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Sunday 11 November

9am    Choice of:

A8: i) Writing Commemoration  Jo Young

Commemorative responses have been at a peak during the 2014-2018 centenaries and continue in the approach to WW2 75th Anniversaries. Poetry has always served as an outlet for commemorative expression. This paper will look at methods in which personal writing around national and institutional milestones can be guided and tutored to generate modern and resonant work around timeless topics. The responses of different age-groups, the institutionalisation of cultural capital, the changing nature of war and attitudes to it in the 21st Century will be examined with reference to diversity of students in terms of gender, ethnicity and exposure to war.

ii) Story of Self: The Story to Resilience Sam Murphy 

Story and narrative are essential to how humans understand the world, interact and interpret their reality. In community organising the ‘Story of Self’ acts as an important opening to establishing relationships, forming alliances and building relational power. Being able to create, develop and articulate a story especially one of around your background, and reason for taking action however small. This presentation will present a workshop method designed to increase students own resilience, and public speaking skills through story telling. Students articulating, their own story of self, understanding the reasons why we act and make connections with others from the challenges we’ve faced, and the choices that we’ve made. This presentation will build on the work of Marshall Ganz and creative writing techniques to examine ‘Story of Self’ and show how it can be used to build resilience and public speaking skills following the workshop.

iii) Take a Breath: Yoga/Breathing for Creativity Kate Prince

A practical 30-minute workshop; bringing together physical and mental disciplines, breath work, mudra and meditation with the aim of inspiring creativity, accessing the imagination, increasing attention and reducing stress. Drawing on the concepts of Where Creativity Resides: The generative power of unconscious thought (Ap Dijksterhuis, Teun Meurs), this chair-based practice will include mindful movement, quiet contemplation of the breath and meditation; connecting to the unconscious in order ‘to delegate the labour of thinking to the unconscious mind’ (Dijksterhuis and Meurs). There will be 15-minute free-writing practice at the end.

B8: i) Metaphors and Mark Schemes Sam Holdstock

Teaching Creative Writing in secondary schools can be a tricky business. While teachers may want to take risks and encourage students to find their own creative voices, the axe of accountability is always at the back of their minds, and it can be tempting to adopt rather formulaic pedagogical approaches. In this workshop we shall explore how pedagogical metaphors can be used in the English classroom to enable students to discover success criteria for themselves, thus encouraging students to be more autonomous learners and creators.

ii) Saying A Lot in a Little: Dribbles and Drabbles Alice Penfold

With ever-increasing exam pressures and overcrowded timetables, creative writing can be viewed as an extra rather than as essential. This presentation will focus on particular forms of flash-fiction: dribbles (50-word stories) and drabbles (100-word stories). These are engaging and accessible for students of all abilities. Students are not overwhelmed by the prospect of filling page after empty page but can enjoy the playful possibilities of language, developing the editing and communication skills needed for educational and workplace success. This session includes imagination and interaction, writing our own dribbles on a set theme and discussing ways to implement in the classroom.

*Graham Mort's session is now taking place on Saturday afternoon in panel F6* 

C8: Writing Poetry for Children Carole Bromley

Come along to a friendly, relaxed workshop where you will have an opportunity to try out new approaches to writing poems for children. The exercises will generate new poems and also give you ideas which you can try in the classroom. Whether you are an experienced workshop leader working in primary schools, a children’s poet or just a writer who would like to give it a try, you will be very welcome. The workshop will be led by experienced poet and workshop leader, Carole Bromley.

D8: i) FUNctional Skills and Why Creativity Matters Helen Dring

Functional skills English qualifications are often offered to students who have failed to achieve GCSEs and are designed to encourage practical, useful English. But students on these courses are often keen to experiment with creative writing. Is there a way to bridge the two? This short workshop will offer simple, practical ways to incorporate creativity in to English lessons both in schools and further education or beyond.

ii) Creative Writing with Vulnerable and Marginalized Young People Lucy Sweetman

This session will consider the findings of a research project with vulnerable and marginalised young people, undertaken as part of Paper Nations. In particular it will focus on engaging young people with creative writing, and the pedagogical and relational approaches that can be used in school or community-based sessions to connect with apparently 'disengaged' groups.

iii) Pedagogical Masculinities: Identity Development and Creative Non-fiction Writing Marco Biceci

An empirical study of the pedagogical importance of male identity development through creative-non-fiction. From the legacy of the gay, women’s and men’s rights movements in the 1970s, this presentation explores what it means to be male: examining the nature of masculinity as a social construct in relation to pedagogy and creative writing. Focusing on the roles of the gendered-self and society in creative-non-fiction writing, it explores pedagogical practices which promote masculinity though peer culture, ethnography, sociogenic influences, religion, class, sexuality and gender identification — assisting students in formulating unique identity development narratives.

