INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kevin Brooke Interview

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kevin

Kevin Brooke talks to us about writing, research and relaxation. Links have been included, you can also find Kevin’s books in our INKSPILL BOOKSHOP.

1. What are your ambitions for your writing career?

My main focus as a writer for young people is to publish as many books of the right standard as I can. In doing so, it will allow me to contact local schools and speak to young people with the aim of encouraging reading and writing. As someone who didn’t start reading for pleasure until I was about 25, this is particularly important to me and tend to write stories that are accessible for all. I also concentrate on stories of the type I would have liked to have read when I was younger and base my characters on two demographics i.e. 7-11 and 11-15. For me, these are such crucial ages of development for young people and I therefore focus on themes that are suitable for these age groups.

 

2. So, what have you written?

My first book, The Roman Citizens from Class 6B was utilised as a resource in a primary school in Malvern in 2016.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Roman-Citizens-Class-6B/dp/1291271511

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I regularly use my second book, a Young Adult novel, Jimmy Cricket, as a resource to encourage reading in schools (I am currently Patron of Reading at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College in Worcester).

https://blackpear.net/authors-and-books/kevin-brooke/jimmy-cricket/

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I have added this in, as Kevin is too humble… In 2015 Jimmy Cricket was studied in school in AustriaInternational Success

I am hoping that my third book, Max & Luchia: The Game Makers (aimed at 7-11 years), will be just as successful.

https://blackpear.net/2018/08/14/max-luchia-the-game-makers/

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I’ve had approximately 35 short stories published in various publications that include Short Stories From Black Pear, in Graffiti Magazine, as a member of Worcester Writers’ Circle, in WorcesterLitfest Flash Fiction collections, University of Worcester magazines and WWI remembrance publications.

A full list of publications can be found at www.kevinbrooke.com

I often enter short story competition and was awarded first prize in the Erewash National Short Story Competition in 2014 and the Kishboo Magazine Spring Competition in 2016. Several runners up prizes, a number of commended and highly commended awards have also led to publication in competition anthologies.

Although I don’t consider myself as a poet as such, I do write poetry and publications include Contour Magazine (as organised by former Worcestershire Poet Laureate, Nina Lewis), on the Goodhadhood website, WorcesterLitfest publications and several collections aimed at Young People.

3. How much research do you do?

I’ve just finished a degree in Creative & Professional Writing and English Literature at the University of Worcester and one of the main things I’ve learnt is the need for proper research. Although I’d always researched in the past, I tended not to delve as much as I do now. This includes the need for visiting the place I am writing about as experiential research, to fully utilise the five senses. For example, I recently wrote a short story about a protagonist who headed into a dark forest and replicated their situation by going to a nearby wood and turning off the torch. The results of taking shorter steps as I walked, holding my arms out in front of me and a general sense of disorientation were then utilised in the story. In my opinion, people observation in cafes, bars, train stations etc. is also crucial to pick up on individual mannerisms and to create genuine dialogue. As a writer for Young People, I also try and read as many modern stories as I can to enable me to gain a general sense of what is popular at the time of writing a story.

4. What was the hardest thing about writing your latest book?

Max & Luchia: The Game Makers, is based on a young person’s imagination. The two main characters create a world in their minds and then, after doing something special to help other people, they are given the chance to play the game they’ve created for real. The hardest aspect, therefore, was creating something a 7-11 year old would be inspired by. Fortunately, I carry out a number of creative writing workshops with young people and this gave me a sense of the fairy-tale, mythical world they created in their stories. After that, it was about creating the imagery that a child would relate to. For example, instead of an adult description based on feelings to describe “a beautiful night’s sky” I tried to use clearer, descriptive phrases such as the one I heard an 8 year old use about the sky being “filled with a thousand stars”.

5. Do you let the book stew – leave it for a month and then come back to it to edit?

In giving advice to a writer, J K Rowling has been quoted as saying “Write the story as well as you can, revise it, refine it, and if it still seems alive to you, you’re done” and I tend to offer this advice creative workshops for young people. For me, if this means leaving gaps between revisions to ensure the story has had chance to grow then so be it. I wouldn’t particularly use the time-span of one month, but enough time for a few ideas to develop or for external influences to enter the story.

