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.

The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy

The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy, the new book by our colleague and Lecturer in English Literature and Creative Writing Adam Dalton, has just been published by Luna Press.

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The Satanic in Science Fiction and Fantasy officially launches at the BSFA national science fiction convention in April, but copies can already be ordered from Amazon. It’s published under the author name A J Dalton (www.ajdalton.eu), but his alter-ego is Dr Adam Dalton of Middlesex University.

 

Here’s the official blurb:

Satan, Dracula, Sauron, Lord Foul, Darth Vader. The motif of the Satanic Dark Lord is ever-present in science fiction and fantasy, a malign intelligence seeking to thwart the Chosen One.

In the literature of the 1980s and 90s, the Dark Lord is always defeated. However, post-millennium, there are signs that he has finally begun to get the upper hand, as we witness his change from anti-hero to hero.

In this enthralling study, prize-winning author A J Dalton considers how our understanding and characterisation of Satan has developed over time. From early depictions of Satan as a brutal dragon in the Bible, to the playfully seductive friend in the works of Chaucer and Marlowe, to the sympathetic and sensitive vampire of the modern-day, to the alien and unknowable artificial intelligence of tomorrow.

This book provides a starting point for researchers, writers and fans of science fiction and fantasy interested in the development of one of the biggest tropes in speculative fiction.

 

Symposium and book launch: The Multimodal Writer

We are pleased to invite you to celebrate the publication of Dr. Josie Barnard’s book, The Multimodal Writer: Creative Writing Across Genres and Media on Friday, 1st Nov, 2019, 4-7 at Middlesex University in London

This research symposium on multimodal writing with international guest speaker Professor Nigel Krauth, author of Creative Writing and the Radical, will be followed by a drinks reception.

In our digital age, writers need a new creative flexibility.  The ability to move between types of writing and technologies – often at speed – is increasingly essential.  Yet, such flexibility can be difficult to achieve, and, how to develop it remains a pressing challenge.  This symposium addresses how writers can not merely survive but, rather, thrive in an era characterised by fast-paced change.

Schedule:

4pm – Welcome (coffee)

4.30pm – Plenary lecture: Creative writing and the radical: Teaching and learning the fiction of the future, international guest speaker Professor Nigel Krauth, introduced and chaired by Dr. Josie Barnard

5.30-6pm – Q&A

6pm-7pm – Launch of Dr. Josie Barnard’s new book The Multimodal Writer plus networking (reception)

The event is free to attend and refreshments will be available but places are strictly limited so please register your interest asap by registering via the Eventbrite link below.

https://themultimodalwriter.eventbrite.co.uk

 

2019-20 Language & Communication Research Seminars

The Language & Communication research cluster is excited to announce the fantastic line-up of presenters for our 2019-20 research seminars, at our HENDON CAMPUS. The seminars feature world-leading authorities and acclaimed practitioners who discuss their work on language, discourse and communication, literature, creative writing, media and cultural studies. Hope to see you all there!

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  • Dr Johan Siebers: I Interpret You. Thursday 12th December 2019, 15.00-16.00, Room G230 (Grove building).
  • Dr Josie Barnard: The Multimodal Writer. Thursday, 12th March 2020, 15.00-16.00, Room CG09 (College building).

 

Check back here for additional listings.

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.

Digital Future: the New Underclass

Our colleague at BA English at Middlesex Dr Josie Barnard presented a BBC Radio 4 programme on 3rd Sept at 11am. It investigates the deep social divides created by the digital world.

Hear it here.

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Whether booking a flight to go on holiday or ordering a takeaway, digital technology is so embedded in everyday life that it’s easy to assume everyone is on a level playing field. Or that those who aren’t are part of an older generation who didn’t grow up with computers. But that’s a dangerous assumption.

22% of the British population lack the digital skills they need to get by day-to-day. That’s more than one in five people who struggle with signing their child up to school, filling in a tax return, or even using a smartphone to make a call. And as more and more essential services move online, falling behind the pace of change carries severe consequences.

For young people, the risks of being left behind are buried under the assumption that they are digital natives – that they have supposedly grown up with an innate ability to use digital technology. But as the number of smartphone-only households grows, millions of children are in danger of their digital world shrinking around a tiny touchscreen.

Dr Barnard asks if this is simply a question of affordability and motivation, or whether more complicated factors are at play. She speaks to people struggling to find space at public computer banks to complete their Universal Credit forms, and a group who are jumping hurdles to get online because of their severe dyslexia, and gets behind the screens of smartphone-only teenagers to find out how the kind of device and the way we use it can be just as detrimental as not having it at all.

Presenter: Dr Josie Barnard

Producer: Emma Barnaby

Executive Producer: Deborah Dudgeon

A Whistledown production for BBC Radio

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.).