It’s just one week until the Cheltenham Poetry Festival kicks off with appearances from UoG’s own D.D. Johnston and Tyler Keevil. They’ll be talking from 7pm to 8pm at Smokey Joe’s on Thursday 4th May, and you can book your tickets here.
But, wait, it gets even better. Stick around! After that, it’s the turn of some of our many talented students. They’ll be reading flash fictions full of laughs and tragedy, in the same venue, on the same night, from 8:30pm. Admittance to that event is free, but space is limited so please reserve your place here.
And that’s just the first night of the 2017 Cheltenham Poetry Festival! Here are three other UoG-related events to look out for: on Thursday 5th May, English Literature lecturer John Hughes will be discussing how to analyse poetry, in Oxfam Bookshop at 11am; on Wednesday 10th May, there’s a chance to see PhD student Howard Timms’ play Oscar Wilde’s Women at 7:45pm at the Cheltenham Playhouse; and on Thursday 11th May, Anna Saunders (an alumni of our Creative Writing MA and the Festival director) will be reading alongside three other poets at the Cheltenham Playhouse at 8pm.
But that’s just a small sample of what’s on. The Poetry Festival runs until May 15th, with an exciting and eclectic range of big stars and local talents. So be sure to check out the full list of events here.
Hard as it may be to believe, today is the final opportunity to submit your drama, poetry, and prose to this year’s UoG Creative Writing anthology, Shadows: New Writing VI. The submission window closes tonight at midnight! The editors have received numerous standout pieces so far but there is still room for more. So if you’ve been procrastinating it’s time to take the plunge and email your submission(s) to firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to check the full guidelines before doing so. Good luck and see you in the slushpile!
After a brief respite last week, we’re hoping all our students feel refreshed, recharged, and raring to write – particularly as the submission window for Shadows: New Writing VI will close at the end of the week, at midnight on Saturday March 25th. For those just catching up, our student editors on the MA programme are looking for prose, poetry, and drama from students studying Creative Writing or English Language and/or Literature here at UoG, at the BA, MA, or PhD level. They are also looking for artwork, and that call is open to comrades on other arts-related courses. Work relevant to the theme of ‘shadows’ is welcome, but the editors are very flexible and mainly want to see your best work. So if you haven’t submitted already, take a look at their submission guidelines page and get that manuscript into shape!
Creative Writing students and staff here at UoG have been busy this semester, and it’s high time we caught up with some of their recent achievements. First up, MA student Rachel Clements has had a new story, ‘Nostalgia Café’, accepted over at Popshot magazine. The story, developed as part of her MA coursework, will appear in April. Secondly, undergraduate student Amy Wright has landed a position writing freelance articles for SelectSpecs’ online magazine. You can check out her recent articles on what eyewear to wear on a Valentine’s Day date, or Meryl Streep’s impeccable style and specs.
Our teaching team has had recent successes, too. Dramatic Writing lecturer and author Senja Andrejevic has had a new short story, ‘Theotokos’, published over at The Scrutiny Journal. The magic realist piece is based on a Serbian legend and can be read here. Our Undergraduate Course Leader Tyler Keevil has also had a new story published, over at Somesuch Stories, which can be read here (though be warned: this one’s not for the squeamish!); in addition, Tyler recently won the Missouri Review’s Jeffrey E. Smith Editors’ prize, in the non-fiction category. His winning piece, ‘Swarf’, is about a workplace accident at a factory in Mid Wales, and will appear in their spring issue.
Last but certainly not least, Dramatic Writing lecturer Miranda Walker has been commissioned by CBBC to write on Series 4 of TV sketch show Diddy TV, starring Ted Robbins with Dick and Dom. In the show, Dick and Dom are the producers and presenters of their own appallingly bad TV channel, bankrolled by Larry Weinsteinberger (Ted Robbins). Each Diddy TV episode also features a guest star, such as Reece Shearsmith (Psychoville, Inside No 9, League of Gentlemen).
Miranda is having a great time writing TV show parodies! Series 4 will be transmitted in 2018, but Series 3 goes out this month. You can check out the trailer here:
An Army athlete prepares to throw a javelin at the Inter-Corps Athletics Competition, Tidworth Oval athletics stadium in Tidworth, Wiltshire.