6. Any tips on what to do and what not to do?

If you are going to write a children’s story, make it current. Winnie the Pooh was successful in 1926 because of the world in which it was set, but if you’re going to write a children’s story now, read a few that are fast-paced, modern and relevant to young people today. I made this mistake and spent an entire year writing a story that I wanted to read as an adult. The agents and publishers who rejected it (and these are the kind ones that replied) said, in a nutshell, “Go away and read some children’s stories that have been written in the last ten years.” They were right.

7. How can readers discover more about you and you work?

Although I use Twitter, Instagram and Facebook, the aim is always to direct people back to my website www.kevinbrooke.com

8. What do you do to relax?

I am a member of a local contemporary choir called Voices Unlimited. The photograph I have used for this (taken by nature, landscape an event photographer, Jodie Stilgoe) is from a show entitled ‘Welcome to the 60s’ in which I played Davy Jones at The Swan Theatre in September 2018. I also use this photo (and similar) for marketing purposes and send it to schools to introduce myself as someone who doesn’t take himself too seriously. As for singing itself, as well as being therapeutic, I find there is something in its very act of self-expression that helps with my writing.

INKSPILL 2018 – Guest Writer Kevin Brooke

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INKSPILL GUESTS Kevin

Kevin has recently completed a degree in Creative Writing and English Literature at the University of Worcester. Although he has written short stories and poems for an adult audience, he believes his best work is either aimed at a younger audience or has a young character at the centre of the plot. His latest story, Max & Luchia: The Game Makers, (published by Black Pear Press), is his third full-length novel to go into print. He is Patron of Reading at Blessed Edward Oldcorne Catholic College in Worcester and carries out creative writing workshops for young people at several local schools.

More

 

INKSPILL 2018 Writing Activity Jigsaw

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For this writing activity you will need an old magazine. If you do not have an old magazine available you can use the images at the end of this post, just close your eyes and hover your cursor across the screen at random.

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  • Look through the magazine and cut out interesting words, phrases and images.
  • Place them in a bowl, close your eyes and pull out two of these magazine snippets.
  • Write a Flash Fiction 300 words max. or a poem if you prefer.
  • Repeat until tired.

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For those with no spare paper magazines use the area below.

 

 

 

 

INKSPILL 2018 Picture Prompts

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This morning’s picture prompts have been gathered under Creative Commons license from Wikimedia Commons.

Choose a picture and start writing – see where it takes you.

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A view of the interior of Nasir ol Molk Mosque located in Shiraz, Iran. The mosque includes extensive colored glass in its facade that makes beautiful colors when light is passed through it and is reflected on the carpets.
800px-Agence_Rol,_L_éclipse,_gare_Saint-Lazare,_1921
Three Parisian women watching the solar eclipse of 8 April 1921 on the Cour du Havre, next to the gare Saint-Lazare.

 

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“Airborne” by Christopher Klein, an art installation representing a gas molecule. Built in 2008 for The Linde Group’s headquarters, the Angerhof, in Munich.

 

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High diver Beatrice Kyle, standing by the wheel of fire engine, in high driving outfit, holding a pickle, between acts at the Society Circus at Fort Myer, Virginia; for the benefit of the Army Relief Fund; Apr. 25, 1924.

INKSPILL 2018 Programme Day 2

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SUNDAY 28th OCTOBER

DAY 2: Welcome back to Day 2 of INKSPILL. Are you feeling a little exhausted after yesterday? If so our gentle Sunday morning is the perfect way to ease you in to another day of all things wordy.

Meditation, Writing Activities, Interviews, Videos, Extracts, Book Promotions, Workshops and the launch of ISSUE 4 of Contour Poetry Magazine.

Enjoy!

 

9 AM Short Guided Meditation

Join us to focus your mind for another exciting day in INKSPILL.

 

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9:30 AM Writing Activity Picture Prompts

Have a go at this interesting activity. See where your writing takes you.

 

10 AM Writing Activity Jigsaw Story

Another fun idea to create writing that may otherwise not exist.

 

INKSPILL GUESTS Kevin

10:30 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke

Find out more about our 3rd Guest Writer.

