A Literary Inspired Week and a Prize-Winning Giveaway (now closed)

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!

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

Plenty of Post!

Since signing up to Swap-bot and Postcrossing, my postman has really had to work hard! Here is some of my most recent post:

A postcard from Postcrossing (confusingly, it is from a sender in Germany but it is of Rome! Talk about a well travelled postcard!)

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I also received my first ever handmade postcard from the USA in the QUICK Cute Animal Postcard swap #34. Sadly his nose got grazed in transit but I still love the card to pieces:

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My postcard collection also had a massive boost when I received my package for the Postcard Scavenger Hunt #22. The point was to choose 6 postcards from the list of 12 to sent to a partner, and if you could find the challenge on (a whale) you sent seven. I was paired with the organiser though, who sent me one card for every category (including the challenge!) as well as an extra one, meaning that I got a generous 14 postcard in total! Here they are with the category they fulfil: Continue reading

London Calling!

Sorry about the mini gap in my blogging again, but it was for a valid reason…last week was my trip to London! Me and James both had an amazing time and I thought I would share a mini round-up of my trip with you all!

We have both been to London before so we decided to do less of the regular touristy things this time and have a look at some other attractions that we haven’t visited before.

Monday 24th June:

Luckily we didn’t have too much of an early morning on our first day as it was cheaper to get an off-peak train ticket, but since we couldn’t check-in to the hotel until 3 anyway, it didn’t matter very much. Our train rolled into Kings Cross Station at 1 o’clock in the afternoon, which still gave us plenty of time to make the most out of our first day. We kicked off out trip by heading to Tower Hill tube station (bags and all!) to jump on our boat tour – the present that I bought for James for his 21st birthday.

As we got off the tube, we had a wonderful view of the Tower of London:

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And we saw some of London’s most famous landmarks on a leisurely ride along the Thames, including this spectacular view of Tower Bridge:

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And as we were docking at Westminster,  Big Ben chimed three o’clock…good timing! Continue reading

Looking Forward to London

So, one of the items of my 22 before 22 list is to go to Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre in London. This one crept onto the list after I noticed that my favourite play, Macbeth, is being performed this season. Well, when the tickets went on sale in February James was straight on to ordering us a pair for our two year anniversary in June!

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Book Q&A

It has been absolutely ages since I have posted anything book related (not including craft books!) because I have been that busy reading uni books I haven’t had time to read anything else! A little while ago I decided that I wasn’t going to review the books that I had to read for uni on my blog for two reasons; first, I was being forced to read the books which can often affect your ability to enjoy reading the book; and secondly, I read books differently when I am reading for uni and reading for pleasure. There is a surprising amount of thoughts running through my head when I read for uni as I am constantly on alert looking for common themes of the genre or author or making mental notes of quotes that may be relevant later and I find it is much harder to get lost in a book that I am reading for uni as there are so many other things running through my brain. For these reasons, it didn’t seem fair to review university book that I am likely to have a completely different opinion on when I am reading for pleasure and I have found several books that I would like to re-read so that I can really get absorbed in them and review them fairly.

Yesterday, however, I stumbled upon this Q&A on Stephanie’s blog and it reminded me how much I miss being able to read books of my choice and really enjoy reading like I used to so I decided to answer the Q&A to remind me of some of the fantastic books that I have read, both for uni and for pleasure, and look forward to the time when I can once again pick up books that have been gathering dust on my shelves since I started my degree!

So, here goes: Continue reading

21st Birthday Presents

It has been weeks now since my 21st birthday and I still haven’t had chance to share my presents with you! I was completely spoilt but here are a few of the presents that I got.

From my brother:

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You’ve already had a sneak preview of this as I have already begun working on it. I have wanted this kit for ages and I couldn’t wait to get started. I love the pastel colours and it is already looking really pretty.

He also got me: Continue reading

Recent Reads Mini Round Up

I have been busy reading lots for university in the last two weeks, so rather than writing a review for each book, I am doing six mini reviews for the last six books I have been reading.

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Measure for Measure by William Shakespeare: Measure for Measure is about the Duke of Vienna, who pretends to leave so that he can go undercover and learn the true nature of his deputy, Angelo. I really enjoyed reading this play as there was lots going on and no lulls in action which can sometimes be found in Shakespeare’s plays. I did become slightly lost in the complex deception plot but once it was all revealed at the end it all slotted into place. Not one of my favourite plays but certainly one that I enjoyed discovering – 7/10 Continue reading