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That’s right, folks: the 2017 UoG Creative Writing anthology is now open for submissions. This year the title and theme is ‘shadows’, in all its various guises. And get this: for the first time it’s open to Creative Writing single honours students, CW joint students, and also English Literature and Language students. Our MA student editors have come up with their guidelines, and here’s what they’re looking for:
The Editors of Shadows are looking for high quality prose, poetry, drama, or artwork submissions for UoG’s sixth Creative Writing Anthology. This year, we’re interested in writing of all types and genres, and particularly pieces that engage, loosely or directly, with the theme ‘shadows’. This can be interpreted however the author likes, including the hidden and peripheral – the things in our lives and relationships we don’t acknowledge – as well as our shadow-selves and the darker side of human experience, such as the gothic or transgressive. On a wider scale, we’re interested in characters who live ‘in the shadows’ or on the margins of society: outsiders, outcasts, and the unseen. And of course, we’re also accepting work on any subject or style that demonstrates the talent on our course.
You’ll be hearing more from the MA editors, who will be dropping in to classes in the coming weeks to spread the word and further explain their criteria. In the meantime, take a look at their guidelines page and prepare to step into the shadows. You’ll have over three weeks (and an entire activity week) to polish up a piece to submit, as the deadline is midnight on Saturday March 25th – the very end of Week 8. Good luck!
A quick last-minute announcement about a event this evening: the wonderfully named ‘Flasher’s Club’ open mic is back, and will be held at Smokey Joe’s from 7.30. Here’s the lowdown, from their blog:
Flashers’ Club is a quarterly flash fiction open mic night. Writers read original short fiction pieces between 100 and 1,000 words. There is a small entry charge, all of which goes to the charity First Story. Bring something to read, or just bring your ears!
We welcome all writers: published writers and unpublished, seasoned readers and debutants. The atmosphere is friendly, supportive and inclusive: no need to fear if you’ve never read before! We want to hear you. We like to bribe our readers with free literature (last time we had short story anthologies from indie publishers The Fiction Desk, this time litmags by Prole), so there’s a good incentive to get up behind the mic.
Previously UoG Creative Writing lecturer Lania Knight has contributed a guest reading, and at tonight’s event BA Course Leader Tyler Keevil will be doing the same. So if you’re free, come along and take part, or just support the event and enjoy the show!
It’s been called “Possibly the best short story event in the South West” (Cheltenham LitFest programme) and in part that’s due to past contributions from UoG Creative Writing students, including alumni Phil Bowne and Rod Griffiths, both of whom were selected by the judges to read at the hugely popular event, which takes place out in (you guessed it) Stroud, at Stroud Valleys Artspace.
The next submission window opens shortly, on February 26th and you have until April to get something in. It’s open-themed, with a max length of 1,500-words, and open only to writers with a Gloucestershire or a South Gloucestershire connection (which means you, Team UoG). So if you’ve got something from one of your assessments that fits the bill, why not try your luck? Full contest details and submission guidelines are available here.
That’s right, folks: Team UoG is back after the long winter’s break, and there are going to be a myriad of writing opportunities coming your way as we move into Semester 2. These include reading and showcasing events, submissions calls and chances to get published (including in the next UoG New Writing Anthology) and, firstly, the 2017 UoG Novel Writing Contest, which is back, and again run in conjunction with agent Becky Thomas from the London-based literary agency, Johnson & Alcock. The contest is now officially open to submissions, but don’t rush: you have four months to polish that opus into shape, as the deadline isn’t until May 31st, well after your final assessments are due. So those taking HM5105, our novel writing class, will perhaps want to take the time to develop your extract in workshops before sending it to our judges. Others might want to revisit that project in the bottom drawer. Either way, we look forward to seeing what you come up with, and just so you’re clear on the guidelines up front, take a look at our official contest page, or check out the past winners for inspiration.
On Tuesday the course celebrated the launch of this year’s paperback anthology of student work, Reflections: New Writing 5. Attendees were treated to readings from contributors on campus, which was followed by an after-party at Tailor’s bar in town. Excitingly, at the event the winners for this year’s UoG Novel Writing Contest were also announced. 3rd prize went to Mark Webber for his Mafioso crime novel, Mamma; 2nd prize went to Pamela Keevil for her drama-mystery, Mayflies; and the overall winner was Senja Andrejevic for her thriller, All The Things We Knew. Each winner received a cash prize and professional critique from literary agent Becky Thomas, of Johnson and Alcock. Thanks to all who came out to support such a great night, as well as all those who submitted work to the anthology and the novel writing contest. Have a good break, and we’ll see you in the New Year!
