2013 Kingston University Pedagogy Conference

Pedagogy Flyer

KWS 1st International Conference, July 10th 2013

Pedagogy and Practice: Writing and Higher Education

Key Note: Philip Gross discusses ‘the writer: accident, improvisation, and limitation’

An Interview with Hanif Kureshi by Vesna Goldsworthy

For its first international conference, The Kingston University Writing School will present a one day conference of theoretical and practiced-based papers, workshops, panels, and performances that will add to our understanding of the relationships between Pedagogy and Practice in Higher Education.

This one-day conference hosts a series of panels on the possible relationships between pedagogy and the practice of writing in higher education. The conference will consider all forms of writing, from creative writing and poetry workshops to life writing, autobiography and memoir, journalism, digital publishing, blogging and writing for social media.

The conference will provide a valuable opportunity to reflect on the debates about writing and pedagogy and will showcase experimental approaches to writing and teaching methods from a diverse body of researchers and practitioners.

Our Keynote speaker is Philip Gross, Course director, Masters/PhD in Creative Writing at University of Glamorgan. Philip is a writer of many parts from prize-winning poetry, young adult novels, science fiction, opera libretti, poem-documentaries. He is also a creative writing teacher at all levels.

After a morning of panels and workshops, Professor Vesna Goldsworthy will interview Hanif Kureshi and there will be an open mike reading with special guests in the evening including S J Fowler, Kimberley Campanello, Allison Gibb, Jane Yeh and others.

Two of our MFAs will be participating in the New Practitioners Ponder Pedagogy panel, Lucy Furlong & Sinead Keegan with Creative Writing & Pedagogy MAs, Amber Koski and Joshua Poncil. MFA alumna and Emerging Writer-in-Residence, Alison Gibb, will be participating in the Pedagogic Innovations in Creative Writing panel with MFA lecturer, James Miller. All conference attendees also have the opportunity to take a workshop with either Alison or James.

Book your tickets here. Or email Amber for information on the free tickets still available.

For more information please contact Amber Koski – k1246713@kingston.ac.uk

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Summer Reading Series at the Rose Theatre: 10 July 2013 Event

Frog Prince Communication

MFA student Vivienne Raper has been hard at work with several other students and the Rose Theatre in Kingston-upon-Thames to organise a brilliant series of public readings beginning on the 10th of July in the Rose Theatre’s Culture Cafe. The series will kick off with N M Browne reading on the theme of transformations. Short stories, poetry and other short forms of writing on this theme are welcomed from the public! Email vivienneraper@gmail.com to book your open mic slot or turn up on the day to see if there are still spaces left. Pieces should be no longer than 5 minutes in length.

Not to worry if you can’t make this event, there will be events in August, September and October with headline readers and Writers-in-Residence Kayo Chingonyi, Mark Barrowcliffe and MFA lecturer James Miller and open mic slots every month.

This is a wonderful opportunity to meet writers, get involved with Kingston Writing School and to get public exposure if you’re a writer, yourself!

Kingston Connections 2013

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Kingston Connections starts in The Rose Theatre Kingston today. An exciting collaboration between the university, Royal Borough of Kingston, The Rose and Creative Youth, we are offering a heady mixture of dance, talks, poetry, theatre, music, writing workshops, science discussions. There’s even the chance to be part of a psychology experiment. Come along and join in!

Highlights today include a talk on genes (10:30am), a poetry reading (12:00pm) and a free workshop on self-publishing (5:30pm).

The full programme (as a PDF) and booking information is available on the Rose Theatre website.

MFA lecturers, tutors and writers in residence to be featured include:

Monday, 24 June 2013, 3:30-5:30pm, Rose Theatre – novelists Adam Baron & James Miller in conversation. Why Do You Write?

Tuesday, 25 June 2013, 12:00-1:00pm, Rose Theatre – poet Jane Yeh reads with Emily Berry.

Tuesday, 25 June 2013, 6:00-7:00pm, Rose Theatre – author Courttia Newland discusses how he has used his own life in his fiction. Life Writing: A Life in Fiction: autobiography and the novel. **Editor’s note: We regret to announce that Courttia’s talk has been cancelled. There are still lots of great events on this week, though, so get thee to Kingston!

