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Conference Programme

 

Sunday 12 November  

07.30–08.30 Breakfast 

09.00–10.30 Choice of: 

 

A8: a) THE GRAMMAR CURRICULUM – Alison Mott

In late 2016 after a five-year gap, freelance writer Alison Mott returned somewhat reluctantly to the regular income offered by primary teaching, only to discover that its contentious new Grammar curriculum presented a wonderful opportunity for teaching young people how to write. Learn about Alison’s journey from disillusioned teacher to writer to Primary writing specialist, her research into best practice for teaching grammar in schools, and have a go at some of the activities she’s put together to do just that.

 

b) OWNERSHIP & ORIGINALITY ONLINE – Helen Dring

Adolescents and young adults live their lives increasingly online. This expanse of digital real estate available for students to develop their work can be an exciting resource. Five students aged 16-17 were asked to keep weekly blogs of ongoing work. They were invited to comment on each other’s work and collaborate on joint projects. They were given teacher feedback as editorial comments on these blogs and projects. This paper examines how allowing students to curate a body of their work online rather than on paper increased their sense of ownership and originality in the work.

 

c) ENGLISH TEACHERS & CREATIVE WRITING – Rebecca Snape

This presentation reports on a second year PhD project, which explores how GCSE English teachers conceptualize creative writing. The research seeks to establish how teachers define and teach creative writing, as well as their attitudes towards creative writing opportunities in schools. The research design comprises a Critical Discourse Analysis, a nationwide survey, lesson observations and semi-structured interviews. Through the use of case studies, I have sought to develop an in-depth understanding of English teachers’ perspectives. Using a mixed methods approach, I have collected a range of data. In this presentation, I shall present my emerging research findings.

 

B8: a) 1st EACWP TEACHERS TRAINING COURSE AND IV INTERNATIONAL PEDAGOGICAL CONFERENCE – Lorena Briedis

As the most representative association of Creative Writing in continental Europe, the EACWP is devoted to the development and enrichment of pedagogical debate. In July, the EACWP launched its 1st European Teacher Training Course in Normandy, which gathered together a sample of our most expert European teachers and worldwide students, nurtured by a multicultural dialogue. In 2018, the EACWP will celebrate its 2nd edition as well as the IV International Pedagogical Conference in Brussels. This presentation offers an overview of both events with the aim of bridging and fostering pedagogical exchange between continental Europe and the UK.

 

b) TEACHING CREATIVE WRITING ONLINE: PROS AND CONS – Magnus Eriksson

The paper aims at scrutinizing what can be won and what might get lost in the process of adapting teaching and tutoring in Creative Writing to the demands of the Internet. The paper draws on my experience as well as research in the field. It focuses on the advantages and disadvantages for the student in online-tutoring including judicial questions, the claim for anonymity that is sometimes raised, and neutrality in grading the efforts of the student. It also focuses on how online-teaching compensates for the loss of the eye to eye-contact between student and teacher in classroom teaching.

 

c) CREATIVE ESSAYING – Kirsty Gunn, Gail Low

"Creative Essaying" is how we are describing a whole new approach of writing and reading studies at the University of Dundee, and in this presentation Gail Low and Kirsty Gunn are in conversation about the role of the essay in academic and creative life, both, and its transformative affect across both disciplines. The discussion will comprise a selection of essays, and essays about essays, including their own work, as well as an overview of their role with Notting Hill Editions, the pioneering publishing house founded to promote and disseminate ideas around the essay form. They will also discuss their role as joint editors at the Voyage Out Press and its function as a meeting place for essayists from both within and outwith the University of Dundee.

