Free creative writing mini-lessons

Dr Adam Dalton, lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing at Middlesex University, has been producing free creative writing mini-lessons on his website, one a day, Monday-Friday. He’s posted eight lessons so far.

https://metaphysicalfantasy.wordpress.com/ni-lessons/

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He’s producing the lessons to help those stuck at home in the current circumstances to find a routine. A routine can help with well-being. And the lessons just might help people became globally successful writers!

 

The Multimodal Writer

 

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE A PRESENTATION BY award-winning author of theory, fiction and creative non-fiction, Dr Josie Barnard on how can a writer optimise his or her ability to move between genres and technologies.

When? Thursday, 12th March 2020, 15.00-16.00

Where? Room CG09 (College building), Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

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These are exciting times for creative writing. In our digital age, the ability to move between types of writing and technologies – often at speed – is increasingly essential for writers. Yet, such flexibility can be difficult to achieve, and, how to develop it remains a pressing challenge. Josie Barnard’s academic research has at the centre one question: how can a writer optimise his or her ability to move between genres and technologies? Her new book  The Multimodal Writer sets out to provide theoretical background and serve as a practical tool to help writers face challenges and embrace opportunities presented by new media technologies robustly, effectively, and with pleasure.

 

Biographical note:

IMG_7293-768x512Dr. Josie Barnard SFHEA is an award-winning author of theory, fiction and creative non-fiction whose academic research centres on the application of creativity to the challenge of bridging the digital divide.  Her research into digital literacy is represented by her Macmillan International Higher Education monograph The Multimodal Writer: Creative Writing Across Genres and Media (2019). Her research into digital inclusion is represented by her BBC Radio 4 programme, Digital Future: the New Underclass (2019).  She has developed an empirically tested pedagogical model for teaching digital literacy.  The author of six books, including the Betty Trask award-winning Poker Face (1996) and extensive print and broadcast journalism and international academic articles and chapters, Josie is currently co-editing a Multimodal Writing Special Issue of the National Association of Writers in Education journal Writing in Practice (2021).  She collaborates with government departments and other key stakeholder groups to inform policy and develop citizens’ digital literacy.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2019-20 Language & Communication research seminars.

ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This August

Book your tickets now, to see ‘Alice in Canning Town’, the contemporary urban re-interpretation of Alice in Wonderland, by our colleagues James Kenworth and James Charlton, in collaboration with Middlesex students, local pupils and professionals. Performances 12th – 18th of August.

Eventrbrite link

ALICE IN CANNING TOWN Comes To Arc In The Park Adventure Playground This AugustFollowing their production of Animal Farm on a real-life farmyard in 2014, James Kenworth and James Charlton bring a brand new, contemporary urban adaptation of much-loved fantasy adventure Alice in Wonderland to an adventure playground in the East End featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges and giant slides and a cast of professional actors and local Newham primary and secondary school pupils.

This is Alice in Wonderland as you’ve never seen before. All the favourite characters are still there, but in new, modern guises. A cockney rabbit, a rave-mad Mad Hatter, a hookah-smoking ex-Bollywood actor, Tweedledee and Tweedledum as hipsters, and a would-be grime artist called MC Turtle. From Cockney to Bangra, from the Krays to Stormzy, Alice in Canning Town is a celebration of not only one of the best loved fantasies of all time, but a kaleidoscopic and action-packed journey through an East End that survived Hitler’s blitz and reinvented itself as a leading light in multicultural Britain.

 

Alice in Canning Town has been reconfigured specially for the East End, and performed site-responsively in Canning Town’s Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town. Arc in the Park is a vibrant Adventure Playground, featuring tree houses, swings, trampolines, rope bridges, giant slides, teepees, and as such, is a perfect fit for the playful and surreal world of Alice. The play will involve local Newham primary and secondary school pupils acting alongside professional actors.

Following the critical acclaim of James Kenworth’s When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm, and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, three plays which were a unique collaboration between professional theatre artists and young people in Newham, Alice in Canning Town is the fourth in a quadtrilogy that explores the borough’s rich heritage and shows off the talent of its young people. It continues the collaboration between Kenworth and director James Charlton.

James Kenworth’s previous plays include the award winning Dementia’s Journey (London tour), and Newham-based, site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi (Kingsley Hall), Revolution Farm (Newham City Farm) and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham (Newham Libraries/Community Links).

James Martin Charlton is an award-winning playwright as well as director and academic. His previous plays include the critically acclaimed Fat Souls and Coming Up (Warehouse, Croydon), the sell-out hit I Really Must be Getting Off (White Bear), and Coward (Just Some Theatre Co.).