E8: i) Creative Writing and Research  Vasilis Papageorgiou

The paper will discuss the many ways writers do research before or during the process of writing a literary text. The latter could be in any genre and placed in any time in history, past, present or future. This form of artistic research will be discussed together with the one that is done after a text is written as a kind of meta-text, or in the form of artistic or philological commentary. Is there any difference between these two research activities? How do they contribute to the creation, receiving, understanding and evaluating a text? Can these two kinds of research be done by other researchers than the writers themselves? How do we teach research in relation to creative writing? What is most imperative in teaching creative writing at a university: The writing itself or the research done in relation to it both before and after the text is written?

ii) Writing the Self as Other: Autrebiography  Paul Williams 

According to Roland Barthes, the autobiographic act of remembering and reclaiming the past commits the fallacy of conflating the author, narrator and protagonist, and giving the former power over the latter. The past self is a fictional 'other', and the writing of memoir is a reading of the past self as a text.  J.M. Coetzee therefore calls his meta-autobiographies (the three part Scenes from a Provincial Life) autrebiographies, or 'other-life-writing' . In this paper, I discuss how writers of memoir and autobiography construct a past self as 'other', and examine which narrative techniques are useful in achieving this.

iii) Authenticity: Historical Research for Writers of Fiction Julie Primon

The question of authenticity is central to the work of historical fiction writers. Yet, depending on the author’s intentions and philosophy, levels of accuracy – and depth of research – will vary from one volume to another. This paper will examine some of the differing attitudes toward historical research, as well as some of its underlying principles. Why does authenticity matter? What does historical accuracy achieve for the reader? Through the careful examination of my own creative research process, this paper will aim at answering those questions, as well as highlighting some of the challenges and rewards that a writer might encounter while doing historical research.

F8: i) The Multimodal Writer Josie Barnard

In a 21st century publishing landscape characterised by fast-paced technological change, the need for writers to develop creative flexibility is pressing.  But, can such flexibility be taught? This paper presents findings from a 2012-2018 research programme  featuring in-class trials of a set of assignments designed to investigate that question.  As well as reflecting on the challenges of developing a pedagogical toolkit intended to teach creative flexibility, this paper outlines the resulting toolkit and considers how teaching flexibility to enable effective and productive negotiation of new and emerging media technologies can help build digital inclusivity.

ii) Using dyadic writing in high-stakes emotionally-loaded 'conversation' Deak Kirkham

A number of the design features of spoken interaction – its  immediacy, interruption potential, (often) face-to-face  nature  and  the  rich  articulation  of  emotion  which  it  allows  –  can  be  argued  to  present difficulties  when  engaged  in  high-stakes,  emotionally-loaded  communication  such  as  arguments, disagreements and difficult decision-making.  With  this  in  mind,  I  report  on  my  own  experience(s)  of  conducting  high-stakes  dyadic  interactions using writing. Drawing on extracts from some of my own written high-stakes interactions, I argue that using writing for conducting argument, disagreement and difficult decision-making is both easily learnt and highly effective. Applications and limitations of the technique are also considered.

iii) Writer-designer-entrepreneur Andrew Weale

Creating and self-publishing a book is a thrilling and empowering artistic process. The question is: how do we take a writer from story creation to book design to publication and beyond? Andrew has lived this process with a completely new genre of book: a Photo Graphic Novel. In this highly interactive talk, he will give you a hands-on experience of activities that will help you to help students:

  • Generate stories from automatic ‘wild’ writing and visual stimuli such as photographs;
  • Design a book cover;
  • Launch their books into the market place.

