I’ve Just Noticed

The next open event at Edge Hill is on the same day that the new season of the Premier League kicks off! Yes, it’s on the 18th of this month, but please don’t let that put you off. In fact, the event takes place between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., so you’ll still be able to watch Liverpool play West Brom afterwards. You can find out more about the open event here http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/events/2012/08/18/open-event, and I recommend you come along to get a taster of the great campus and also ask some questions about your course. You can find out more about Liverpool FC on their website (I’m sure it’s already in your favourites, so I won’t give you a link 😛 ).

Speaking of getting to know your courses, my next post will be a look at more best bits from English and Creative Writing, so don’t miss that!

Community

I was at my graduation a little over a week ago, and me and my family had a really great time. Don’t worry though, this isn’t going to be a post dedicated to that. Since you guys are still in the process of coming to Edge Hill, I know there are fewer things farther from your mind than that! So why mention it then? Well, because it reminded me of all the great things about the university. The day of celebration was like a small representation of the awesomeness I’ve been lucky enough to have been a part of over the three years, and I hope  you get to share in it soon too.

One thing I always look forward to at an Edge Hill event is the hospitality. They put on a great range of foodstuffs from sandwiches (better than the one in the picture!) to chicken skewers to doughnuts and much much more, almost making the catering better than the event! The staff at Edge Hill that help out at these functions are, as they are in any capacity at the university (tutors definitely included), extremely friendly and supportive and make you feel so welcome. That’s something you’ll feel the benefits of very soon when you go to the Freshers’ Fair, it really is a second-to-none experience at a second-to-none university.

Speaking of facilities, though, another thing I’m really missing about not still studying at Edge Hill is the way the facilities are so helpful to learning. Whether it be the numerous quality cafes around the place for a caffeine pick-me-up, or the great food bars around tempting you with a delicious and nutritious lunch, the overall feeling you get is one of freedom; having every option open to you whenever you want.

So the post has mainly centred around the catering facilities, yes, but it still goes to show what a lot Edge Hill has to offer you. All you need when you come here is get involved, check out some of these events (visiting authors are always a pleasure to go and see, maybe you’ll get your book signed while you’re there) and have one of the best experiences of your life.

Memories Are Made Of This – Part 4

Hello and welcome (back) to my Edge Hill memories series, focusing on my three years studying English and Creative Writing. Yes it has been the best three years of my life, but if you’re thinking about coming here then you’ll want to know more about the ins and outs, so I hope you enjoy!

Today I’m looking at Scriptwriting, which is the main reason I went to Edge Hill in the first place (so far I’ve looked at the Literature, Fiction and Poetry parts of my course, hope you enjoyed them too!). I remember when I first arrived, I had no idea how to even format a script, but true to the Edge Hill way, I was supported right from the off. We were given advice by the tutors, extremely handy handouts and even got pointed in the direction of industry-specific software from giants such as the BBC. This kind of approach, I feel, really is at the cutting edge. It really gives you the tools, tells you how to use them and then lets you practise, even showing you ways from the start that you could impress employers.

My first memory of scripts at Edge Hill was bringing my first short film in to a seminar to be looked over and workshopped by my peers. They were too nice about it, so the tutor came along with a red pen and scribbled alllll over it. After he went away from our table they started saying ‘wow, he was harsh,’ but I didn’t think so at all. He put me on the right path from day one, made sure that I stayed that way throughout the course and I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it.

Another great memory (there are almost too many to choose from, believe me!) has come at the end of the course in the form of the module known as ‘The Writers’ Workshop’. It’s not specifically dedicated just to scriptwriters, it’s actually down to each student to choose what they’d like to work on. The idea is that you’re working towards a larger piece of work that you’ll be able to present to employers as a kind of calling card. It differs from other modules in that there’s a bigger focus on the writers’ community and constructive criticism from your classmates. It’s been a great experience (hard work but well worth it!) and all the students can be proud that they’ve helped not only themselves but others too.

I think that’s a fitting tribute to the uni as a whole; it really is a great way to get ahead personally, but there are so many opportunities to get involved with others as well. Edge Hill is not only going to educate you and improve your chances of gettng your dream job, but the community you’ll be a part of will also be part of the reward.

Answers to the Ultimate Questions

I remember this time of year three years ago, when I was applying to my five universities through UCAS. I was as worried about choosing the right place to study as Wimbledon-watchers are about the rain. Still, unlike Andy Murray, I had a lot more success at the end of the process because, for me, Edge Hill is the top trophy. I’ve written a bit about why I went, but today I’m talking about how.

