York Literature Festival 2016

2016_programme2016 is shaping up to be a brilliant Literary year already!  The York Literature Festival is bigger and better than ever, the RSC are doing Dr Faustus (an A2 text, but also just brilliant so go and see it even if you’re not studying it!) and the final book of Justin Cronin’s post-apocalyptic trilogy is finally being released…

The York Literature Festival is huge and runs from 10th – 23rd March.  I’ve already booked my ticket to see Carol Ann Duffy (I’m so excited!) and I’m eyeing up a few more rather impressive looking events too. There’s a poetry writing competition, Literary walks, talks, readings, theatre and so much more.  It looks like it’ll be a superb couple of weeks so do make the most of the fact that we’re lucky enough to have it on our doorstep!

The website is here and  the programme is here.

Enjoy!

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Tutoring trips in York, books books books and excitement at PREP HQ!

OK, so PREP HQ is my little house in Heworth, but nonetheless, excitement abounds!

English trips for tutees (and their families)

You may have seen my previous post about the trips I’ll be running this year. Kicking us off on Sunday 10th October will be a visit to York’s newly reopened, beautiful Art Gallery, where we’ll get inspired and creative and write some wonderful verse to complement the paintings and sculptures we see!  All tutees are welcome – please remember that there is a small charge for entering the Gallery, and that Year 7-11 tutees will need to be accompanied by a parent.  Do get in touch if you’d like to join us!

Books, books, books

I’m a little ridiculously excited by my ‘Book of the Week’ campaign.  I’ve got to say that I had a really hard time whittling down my enormous list of ‘books everyone really must read’ to 52, but I got there in the end!  Week 1’s is Year of Wonders and it’s an absolute corker – historical fiction that goes way beyond the usual kings/bodices/beheadings that are popular at the moment.  It tells the true story of ‘the plague village’, Eyam, and is utterly compelling.

In other exciting book-y news, I’ve been asking tutees this week to tell me about their favourite books, and I’ll soon have a board of recommendations up for them all to peruse.  Parents are welcome to make contributions too of course!

 

Haikus rise at dawn

Haikus rise at dawnhaiku
through the dreamer’s protesting
yawns and make her sing.

Creative writing has long been part of the GCSE English syllabus in some form or another and some A level options allow students to write creatively too, but lots of adults shelve their creativity and inwardly decide that they weren’t ever very good anyway, so there’s no point in carrying on writing now they’ve got jobs and children and inlaws to contend with.  If you, like me, have exercise books full of slightly angsty teenage poems tucked away in the attic, make some time to dust them off and start writing again – you may be surprised at what’s tucked away between their cardboard covers and within your mind!

What do you gain from writing creatively?

  • Peace and quiet to do it (tell the kids that Mummy’s got to do her homework)
  • An outlet for your feelings
  • An excuse to use beautiful stationery
  • Space to explore your imagination
  • A chance to question yourself about your ideas and emotions
  • A new way to look at yourself

Put simply, creative writing, even the most fantastical of it, in some way reflects life.  Tell a story and you understand a little more of yourself and of the world around you.  It’s worth investing in.

I’ll be running creative writing workshops for adults very soon – get in touch for more details.