Thursday 17 March 2022

Guest Lectures, Masterclasses and Events, Spring 2022

There are lots of forthcoming Creative Writing events happening this term in the Centre for New Writing at the University of Leicester. Here are some of them! They are all free and open to students, staff and the public. If you'd like to attend one of them, and aren't already registered, please email Jonathan Taylor, jt265[at]le[dot]ac[dot]uk for further details. 

Anita Sivakumaran: Guest Talk on Writing Fiction
Tuesday 1 March 2022, 2-3pm, Attenborough room 002

Anita Sivakumaran is the author of several books. Her first was a poetry collection titled Sips That Make a Poison Woman. Her novel The Queen fictionalised the life of a famous South Indian film star turned politician and was adapted into one of the most successful Indian television series of 2019. The Birth of Kali, a short story collection, followed, reimagining Hindu myths from a feminist perspective. Her latest novel, Cold Sun, published by Little Brown in 2021, is the first in the 'DI Patel' series, following a Leicester-born Scotland Yard detective. Cosmopolitan called it 'a super-gripping new thriller series ... will have you totally hooked.' The Times describes Anita as 'an exciting new name in crime fiction.' The second book in the series, set largely in Leicester, is due out this summer. Anita has Masters degrees from Bangalore and Lancaster Universities, and a PhD from the University of Leicester.

Kadija George: Guest Lecture on Decolonising Publishing through Independent Black Publishers
Monday 21 March 2022, 4-5pm, Ken Edwards room 527

Mainstream publishers are becoming more diverse in relation to their human resources and in the authors they publish. Do independent Black publishers still have a role in decolonising publishing? Dr. Kadija George Sesay is a scholar activist with a focus on radical publishing. She set up the Inscribe Writer’s Development Programme for Black British writers at Peepal Tree Press in 2004. Her role includes publishing a series of anthologies and chapbooks. She freelances for other publishers on book projects such as co-editing IC3: The Penguin Book of New Black Writing in Britain with Courttia Newland. She is the founder of SABLE LitMag and an app, ‘AfriPoeTree.’ She recently co-authored This is the Canon: Decolonize Your Bookshelf in 50 Books with Professor Joan Anim-Addo and Dr. Deidre Osborne. She has edited several anthologies and received several awards for her work in the creative arts.

Literary Leicester Festival 2022
Wednesday 23 March 2022 to Saturday 26 March 2022

Free and open to all! You can see the full line-up for this year's events here

Leicester University Student Creative Writing Showcase
Wednesday 23 March, 430-545pm, Attenborough Arts Studio 1

Free and all welcome! As part of Literary Leicester Festival, we'll be holding a showcase event for University of Leicester BA, MA and PhD Creative Writing students to read and perform their poetry, stories and scripts. If you're a student and would like to get involved, please email Jonathan Taylor on jt265[at]le[dot]ac[dot]uk. 

Barbara Cooke: Guest Talk on Editing and Publishing 
PLEASE NOTE RESCHEDULED SLOT: Wednesday 30 March 2022, 10am-12, Attenborough room 111.

Please pre-book if you'd like to attend this session but aren't registered on the MA in Creative Writing. Places are limited. 
This session, which is part of the MA in Creative Writing but also open to others, will look at the day-to-day tasks and demands of entry-level editorial jobs. Barbara will also be looking back on how work experience in a publishing house can benefit your professional writing life, from understanding how production works to collaborating with an illustrator. Dr Barbara Cooke is a lecturer in English at Loughborough University and Co-Executive Editor of the Complete Works of Evelyn Waugh. She began her career in 2007 as an Editorial Assistant in London, working on such challenging and groundbreaking titles as Xtra Naughty Cakes and Take the Kids to Paris. Later, she collaborated with illustrator Amy Dodd to produce the biography Evelyn Waugh’s Oxford.

Cathi Rae: A Masterclass on Performance Poetry
Wednesday 30 March 2022, 2-4pm, Attenborough room 204

Please pre-book if you'd like to attend this session but aren't registered on the MA in Creative Writing. Places are limited. 
Cathi Rae is a spoken word artist and performance poet, performing as headline poet throughout the UK. She is a multiple Slam Poetry Champion and is currently teaching a class on "How to become a spoken word poet" at the Attenborough Arts Centre. She has been described as " A spoken word icon" by no less a poet than Joelle Taylor. Her workshop, which is part of the MA in Creative Writing but is open to all, will cover:

  • The nuts & bolts of the UK spoken word scene
  • The reasons why a poet may want to develop a profile via spoken word poetry
  • Discussion around some of the best talent currently working in the UK

There will also be practical work around performance and writing for performance. Participants will need to bring at least one poem that they feel might work as a spoken word piece.