Out now: ‘Childless Voices’ by Lorna Gibb

Our colleague’s Lorna Gibb new book ‘Childless Voices: Stories of Longing Loss, Resistance and Choice’ will be published on 7 February 2019.

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From the playgrounds of Glasgow to the villages of Bangladesh; from religious rites to ancient superstitions; from the world’s richest people to its powerless and enslaved, Lorna Gibb’s masterful Childless Voices paints a global portrait of people without children. Brilliantly grouped by thematic commonality (Those who long, Those who were denied, Those who Choose, etc) the book is a testament to the power of listening, and the power of sharing stories. It is an essential, moving and surprising book on a subject which touches everyone.

To get the book, click here.

Biography

Lorna was born in Bellshill, North Lanarkshire and used to work as a professional dancer. She is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at Middlesex University. In the past she’s lived in four different countries but is now back in London with her husband, two rescue cats from Qatar and a rescue snow Bengal from Chichester. Her debut novel A Ghost’s Story is published by Granta in Nov 2015. Prior to this she wrote two biographies, West’s World, on the fabulous Dame Rebecca West (Pan MacMillan) and Lady Hester on the wondrous Lady Hester Stanhope (Faber).

 

Experience Week activities, Friday 11th January 2019

At our first experience week for 2019, students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a full day of exciting activities that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development.

A Cambodian Spring, Friday 11th January, 12.00-15.30, CG76 
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A screening of award-winning documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’ followed by a Q&A with the director and the monk who risked his position in his Buddhist community to help Cambodian civilians to protest.

The screening starts at midday, followed by a 30-minute break and then the Q&A 2.30-3.30pm.

Register for a seat here, all welcome: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/award-winning-cambodian-spring-documentary-screening-and-qa-with-director-tickets-53397911591

 

Letters from Myanmar, Friday 11th January, 15.30 – 16.30, WG48

A book reading and discussion by Professor Chris Mabeychris

As a western teenager in the 1960s Chris found himself embraced

by a Burmese family. Since then his curiosity has gradually deepened about the mysterious conundrum that is Myanmar.

  • How can an assertive and glittering empire, ruling over much of South East Asia from the bejeweled palace at Ava be reduced to a secretive and isolated pariah state?
  • How is it that a prosperous economic and educational hub on the Asian subcontinent can emerge, in the second millennium as a repressive military regime?
  • How can a people renowned for their gentle hospitality and steeped in the benign pacifism of Buddhism stand by as students are gunned down in the popular uprising of 1988 or the barbaric ethnic cleansing of the Rohingya since 2017?

Chris will read and discuss some extracts from his forthcoming book. It is a first-hand glimpse from those who have lived through the unfolding history of this beguiling land. Through these ethnographic accounts we sample the distinctive flavours and smells, hear the wit and weariness and touch the fragile fabric of modern day Burma.

 

For the full schedule of all experience weeks’ activities, including optional events, see: Experience weeks 2018-19

 

Experience weeks 2018-19

This year we are changing Reading Weeks to Experience Weeks!

Students and guests will have the opportunity to participate in a number of activities (workshops, guest lectures, masterclasses, festivals) that will enhance their learning, personal and professional development. These activities can be specific for BA English, or in collaboration with students and staff in other programme areas in the Media department (e.g. North London Story Festival).

This is our schedule so far (check back for updates and added events).

 Week 18: 18th-22nd February 2019

  • Wednesday, 20th February 2019, 12.30-31.30, Room W147. A Journalism Conversation panel on Media and (In)Equality. Guests TBC.
  • Thursday, 21st February 2019, 11.00-20.00, various locations at Hendon Campus. North London Story Festival. This year’s theme: ‘My Generation’. Find out more: http://northlondonstoryfestival.co.uk/

***

Week 24: 1st-5th April 2019

  • One-to-one and group tutorials on coursework
  • Personal development planning

 

These events are open to students, staff and the public. Email me for more information.


PAST Experience Weeks

 

Week 12: 7th -11th January 2019

Core activities:

  • Friday, 11th January 2019, 12.00-13.00, Room: CG76, A screening of the documentary ‘A Cambodian Spring’, and then a Q&A with the director Chris Kelly. Trailer: https://vimeo.com/ondemand/acambodiansprin
  • Professor Chris Mabey (Middlesex), Letters from Myanmar. Friday, 11th January 2019, 15.30 – 16.30, Room WG48 (Williams building). – PLEASE NOTE TIME AND ROOM CHANGE

 

Optional:

  • Faculty-wide collaboration activities.

