Tag Archives: Chloe Biggs

UoG Creative Writers’ Successful Autumn

1 Nov
Flash fiction literature Crawl

Bewigged students read flash fictions at Libertine’s Barbers Shop

It’s been a busy Autumn for the Creative Writing staff and students at UoG – go team! The new academic year started with the Cheltenham Literature Festival and for the second year in a row, students did an amazing job performing flash fictions as part of the LitCrawl. The quirky show involved visitors hearing private readings of micro-fiction from bewigged performers in a barbers shop. Different!

And our course’s involvement with the Festival was cemented by drama lecturer Miranda Walker who, as this year’s Writer in Residence, starred in a range of events, including a Writing Funny workshop at Parabola Arts Centre, the Young Writers Showcase, and the Famous Five Story Trail. She also wrote the brilliant Wishing Fish Clock picture book, which sold out at its launch! (It’s on general sale, available in Regent’s Arcade and Waterstone’s, from November 11th).

Wishing Fish clock book Miranda Walker

Cover for Miranda’s Wishing Fish Clock picture book

Speaking of dramatists, huge congratulations are also due to one of our alumni, Chloe Biggs, who recently won the BBC Essex Playwright of the Year Competition. Her winning play was broadcast on the radio – go Chloe!

The Hill by Angela France cover

Cover for Angela’s poetry collection, The Hill

The poets have been busy too. Lecturer Angela France won an Arts Council Grant to tour the UK with her new collection, The Hill, which was published by Nine Arches Press in July. The book has already garnered critical acclaim, with Sheenagh Pugh writing “Everyone knows somewhere like the Hill, though few could memorialise it with such verbal energy. Exuberant, controlled, angry, elegiac, this is a poetry of landscape, politics, witness.”

Congratulations are also due to recent graduate Charlotte Appleby and current student George Helder who both had poems published in Ink, Sweat and Tears this August. And huge congratulations to two of our new first year poets: Caroline Juskus and Callie Walsh have both published poems on I Am Not A Silent Poet. I’m sure there will be many more successes to come from this bright year group!

Speaking of bright, well done to 2nd-year student Carol Hilton who has won an Ede and Ravenscroft Scholarship in a university-wide competition recognizing outstanding academic achievement. And there is exciting news from one of our MA students, Carina Mitchell, who is launching her Vineleaves Publishing business with a short story competition – more to come on that soon!

E and R-scholarships

Carol Hilton and other scholarship recipients with staff at Park Campus

Last but not least, the prose writers have been busy too. Lania Knight is celebrating the UK release of her brilliant first novel, Three Cubic Feet. You can get it here! Senja Andrejevic-Bullock, a drama lecturer wearing her prose hat, has published her short story ‘The Party’ at Storgy Magazine.

Three cubic feet

Cover for 2nd Edition of Three Cubic Feet

And it’s only fitting that we should end by celebrating the achievements of our newest member of staff, Bea Hitchman. Bea has recently been one of the judges, along with Philip Hensher no less, for the Bath Spa Flash Fiction competition ‘A Place in Words’, which challenged entrants to write a novel in 25 words. The competition attracted more than 1500 entrants from all over the world, and the prize was awarded by Jeremy Irons at a special ceremony at the London Library. Bea has also written a chapter for a forthcoming book on Sylvia Plath, ‘Plath in Context’, to be published by Cambridge Uni Press in 2018, discussing lesbian contexts for The Bell Jar (there are, she informs us, a surprising number). Congratulations to everyone!

Remember that it makes us incredibly happy to hear good news, so if you have a success to share please drop a line to mjohnstone@ you know the rest.

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Creative Writing open mic night, tonight!

13 Oct

Frog logoBarbecues stowed in sheds, children’s sand pits filling with water and leaves; yes, summer is over, but the good news is that open mics are back! Tonight, Tuesday 13th October, we’re set for the first open mic of the new academic year, so brace yourself for the usual combination of poetry, prose, drama, and drinking.

Whether you’ve been to many open readings or are new to the whole idea, come along on Tuesday for an informal and relaxed literary evening. Feel free to get up on stage and share short readings of your work, or just come to listen, drink and mingle. Where is it? In ‘the barn’ at the Frog and Fiddle pub on Cheltenham High Street. When is it? Tuesday 13th October from 7:00pm. Be present or be a peasant!