10:35 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke  Interview

Insights into the writing process and daily life as a writer.

 

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11:00 AM Bookshop Open NEW STOCK

Find books by Kevin Brooke stocked on our virtual shelves.

 

11:15 AM Guest Writer Kevin Brooke – reading an extract from Jimmy Cricket

Sit back, relax and listen to an extract from Kevin’s YA Novel.

 

11:30 AM INKSPILL ARCHIVE Open

Delve into a workshop from INKSPILL 2015.


Make sure you break for Lunch – we will be back at 1 PM.

 


1:00 PM Guest Writer Workshop with Kevin Brooke – The Sealed Envelope

Have a go at this Workshop brought to you by our Guest Writer Kevin Brooke.

 

2:00 PM Featured Writer Alison May All That Was Lost

Alison May was a Guest Writer for INKSPILL in 2015, we are delighted this year she is our featured writer. Find out more about Alison and her latest book.

 

2:30 PM Interview with Alison May about her latest novel All That Was Lost

Featured Writer Alison May reveals a little about her latest novel and being a writer.

 

3:00 PM Bookshop Open NEW STOCK

The doors to a fully stocked shop are now open, All That Was Lost has been added to our shelves.

4:00 PM INKSPILL ARCHIVE Open

Delve into posts from previous INKSPILL retreats and more.

8:30 PM Launch Contour Poetry Magazine Issue 4 and plans for 2019

Please note change in programme explained on  this post. The launch of Issue 4 has unfortunately been delayed. Here you will find links to the first 3 issues of the magazine and news about future opportunities.

Happy reading!

 

9 PM Feedback and Thanks

Let us know how you enjoyed the weekend of writing.

 

 

 

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writers Elephant’s Footprint Poetry Film.

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Elephant’s Footprint create superb Poetry Films. See the previous post for the Interview with Helen Dewbery & Chaucer Cameron.


 

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/drive-through-the-night/

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/the-future-is-here/

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/links/ Clean Lines

AWF SP Poetry Film

 


You can enjoy more Poetry Films on their website here.

https://elephantsfootprint.com/film-poems/

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writers – Elephant’s Footprint Interview

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Our final Guests for the day are Helen Dewbery and Chaucer Cameron who are Elephant’s Footprint. It is a pleasure to have them join us for INKSPILL 2018.

Here they join me for an Interview which includes EXCLUSIVE video work. Enjoy!

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What draws you to poetry film?

When Chaucer was writing a vision statement for Elephant’s Footprint, she came across an article by visual artist Mary Russell and author Gerard Wozek. Chaucer was delighted to discover that we shared a fundamental belief that: visual and literary art carries spiritual, political, and sociological messages and that ‘visual poetry is a physical manifestation of ‘what it means to be a human being engaged in seeking community’. And, that the medium of film poetry is intrinsically alchemic—magic.

Chaucer’s Wild Whispers is an international film-poetry project that began with one poem and led to fourteen versions, in ten languages, and twelve film-poems. The poetry versions and film-poem adaptations were ‘whispered’ from one to another, across the world. It is a great demonstration of how film-poetry works and we consider it to be the perfect vehicle for exciting collaborations and for fostering strong, positive connections between countries and across the world.

Our poetry-film life began in New York on Brooklyn Bridge in 2009. We were both drawn to merging visual images and poetry after Helen took some holiday ‘snaps’ and Chaucer wrote a poem. The result was Arrival – we rarely show it, but here it is, for this weekend only!

https://vimeo.com/296626395 password: INKSPILL

It is the potential of film-poetry, to offer creative opportunities for exploring and communicating poetry in new ways, that’s exciting. For instance, last year Helen’s work was been shown at the LiKE festival in Slovakia, which focused on various forms of contemporary literature and more importantly was seen by wide audiences in Slovakia including, high schools, universities and other communities.

Similarly, Chaucer’s film-poem Pearls was screened in Kritya International Poetry Festival 2017.

 

How long does it take to create a poetry film?

Film poems, like any other poetry, it can be created almost instantly or can take many months to produce even years.

 

Can you tell us about some of the Festivals you have shown at?

Film-poetry has an international community and network of festivals. We’ve shown film-poems in many of these and have visited two in Germany: Zebra in Münster and Weimar.

