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!

Another Visit From a Legend

To anyone thinking of coming to Edge Hill to study Creative Writing, I’ve got to say that you’re thinking of a great choice. Last Friday we were visited by Cliff Yates, a poet, who came into our class to read some of his poetry and do some writing exercises with us.

I saw Cliff a year ago at a reading at The Rose Theatre on Edge Hill’s campus, and I really like his poetry. It is warm, amusing and evocative, yet can be very poignant and startling too. As a man, he really is the epitome of a good bloke: open, talented, energetic and friendly. The session he ran went really well, I’m actually developing a poem further that I wrote in one of the exercises.

When you’re looking at universities, ask exactly what you’re going to get out of it. Edge Hill’s Creative Writing tutors are all published and practising writers, but the course is never allowed to get stale with the inclusion of these visiting writers. They really do bring a fresh burst of inspiration into the room and, if you have your common sense hat on, they bring an opportunity to expand your network of contacts in the industry.

Your course will benefit you massively in what you want to do with writing; your skills will vastly improve and your employability will be better. What more could you ask? Oh yeah, your course will genuinely be fun, inspiring and awesome, take it from me!

If you’d like to know more about Cliff Yates, here is his blog: http://cliffyates.wordpress.com/