10.30am       TEA/COFFEE

11am  Choice of:

A9: Edgelands Michael Loveday

How do we write about our urban-rural environments? “Edgelands”, as defined by writer Marion Shoard, are the places where urban and rural meet – a different kind of wilderness. This workshop will begin with a short presentation giving some context to the idea of “Edgelands” and the presenter’s own research interest in the topic. We’ll look at and discuss some examples of “Edgelands” literature and artwork, and you’ll be able to share your own experiences of urban-rural landscapes. In the second half you’ll focus on writing about an urban-rural landscape of your choice, and getting into “an edgelands state of mind”.

B9: Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp Tim Kelly, Alyson Morris, Lyle Weir

(FILM)

Story: Tales from a Refugee Camp is a project which involved creative writing lecturers from Coventry University delivering storytelling workshops in a refugee camp in Northern Greece. Students were from both the refugee and the host community as one of the aims of the project was to ‘break the wall’ that exists between the two communities. The project is being turned into a documentary film to follow on from 722 TMX: Engineer Battalion, the first documentary shot on camp. In this session we will screen or show excerpts from the film and highlight the creative work emerging from the camp.

C9: Making comics with Professor B Hannah Sackett

My research involves interviewing young cartoonists about their work and their changing artistic/creative practices. Each of these young people has been making comics for at least three years, and each has acquired a range of skills, insights and approaches that have the potential to inspire others in their own creative endeavours. This workshop will provide a brief introduction to the comics and processes of some of the young cartoonists I’ve interviewed, before moving on to a series of comic-making activities based on their work and practices.

· Make non-fiction comics with Professor B.

· Learn how to draw Punchanator!

· Challenge “The Most Dangerous Bake Off”

· No drawing experience necessary!

D9: Rhythm in Black and White Paul Graves

Writers must employ rhythm, not only in metered poetry but also as looser patterns in all creative writing, to stimulate and communicate with an audience. Any series of written words suggests a rhythmic oral presentation (or a few), yet writers often struggle to recognize and consciously manipulate those rhythms. I present a workshop that I use with second-language writers in English, for whom this difficulty is particularly acute. The workshop strengthens the link between the written and the spoken, for “hearing” a written page, and for “speaking” through a page being written.

E9: i) The Ghosting of Anne Armstrong: Creation, Reflection, and the Question of Research in the Contemporary Historiographical Novel Michael Cawood Green  

This practice-led paper is a reflection on the writing of a work of historical fiction which, in its concern with how history is constructed rather than simply deployed in fiction, may more properly be designated as a work of ‘historiographical’ fiction. Through it, I ask if a case may be made for metafictional devices being recognised as legitimate forms of practice research methodology. I investigate whether it is possible for a self-reflexive component internal to the creative work to fulfil the requirements for recognising practice as research whilst also serving as an inter-generative, vital part of the creative process.

ii) Where do the words go? Journeying with the ghosts of words past and present Kirsty Gunn and Gail Low

Who spoke then? What am I hearing? Whose voice sounded just now in my mind as though in my ear? When I sit down to write, an essay, a short story, a scholarly paper... What voice do I hear then - what tone is set for my writing, what timbre of speech? - before I even commit the first words to paper? This paper will investigate essay writing as providing a space in a classroom situation wherein all writers (and critics) may retrieve buried forms of expression from childhood, from diverse linguistic contexts, from different social and cultural situations. We will reflect on how triggering these temporal disjunctures in writing, laying bare these cultural, social and linguistic dissonances might unsettle, but may also provide a creative resource. The paper will reflect on absences as presences - absent pasts, absent mothers, linguistic apparitions, all of which speak to how the past erupts into the present, or is preserved within as metaphor, thus journeying backwards as a source of ideas and imagination.

F9: To sleep, perchance to write Julia Deakin

After so much excitement, Julia Deakin leads a workshop on how writers negotiate boundaries between sleep and wakefulness. Referencing fiction, non-fiction and contemporary poetry (bring a relevant favourite if possible) we will consider the impact of sleep and insomnia on creativity, exploring ways to turn each to our advantage. A chance to reflect, share, write, and even discreetly to nod off.

12.15pm PLENARY Conclusions & AGM

13.00 Close of Conference