We also went to The International Video Poetry Festival 2016 held at the Free Self-Organised Theatre EMBROS in Athens. The festival creates an open public space for screening contemporary visual poetry and is part of the counter-culture activities of Void Network and + the Institute [for Experimental Arts]. The evening started at 9pm and ended at 3am with a continuous screening of visual poetry! It worked – the theatre was packed for the whole six hours!

Our first experience of showing our work was at Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival 2013, in Bristol – when we found out about it we couldn’t believe our luck that a festival of this sort was on our doorstep and we attended the whole festival.

In recent years we have preferred introducing our work at poetry events, rather than specifically poetry-film festivals.

How did your work with Nine Arches start?

We are both passionate about film-poetry and we are constantly looking for new channels to promote film poetry as a genre of poetry. We have produced two thirty-minute film-poetry collections, Nothing in the Garden and I Live my Life Through Windows, and have worked independently with poets on single poems but we wanted to reach more poets and work more collaboratively. However, we wanted to reach more poets and were coming to the end of our partnership with the poetry magazine The Interpreter’s House. Helen had just finished filming Angela France performing her collection The Hill and we had become more familiar with the work of other Nine Arches poets and had great admiration for the press. Helen emailed the editor, Jane Commane and a partnership was formed.

We’re still finding our feet with this work as the film-poems are a hybrid form,

a cross between promotional videos and film poems. We are still trying new ideas and testing the balance between the two distinct genres, but the result is exciting. People new to poetry engage more easily with visual and auditory content, making film-poems an ideal medium. The film-poems are not only viewed by Nine Arches existing readers and online audiences, but are a tool for their poets to engage more easily with their existing and new audiences.

 

Have you got any workshops coming up?

This year we trained ten poets (only one had any prior experience) over a six-month period, meeting monthly. The group worked together as a collective whereby each person was responsible for creating at least one film-poem,

but they also worked together using the skills of the rest of the group. This resulted in a final show of sixteen film poems to an audience of fifty people. It was very well received and the whole collective film-poems are going to be screened in Athens in November. We are hoping that we can repeat this model of training in Worcester next year or any location convenient to a core group of people.

We are also available for one-to-one training and mentoring if anyone has a particular project they want to work on. We can also provide drop in sessions that were well received at saboteur’s awards.

 

What advice would you give people starting out with poetry film?

Find your own starting place. We started with Arrival. The video poet Lucia Sellars said recently on Facebook: “My experience with video-poetry, started with my fondness of music and certain landscape circumstances that struck me deeply in my daily routine at the time. ….. the first few videos I made where an investigation about blending only sound and image.”

If you already have some technical skills there are many apps you can download on your phone to make simple films. You don’t need expensive equipment, and there are online resources of images, film and sound.

Find someone with the skills that you don’t have and ask for their help.

Think about collaborating with a filmmaker – but keep fully involved in the process.

Join our next collective!

 

Add anything else you wish to

What’s in the name?Attempts to define film poetry or to even agree on what terminology to use, is a developing field. We use the term film poetry as a generic term to encompass any other term that might be used. It seems to fit in a poetry context: surrealist poems, long poems, love poems, performance poems, page poems, film poems …

We are starting a new Film Poetry Competition which will be launched in January. We are planning a section for ‘first film poems’.

INKSPILL 2018 Guest Writer Kate Garrett Bonnie’s Crew

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This year Kate Garrett embarked on a new project Bonnie’s Crew. Kate tells us more about this in our final interview.

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1) Can you tell us a little background on Bonnie’s Crew?

Bonnie’s Crew was originally just going to be a little A6 print anthology, put together from work sent in by my friends in the poetry community, and sold via JustGiving to raise money for the Children’s Heart Surgery Fund. Leeds Congenital Hearts – which is funded by the CHSF – saved my daughter Bonnie’s life when she was born, but they did it without surgery (so far – she does have a condition that often requires surgery later in life). Other babies, children, teens, and adults need the unit’s help in much more complex ways. Our time on Ward L51 opened my eyes to congenital heart disease and made me want to do something to help.

 

2) At what point did you realise poetry was your way of giving back?