 


Week 6: 5th-9th November 2018gothic_cinderella_by_rltsweetie

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 16.00-17.00, Room PAG02: Gothicising the Fairy Tale: Monstrous Cinderellas in Angela Carter and Ali Shaw. Presentation by Dr Carina Hart (Language & Communication Research Seminar series).

Tuesday, 6th November 2018, 19.00 OUT-SPOKEN performance, London’s premier night for poetry and live music. It celebrates diversity of voice and gives a platform to artists whose work is innovative, authentic and plural. At London 100 Club (100 Oxford Street, London W1D 1LL). We have secured some tickets for English students, free of charge, on a first-come-first served basis. We will give priority to third year students.

Wednesday, 7th November, 12.30-13.30, Room W147. A Journalism Conversation panel on Media and Moral Panic in an Age of Algorithms. From rising hate crimes which have been associated with Islamophobia, to the role played by big social media companies and elections in the form of Cambridge Analytics, Facebook and the US elections, to the phone-hacking scandal at the News of the World which led to its closure and a review of press ethics! We’re joined by some key journalists and religious leaders to debate these issues:

  • Jonathan Heawood, CEO of press regulator, IMPRESS. Journalist, campaigner for freedom of expression, and featured in the Guardian’s top 100 most influential people in publishing.
  • Rabbi Rebecca Birk. Rabbi at Finchley Progressive Synagogue promoting inclusivity, social justice and liberal values.
  • Yasmin Alibhai-Brown. Journalist, author and academic and winner of numerous awards, including columnist of the year 2017.
  • James Patrick. Prolific journalist, Film-maker, and author of numerous books including Alternative War and Chemical Sausage.

 

Optional Events (registration might be required):

Monday, 5th November, 14.00, H116 (Hatchcroft) lecture theatre. Talk and workshop by Special Effects and animatronics designer Adam Wright .

Wednesday, 7th November 15.00-17.00, Writing workshop/Alice in Canning Town by James Kenworth.

Friday, 9th November, 14.30, Television Studio, ground floor, Grove. Television Production students will be producing a Magazine Show for the Movember Foundation, broadcasting live on Friday 9th November across Facebook and Youtube.  There will be live music acts and insight into what the foundation does and how we can all help.  You are invited to be in the live audience and witness how a Studio TV show is created.

A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham

THE LANGUAGE AND COMMUNICATION RESEARCH CLUSTER IS DELIGHTED TO ANNOUNCE THE PRESENTATION BY PLAYWRIGHT AND MIDDLESEX LECTURER IN MEDIA NARRATIVE JAMES KENWORTH ON HIS PLAY ‘A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham’.

When? Friday 15 March 2019, 14.30 – 15.30

Where? Room V105, Vine building, Middlesex University, London, NW4 4BT

In this presentation/talk, I will focus on the ongoing importance of the concept of site-specific environments to my writing practice and thinking about theatre making; the fusing together of my principal interests in creating theatre-orientated work, namely use of public, unconventional performance spaces and non-naturalistic /creative language in a A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham, the third instalment in my Newham Trilogy; and a brief consideration of the public, inclusive and social nature of community-orientated, history-based theatre.

BIOGRAPHY

imageJames Kenworth is a Playwright and a Lecturer in Media Narrative at Middlesex University. His writing include ‘verse-prose’ plays Johnny Song, Gob; black comedy Polar Bears; issue-led plays Everybody’s World(Elder Abuse)Dementia’s Journey (Dementia); plays for young people/schools The Last Story in the World; and a Newham-based trilogy of site-specific plays, When Chaplin Met Gandhi, Revolution Farm and A Splotch of Red: Keir Hardie in West Ham.

His play, Dementia’s Journey, won the 2015 University of Stirling International Dementia Award in the category: Dementia & the Arts. When Chaplin Met Gandhi and Revolution Farm is published by TSL Publications. A Splotch of Red has recently been published in a collection of political plays by Workable Press, a new publishing imprint dedicated to trade unions and organised workers.

He is currently working on his new play Alice in Canning Town, a contemporary, urban adaptation of Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, reconfigured for the East End and performed site-specific in Arc in the Park, an inclusive adventure playground in Canning Town.

The Language and Communication Research Seminars are free and open to all staff, students and guests. For any questions or if you would like to lead a session, contact Anna Charalambidou.

Click here to see all 2018-19 Language & Communication research seminars.