Civil Service Fast Stream Q&A Session
Thursday 31 March 2022, 10-11am, online via MS-Teams

This one-hour session is an opportunity to learn about careers in the Civil Service. It will be hosted by Civil Service Fast Streamers, working across government. Please bring along any questions you have relating to the Fast Stream and wider Civil Service. The presenters will be happy to talk through any part of the application process, their experiences on the Fast Stream or anything else related. You can see more information about the Civil Service Fast Stream here

Jenny Kane: Perfecting Your Fiction Masterclass
Wednesday 11 May 2022, 10am-12, Attenborough room 210

Please pre-book if you'd like to attend this session but aren't registered on the MA in Creative Writing. Places are limited. 
Writing the draft of your first novel is just the beginning of the journey towards publication. To make sure that your novel reaches beyond a publisher or agents slush pile, you need to ask a number of questions of your work. Does this story work on a sentence-by-sentence level? Is it written in the best possible order? Am I drowning in exposition? Jenny addresses these questions and more in her two-hour masterclass, dedicated to elevating your editing process to the next level. This masterclass is part of the MA in Creative Writing, but there are also a limited number of places open to others. Over the past 17 years, Jenny has written 36 novels under the pen names Jenny Kane (romcoms), Jennifer Ash (medieval crime), and Kay Jaybee (erotica). Sixteen of these novels have been bestsellers, including the Midsummer at Mill Grange, Autumn Leaves at Mill Grange, Spring Blossoms at Mill Grange and Winter Fires at Mill Grange series, A Cornish Escape and Another Cup of Coffee (written as Jenny Kane), The Folville Chronicle series, (written as Jennifer Ash), The Perfect Submissive series, (written as Kay Jaybee). Jenny is currently working with two publishers, Headline and Head of Zeus, as well as the audio company Spiteful Puppet, for whom she writes audio scripts for ITV’s popular 1980’s television show, Robin of Sherwood. As co-manager of Imagine, a creative writing tutoring business operating across the South West of England, Jenny has helped launch many new novelists’ careers. You can learn more about Jenny here and here.

Val McDermid: 10th Annual Creative Writing Lecture: Killing People for Fun and Profit
Thursday 12 May 2022, 6.15pm, Peter Williams Lecture Theatre

Val McDermid, photograph by KT Bruce

Please pre-book tickets for this guest lecture here.
Dubbed the Queen of Crime, Val McDermid has sold over 15 million books to date and is translated into over 40 languages. She is perhaps best-known for her Wire in the Blood series, featuring clinical psychologist Dr Tony Hill and DCI Carol Jordan, which was adapted for television starring Robson Green. Her most recent novel Out of Bounds was a number one bestseller and her brand new novel Insidious Intent was published in August. As well as producing a bestselling novel every year, Val is a regular on TV, radio and in print. Her recent projects include two BBC Radio 4 dramas, chairing the Wellcome Book Prize and captaining the 2016 winning University Challenge alumnae team! Her awards, too numerous to list, include the Outstanding Contribution to Crime Fiction Award, the CWA Gold Dagger for best crime novel of the year, the Grand Prix des Romans D’Aventure, the Lambda Literary Foundation Pioneer Award and the LA Times Book of the Year Award, as well as Celebrity Mastermind champion. She is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Literature and The Royal Society of Edinburgh. Val will be discussing her writing, her inspirations and the fatal attraction of crime fiction! 

Amitav Ghosh with Clare Anderson, Mark Williams and Caroline Upton: The Climate Emergency: Creating A Dialogue Between Science And The Arts  
Tuesday 7 June 7, 2022, 6:00pm-7.30pm, Online Event. 

Please pre-book tickets for this online event here
It's 2022 and everybody is talking about the climate emergency, but what does it mean in a global context with plural perspectives? Join Amitav Ghosh, author of The Great Derangement: Climate Change and the Unthinkable (2016) and The Nutmeg’s Curse: Parables for a Planet in Crisis (2022), and a panel of experts chaired by Clare Anderson as we engage in dialogue between the sciences and the arts in thinking about the climate emergency.

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