Some of you will probably already have had an experience of Edge Hill’s supportive nature and I hope you trust me when I say it will carry on being supportive all the way through you degree (even afterwards!). Once I’d made my uni choices, all sorts of letters from them, thanking me for applying and whatnot. Some of them included student union publications, which were mainly full of pictures of sweaty, over-hair gelled ravers, not exactly the best impression of a uni’s social scene! There was a lot of information, sometimes too much, but no-one ever answered all my questions.

Edge Hill, however, handled this side of the application process perfectly. They were very much like the third stage of the Goldilocks and the Three Bears story. There wasn’t too little information, there wasn’t too much. It was just right. And they only contacted with relevant stuff. I remember how important a comfortable campus was for me, and the accomodation, facilities and entertainment information you get sent made it a no-brainer. Of course, now Edge Hill has The HUB building, which has made the campus even better than it was when I came, it’s a great focal point in a thriving environment.

Once you’ve been accepted you’ll also get information on what you’ll need to pack, any things you’ll need to sign up for and a whole load of amazing things you can do during Freshers’ Week. But, if this isn’t enough, why not get in touch? You can do that here http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/contactus, they’d love to hear from you! The uni really does do all it can to give you answers to the ultimate questions, so get involved and find out just how much fun you’ll have here.

The Euros Are Here!

 

Yes indeedy, love or loathe football you’re gonna be hard pressed to escape it this next month as teams from the four corners of Europe come together to duke it out on the pitch. Don’t worry though, this isn’t going to be a post about my predictions for 2012, I’d only get them wrong anyway! No, this is a post about beginnings. It’s a beginning for footballers and fans across Europe, it’s the beginning of some better weather here in Ormksirk (it’s been gorgeous for ages but then we’ve had a few wet days lately) and hopefully your new beginning at Edge Hill only a matter of months away.

            I remember when I first started three fantastic years ago. It’s this time of year, when the weather’s nice and there’s plenty of reasons to go out that Ormskirk really comes alive. I stayed in halls my first year and the atmosphere is great. You make friends really quick when a load of you are living together, and in the evenings there were always a fair few kick-abouts happening on the grass on campus (for when the outdoor pitches were full, that is), so you get to know people from other halls quickly too. It’s such a friendly atmosphere, I can’t believe I was ever worried about going!

            Of course, if the kick-arounds don’t quench your appetite for footy, the uni bar will gladly oblige. Yes, my local in the first year was a grand total of two minutes away from my bed. You’ll never have it as good as you will at Edge Hill, I can guarantee you. I used to go and watch Liverpool play down there, the beers cheap and the bar staff are great, what more could you ask?

            If that doesn’t satisfy you, well then you are a true football fan! Liverpool is just a short train ride away and is home to some of the best football on the planet. My first time at Anfield was mind blowing. Really, there’s been nothing to compare it with, no live music I’ve ever seen or even playing sport myself, it was one of the best moment of my life. I suppose I should try and be more balanced in this post, I don’t want to upset anyone. Manchester is also close on the train, but there’s no point going there if you want to watch football… Do they have any teams down there? 😛

            So that’s it folks, if footy fever has got your temperature up at the minute you can’t do much better than come to Edge Hill. The friendly atmosphere and the opportunity to take part in many sports on many different levels are just a couple of reasons why the university is so popular, so supportive and so enjoyable. The future begins today!

Don’t Be A Stranger

So as the uni year draws to a close for more and more students at Edge Hill, what’s going to happen now? Is the university closing its doors, battening down the hatches and generally going into hibernation? NO! Of course it’s not, Edge Hill is still very much alive with activity, and you might want to come and experience it.

Whatever stage you’re in for applying to university, still come and have a look. If you’re unsure where you want to go to study, then there’s really nothing like a visit to inform you. Not only do you get more information on your course, but also you’ll get a flavour of the campus and Ormskirk. When I was applying, I even came here after making my choices with UCAS, partly because I liked the place so much but also to familiarise myself with it a bit more. Here’s a link to the open day page on the Edge Hill website with dates and booking information http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/undergraduate/events/opendays.

There are other reasons to come and visit too, such as going to the Rose Theatre, Edge Hill’s on-campus theatre. This is a great way to get the Edge Hill experience without being on an open day, you’ll get to see the campus and test out some of the facilities, all while being entertained. Can’t be bad, right? I’ve got my eye on an upcoming production by Edge Hill students called Wonderland: The Trials of Alice which is on the 25th and 26th of this month. It’s completely open to the public, as the Short Cuts cinema is too, so don’t be shy! Come down and have a good time 🙂 Here’s a link to the Rose Theatre website for more details and opportunities to see something amazing http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/rosetheatre/whatson.

