by Ceri Osborne
Faculty Student Success Advisor Team Leader for ADM
Each year at the School of English, we host our very own Summer Show, highlighting and celebrating the successes of our staff and students throughout the academic year. It’s a great opportunity for classmates to share their creative work with fellow students, staff, friends and family.
The day began with students and staff sharing their Spoken Word creations to their peers in the sun, in a beautiful outdoor space; Eastside Park, which was a lovely way to discover the creations of budding and experienced writers in the School.
Holly Psaliou screened her short film, BARDO, and spoke in depth to her audience (which included her very proud mum) about the screenwriting process and the steps it took to get the film from her imagination, to the page, to actually becoming a finished product. This was followed by Creative Writing lecturer and screenwriter Andy Conway, discussing the accessibility of making your own film and how to develop a career as a screenwriter.
To add to the day’s creativity, BA (Hons) English and Drama students Mesha Pope and Katie Barnes shared their recently learned skills on how to deliver an amazing drama performance, just like they did when they performed Dennis Kelly’s Taking Care of Baby for one of their modules. A huge achievement!
We even hosted a University Challenge style quiz show – staff against students and discovered that the students knew all there is to know about Game of Thrones whilst the staff looked on bemusedly. The staff did win in the end though……maybe next year the students will!
To finish the afternoon, we launched The Review – a printed retrospective of the year, showcasing the outstanding work of staff and students alike. We’re so proud of all that they have achieved, to allow them the honour of taking away a permanent piece of memorabilia was lovely to see. It will be a lasting reminder of friendships made and creative skills learnt. If you ever come to one of our Open Days, you can have one for yourself…If you join us as a student, you could even star in one!
After a food and drink reception, where staff, students, friends and family met and chatted about their experiences over the past three years, it was time for the Institute of Creative and Critical Writing Summer Show, featuring both undergraduate and postgraduate students, sharing their love of creative fiction and non-fiction writing.
The Creative Writing Summer Show also launched this year’s anthology of new creative writing, all produced within the School, titled Journeys. Interestingly, the front cover was illustrated by an Illustration student from the School of Visual Communication, just another example of our excellent collaboration practice.
A selection of students from across the School, read a variety of pieces of original work ranging from poetry to creative non-fiction, pieces from manuscripts to interesting haiku. It was a true testimony to the energy, diversity and imagination that characterises the creative writing programme in the School of English.
The highlight of the evening was an enlightening talk delivered to the students by guest speaker and award winning writer, Helen Cross. Helen is the author of four novels, including My Summer of Love which won a Betty Trask Award and became a BAFTA award winning film directed by Pawel Pawlikowski. She spoke to the students about the theme of time. How to write, when to write, how long does it take to write? Imparting a wealth of knowledge and invaluable advice for their future writing careers.
We’re proud to have developed such a creative, knowledgeable and industry focussed community, here within the School of English. We hope you have enjoyed reading our summary of our Summer Show and that it’s given you a flavour of what you can expect to discover for yourselves, if you choose to join us in September.
If you’d like to find out more, why not read a few of our other blog posts, or take a look at our website.