Tuesday, 29 of July 2014

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Travelling Book Project

From Mike Raven:

I wondered if the members of the Birmingham Writers’ Group might be interested in a project that I’m organising at the moment?

The idea behind the Travelling Book project is that a blank journal travels around the world, from person to person, with each person writing in the book about their lives and interests. When complete the journal is made available on the Internet for everyone to see. It gives people an opportunity to be creative, to collaborate, and to find out what different parts of the world is like from the people actually living there.

I’m aiming to send a whole host of travelling books around the world, and to also provide a website so that participants can track the progress of the books.  The campaign for the project ends on August the 4th, after which books will start to be produced and sent out.

If people would like more information, do please check out the project page at www.travellingbook.eu


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Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing at the University of York

From the University of York:

The Centre for Lifelong Learning (CLL) has carved out a niche in offering high-quality, distance learning provision over the last decade, focusing on first-rate student engagement and flexible models of delivery. As a learning provider, we have offered a variety of educational opportunities for more than twenty-five years, and have received numerous Vice-Chancellor Awards for the standard of teaching and student support.

Background

CLL is a thriving unit within the University, offering a variety of innovative learning opportunities both locally and globally, with a specific remit of supporting non-traditional students as they return to learn. The Centre offers around 200 evening and day classes during the academic year, receiving around 2,200 applications annually. We are based on the Heslington campus, and aim to make the University a place for everyone, priding ourselves on working in partnership with university departments, external funding bodies and local agencies throughout our work.

Since 2007, we have developed an extensive programme of distance learning to reach learners nationally and around the world, with a particular focus on creative writing. In that time, we have taught literally hundreds of students from the UK and around the globe, and have utilised that expertise to devise new, part-time postgraduate programmes of study that offer you study flexibility without compromising academic rigour. Our approach is to create vibrant and dynamic learning experiences despite students’ distance from one another, fostering a sense of community through keenly-facilitated learning.

Our technology-enhanced delivery uses the University’s virtual learning environment, Blackboard, to ensure that you receive a comprehensive learning experience regardless of whenever or wherever you engage, without the need for extensive IT knowledge. All our online learning is supported by experienced staff, and there is never a need for you to be on the course site a set time for core activities, making this the ideal way for the busy student to extend their learning journey.

The Programme

Led by Elizabeth Linklater, the Postgraduate Diploma in Creative Writing is a two-year part-time programme, aimed at writers wishing to develop their creative and critical skills at an advanced level. The programme adopts an all-encompassing approach to the discipline of creative writing, taking in a variety of genres and exploring the major forms of prose, poetry and scripts.  The award is delivered wholly online, in a fully-supported learning environment, and builds upon many years of experience in the international distance learning arena.

The programme comprises six 20-credit modules which will develop students’ writing skills and their critical faculties in a range of genres. These modules are:

Year One

  • · Creative Practice: Creativity, Theory and the Craft of Writing
  • Critical Approaches: Methodology, Research and Literature
  • Compressed Fiction: The Art of the Short Story

Year Two

  • · Poetic Power: Theory and Practice in Contemporary Poetry
  • · Sustained Fiction: The Novel as Narrative
  • · Dramaturgy, Sound and Screen

The programme also includes residential weekends at York each year. Each event is an opportunity to meet teaching staff network with fellow students, engage in study activities, and hear established writers talk about specific topic areas. These weekends are free of charge, though students will be expected to meet the cost of their travel, accommodation and sustenance. For anyone unable to attend, there will also be the option to engage via real-time video conferencing or to watch recordings of the key sessions.

What Next?

For more information, please visit www.york.ac.uk/lifelonglearning or email lifelonglearning@york.ac.uk. The programme launches in late September 2014, and if you have any specific questions you would like answering, please do feel free to give Iain a call on 01904 328474.


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Hour of Writes

The following is from Alison Ireland who has set up a new website called Hour of Writes.

Hour of Writes is designed to be a peaceful space – a blank piece of paper – in the busy online world, where you can find time to write down, share and structure your thoughts, in the context of a life which often has other priorities.

The focus point is an hour-long writing competition each week (with a cash prize). Sometimes, when variables are controlled, the mind’s creativity is able to flourish. It feels like freedom.

Interested? We’re currently asking other like-minded writers from all over the world to pre-register as founder members before the public launch of the site, and to help us with the testing phase: www.hourofwrites.com. Write to us if you want to be involved!

Hour of Writes is also producing a series of articles about creative writing, and how people relate creative writing practice to their private, work and social lives. Some of the material for these pieces comes from a big survey we’re conducting, of writers and writing groups all over the world:

https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/HourofWritesGroups001.

