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Writers’ Festival

March 14, 2013

Entrance to Leeds Trinity University Yesterday I had the pleasure of attending a Writers’ Festival Day at Leeds Trinity University. Although this was their 9th festival, I had not come across it before. As a graduate of the university (in its previous incarnation as a teacher training college) I was surprised not to have heard of the event and grateful to a fellow writer for passing the details on to me. A quick shuffle of the diary and I was able to sign up for poetry workshops with Pat Borthwick and Debjani Chatterjee.
Pat focussed on items and people that we lose during the course of our lives. She invited us to make several lists, read poems on the theme by famous poets (both classical and contemporary) and to write verse inspired by loss. The results were both interesting and varied. Everyone produced a first draft in the time allotted. Pat was as inspirational as ever.
The second workshop was led by a poet whom I had not met before. Debjani Chatterjee is an Asian poet who writes in a variety of genres. She introduced the idea of the postcard poem. Following an insight into the development of the tradition from ancient cultures to modern days we were asked to select a character, place, event etc. and to write a postcard poem that reflected their persona. I decided to send Alice to the Hall of Mirrors on a seaside pier. The resulting verse is a work in progress.
Other professional writers facilitating both morning and afternoon workshops were: Bob Beagrie, Julia Deakin, Miles Salter, Alison Taft and Paul Sutherland whose book tundra gap I bought as a souvenir of the day from the independent book stall. And the festival doesn’t end there.
Participants have been given a few weeks to redraft and polish work for submission to the festival anthology Worlds Within Words. So it’s back to work for me.
If you would like to know more about the Writers’ Festival Day or find out about the new M.A. in Creative Writing starting in September 2013 see


From → Creative Writing

  1. Sounds like you’ve had an inspiring time The follow up sounds I interesting too. Very motivating. Wx

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