If you’re a student who’s just handed in your final Creative Writing assignments, and are wondering what happens next, why not try your luck at this competition, aimed at 18-25 year olds? The deadline is June 30th, and first prize is £50. Here’s what the organizers have to say:
This contest is turning a spotlight on the incredible talent of some of today’s best young adult fiction writers. We are looking for flash fiction with a summery theme. So turn up the heat and get your creative juices flowing. We are happy to accept previously published work, as long as the writer retains the global rights. We will not accept content that has been previously published on the Ether app.
If you’re interested, you can find out more on the Ether Books website.
We’re happy to announce two new publications from our teaching staff here at the University of Gloucestershire. Firstly, part-time lecturer and PhD student Rowan Middleton has had a poem published in the latest edition of the Irish poetry magazine ‘THE SHOp’. The poem ‘Woodway’ follows the progress of a hunter through an atmospheric landscape at dusk. Other contributers to the magazine include Mike Barlow and Michael Longley.
Secondly, Creative Writing Lecturer Tyler Keevil has had his short story, ‘Fearful Symmetry,’ selected for inclusion in Salt’s forthcoming anthology, The Best British Fantasy 2013. Tyler’s story, which was first published in Interzone magazine, is set in a remote area of Siberia. It deals with themes of conservation and survival in a dystopian future, where both humans and animals are endangered. The piece will appear alongside work from authors Alison Littlewood, Adam Nevill, Lavie Tidhar, and many others.
A new Facebook group, GLOS. LAB 8, has been started to enable creative students at the University of Gloucestershire to collaborate. It’s a space to share ideas, projects, and events with students working in a range of creative disciplines – design, film, photography, radio, advertising, writing, and more. To join the group, follow this link and submit a membership request.
Nigel McLoughlin, Professor of Creativity and Poetics at the University of Gloucestershire, will deliver his inaugural lecture this Wednesday. His lecture – Writing Poetry: Experiments in Language With Language – will discuss how poetry functions as a means of generating new knowledge, what that new knowledge might be, and how by extension the creative arts more generally may be understood as research.
He said: “The lecture will explore the various different types of knowledge that inhere in poems and the ways in which poets go about generating new knowledge. It will use close analysis of an example poem to show ways in which poems may be thought of as experiments in language with language.”
The lecture is in TC014 at the Park Campus from 6.30pm, with refreshments from 5.30pm, this Wednesday June 5th. For more information or to book, please contact staff at email@example.com
The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub, the second novel by University of Gloucestershire Creative Writing lecturer D.D. Johnston, is now available to pre-order from retailers including Amazon and Waterstones.
The novel, to be published in June, was originally written as a doctoral thesis at the University of Gloucestershire. It’s presented as a PhD that’s been written by an eccentric, love-sick student, who is supervised by an even more eccentric professor. It asks big questions about the limits of free will, how social change is possible, and the pitfalls of Kantian metaphysics. It interweaves fact and fiction, plays with ‘fraudulent artifacts’ (to borrow the phrase coined by David Shields and Matthew Vollmer), quotes psychology papers, and satirises our socio-historical moment. It crashes around the twentieth century, trying to write history in a way that recognises the interminable chain of cause and effect. But it’s also a campus novel that’s full of laughs and scandal and appalling behaviour. It’s a big historical epic that charts the rise and fall of revolutionary optimism. And above all else, it’s a love story.
Barbican Press is a new publishing venture based in London and Hull. Its directors are Martin Goodman – award winning author of fiction and non-fiction, and BBC New Generation Thinker – and James Thornton – the CEO of Client Earth, whom New Statesman named as one of ten people who can change the world. The Deconstruction of Professor Thrub will launch Barbican Press’s Doctored Books series: novels written in universities as part of PhD creative writing programmes. They say: ‘We’re looking for modern classics – books so different they can always seem new. Books that rose to so many challenges they forgot to compromise. Books with minds of their own for readers with minds of their own. If you’re a reader who doesn’t need pandering to, whose life has been shaped by books that dared to be different – welcome to your new home!’ You can follow Barbican Press’s evolution on Facebook.
D.D. Johnston lives in Cheltenham and works at the University of Gloucestershire, where he is a University Teaching Fellow and a lecturer in Creative Writing. You can read his Q&A about the new book on the Barbican Press website. He is currently trying, and failing, to understand the world of social media; he blogs at ddjohnston.org, and you can follow him on twitter @dd_johnston
After months of writing and weeks of rehearsals, Smoke Rings, the play co-authored by third-year playwrights at the University of Gloucestershire, has run to full houses and critical acclaim. After every show sold out, an additional matinee performance was added on Saturday afternoon, and every audience enjoyed a play that was full of politics, comedy, suspense, and exuberance. As the Gloucestershire Echo wrote in the days before the opening night, ‘The story sweeps across time, giving a fictional account of the history of the smoking industry, with scenes depicting Columbus bringing tobacco to the UK and modern sections showing horseracing punters having a cigarette at Cheltenham Racecourse.’ Reviewing the show in the same paper on Friday, Emma Allsebrook wrote, ‘Directed by Bill Cronshaw [Dreamshed Theatre], the play takes you on an unforgettable journey, telling you the untold story of the tobacco industry in Gloucestershire…. Commissioned as part of a final year creative writing degree at the county’s university, the collaboration is certainly a success. [The] writing is interrogative and more often than not, humorous.’ Commenting on the brilliant performances by Yvie Magee, Melissa McCarthy, Alex Guilford, and John Martin Stevens, she added ‘The story sweeps across generations, interpreted by four talented actors who interchange between characters faultlessly…. Whilst the play is neither anti-smoking nor pro tobacco, this black comedy is controversial. But in all the right ways.’
Thanks and kudos to all fifteen writers – and, of course, to lecturer Lucy Tyler who oversaw the whole project. Smoke Rings was a treat for everyone lucky enough to see it, and Saturday night won’t be the last we hear of the show; there are plans to take it on tour, and the team are preparing suitably adapted versions to take to schools and colleges. For more information about this, please contact Dreamshed Theatre at firstname.lastname@example.org.
In the meantime, here are some photos taken during the rehearsal process (thanks to Emma Potter for the pics!).