Posts Tagged ‘anthology’

Through the Aether

Through the Aether – the 2012 student anthology

I’m very very tired today. Exhausted. But I’ve been busy adding extra things to my todo list and coming up with new ideas … like I don’t have enough to do!

Why do I do it? That’s easy. I hate it when my life is boring, so I make sure it doesn’t get that way. I want to know everything and do everything, and I never quite believe in my own limitations. And… there are some things that just have to be done.

Last night was a perfect example of one of those things. I’ve blethered on about my involvement in the Nottingham University Creative and Professional Writing / Fine Art student anthology a lot over the last two and a half years (for example, here). Yesterday, the 2012 anthology – Through the Aether – was launched into the world in the Sillitoe Room at Waterstones Nottingham, and what a launch it was. I was so proud of Emily Cooper and Christian Ashton, this year’s editors. Grant Kent, last year’s editor, was there too… along with over a hundred other people… it was wonderful.

Niki Valentine (our course leader) talked about the need to ‘keep on keeping on’. This is certainly what I’ve been doing over the last few years, dealing with the odd problem or two but plugging away at building a new career for myself and learning how to be a writer. It felt like last night was a culmination of so many aspects of that. I won’t be involved in the anthology project any more, not even as a mentor. I’ve finished my degree – actually I handed in my last assignment nearly two months ago, so officially I guess I finished then, but somehow the launch event felt like my final act as a student. I guess, because of that, it could have been a sad occasion for me. But it wasn’t. It was intensely joyful. Watching fellow students and fellow writers confidently and skilfully performing their work, seeing the delight on the audience members’ faces, even small things like seeing extra chairs having to be brought out because so many people turned up to support us… it was magical. And it’s exactly why I keep on keeping on.

What was that…?

Yes, of course I took photos!

Getting ready - Christian, Emily and Shane Maxwell-Atkin

Getting ready for the event – Christian and Emily with Shane Maxwell-Atkin, Waterstones’ events manager

The audience starts to arrive

The audience starts to arrive…

Looking natural for the camera

Matt Sawyer, Sam Fallows and Veronique Falconer try to look natural for the camera…

About to start

About to start… and it’s standing room only!

Emily and Christian welcoming everyone

Emily and Christian welcome everyone to the event. Not a sign of nerves – totally professional.

Course leader Niki Valentine

Course leader Niki Valentine

Christian and Emily

Christian and Emily watching the performances

Some of the performers

Some of the performers (sorry I didn’t get everyone – my camera battery ran out).
Top row, right to left: Lisa Shipman, Veronique Falconer, Sam Fallows, Jim Hall.
Bottom row: Lum Huey Shan, Sadie Greening, Matt Sawyer, Bee Patience.

And I had to finish with this photo – taken by Helen’s friend Alan – I hope he doesn’t mind me pinching it.

All the editors

All the anthology editors so far, holding our babies!
From left to right: me (2010), Christian and Emily (2012) and Grant (2011)


Read Full Post »

Just… wow…

Just got proofs for Into the River publicity material.

Into the River publicity material

Eight postcards and one bookmark

Am speechless.
Into the River publicity material

And their backsides.

Into the River publicity material

I just couldn't stop taking pictures...

Thank you SO much to Ian Collinson of Parker and Collinson printers for making our words and pictures into something amazing!

Read Full Post »

Into the River

Just in case you were wondering what this anthology thing is all about… follow this link and click on the gorgeous picture for a sneak preview of some of the material.

I am inordinately proud of what we’ve achieved.

Read Full Post »

So, Pip, why is it important?

I’m glad you asked me that. It’s my mother’s birthday. She’ll be partying with my brother and the sheep, I’ve no doubt. Hacking brambles in the field, or hedge-laying, or worming lambs, or some such fun and games…

Happy Birthday Mum!

You’re missing something, aren’t you?

…and then there’s the election thing. I’m a bit fed up with that. I live in a marginal constituency (Broxtowe) so the only way I can vote is Labour – Nick Palmer is a reasonably good MP and had a slim majority last time round. I’d like to vote Green, but can’t afford to let the awful tory woman get in. I posted my vote last Thursday, so the last seven days have been even more irrelevant to me. It was nice to realise this morning that the BBC avoids politics until the polls close on election day. The Today Programme was so much better for it…

I am looking forward to watching the Channel 4 election night coverage though, David Mitchell, Charlie Brooker and Jimmy Carr… should be great fun. Hopefully #1 son will stay up with me.

So, how’s life in the writing world, Pip?

The anthology is nearly done. The printed anthology, I should say. I’ll be battling red tape this afternoon to get all the bits and bobs finalised, then delivering the PDFs to the printer tomorrow lunchtime. I’m ridiculously nervous about the whole thing. I stayed up till 2am last night proof-reading, and only discovered one mistake (a misaligned page number) so I twiddled with the layout on a few pages just to make myself feel better.

I’m sitting in the library (oops, sorry, the Djanogly Learning Resource Centre) today, which is the Most Bizarre building – it’s an ascending spiral which expands as you go up – you can see a bit of it in this rather nice photo of a heron.
Heron by the DLRC
I thought it would be a good place to work but it’s full of whispering students, and there’s a woman below who’s feeding the ducks, which is fascinating. Three baby moorhens had a fight over a crust with an ENORMOUS fish. They won. Yay birds!

I’m actually trying to sort out a poetry collection for the Templar competition, but there are too many distractions. Damn you, ubiquitous internet and wonders of nature.

So, what else is new?

I heard yesterday I’ve been accepted onto a “Students in Classrooms” scheme. I will bravely venture into a local secondary school for three weeks in June/July, and attempt to help teach the little darlings English.

Can’t decide whether to feel sick or excited!

Read Full Post »

Fine words

Much of my time has been taken up with production of the student anthology recently. I spent 12 hours today on it, punctuated only by a trip to the dentist. Portfolios for my degree course (which need to be handed in next week) haven’t had a look-in. Oh well, there’s always tomorrow.

I’m rather pleased with the note from the editor I wrote this morning, so I thought I’d share it with you:

We are Creative and Professional Writers, and Fine Artists.

Not content with that, we continually strive to become better writers and artists. We learn from our teachers, those who have walked further along our path and are willing to show us the way. We learn from other writers and artists by appreciating their work. We learn by noticing everything around us and by making connections between abstract concepts and concrete objects or events. And most importantly, we learn by doing. We write. We draw, paint, take photos. We create words and images that are increasingly effective at communicating a vision, a story, an idea, a person, a landscape.

As we practise and improve our skills, we naturally want to display the results. In the autumn of 2009 a group of students came up with what seemed like a far-fetched idea at the time – to publish a professionally-produced anthology of students’ work. A very steep learning curve and a lot of hard work followed. We called for submissions, we selected and polished the pieces to be included, we recorded the writers performing their work, we created a website, we planned and rehearsed several live performances, we typeset the anthology and had it printed. All that work turned the idea into the reality you hold in your hands today. We’re proud of what we have achieved so far, not only our writing and art, but also the anthology itself.

It is our job to create powerful images and pieces of writing which will convey something meaningful to you. We want to make you laugh and cry, reflect on your own experience in a new light, gasp and say, ‘I hadn’t thought of it like that.’ Most of all, we want you to be glad you’ve taken the time to read this book.

We hope you will enjoy our work.

The blurb I wrote for the back cover this evening wasn’t nearly so fine – I shan’t inflict that on you.

Read Full Post »