So, what are you waiting for? Make sure that after you visit you come back soon!

Better than a Hammock

I had my last ever assessment for my degree last Friday. An exam for ‘Beyond English’, where I wrote an essay on semantics, was my finale to three years’ worth of work, and I think it went okay. This isn’t a post about what I’m up to, though, I’d actually like to tell you a story about the build up to this exam, and how it shows the level of support given to each and every student at Edge Hill.

It was Thursday, the day before my exam, and I was at home busy revising when I got a call on my mobile. I wasn’t expecting a call, but when I picked it up it was someone from the Edge Hill offices, telling me that the room for the exam had changed. I hear sometimes from my friends at other universities how bad they are at communication with their students, and I think that’s a real shame. At Edge Hill, the tutors are all really confident about using the online learning tools (namely ‘Learning Edge’, which you’ll become well acquainted with upon arrival!) and tell you about upcoming changes and the like as soon as possible. In this case, with the change happening so soon, they actually took the time to ring around all the affected students so that they’d be made aware.

That to me indicates a fantastic level of support. I’d say it was even better than a hammock!

The Start of an Era

Last Friday saw my final lesson as a BA student at Edge Hill. It was quite a poignant moment – realising that your three years’ study is coming to an end and that you and all the friends you’ve made will all be moving on. Rather than being sad, though, we had a great send-off and kept up a Creative Writing tradition: the end of year reading.

As tutor Robert Sheppard pointed out, this is a form of publication (i.e. making public) of your creative work, and a fantastic opportunity to show your skills. It took place in the newly refurbished Hale Hall (you can see it looking all new and sparkly in the background of the picture there) and there was a reasonable turnout too, which doesn’t help the nerves, but the more the merrier when it comes to sharing your work.

The past two years, the reading has been grouped according to the year you’re in, but this time first, second and third years were all there to listen, and some to perform. Mostly people read poetry, but there was a short story and even some music, which just goes to show how diverse the range of chances is at Edge Hill.

It’s not compulsory to read out at this event, so don’t let it put you off if you don’t feel comfortable, you can just sit back and enjoy the other performances. As you can see by the picture (apologies, I know I’m no oil painting!), I couldn’t resist reading out one of my pieces (from my own writing, rather than class work) and, as always, the reception was very supportive.

I bet you’re itching to give it a go, aren’t you? Well, all you need to do is come to Edge Hill and you’ll get the chance!

Is It My Birthday?

No it isn’t, but that hasn’t stopped Edge Hill giving me (well, less solipsistically, all Edge Hill students) another great gift. Media students have been able to team up with the university’s ever pro-active and approachable Student’s Union to form a production company going by the name of ‘Edge House Productions’.

This is a brilliant opportunity that any screenwriters will have coming to Edge Hill (don’t worry, there are plenty of ways to get published if scripts aren’t your thing!). It’s a great opportunity for budding media students too. In fact, it’s awesome whatever course you’re doing. After all, it’s not every university that can boast the ability to nurture so much talent across the show-business spectrum and produce great things ( also the on-campus Rose Theatre is proud of its work with students http://www.edgehill.ac.uk/rosetheatre/about).

I’ll certainly be taking advantage, probably send them a short film. The only question now is what will you do when you come to Edge Hill?

Success!

Great news – one of my poems is going to published in Edge Hill’s Question Mark, a magazine showcasing students’ poetry and even photography. I’m really happy to finally be published but hopefully it won’t end there! There are many more ways to be published at Edge Hill and I’m hoping to take full advantage.

If you’re into writing poetry, there’s also the Rhiannon Evans award for students showing promise in writing poems. If you win, there’s even a cash prize of £500, which isn’t to be sneezed at by any means.

Of course, some people prefer fiction and they are well catered for too. There are a couple of short story prizes, one of which is the Jo Powell crime fiction prize that I aim to enter soon. It was set up in memory of Jo, who I’ve had the privilege to be taught by for two years. MA students can enter this one too, so there’s quite a bit of competition, but what better way to challenge yourself?

What you’ll also find inspiring and supportive is the facebook group that students can join, where links to competitions are regularly posted, along with notable writers’ work, industry updates and more.

So I’ve had a taste of success, but I want this to springboard me on to greater things. When you come to Edge Hill, you too will have all these opportunities. The atmosphere really couldn’t be more encouraging and, potentially, lucrative. What more could you want?