 

C8: a) POLYPHONIC PLACE: PUTTING SOUND INTO WORDS – Jennie Bailey

This is a hybrid presentation/workshop. The first part of this presentation will be a paper on my PhD research on Rochdale, Greater Manchester and soundscapes of the borough. The second part, an interactive workshop, will encourage participants to use familiar sounds to evoke memory. The final activity uses the British Council’s 2004 list of “beautiful words” as inspiration for new writing. There will be handouts provided with these activities for participants to remix and reuse! (45 mins)

 

b) LOVING YOUR LEGACY: A POETRY THERAPY WORKSHOP – Charmaine Pollard

“You have no idea what your legacy will be. It is every life that has ever beentouched, uplifted, moved, or not moved by everything you did and shared.” —Maya Angelou. Your legacy is something you create during your lifetime; it is a gift you give to others. We often associate legacy with death and dying. How we live our lives is our legacy. Using poems and writing exercises, you will experience how the poetry therapy process can help you to clarify your legacy, and create meaningful change in your own life, as well as in the lives of others. (45 mins)

 

D8: a) OFTEN PAST ONESELF: GOALS & RESULTS IN CREATIVE WRITING FOR L2 LEARNERS OF ENGLISH – Paul Graves

How do the ends and means square up when a creative writing workshop functions as an advanced language course for Finnish L2 writers of English who are university students from a broad range of academic disciplines? This talk will peek into a running workshop to explore how its language-learning goals limit, expand or otherwise alter its traditional aesthetic goals and, in turn, how these goals match the individual intentions and desires of writer-participants. I will discuss to what extent the experience affects writer-participants' perceptions of the language they are using and of themselves as wielders of language. 

 

b) IDENTITY AND THE SUPPLEMENTARY DISCOURSE: HOW NON-NATIVE SPEAKERS DISCUSS IDENTITY AROUND THEIR WRITING – Ian Pople

Exchange students visiting the UK from other language backgrounds often feel the need to negotiate their identity in English during their stay. One such negotiation may be the discussion of the student’s identity as embodied in their creative writing. This presentation will examine the ways in which that negotiation is encoded in student supplementary discourses.

 

c) 'EVERYONE SAID THEY LIKED IT’ – Judith Heneghan

The creative writing workshop takes many forms and sometimes its value is questionable. Its purpose – to enable writers to improve their work – may be clear, but critiquing the drafts of one’s peers is a skill that must be practised. Judith Heneghan presents a variety of models that can be helpful at the different stages of exposure and explores the issue of ‘work in progress’ – what it means and how students can be helped to critique an unfinished sample in a way that supports the writer’s ownership of the work, yet pushes everyone to ‘write better’.

 

E8: a) GENRE RECALL: MEMORY & IDENTITY – Paul Taylor-McCartney

The presentation explores the subtle and overt ways in which engaging in critical research in the dystopian genre has informed key aspects of my own novel/creative piece, The Recollector, (done as part of my PhD in Creative Writing, with Leicester University). Aims: to critically reflect on how memory and identity work in a range of seminal works in the dystopian genre including those by George Orwell, Ray Bradbury, Margaret Atwood, Kazuo Ishiguro and Cormac McCarthy; to consider how critical engagement with the genre can inform creative decision-making; and to share with conference delegates some of the benefits of critically reflecting on one’s own creative processes and output.

 

b) A WRITER’S MANIFESTO: ARTICULATING WAYS OF LEARNING TO WRITE WELL – Paul Williams

A writer’s manifesto is a statement outlining a writer’s philosophy of life, writing goals and intentions, motives, and sources of inspiration. It is also an ongoing self-reflection on how a writer learns to write well. How do writers learn to write well? From reading good writing? Being inspired by mentors who show them how to craft? By reading and studying ‘how to write’ books? By taking Creative Writing courses? By lived experience? By the act of writing itself? This paper demonstrates how students can steer their own writing growth by writing a Writer’s Manifesto through an exploration of these methods of writing practice.

 

F8: a) WRITING AND INJUSTICE – Katherine Blessan & Merryn Glover

Despite huge progress in technology and culture, we still live in a world where there are massive discrepancies of power and continued acts of brutality and injustice. This workshop will be looking at the writer’s response to injustice: whether that injustice be private or public. We will share our own writing journeys of using literature to challenge injustice, and we will share the ways in which writers can both tell a powerful story and challenge thinking without being too didactic. There will also be writing exercises to explore your own responses to the issues that make your own blood boil. (45 mins)

 

b) WRITING FABULOUS TREES – Jackee Holder

We rely on trees for the paper we write on and for the oxygen in the air we breathe. Away from the virtual word a more intimate connection with nature also promises connection and inspiration from the trees we love and live with. Discover through a series of tree inspired writing prompts designed to offer a closer view of your true nature. This is an interactive and therapeutic creative writing workshop supported with evidence-based research. Learn how connecting with and engaging with trees and nature both on and off the page are pathways to emotional health and well-being. (45 mins)

