For many more details and up-to-date info on the activities of the Creative Writing staff and students, see http://uogcreativewriting.wordpress.com.
In 2006, Cheltenham was voted the best place to live in Britain, and it especially suits aspiring writers. The Cheltenham Literature Festival
is the oldest literature festival in the world and recent guests have included Martin Amis, Toni Morrison, Salman Rushdie, and Ian McEwan. The University works in partnership with the Literature Festival and every year a number of free tickets are made available to students. We also have close links with the Cheltenham Poetry Festival
, and in 2011 the performers included Nigel McLoughlin and UoG graduate Angela France. We also work with Cheltenham’s Everyman Theatre
; for example, second year playwriting students have their work read by professional actors under the supervision of the Everyman’s creative director. Gloucestershire has a literary tradition that includes Dennis Potter, Laurie Lee, and the Dymock Poets, and today the University is part of an active writing culture. There are regular open mic nights at which students read their own work, read their favourite writer’s work, or just sit back with a drink and listen. Meanwhile, the Creative Writing Student Society
organises discussions, theme nights, and socials. Cheltenham also boasts some exceptional second hand bookstores
Creative Writing is taught as part of the University of Gloucestershire’s Media, Arts, and Technologies faculty. This faculty includes students working in other creative industries: illustration, fine art, creative media, popular music, performing arts, radio production, screenwriting, and journalism. There are opportunities to collaborate with students on other courses; for example, radio production specialists record some of our students’ plays and stories. In the 2012 Guardian League table, English at the University of Gloucestershire was ranked 19th in the UK. In addition to the Creative Writing staff, Francis Close Hall Campus is a base for experts on everything from crime fiction and children’s fiction to Shakespeare and Milton. The ivy-covered campus building is itself suggestive of a gothic novel.
In the last four years, six University of Gloucestershire graduates have gone on to publish books and many more students and graduates are publishing poetry and short stories regularly in journals such as Envoi, Acumen, Agenda, Iota, The London Magazine, and Magma. Over the last three years students and graduates have been shortlisted for the Arvon Poetry Prize, The Guardian Short Story Prize, The Cinnamon Press Prize, and The Templar Poetry Pamphlet Prize among others. One student has made a good name on the performance scene, winning slams across the UK, while also publishing in journals. Another graduate, Lucy Tyler, has had her plays produced in Europe and America and is now part of our teaching staff. Our graduates work in many different fields, including teaching, publishing, and arts administration. At least six students have progressed to PhD study.
Find out more about studying Creative Writing at the University of Gloucestershire.