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!
Our brave participants looking eager on 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! Continue reading →