March 25 cancelled – but Virtual Soirée is on its way

To everyone planning to come to our March 25 book launch and writing soirée – sadly that event is now cancelled. Like others, we are following best advice on social distancing to avoid any contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic.

However we do have plans for an alternative virtual event, which we will announce shortly, along with full results from the Writing Competition. Please keep an eye open for updates.

Meanwhile, we hope you are all taking care of yourselves, and we look forward to seeing you in person at a future date.

March 25: the students behind this year’s event

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It is the start of a new decade. New Year resolutions for another ‘productive’ beginning have been tried, tested and dismissed. University classrooms vibrate with inspiration – and stress-inducing deadlines. But there is at least one event coming up at Roehampton which provides a chance to shake this year into shape.

That event is the Soirée on March 25, hosted by the Creative Writing programme and Fincham Press. Every year, a new group of students submits work to a writing competition, for the chance to be included in the next annual anthology. This year, the Soirée is combined with a launch of the anthology The Box, showcasing last year’s work. The keynote address is by Sara Collins, the 2019 Costa Competition First Novel winner.

A team of staff, students and alumni have been working hard to create an event that will delight and surprise. One member of the team, Steph Elliot Vickers, graduated from the BA Creative Writing with a first in 2018. A five-times anthology author, she won the Editor’s Choice Award for best submission at the 2011 Soirée, and has attended the event every year since then. Steph delights in seeing nervous student writers find their feet on the stage when they perform their work, and in striking up working relationships with industry guests.

The opportunities provided by the annual writing competition, and the support of Fincham Press, have kickstarted her career as a published writer, says Steph. The event provides ‘a unique chance for students, staff, alumni and industry professionals to come together and celebrate Roehampton’s next generation of talented writers’.

Another alumnus who couldn’t stay away is Joseph Shafique. He graduated in 2019 with a BA in Journalism and Creative Writing, and has stayed at Roehampton to pursue a MA in Publishing. In the meantime, along with some fellow students he has set up Cottage House Films, and is now writing and producing two upcoming films for the company.

Joseph says the team is ‘hoping this year exceeds the high standards set by previous soirées’, which for him include the highlights of ‘mingling with industry guests and enjoying the entertainment’.

One of the newest additions to the team is Lilly-Ann Newman, a third-year undergraduate student of Creative Writing and Journalism and founder-editor of Fresh Media, an online magazine created with Roehampton’s Student Union.

The talent and dedication of her peers makes her proud to be a part of the team, she says: ‘I have enjoyed every soiree over the past three years and jumped at the chance to be a part of the team who create them. We have been working very hard to provide another amazing evening. These events are a brilliant opportunity to hear the work of peers and talk to industry professionals, who were once in the same position I am, and to learn from their experiences.’

Working as a volunteer, the third year Creative Writing and Film undergraduate  Lisa Gaultier expresses optimism about the upcoming event: ‘I hope it will make everyone attending even more passionate about their craft. The soirées are inspiring events. Seeing people who are students, just like me, read out their work makes me feel confident in my position as a writer. And it’s a great time to meet people, both from the university and the industry.’

March 25: book launch and soirée

Fincham Press and the Creative Writing programme at Roehampton are combining forces for a joint book launch and writing competition soirée on the evening of Wednesday, March 25.

The soiree will be held in the Digby Stuart Chapel on the main campus on March 25, with doors opening at 6:30pm. The evening features readings, a keynote speaker, and a spread of food and drink.

The first half of the evening will focus on our sixth creative writing anthology, The Box, which includes work from last year’s competition – you can buy a copy on the night (for cash) or at any time from the university e-store.

The second half gives a stage to writers from this year’s competition, which has just opened. Authors who have been shortlisted have the chance to read their work to an audience of peers, agents, editors and published writers.

The deadline for submissions to the competition is 11pm on Monday, February 24. Submissions must come with a completed entry form which can be found at the top of the Moodle page for the BA Creative Writing or downloaded here. The guidelines are here. Enquiries can be sent to roehamptonwrites2020@gmail.com.

 

Book Launch: The Professor in Children’s Literature

We’re happy to announce the launch of Melissa Terras’ open-access volume The Professor in Children’s Literature: An Anthology on 4 December at the University of Roehampton, London SW15!