Kingston students, alumni and staff can get free or reduced admission to most events!

Georgia Fitch: Playwright, Radio Scriptwriter and Screenwriter

Georgia Fitch

Georgia Fitch is an East London-born playwright. She began her career as an actress and started writing in order to create more interesting roles that represented the women she knew. Initially, Georgia partnered with Tracy O’Flaherty and they had their first major success with The Footballer’s Wife (1997). Georgia has since independently written numerous plays for the stage and radio as well as a television drama. She is most well-known for Adrenalin Heart (2002) which premiered at the Bush and then went on to be performed at the Tokyo Theatre Festival in 2004.

Georgia was  Writer in Residence at the Bush Theatre, London, with O’Flaherty in 2001. In 2004, she was Writer in Residence at BBC Radio. From 2006 to 2008, she was on attachment to the Royal Court and Soho Theatre. She is currently Writer-in-Residence at Kingston University.

Her most recent work, Blair’s Children, co-written with April de Angelis, Anders Lustgarten, Mark Norfolk and Paula Stanic, opened at The Cockpit Theatre, Marylebone on 05 June 2013 and runs until 21 June 2013. You can find more information and purchase tickets for Blair’s Children here.

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Bibliography:

Plays:

Blair’s Children – The Cockpit Theatre, 2013

Fit and Proper People – Soho Theatre/RSC, 2011

Dirty Dirty Princess – National Theatre, New Connections, 2009

I Like Mine with a Kiss – Bush Theatre, 2007

Adrenalin  Heart – Bush Theatre, 2002,2004

Alone – Etc Theatre, 2000

Arrivals – Old Red Lion, 1999

Come Dancing – (Co-written with Tracy O’Flaherty) Old Red Lion, 1998

The Footballer’s Wife – (Co-written with Tracy O’Flaherty) Riverside Studios, 1997

Radio:

Up The Junction– BBC Radio 4 – 2013

The Mother of – BBC Radio 4, 2007

Untitled Lover – BBC Radio 4, 2007
Fortunes Always Hiding – BBC Radio 4, 2005

Romeo and Juliet in Southwark –  BBC, 2004

Produced in collaboration with Shakespeare’s Globe and Kingsdale School, Dulwich

Adrenalin Heart – BBC Radio 3, 2003

Television:

Darke Town – (Co-written with Lucy Catherine and Ryan Craig) BBC Drama, 2006

Other:

Dis-Assembly – (An installation created with Runa Islam) Sepentine Gallery, 2006

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Recommended Reading:

Plays to read:

A Raisin in the Sun – Lorraine Hansberry

The Visit – Fredrich Durrenmatt

Saved – Edward Bond

Whistle in the Dark – Tom Murphy

Ecstasy – Mike Leigh

Masterpieces – Sarah Daniels

Films to view:

Cathy Come Home – Ken Loach

Nil by Mouth – Gary Oldman

A Seperation – Asghar Farhadi

Source Materials:

How Plays Work – David Edgar

The Art Of Dramatic Writing – Lajos Egri

The Writers Journey – Christopher Vogler

The Hero’s Journey – Joseph Campbell

Dark nights of the Soul – Thomas Moore

The Twittering Writer

Sinéad Keegan is an Irish-born writer in the final year of her MFA at Kingston and currently writing her first novel. Her short stories and poetry and have been published in several magazines and she blogs at www.sineadkeegan.com. Twitter: @sineadkeegan. She is the editor of No Dead White Men and recently taught a course in blogging and social media for Kingston Writing School.

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When I tell people that I edit a blog for which other people write and that does fairly well in terms of hits-per-day, I usually get a look that says, “Oh, so you’re not one of those ‘writers’ who says she writes, but really just mucks around in her pajamas all day.”  But the minute I say that I use Facebook and Twitter I can see them picturing me back in my red, snowflake, flannel pajamas clutching a cup of coffee, surfing the internet for cat videos and calling it “writing”.