New play written by UoG MA students premieres at the Everyman Theatre this Saturday

2 Jun

DymockAs part of this weekend’s UoG Fringe, we’re delighted to announce that a few tickets remain for the premiere of Voices from the Forest – a play written collectively by MA students at the University of Gloucestershire. Students Ash Hartridge, Chloe Biggs, Matthew Pinnell, and Senja Andrejevic have combined their skills with those of lecturer Lucy Tyler to develop a new play exploring the lives and times of Gloucestershire’s celebrated Dymock Poets. The matinee performance at 2pm on Saturday 6th June is open to the public and a small number of tickets remain. The play will be staged at the Everyman Theatre and tickets can be booked by telephone on 01242 572573 or in person at the box office. Tickets are £4 for students and other concessions and £8 full price. Book soon to avoid disappointment!Fringe logo

Remember that this is one of ten events on the UoG Fringe Programme. It promises to be an amazing weekend and it all starts at 6pm in TC001 on Friday 5th June. Check out the full list of events here.

Fire Anthology, launch and after-party, on Thu 27th February

11 Feb

Display copies of the Fire anthologyThe venue for our after-partyYou are cordially invited to the launch of the University of Gloucestershire’s brilliant new anthology of Creative Writing, Fire. Join us on Thursday 27th for a wine reception at FCH Campus, with readings from the book and refreshments, from 7:15-9:15pm. Then we’ll be celebrating at the Night Garden at the Feathered Fish (pictured), a few minutes walk from FCH, from 9:30 until midnight. Everyone’s welcome at both events – students and alumni, their friends and relatives, and members of the public. There’s no need to book with us in advance, but to help us estimate numbers, we’d be grateful if those who plan to attend could indicate so on the Facebook event page. There’s a voluntary dress code of smart/ smart casual, so feel free to dress to impress. See you there!

Thursday 27th February, TC001 & TC002A at FCH Campus, from 7:15pm

 

Fire: New Writing II – UoG Creative Writing anthology coming soon

10 Jan

We’ve just received a preview copy of Fire from the printers, and it’s looking beautiful. The new anthology of Creative Writing from the University of Gloucestershire features prose and poetry from thirty-seven students and graduates. From the experimental to the classic, from the shocking to the heartwarming, it’s a book that contains something for everyone. We’re exceedingly grateful to two professional artists – both university alumni – who gave up their time to help with the cover: the image was kindly donated by the very talented Greg Farndon, while the design was created by the brilliant Sean Strong. We’ll soon be announcing a date for the launch (which will be some time in February), and please check this blog for details of how to purchase the anthology online.

fire_proof_1

Curtain Descends on Smoke Rings

12 May

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 info@dreamshedtheatre.co.uk.
In the meantime, here are some photos taken during the rehearsal process (thanks to Emma Potter for the pics!).

Alex&Yvie
Chloe&Naomi
Rehearsal1
Hugh&Jess
Rehearsal2
Atthetickledferret
WatchingRehearsals
SmokeEntrance
YMASmoking
Rehearsal3
Y&M
Races
Gunrehearsal
KiddyCig

Writers in the News

30 Apr

Gloucestershire_EchoThird-year dramatic writing students at the University of Gloucestershire have made the news with an article in today’s Gloucestershire Echo. Michael Purton’s article, “Students’ controversial smoking play to run at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre”, is available online here (the accompanying photo deserves a caption competition, I think). Don’t forget to book tickets ASAP: at the Everyman Theatre Box Office, online, or by phoning 01242 572573.

P.S. Remember that the deadline for the Fire Anthology is midnight tonight!

Smoke Rings – Tickets now available online

18 Apr

Smoke Rings, the brilliant new play written by our third-year dramatic writers, is running at Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre, from Thursday 9th to Saturday 11th of May. This unique collaboration by our talented writers, Dreamshed Theatre Company, and The Everyman Theatre, has produced a drama not to be missed:

smoke rings publicityIn 1604, James I described smoking as ‘A custome lothsome to the eye, hatefull to the Nose, harmefull to the braine, dangerous to the Lungs, and in the blacke stinking fume thereof, neerest resembling the horrible
Stigian smoke of the pit that is bottomelesse.’ 400 years later, our relationship with tobacco is just as complicated. In this innovative collaboratively written play, fifteen writers take a look at our personal and economic addictions: from the Cotswold’s seventeenth-century outlaw tobacco farmers (and the men who chased them) to present-day puffers at the Cheltenham races, this is the untold story of tobacco in Gloucestershire.

Tickets are available via this link – book early to avoid disappointment!