Book launch remix of book cover
Professor Branestawm: male, mad and muddle-headed

The Professor in Children’s Literature gathers and reprints a selection of twenty-six illustrated stories for children originally published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, offering a brief introduction to each of them. The volume complements the author’s book-length study Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children’s Literature; both works are open access, available as free downloads. Get your copy of The Professor in Children’s Literature in EPUB or PDF format!

The book launch will take place in the Portrait Room at Grove House, starting at 5.30pm.

Schedule

  • 5.30pm: Reception with drinks and nibbles
  • 6.00pm: Very brief introductions by Dr Susan Greenberg (Fincham Press) and Dr Alison Waller (National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature), then talk by Prof Melissa Terras
  • 6.30pm: Questions and closing statements
  • Until 7.30pm: final mingling

Bonus Links

Double Book Launch: Rook and Dragon

On WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER, we are holding a double event to launch two books: our new journalism anthology, The Rook: Citizens of Nowhere, and our new creative writing anthology, In Which Dragons Are Real But.

This free event will take place in the Portrait Room, Grove House, University of Roehampton, starting at 7pm. It will involve a drinks reception, author readings from both anthologies, and, of course, an opportunity to buy the books. We are looking forward to seeing you there!

To help with planning, please do visit this Eventbrite page to indicate your attendance.

Also, for your downloading pleasure, there is an A4-size event poster [PDF] available.

Out now – The Rook: Citizens of Nowhere

Fincham Press’ first anthology of narrative journalism – The Rook – is now available to buy from the University of Roehampton e-store.

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Edited by John Doyle and Juan Pérez González, the collection features journalism by current and former students of the University of Roehampton. Here, they share their unique experiences from all over the world: from the beaches of Bali to the cities of Europe, they reveal the secrets of places such as Russia and Havana, and shed new light on more familiar territory.

They are citizens of the world, traversing land and sea, and trying to find a place they can call their own. A place called Nowhere.

Follow Fincham Press on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for more details of The Rook’s flight.

Out now – In Which Dragons Are Real But

We are happy to announce that Fincham Press’ fifth anthology of student work In Which Dragons Are Real But is now available to buy from the University of Roehampton e-store.

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This anniversary collection marks a five-year milestone with two innovations – the use of colour illustrations and the inclusion of work by alumni as well as current students from the University of Roehampton’s Creative Writing programme. The anthology, edited by Leone Ross (Come Let Us Sing Anyway), features short stories, flash fiction, creative nonfiction, screenplays, and poetry. Our authors explore dark themes, tender moments and satire with joy and even triumph, as they fight off the dragons that lurk in our world.

The dragons are real, but…

Don’t forget to follow Fincham Press on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram for updates of the dragons’ journey and more.

Happy New Year from Fincham Press

Fincham Press has had a most eventful year. We’ve published more than ever, grown in size with the addition of our new Editorial Assistant, and expanded our output with the launch of two new academic journals.

Every year, we aim to improve our contribution to our students; to assist in their work, and to show it to the world. In April we took our third anthology, Purple Lights, to the streets to share it with the public. We left 100 copies around London, for new, unsuspecting readers to enjoy, and encouraging the lucky finders to spot a printing/production error in order to win a prize (a free copy of our backlog of anthologies, or an editorial consultation on their work). At day’s end, all the books had new owners, as could be seen in our Twitter-feed (which has never been busier), and our writers’ work had made their way into new minds.

In May we expanded with the launch of two new journals: RoundTable and The International Journal of James Bond Studies (JBS). RoundTable is a student-run peer-review journal which publishes creative and critical work by postgraduate students and early career researchers within Creative Writing, Children’s Literature, and English Literature. JBS is the first ever academic peer-reviewed journal dedicated to interdisciplinary research and reviews on all aspects of the James Bond franchise. At Fincham, we are committed to content and form, but also to the process of publishing, and these journals provide work for students and staff within every stage of that process.

Finally, in December, we launched our forth student anthology, The Unseen. Our readers showed up fresh and brave, and entertained us past the point where the food and wine ran out. It was our most attended launch to date, so we would like to thank you all for coming – we are thrilled to have shared it with you, and hope you enjoyed yourselves as much as we did. Check out some photos from the event on Instagram.

From all of us at Fincham, thanks for reading, and have a Happy New Year!