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Traipsing with Travel Writers Workshop March 5th

14 Feb

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An eclectic backpack of well-travelled writers will discuss the different forms of writing they produce from those adventures – and how you can use your own experiences to create original pieces of work.

Thu, March 5, 2020, 5:00 PM – 7:15 PM GMT Add to Calendar

Eldon Building, Middle Street, Portsmouth PO1 2DJ

 

Schedule

5.00 – 5.45pm: An interview with two of our celebrated travel writers.

6pm – 7.15pm: Themed readings from the collected writers and discussions about the various techniques used.

7.30pm – 9.00pm: Hands on workshop. Please book on the separate listing

Our speakers

Ben Aitken is the author of A Chip Shop in Poznan: My Unlikely Year in Poland, recounting a year spent working, travelling and integrating. Paul Ross called it ‘the funniest book of the year.’ Ben also wrote Dear Bill Bryson: Footnotes from a Small Island, featuring in The Guardian, The Times and on BBC Radio.

Amanda Garrie is in the final stages of a PhD in creative writing, where she’s writing a novel, at The University of Portsmouth. She was Portsmouth City Library and Archives Service Poet in Residence for 2019 and is a founder member of T’Articulation spoken word troupe. Much of her poetry and prose-fiction reflects the cultural curiosities discovered on her travels in Spain, Eastern Europe and India.

Mike Manson’s new novel, Down in Demerara, concerns an Englishman who is plucked from his humdrum job and dispatched to the forbidden rainforest of Guyana on a mysterious assignment. Fay Weldon calls the book ‘a fast-moving and wonderfully funny (I laughed aloud a lot) vigorous and intelligent tale of an innocent abroad.’

Richard Peirce, a co-founder of T’Articulation, is well-known on the local spoken-word circuit. His poetry, often connecting emotionally with the people, landscapes and situations, of his travels in the Philippines, Russia and Africa, has been published in a number of anthologies.

Tom Sykes is the author of The Realm of the Punisher: Travels in Duterte’s Philippines which garnered positive reviews in the Times Literary Supplement and the London Magazine. Tom is also the author of Ivory Coast: The Bradt Guide and his travel journalism has appeared in The Telegraph, Private Eye, New Statesman, New African, The Scotsman and many other titles.

Tickets are free but you will have to book them in advance here.

A three part experience in collaboration with Star & Crescent, T’Articulation and the University of Portsmouth.

Converting Your Academic Research into Popular Books and Articles

13 Feb

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Modern universities recognise the importance of disseminating their research to audiences beyond the academy in discourses that non-specialists can understand. For some years, CCI Senior Lecturer Dr Tom Sykes has led a ‘double life’ as an academic theorist and as a professional author, editor and journalist. In this workshop, he reveals how to use your academic research as a springboard for writing newsworthy and impactful feature articles, op-eds, reviews, reportage and popular non-fiction books. Using specially designed writing exercises, Tom will discuss structure, style, drafting, editing, the all-important journalistic ‘angle’ and how to devise an eye-catching proposal sure to grab the attention of editors, agents and publishers.

Book here. 

Appearance at Bristol Festival of Literature on 23rd October

18 Oct

‘Everyone has been nearly everywhere’, wrote Jan Morris. This has provided a new challenge to the travel writer: how to find a new angle on a familiar destination? The answer lies with alternative travel writing.

Two alternative travel writers discuss their very different work. They talk about what they’ve written, how they write, their influences and what they’ve learnt.

Doors open at 6.30pm.

Speakers
Over the last nine years, British writer Tom Sykes has travelled extensively in the Philippines to write Realm of the Punisher, the first major travel book by a Westerner to explore Rodrigo Duterte’s presidency of the country. Tom, to understand the Duterte phenomenon, attended crime sites, met with dissidents on government ‘death lists’ and interviewed friends and enemies of ‘The Punisher’ – as he’s known – in politics, the media, the arts and the third sector. Sykes witnesses anti-government demonstrations in the capital Manila and visits the provincial city of Davao, where Duterte began his draconian crusade against crime using police and vigilante death squads.

Mike Manson’s most recent novel Down in Demerara, (Tangent Books) features Felix Radstock, a man plucked from his humdrum job and dispatched to the forbidden rainforest of Guyana on a mysterious assignment. Set in 1999, Down in Demerara is a funny, charming and quirky tale of self-realisation through love, friendship and fear.

Book tickets here.