Hot on the heels of our recent post about the 2016 UoG Novel Contest Shortlist, we’re pleased to announced that this year’s annual Creative Writing anthology, Reflections: New Writing 5, will be launched in just under three weeks time, on Tuesday December 13th, in just under three weeks time. The doors open at 6.15 in TCoo2(A) for reflective fun and refreshments. Then, at 7.00 p.m., we’ll move into the main lecture hall (TC001) for readings. The paperback anthology retails for £6.99 but will be on sale for the discounted launch price of £5. When we wrap up, there is an after-party in the private function room (downstairs) at Tailor’s. Entry is free, so bring your friends and come along to what’s shaping up to be a great night!
That’s right, folks. The long wait is over: our in-house judges have read through this year’s manuscript submissions to the UoG Novel Writing Contest and have whittled it down to a shortlist of six. Submissions were anonymous, and these six will be sent on to our external judge, literary agent Becky Thomas, of the Johnson & Alcock Literary Agency in London. This year’s shortlist includes a mix of undergraduate and postgraduate students. We’ll have our fingers crossed for everybody, and hope to announce the finalists and overall winner at this year’s anthology launch (more on this shortly!).
For now, in alphabetical order by author (followed by year of study at time of submission) here is the The 2016 UoG Novel Writing Contest Shortlist:
- All The Things We Knew by Senja Andrejevic (MA)
- The Enlightenment Effect by Loz Apperly (2nd year)
- Half-Life by Heather Cripps (3rd year)
- Winter and Spain by Sam James (2nd year)
- Mayflies by Pamela Keevil (MA)
- Mama by Mark Webber (MA)
UoG Creative Writing lecturer Miranda Walker recently launched her latest work: a new graphic-text version of The Secret Garden, created in collaboration with artist Zosia Dzierzawska. Miranda’s colleagues, students, and many members of the public attended the launch at Waterstones in Cheltenham, where they were treated to a performed reading by actors from The Everyman and a Q&A session with Miranda. The book is perfect for young readers and can be picked up at your local Waterstones or online, at the place we don’t name. Here’s the official press release, which sums it up perfectly…
The Secret Garden as you have never seen it before…
When Mary goes to live with her uncle, she discovers a secret, locked garden. Will she ever find the way in – and what other secrets does Misselthwaite Manor hold?
This stunning new graphic text adaptation, written by Miranda Walker, illustrated by Zosia Dzierzawska and published by Oxford University Press, is an exciting fresh take on the much-loved children’s classic.
It is part of a unique new series of Project X graphic texts, which hold great appeal for today’s young readers. Alongside, graphic texts are an effective way for children to achieve higher-level reading comprehension including inference, challenging vocabulary, critical thinking and visual literacy.
Huge congratulations to our own Tyler Keevil, prolific author and Course Leader for the BA in Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire, whose third novel has been purchased by Harper Collins imprint The Borough Press.
Tyler’s new novel, No Good Brother, follows Tim Harding, a Canadian deckhand who is trying to make an honest living when his trouble-prone younger brother, Jake, tracks him down at the Vancouver shipyards. Tim senses trouble, but nothing prepares him or us for the wild adventure that follows. The publisher describes it as “a rip-roaring novel of loyalty, love, danger and family.”
Holly Ainley, commissioning editor at The Borough Press, acquired world all language rights from Becky Thomas at Johnson & Alcock in a five-figure deal. She said, “I am a huge fan of Tyler’s writing and No Good Brother is an inspired story that defies expectation at every turn. It combines the beautifully controlled literary style of his short stories, with his trademark sharp-witted and heartfelt novelistic style.”
Keevil said: “I’m thrilled to be joining the Borough list. No Good Brother is an important book for me and I know it couldn’t be in better hands.”
Unfortunately you’ll have to wait a while to read it: the novel is scheduled for publication in February 2018. Congratulations Tyler!
UoG poetry students are continuing to do a great job of getting their work out into the world. 3rd year students Sam James and Taylor Edmonds have both had poems in Helen Ivory’s webzine Ink Sweat and Tears: Sam in September and Taylor in October. Second year student Sophie Lay has had a poem accepted for the next issue of Myths of the Near Future, NAWE’s journal for young writers. MA student Amy Ford has been on a roll, with two poems published in Copperfield Review; four poems published by Nature Writing; and a poem in the latest issue of the print journal Dawn Treader.