Festival of Fiction 20-22 September 2019
The University of Bristol held a Festival of Fiction on 20-22 September 2019. Three days of courses on fiction and creative writing from detective fiction to medieval Bristol; from African and Caribbean writing to creative writing for beginners.
Friday 20 September 2019
“The Simple Art of Murder”: Death and Detection in Classic Crime Fiction, Sian Harris (Fiction)
This course considers the enduring appeal of classic detective fiction, with a focus on writers from the British Golden Age and the American Hard-Boiled traditions, including Agatha Christie and Raymond Chandler. What factors shaped their approach to fiction, what 'rules' did they establish for the genre, and - perhaps more importantly - how often did they break them? We will have the chance to explore these contrasting styles, discuss their iconic protagonists, and chart their influence on later generations of writers.
The Wild and the Tame: Poetry in the Garden, Jack Thacker (poet) (Creative Writing)
Drawing inspiration from the University’s own Royal Fort Gardens, this workshop will encourage participants to consider the extent to which the garden is the ideal place to contemplate and write poems. After paying attention to shape, form and control in the work of other green-fingered poets, you will be given the opportunity to take to the lawn and have a go yourself. The workshop will allow for supportive workshopping of your work-in-progress and will end with a brief (voluntary) poetry reading.
Saturday 21 September 2019
Dickensian Diseases: Charles Dickens from the Nineteenth Century to the Present Day, Joan Passey (F)
What do we mean when we say something is 'Dickensian'? How is Dickens so associated with images of Victorian London? This day school explores the impact of Charles Dickens' work from the nineteenth century to the present day, from how we view illness to how we brand gin. It will investigate Dickens' earliest works to see how he developed into one of the nation's most celebrated authors, and how he both reported and shaped the world around him. We will focus on Dickens in context, and discuss illustrations, the industrial revolution, the gin craze, prison life, superstitions and spirits, and much more besides.
FULLY BOOKED - Exploring Creative Writing Taster, Rachel Bentham (Creative writing)
Want to see what fun you can have with creative writing? Come to our beginners workshop and try out different exercises to limber up your approach to writing in an informal and positive atmosphere? This will be a playful day of doing, thinking and talking about a range of writing including prose, flash fiction and poetry using a range of exercises and examples. There will also be chances to get feedback about your on-the-spot writing from the group if you want, (but its not compulsory!). Led by our brilliant and prizewinning tutor, Rachel Bentham, who has published and broadcast work in prose, poetry and script and runs Bristol's regular series of Fiction Writing Workshops.
Bringing People Together Through Reading: From “Frankenstein” to “Bridget Jones”, Katie Fuge
(Reading Group Workshop) Setting up a reading group can be an immensely rewarding experience. This session uses a real-life example to explore how social spaces can be built around shared reading and literature in ways that build self-confidence and inter-personal relationships. With practical advice on choosing different literature to discuss, as well as hints and tips on facilitating sessions, this course will aid those looking to establish new reading groups. Based on my personal experience of setting up and running a group for new mothers, using poems, extracts and short stories, the format is suitable for a wide range of purposes. Attendees will leave armed with ideas, along with a clear structure and a selection of useful literature, providing a head start on getting a group up and running. A Taster from one of the English Literature and Community Engagement BA's community-engaged projects
Sunday 22 September 2019
The Art of Grief - Bereavement, Art and Literature, Anne Baden-Daintree (Fiction)
This day school explores the ways in which writers, poets and artists address grief and bereavement in their art. We will be reading and discussing extracts from memoir, fiction, poetry and visual art in order to understand how such authors and artists engage with the processes of mourning, the commemoration of the dead, and theoretical models of grief. Authors studied may include Milton, Hardy, Tennyson, Don DeLillo, Anne Carson, Carol Muske-Dukes, C.S. Lewis, Janet Paisley and Douglas Dunn.
Bad faith, authenticity, and the life-world: connecting philosophy to fiction, Tina Williams
How do we experience the world? What gets in the way of us understanding ourselves and the people or things around us? On this course, we will explore how making links between fiction and philosophy can help us to examine our own lives and our relationships with those who are not like us (the Other). Using Arthur Miller's play 'All My Sons' and other contemporary fiction, we will think together about lived experienced through examples of the traumatised body and altered relationships to the world through anxiety, depression, and chronic illness. This will also uncover what, if anything, we owe to not just ourselves, but to others and the environment around us.
There are no entry requirements. Places are allocated on a first come, first served basis.
The online shop is now closed but we still have a few spaces on the Saturday and Sunday courses so please contact Valentine Jackson on firstname.lastname@example.org to book your space and you can pay on the day.
Cost: £37 per course, or £15 for those who qualify for assistance – speak to our team for more details.
All courses will take place at the Priory Road Complex, Priory Road, University of Bristol.
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