In return for completing the survey, we’ll give you a free credit (competition entry) to use on the Hour of Writes website following its launch this Spring – instructions are at the end of the survey. We’ll also send you the articles mentioned above as they’re published.


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2014 Bristol Short Story Prize

2014 Bristol Short Story Prize is open to all published and unpublished writers over 16 years of age.
Stories can be on any theme or subject and
entry can be made online via the website or by
post. Entries must be previously unpublished
with a maximum length of 4,000 words (There is no minimum). The
entry fee is £8 per story.
The closing date for entries is midnight (BST) April 30th 2014.

Prizes:
1st £1000 plus £150 Waterstone’s gift card
2nd £700 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
3rd £400 plus £100 Waterstone’s gift card
17 further prizes of £100 will be presented to the writers
whose stories appear on the shortlist. All 20 shortlisted
writers will have their stories published in the Bristol Short
Story Prize Anthology Volume 7.

The 20 shortlisted writers will be invited to an awards ceremony
in Bristol in October 2014 when the winners will be announced and the anthology launched.
Prizes will be sent to any writer unable to attend the awards ceremony.

Judging panel :
Sara Davies (writer, former BBC Radio 4 producer) Rowan Lawton (literary agent at Furniss Lawton),
Sanjida O’Connell (writer and TV presenter) and Nikesh Shukla (author, performer and journalist)

Full details and rules at www.bristolprize.co.uk


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Creative Writing bursaries

For the third year running Sky, in association with IdeasTap, is giving away five £30,000
bursaries and mentoring support to talented artists aged 18-30 from the UK and
Ireland. Find out more and apply at www.ideastap.com/sky


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The New Writer re-launches

The New Writer has now relaunched and the whole of the latest issue can be viewed at http://www.thenewwriter.com/launch-issue/
while elsewhere on the site you can order a half price print copy.


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Bursary for arts students and recent graduates

£9,000 bursary for current arts students and recent graduates

Uni Fee Fund

Saddled by student debt? Whether you’re a first-year student or a graduate, if you embarked on a BA or BMus in 2006* or later, you could benefit from having £9,000 wiped off your Student Loans Company balance by arts charity IdeasTap.

For a chance to win, simply tell us in 100 words or less what you could offer to IdeasTap’s network in exchange for the money.

It could be an idea or a service, for example “This is how you could improve your site…” or “I’ll run this Spa event for your members…” ­

the more imaginative, original and feasible the idea, the better!

 

Find out more and apply by 29 March at www.ideastap.com/unifeefund


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Mouseman – influence the development of a book

Members might be interested in the unusual way Mark Woodward is launching his new novel, Mouseman. While most readers simply read a book, Mouseman offers readers a chance not only to voice their opinions directly to the author, but to influence the development of the book through their comments and criticisms. The book will be published initially in five weekly episodes, available both from Amazon and as free PDF from his website. As the story progresses, readers will be invited to post their questions, comments and criticisms on the Mouseman Facebook page, and he will post his responses in return. The page will reflect the whole range of opinion - he won’t censor it to remove the comments that are less than complimentary! When all five episodes have been posted, the book will be revised and published as a single-volume ebook and paperback.

Book description:

Mouseman is a comic, dark and unsettling novel, exploring the social and sexual dysfunction of men through the life of MM, its obsessive narrator. MM’s only relief from the strange world of Beech Brothers, the eccentric tenants of Mrs Flynn and the mice that keep him awake at night are his visits to the mysterious Roseanna. He lies on her couch and tells her about his first and only girlfriend, Suzanne, his schoolfriend, Nick, and his troubled boyhood. But his stories grow darker and more disturbing, and start to seep into the real world…

The first three chapters of Mouseman were shortlisted for the 2012 Yeovil Literary Prize.

Mouseman is being published in five weekly episodes available from Amazon and as a free PDF from the Writing Idol website.

Tell the author what you think – post your comments on the Mouseman Facebook page!


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Midlands author Brian Grove hosts list of publishers accepting submissions

Brian Grove, a UK author based in Stourbridge, has a helpful website with lots of help for writers.

He lists publishers who are open to submissions, do take a look:

http://myperfectpitch.com/book-publishers-accepting-submissions


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Tindal Street Press recruiting a Publicity and Marketing Assistant / Officer

Job title: Publicity and Marketing Assistant / Officer
Location: Birmingham
Closing date: 25 May 2012

Please see the website for details

 


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