Almost immediately – it’s where my own heart lies (aside from my family unit of course, but even then my husband and closest friends are poets too!), and poetry is where my people are, where the community is for me.

 

3) Please tell us about the Bonnie’s Crew anthology and webzine.

The Bonnie’s Crew anthology is fiftyish pages of poems, mostly by poets in the UK, printed in A6 size with beautiful original cover art by Marija Smits. The poems range from those written just for Bonnie to suitable reprints, and everything in between.

The webzine has become far wider-reaching – poets from all over the world submit to Bonnie’s Crew! For both mediums, I wanted poems touching on hearts and hope, above all else, but also hospital experiences, grief, loss, love (romantic or otherwise) – as these are all very universal things, we all have a body, we all have emotions, and when we experience health issues, or loss, or family problems, or anything that moves us deeply, it’s good to have a place to express those things and find solace in other stories.

Sometimes our poems are inspired by news articles that aren’t even about human beings, but are relevant to our moral dilemmas (I’m thinking of Jude Cowan Montague’s brilliant ‘the sadness of the experiment’ https://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com/2018/04/21/poem-the-sadness-of-the-experiment-by-jude-cowan-montague), and sometimes the poets themselves have been in hospital for heart conditions. It varies, but the writing is always beautiful.

We currently publish two poets a week, on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but from February 2019 we will be publishing in a web journal format every other month. BC #1 will be released on 9th February – and there’s still space for more work. To read what we’ve published so far, and to submit your own work, visit http://bonnieandcrew.wordpress.com

4) How many poems have been published on the zine?

I’m not exactly sure! Over 150, or around that… at the time of answering these questions there have been 105 posts published or scheduled, and quite a few of those include multiple poems. We’ve been publishing since the first week of February 2018.

 

5) How did it feel to hit your fundraising target?

Amazing, unbelievable. And I was so moved by the fact that through poetry we were able to raise over £1,000 in 6 months. We’re still going, and still have anthologies left to send out, so if people are interested, our JustGiving page is https://www.justgiving.com/fundraising/bonnieandcrew and if people would like an anthology after donating (£5 minimum for a book, but even a £1 donation helps!), please email me at bonnies.crew.poems@gmail.com. I’d love to raise £2,000 by the time Bonnie turns one in January, or at least by the time the print anthology turns one in May.

6) When did you decide to include visual art?

When I decided to change to a bi-monthly web journal format. Our webzine has been characterised by me pairing public domain images with the poems we publish, and people always remark on the lovely combinations. I’d like to carry on the visual aspect when we change to releasing work in issues, but I wanted the art to come from submissions instead of public domain resources.

7) What have you enjoyed most about this project?

What haven’t I enjoyed! It’s honestly the most rewarding bit of editing and publishing I’ve ever done. If I had to stop editing/publishing everything else tomorrow, I would not be able to put Bonnie’s Crew down. It’s made such a difference to people, not just the heart unit, but regular people who come across the poems and feel soothed by reading them.

 

8)What is the future for this project?

Well, as I say, I’d love to raise more money (which means selling the remaining anthologies), hold an event in Leeds with readings, and see where the new web journal format takes us. I’m accepting creative nonfiction articles and essays now as well, alongside the poetry and visual art. Bonnie’s Crew’s tagline has always been ‘poems helping hearts of all sizes’ and it’s grown to helping hearts in both literal and figurative ways. It would be lovely to keep that momentum going and reach even more people.

bONNIES CREW

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INKSPILL 2018 ARCHIVES Open

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This is the 6th year AWF has hosted INKSPILL. Spend some time delving into our Archives.

From 2014 

Guest Writer Heather Wastie on Editing a Poem.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2014/10/26/inkspill-guest-writer-heather-wastie-editing-a-poem/

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From 2015 

Our Guest Writer interview with this year’s Featured Writer – Alison May. Find out about her latest novel tomorrow.

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2015/10/24/inkspill-guest-writer-interview-with-alison-may/

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From 2016 

Our Guest Writer Workshop with Roy McFarlane – Writing their presence

https://awritersfountain.wordpress.com/2016/10/23/inkspill-guest-writer-workshop-roy-mcfarlane-writing-their-presence/

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