Last week was one of the most amazing and most surreal weeks of my life. It was down to acting as treasurer for the Hull University English Society. As it is National Novel Writing Month, we have been organising lots of events to get students inspired to write, but not just novels, they can write short stories or poetry if they wish…we just want to get students writing! As well as writing workshops, part of the programme that we have mapped out for the month are ‘inspirational events’ to inspire people to pick up the pen. These events are talks led by established authors, including local Hull author Russ Litten, who kicked off our launch night!
Russ is thoroughly involved in our plans, and has offered to help judge to outcomes of the month of creativity, to pick a winner to be published in the student newspaper! He is going to announce the winner at an open mic night we are holding in December, where students can share the work that they have written throughout the month.
This week though, we had less of a focus on running writing workshops and had a bigger focus on inspiring the writing, as the motivation drops throughout the month. I kicked off the week, remarkably, by having afternoon tea with 2011 Man Booker winner Julian Barnes. This surreal meeting took place in the Royal Station Hotel in Hull, where he met with the University’s postgraduate creative writing students. There was a discussion about Barnes’ writing style and how he approaches the creative writing process. On the evening, he gave a lecture about his Booker winning novel The Sense of an Ending in the 500+ capacity Middleton Hall at the University. The lecture was an opportunity for the audience to ask him questions about the novel. I was honoured to be asked to write an article about the event for the Booker Prize Foundation’s blog…I’ll post the link as soon as I have it!
On Wednesday, we made a trip to our local cinema to see a live screening of David Tennant in William Shakespeare’s Richard II. I have been to live screenings before, but this was was amazing. Tennant did a fantastic job in playing the role, which surprised me, as I didn’t expect much from his portrayal of a Shakespearean character. We had an amazing, relaxing evening, which was only tainted by an elderly woman referring to us as “riffraff” as we upset the rather strong age dynamic in the theatre (we were the only people there under the age of fifty…) Regardless, we thoroughly enjoyed ourselves!
Our literary inspired week came to an end on Saturday, when we went to an event organised by the Humber Mouth Literary Festival. The event featured musical performance poets LiTTLe MACHiNe, and Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy. We kicked off the event with an exclusive afternoon tea with LiTTLe MACHiNe, who talked to us about how they came to create their unusual act, and what inspires them. They even promised us a shout-out, so we ensured that we had the most noticeable seats by sitting on the front row!
The first half of the event was given by Carol Ann Duffy, reading from three of her collections, The World’s Wife, Rapture and The Bees. When I studied Duffy’s work at GCSE, I wasn’t a big fan of it, but hearing her read it was an amazing experience, and it made me fall in love with it. Hearing her read the words as she intended them to be read really gave them a different meaning. I particularly liked hearing The World’s Wife collection, as I had read them at school. I now think I may have to invest in them! In an attempt to be noticeable for LiTTLe MACHiNe, I was sat throughout the performance holding the society’s mascot, a Shakespeare doll, who they had met earlier on in the day; it did get some odd glances from Duffy though! At the interval, she was doing a signing, and Shakespeare came along for a photo too…I think Duffy was glad for the explanation!
She also signed my copy of The Christmas Truce.
After the interval, LiTTLe MACHiNe took to the stage and performed poetry in a way I have never experienced before…if these guy had taught me poetry at school, I would have loved it a whole lot more! They turn classic and modern poetry into rock/folk music. Here is their rendition of ‘Mediocitie in Love Rejected’ by Thomas Carew:
It was a very lively and entertaining performance, and they gave us the shout-out they promised! In fact, we even had to present Shakespeare to the whole audience! They were so popular they were called on for an encore and this is what they performed:
They were selling copies of their CD after the show which I bought and they signed for me.
I have had an amazing week! I’m paying for it now though with a cold! I did promise you a giveaway though…
Well, it wouldn’t be fair to tell you about all of the literary fun I have had without getting something to share with my readers…
There will be one winner and that winner will receive:
How to enter:
To enter in this giveaway, you must do ALL THREE of the following:
- Follow my blog (WordPress, e-mail, or Bloglovin’ http://www.bloglovin.com/blog/4716431/hannahackroyd)
- Share this post by reblogging it, on Twitter or Facebook
- Leave a comment on this post and include the link to your reblogged post/Twitter/Facebook share and tell me how you’re following my blog.
Since the events were in honour of NaNoWriMo, I will draw the winner on 1st December, so you can enter up until midnight on 30th November 2014. Winner will be drawn at random and announced in a later post. The winner has two weeks to claim their prize, otherwise a new winner will be drawn.
***Edit*** I forgot to mention that this giveaway is open internationally 🙂