Walden Bello on the Rise of the Global Far Right

22 Sep

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The world renowed sociologist, environmentalist and political activist Walden Bello will be discussing the global rise of the far right in the context of the climate emergency, globalization, imperialism, dependency and world capitalism. A veteran of movements protesting the Vietnam War, the Marcos dictatorship in the Philippines and the US campaign against Chile’s Salvador Allende, Prof Bello has been described as “one of the most articulate and prolific voices on the international left” who “has devoted most of his life to fighting imperialism and corporate globalization.” His latest book is Paper Dragons: China and the Next Crash (Zed Books).

Prof Bello will be hosted by the Culture and Conflict research group at the University of Portsmouth and introduced by Dr Tom Sykes, Senior Lecturer at UoP and author of The Realm of the Punisher, a ‘political travelogue’ of the contemporary Philippines.

Admission free but please book a ticket through Eventbrite here.

Free Portsmouth Power Mapping Workshop

7 Jul

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What do we really know about our elected representatives in Portsmouth? What are their interests, activities, attitudes and intentions? How are they accountable to voters? What connections do they have to external organisations? What connections do they have to each other?

In this eye-opening free workshop, you’ll learn power mapping to answer such questions and help you analyse/visualise data in fascinating new ways. An expert team, including a trainer with the Centre for Investigative journalism, locally-based journalists, academics and researchers, will teach you relevant investigative procedures and tutor you in specialist software.

There are only limited places so you’ll need to book one fast here.

Date and Time

Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 12:30 PM –

Thu, Jul 18, 2019, 5:00 PM BS

Location

University Library

Cambridge Road

Portsmouth, United Kingdom

PO1 2ST

 

Pompey Writes Showcase event

13 Feb
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Star & Crescent – Portsmouth’s only independent news, commentary and creative writing website – and Portsmouth BookFest invite you to an evening of readings, discussions and networking opportunities focused on the vibrant and growing Portsmouth literary scene. Meet and listen to successful novelists, award-winning poets and journalists who have been published in the national and international press. Local independent publishers will have stalls at the event and there will be plenty of useful advice on offer about getting into professional writing and publishing.

Featuring:
Sarah Cheverton, Maggie Sawkins, Wendy Metcalfe, Carol Westron, Emily Priest, Matt Wingett, Tom Sykes, Rick Haines, David Gates, Christine Hammacott and more TBA.

Tuesday, 5 March 2019 from 19:30-21:30
Portsmouth Central Library, Guildhall Walk, PO1 2DX Portsmouth
Admission FREE but please book a ticket in advance here.

Witnessing the World event

11 Feb

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Star & Crescent and Bookfest 2019 present: Witnessing the World: Reportage, Academic Research, Art and Fiction Based on Real Events and Real Lives

The Menuhin Room, Portsmouth Central Library

Thursday, 28 February 2019 from 19:00-21:00

A panel of experienced writers and artists who have captured real-life people, places and events in their work share all the tricks of their trade, discussing style, structure, voice, investigative ethics and research methods. The evening will include a caricature-drawing demonstration and some writing activities. The panellists will cover a wide range of topics from American fan culture to folklore in rural Oxfordshire, Donald Trump to the drug war in the Philippines, the Northern Irish Troubles to contemporary Guyana.

Featuring:
Louis Netter, reportage cartoonist
Simone Gumtau, researcher into local personal narratives
Amanda Garrie, novelist and folklore researcher
Mike Manson, novelist and historian
Lincoln Geraghty, traveller-academic and fan culture theorist
Graham Spencer, Northern Ireland peace and conflict expert
Tom Sykes, foreign correspondent and travel author

Tickets are £5 and can be purchased in any Portsmouth City Council Library or online here.

DarkFest Presents: The Place of the Outsider

30 Oct

Thursday, 8 November 2018 from 19:00-21:00

Room 0.20, Eldon Building, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth, Hampshire PO1 2UP

A panel of poets, critics, life writers and fictionists explore the relationship between individual outsiders, mavericks and misfits and their geographical surroundings or places of origin.

Covering a variety of cultures, topographies, historical periods and literary approaches, these writers explore how the beliefs and behaviours of outsider figures – from Edward King to women suspected of witchcraft to embattled Manila slum-dwellers – are shaped by the times and places they emerge from. The panellists also discuss the role that folklore and mythology can play in representations of Self and place, and the creative decisions required to present the outsider and his/her connections to the world.

Panellists:

Poet and novelist Amanda Garrie on rural England, folklore and schizophrenia

Novelist and short story writer Dr Alison Habens on Portsmouth’s literary outsiders.

Poet and travel writer Richard Peirce on the southern Philippines, Turkey and his family connections to Austria.

Cultural critic Dr Sally Shaw on Edward King and wartime Portsmouth.

Will Sutton on Victorian coppers, fallen women and criminals.

