin explaining my life after the three years studying at York St. John University (2015-18), I first need to highlight some events which occurred over my three years as a YSJ undergraduate.

I chose English Literature as my BA subject at YSJ for only one reason: my passion for books. I knew from a young age a University degree was going to be almost mandatory for future success. I chose to study at YSJ for one simple reason: it felt like home. I travelled from my hometown a few miles outside of Norwich up to York and instantly fell in love with the campus. Besides the stunning architecture, I instantly believed that the tutors at YSJ cared for me as an individual rather than merely a student on the course.

In the second semester of my final year, the University offered a module, ‘Literature at Work,’ which allowed students to explore the many avenues of employment after taking an English Literature degree. Within this module, most weeks consisted of a lecture and Q&A from people working in employment from journalism to publishing. Prior to my final year at YSJ, I had very little idea as to where my academic career was leading me. Again, I knew I wanted to work with books; however, my in-depth knowledge of specific book-related sectors was almost non-existent.

David Barker, who worked with Continuum publishing, later to be purchased by publishing behemoth Bloomsbury, offered an extremely insightful lecture on life in the publishing world. I instantly fell in love with every element of the industry and truly believed I had finally worked out the next step of my academic career.

I spoke to David after the lecture and discovered he was a lecturer at the University of Derby, offering a Publishing MA. After visiting an open day at Derby, I was offered an unconditional offer on the course.  All of the events, from my initial conversation with David to the offer on the Publishing MA happened within a few months over early to late Spring 2018.

September 2018 saw the beginning of my MA at Derby. Throughout the first semester, I came to understand that without choosing YSJ, this opportunity may have never been offered to me. I have fallen in love with academia once again and now wish to pursue a career in Publishing after this semester. The MA offers students to create and engage with a ‘Major Project’ of their choice, where you must find and publish work of your choice (specifically written for the project). I decided to work with YSJ and their alumni in order to create a short anthology of work which can then be distributed to current and future YSJ students.

This piece has touched mostly on my academic life during and after my time at YSJ, but it would be unfair to leave without acknowledging the friendship and community which I have become a part of.  I have made friends with students who I now see as friends for life, alongside creating bonds with tutors who I know are always willing to help with anything I need, even after my transition from student to alumni.

Kevin Elyot Writer’s residency award, Bristol

Literature and Creative Writing students may be interested in applying for the following opportunity:

The University of Bristol Theatre Collection is delighted to announce that applications are open for the Kevin Elyot Award. This annual award will support a promising writer by enabling them to be resident in the Theatre Collection and begin the process of creating a new work inspired by Kevin’s archive, which may be a dramatic, creative or academic piece of writing

 

Kevin Elyot. Source: https://www.theguardian.com/stage/2014/jun/09/kevin-elyot

It comprises £3,000 to fund the residency for four weeks (which may be consecutive or split), and will also offer support with research and public dissemination of the work. The award has been generously funded by an endowment given to the University by members of Kevin’s family.

Kevin Elyot (1951 to 2014) was a Bristol alumnus (Drama Department) who started his career as an actor, but went on to achieve great success through his ground-breaking plays and adaptations. The Kevin Elyot Archive is held at the University of Bristol Theatre Collection, and comprises scripts, correspondence, manuscript and publicity material detailing Kevin’s working process from initial idea to finished product. His process for adapting novels for television is well documented in the archive. Whilst, the content relating to his plays, including the seminal My Night with Reg, demonstrates his creative process and the particular emphasis he placed on the importance of style and form within a play.

 

It is hoped the award will celebrate Kevin’s life and work and the influence he has had on theatre and, through it, will enable a new generation of writers to find creative inspiration in the archive.

 

Further details of the award and application process are at: http://www.bristol.ac.uk/theatre-collection/news/2017/the-kevin-elyot-award-a-writers-residency-applications-open.html.

The Writing Room – new sessions

The Writing Room is an open space for Literature Students to discuss and develop writing skills.

I tend to scribble a lot
Image: Nic McPhee CC-BY-SA 2.0

The Writing Room Sessions:

Wednesday 27th April 1-4pm QE106

Thursday 5th May 2-5pm HG050

Thursday 12th May 9.30-12.30pm DG127

The sessions are not for assessing or marking work but for developing skills in peer review, confidence and writing.

  • Do you find yourself struggling with essays?
  • Unsure of the leap between A-Level and University?
  • Rushing before the deadline?
  • Don’t know whether it should be a semicolon or hyphen?
  • Want to hone your academic writing skills?

…then come along to The Writing Room!

A writing skills session dedicated to Literature students and run by MA Literature students