This is, unfortunately perhaps, untrue on several fronts. First, my snowflake pajamas aren’t flannel and I wear pink or blue tracksuit bottoms when I’m working from home. Second, I don’t drink coffee. And third, I don’t while away time on the internet. That is not to say I don’t waste time. I do. I, like all self-respecting writers, am a connoisseur of procrastination techniques. It’s just that I prefer ones that make me feel productive. I cook. I do chores – the house is never cleaner than when I’m on a deadline. I catch up on emails – has it really been 6 months since I went through my junk folder? And I read. I read a lot. In the name of research, of course.

Catherine has covered procrastination quite eloquently, however, so I won’t dwell on it. So the question that remains is: What am I doing on Twitter and Facebook then?

I’m being a writer. Honest.

Granted, I spend some of my time reading articles about writing and writers, some of dubious research value such as this one from The Onion. But for the most part, the hour a day I spend on social media is spent making and keeping connections, working with writing communities and, of course, some shameless self-promotion. Writers, if you don’t do it, no one else will.

That said, I offer some guidelines for how to shamelessly self-promote without driving your social media ‘friends’ crazy.

1. Treat your Facebook and Twitter profiles like you do your LinkedIn profile. You wouldn’t put photos of you mooning the guards outside Buckingham Palace while chugging back a plastic bottle of vodka on LinkedIn, so don’t do it on Facebook. You might well be on your way to writing The Old Man and the Sea, but don’t make us all watch, Hemingway didn’t.

2. Put up a link and leave it. I know you really want to post everything you do everywhere, but, chances are, if you do that, your friends are going to see the link 30,000 times. If I see a link from the same person more than twice, I make it a point not to look at it. Maybe that’s just spite on my part, but if you have to advertise that hard, it makes me think something else went wrong. Also re-tweeting 20 tweets at a time is irritating, it just gums up my feed with people that I don’t follow – perhaps for a reason.

3. Which brings me to the next point: Slow and steady. Yep, back to the tortoise and the hare. You have to give yourself and your reputation time to grow. The next big thing, the person with the meteoric rise to stardom and success? Most likely, it took them ages and if it didn’t, they probably won’t be around for too long.

4. Slow and steady requires consistency. Above all be consistent and reliable. Everyone, from agents, to publishers, to readers want consistency. If you blog, really blog. Don’t blog once every 2 or 6 or 14 months. Pick a time frame and stick to it. (Says she, shamefully, not having updated her own blog in over a month) If you tweet, tweet daily or weekly, but NOT hourly. You don’t have that many interesting things to say. Trust me. You don’t.

5. Build the brand. First, you have to know your brand. What are you and what do you want to be? What do you write? Who is your audience and how do you find them? Follow people like you on Twitter, find groups like you on Facebook, get in contact with bloggers like you. You can choose to look at other writers as competition or as a network. Accountants don’t refuse to speak to other accountants so why do we do that in the arts? If your writing is good enough, you can get published and if you don’t it’s not because someone else “stole your spot.” If it isn’t good enough, you (probably) won’t get published (insert your angrily shouted exceptions here). Why do those accountants network? Because it’s all about who you know. And don’t let anyone tell you otherwise: it’s the same in writing. Contacts can mean everything. Work them.

So for an hour each day, I give myself permission not to write and I sit down and think long-term. What do I want? How do I get it? How to I take a step toward that today? Then I tweet, blog or post on Facebook or just support the other people in my community, because I want them to succeed too. Success breeds success and that can only be good for our struggling arts.

J. Robert Lennon on This American Life

j robert lennon

2012 MFA Resident, J. Robert Lennon, was recently featured on an episode of the Public Radio International program, This American Life. He reads an excerpt from his short story “The Accursed Items” in episode 205: Plan B.

You can read more about J. Robert Lennon on No Dead White Men, here.

Information about the MFA Residency Series, including a description of the series and writer profiles, is available here.

Martin Daws

Martin DawsMartin Daws is a performance poet and spoken word artist. He leads community and youth workshops across the country and regularly performs his work at events around the UK and Ireland. He was declared Farrago Slam Champ twice, was runner-up for both the John Tripp Award for Spoken Poetry in 2007and the Glastonbury Festival Slam in 2008. His 2008 debut at the Edinburgh Festival earned a five star review. He has been published in numerous international journals and is the author of Skin Tight the Sidewalk, a book/CD. He is Poet in Residence at Moelyci Environment Centre, North Wales. In April 2013 Martin Daws was announced by Literature Wales as The Young People’s Laureate for Wales. In this role Martin is working with young people all over Wales developing their engagement and enjoyment with spoken word poetry. Martin blogs at www.youngpeopleslaureate.org. Follow his twitter feeds @martindaws and @yplwales.