Journalist, author and critic Dr Tom Sykes on marginalised groups and fringe beliefs in the urban megacity of Manila.

The panel will be moderated by poet and journalist Emily Priest of Star & Crescent and other outfits.

Photo by Alexander Sebley

 

Bristol Festival of Literature Appearance 22nd Oct

12 Sep

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I’ll be discussing my new travelogue of the contemporary Philippines, Realm of the Punisher, at the Bristol Festival of Literature on 22nd October. My good friend Mike Manson will be present too, riffing on his new novel Down in Demerara. Click here for tickets and further details.

Publishing Weekend @ Portsmouth Bookfest

30 Jan

Portsmouth Bookfest, Star & Crescent and the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth present:

Publishing Weekend @ Portsmouth Bookfest

Saturday 17th February – Sunday 18th February 2018

10am – 4pm

White Swan Building, New Theatre Royal

£20 per day (includes tea/coffee and a light lunch) or two day Saturday and Sunday combined ticket offer £30

BUY TICKETS HERE 

This event will be useful to anyone looking to research and edit their writing, publish their work and build their author brand. Whether you are thinking of self-publishing or going down the traditional route, understanding the process is essential. Our range of experienced experts will be sharing their wealth of knowledge on all aspects of the publishing journey and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Saturday: Working towards Publication: The focus on Saturday is working towards getting ready for publication with talks and practical workshops on researching, editing and pitching your ideas to publishers.

Sunday: Publication and being a published author: On Sunday we focus on the publishing process and how to build your author brand through book cover design, book reviews and the use of social media.

You can book for either day or attend both days at a discounted price! Your ticket price includes a light networking lunch and tea and coffee.

Programme:

Saturday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Editing tips and traps with Helen Garvey and Tom Sykes

Writing a book is easy, right? Perhaps, but how about producing something you can be confident is of top publishable quality? Join professional freelance editor Helen Garvey as she discusses the process of taking your first draft through to publication, sharing her tips and highlighting the traps she wishes she had known about when she started writing.

Tom Sykes will explore the processes behind line-editing nonfiction books, making large structural adjustments to narratives, and compiling anthologies of short stories and articles.

11.45am: Coffee break

12noon: Pitching your idea/work with Wendy Metcalfe and Tom Sykes

Wendy will talk about submitting fiction short stories and novels.  She will cover preparing your story, submission guidelines, and keeping your motivation up when the rejections roll in.

Wendy has been submitting short stories and novels for over twenty years.  She will share stories from her own struggle to scale the slush pile.

Tom will examine proposing non-fiction works and journalistic articles to a range of professional markets, drawing on real-life contracts, pitch letters and editorial suggestions.

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Do your research with Suzie Wilde

Rudyard Kipling writes …

“I KEEP six honest serving-men
 (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
 And How and Where and Who.”

… which is a good mantra for researchers, too. But the first question is, what kind of researcher are you? Suzie will help you decide.

3.30pm: Bookshop and Q and A

Sunday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Thinking of self -publishing? With Chindi

CHINDI authors have self-published novels and non-fiction books in various formats over the last five years. They’ve made audio books, e-books and printed books that have sold to thousands of readers. They’ve also made a lot of mistakes along the way. Christopher Joyce will lead a discussion of how to publish your book, where to go and what not to do using experiences from the group of 22 authors. www.chindi-authors.co.uk

11.15am: Coffee break

11.30am: Judging a book by its cover – your book as a product with Christine Hammacott

In traditional publishing producing a book is all about creating a saleable product. Whether you are aiming to be traditionally published or are self-publishing the marketing and selling process starts with the cover. This workshop is designed to give an understanding of book cover design and formatting, and why getting to grips with genre is so important by publication stage. It will also cover positioning your book in the marketplace, and the all important considerations when producing your ‘product’.

12.45pm: How to build an author platform from scratch with Jo Mallory

Jo’s workshop will cover: Where to start 101; your Website; let’s talk platforms and your social media, with the opportunity for questions.

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Writing book reviews to establish yourself as a writer with Carol Westron

“Many of the exciting opportunities I’ve received in the past few years have stemmed from my first reviews for Mystery People. I’ve made some wonderful friends, raised my profile as a writer and honed my reading and writing skills. In this talk I will discuss the benefits of reviewing and how to write a review that shows you at your best”.

3pm: Organic marketing with social media with Jo Mallory

In this workshop Jo will cover: Knowing your audience and where to find them; mailing lists; growing your audience organically Vs paid advertising; a fun tips session; the writer trap; don’t be afraid to cull and don’t feed the trolls.

3.45pm: Conclusion, questions and feedback