 

10.30–11.00 Tea/Coffee Break

 

11.00–12.15 Choice of:

 

A9: SO: WRITE ENGAGING WITH YOUNG MINDS: EXPERIMENTING WITH WRITING, THEATRE, ART – Susmita Bhattacharya

SO:Write is a two-year, multi-strand literature development strategy and delivery programme, founded by director Matthew West. Based in Southampton, it aims to develop the profile of writers and writing in the area. The So:Write Young Writers project in collaboration with Mayflower Theatre brings together theatre and creative writing, empowering young people aged 11-18 from diverse backgrounds to become confident writers and performers. This workshop looks at the methods used to develop the project; how it involves local art/literary events to showcase the outcomes of the group to the community. Writing exercises and practical tips will be included in this session. 

 

B9: TALK TO ME OF LOVE – Joanne Reardon, Nicky Harlow, Siobhan Campbell, Derek Neale 

Through discussion of the way love is employed in their work, this panel will consider the ‘Muse’, and consider how staying true to an idea from inspiration through to completion of a work can be such a challenge for writers. Does the Muse inspire or provoke us? Can love, in all its forms, influence the way we write and the things we write about? Why, of all Hesiod’s Muses, does it provide such enduring inspiration for writers? The panel contributors will draw from fiction and poetry to discuss the ways writers try to harness the Muse and the challenge they face in doing so.

 

C9: ENHANCING LEARNING THROUGH RAP WORKSHOP – Ash Nugent

Ash Nugent has used rap to enhance educational experience in schools and prisons for fifteen years. How? Come and see for yourself in this unique, high energy, educational workshop. It was his own experience as a disenfranchised youth with no qualifications and a lengthy criminal record that lead Ash to rap music, which lead him back into education. You will experience how: rap can make learning exciting and relevant; rap can improve literacy and engage with traditional literature; rap can promote peer support in the classroom. This workshop will involve sharing ideas, loud music, and, yes, some rapping. Feeling brave?

 

D9: BLIND DATE – Liz Cashdan 

Not NAWE’s answer to lonely hearts but dealing with questions of flow and control in writing. Writers talk about making their finished product flow but the Hungarian psychologist Mihaly Czikszentmihaly referred to flow as the state where an individual is immersed in their writing process. Grace Wartman and Jonathan Plucker claimed that if aspiring writers worried less about “the Ah-ha-like moment of inspiration, they might realize that they possess much greater control over their finished product, allowing them to experience a much greater freedom during their process of writing creatively.” This workshop will ask participants to write and comment on process and product.

 

E9: RUNNING AN INTERGENERATION POETRY GROUP: A PILOT PROJECT – Joan Michelson

Drawing on the community around Coleridge Primary School London, this project brought together a mix of eight seniors, born in Britain and elsewhere. They worked together with eight Year 5 juniors on poetry reading, discussion, recitation, and a school performance. Two teachers and one trainee teacher also participated. The conference session will offer a summary of the project, including the choice of theme, the approach, a sample exercise using texts from the project, and an open discussion for review of challenges, outcomes questions that arose and questions that arise.

 

F9: PLAYING ‘WHAT IF?’ THE SPACE IN/OF/OUTSIDE THE HE WRITING WORKSHOP – Lucy Burnett, Rachel Connor, Nasser Hussain

At its best, the creative writing workshop can be a playful site of learning and practice. All too often in a HE context, though, we operate within the constraints of budget, timetabling or institutional resistance. What if creative writing, as an academic discipline, looked to scientific ‘experiment’ and incorporated elements of physical theatre? How can we employ flexible room design that answers the multiple needs of a creative writing department? What are the possibilities for engaging with spaces outside the traditional classroom, cementing relationships with local partners? Following brief introductory provocations from each panellist, we will lead a participatory session that encourages ‘blue sky thinking’ in relation to the workshop, then explore which elements might be implemented within the parameters of the university system.

 

12.15–13.00 Plenary: Conclusions and AGM 

 

13.00 Close of Conference