In the late 1980s Martin began DJ-ing in London and in 1994, after experiencing the New York slam scene, he combined his passion for music and language into performance poetry. His work still retains strong ties to music, running youth workshops on creative writing and rap, and collaborating with various musicians. Notably, he has worked with dancer Sarah Mumford on the WID performance ‘Don’t Step on the Cracks’. His experimental performances with electro-acoustic composer Rob Mackay have toured four continents.

Martin is a Writer-in-Residence with Kingston Writing School and on 19 March 2013, he taught a Teaching & Writing Workshop.

More information about Martin and his work is available at his website www.martindaws.com.

 

Bibliography:

Skin Tight The Sidewalk, 2009

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Recommended Reading:

The Invisible Man – Ralph Ellison

Smokin’ Lovely – Willie Perdomo

Said the Shotgun to the Head – Saul Williams

The Wasteland – T.S. Elliot

Learning to be White – Thandeka

Pure Time? Pure Nonsense

Lisa Davison is an editor by day and fiction writer/Kingston MA student by spare time. She is currently writing her first novel and was published in the 2012 edition of Kingston’s student anthology, Ripple. She blogs at www.thegreatepuzzle.co.uk and tweets as @LisaJaneDavison. She loves cats and paper.

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I have a confession. My name is Lisa Davison and I am leading a double life. By day, I am a mild-mannered (sort-of) professional copywriter and editor who meets deadlines, turns up for meetings on time and generally manages to sift through the ‘to do’ list in a sensible fashion. By night (and early mornings and weekends), though, I turn into THE PROCRASTINATOR.

My weakness? TIME MANAGEMENT.

Because it turns out the only superpower this title bestows upon me is an extraordinary ability to do the washing when I should be developing character, building plot, or – I don’t know – writing. I have a few theories on why I spend so much time avoiding the thing I love but I’ll save that for the therapist.

The thing is, I don’t know anyone who feels that they have enough time in their life to sit and write, and let’s face it the mild-mannered (sort of) copywriter/editor is paying the bills right now. I also realise I’m not the only one with pressures and deadlines; in many ways I have fewer than most friends since I don’t have kids. I know they’re capable of being distracted – I can see you on Facebook and Twitter so don’t pretend – but they appear to have mastered the art of balance. Or at least, they don’t moan about it as much as I do. I, on the other hand, appear to have created a whole series of convoluted, deeply-held beliefs about the way I should manage my time.

Example: I have a free Sunday coming up with hour upon glorious hour of free time with which to sit and write. Perfect. Because I have told myself I need hour upon glorious hour in order to be creative. The procrastinator likes to call it ‘pure’ time. Only, when Sunday arrives I quite unexpectedly discover I need to tidy my desk first, put the washing on first, hoover first (it’s pathetic how little has changed since I was last at university – although a lot more alcopops were involved) and once all that’s done I’m left with only one hour. And I can’t possibly sit down for an hour to write because the procrastinator has declared I’m out of pure time.

I’ve also wasted a lot energy asking other writers how they manage their minutes and hours, as if there is some Holy Grail of time management that I don’t yet know about. The answer is often terribly dull: planning helps, sitting down at your desk and doing it helps more.

So, as I enter the thirty-seventh year of my life I’ve decided 2013 will be the year of GETTING ON WITH IT. Like any problem, identification is half the battle. Now that I’ve spotted my insane pure time theory I can go about dismantling it. Already, I have spent a weekend away with writing friends doing nothing but story plan and character development. As it turns out, planning really does help. I’ve also started to identify – and more importantly use – the odd hour here, the spare fifteen minutes there to just put something, anything, down on paper. Award-winning it ain’t, but then that’s not the point. As Philip Pullman said in an interview with The Guardian in 2011: “if you only write when you want to, or when you feel like it, or when it’s easy, you’ll always be an amateur.”

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