Monday, October 15, 2018

Day 12 of 31 Days of Prose: Once Upon a Time

In this personal essay I'm exploring the idea of a fairytale ending. If it's my story, I get to define what happily ever after means, right?


Sunday, October 14, 2018

Day 11 of 31 Days of Prose: Giver of Breath

This essay loosely interprets the theme "school memories." I wrote the piece to read at Stories at the Storey and recorded it here for 31 Days of Prose.

In the piece I reflect on memories which are at best fleeting.

Day 10 of 31 Days of Prose: I Thought it Would Feel like Summer

In this recorded essay I explore my relationship with motherhood as my children grow older. I wrote this piece for Stories at the Storey's theme empty nest.


Day 9 of 31 Days of Prose: Is This Seat Taken?


In this essay I explore getting from one point to the other. I wrote this essay for Stories at the Storey true story open mic night for the theme journey and recorded it for 31 Days of Prose.

Day 8 of 31 Days of Prose: Haunted

In this recorded reading of a personal essay, I explore my perpetual search for home.


Day 7 of 31 Days of Prose: Dear Gorgeous

This piece is a letter written to future me. It's a letter I hope, if I were to open it years later, would make me smile, reflect, remember, and act.


Thursday, October 11, 2018

Day 6: Navigating an Emotional Landscape

Sometimes it feels like I'm watching people through a lens or filter. In this creative nonfiction essay I explore my emotional landscape.


Day 5: 31 Days of Prose Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

This is a personal essay about endings and celebrating life. In this piece I explore the legacy I hope to leave for my children and one or two things I would rather not happen at my funeral.


Monday, October 8, 2018

Day 4: The Truth About Love: A Personal Essay Loosely Exploring Love

In this creative nonfiction personal essay I explore love, the search for home, and my love of planning.

I wrote this piece for Stories at the Storey, a true-story-open-mic night hosted by my friend Naomi and I. I've recorded it to share it here as part of 31 Days of Prose.


Sunday, October 7, 2018

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Day 2 of 31 Days of Prose: What If

This one is a bit of a cheat. I posted this on Soundcloud but am including it in my birthday celebration.

The piece is titled, What If. It's a true story reflecting on possibilities, opportunities, and could have beens.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Play on Words: A Month of True (and False) Stories



It’s my birthday. For my birthday I’ve decided to give myself a very special gift. I’m giving me the gift of time, sort of. What I’m actually giving me is permission to do something I love to do for at least an hour a day. I love stories. I love reading them, writing them, listening to them, and telling them. Each month my friend Naomi and I write and read true stories at Stories at the Storey, our true story open mic night.

For one magical night a month, I get to listen to and tell real stories to real people. That’s one magical night a month, once a month for the past nearly four years. I’ve heard a lot of stories. There have been stories about family, expectations, fears, politics, regret, happiness, loss, identity, dreams, and anything (and everything it seems) in between. There have been stories that made me laugh, cry, think, act, remember, and forget. I get to know people through their stories so my life is richer, fuller, and happier because of them.

I’ve loosely interpreted each theme sharing stories of my own family, regrets, dreams, losses, rejections, obstacles, triumphs, joys and search for home. I imagine people get to know me through my stories. Through writing them, I learn more about myself. So, I’m giving myself the gift of stories: 31 days of prose. Each day this month I’ll be posting readings of stories from my writing past, present, and future. Most of them will be true, some will have been written for true or false nights so, those will be false. There will be at least one short story, and maybe because I found some in my writing skeletons, a poem or two.

How can you join in? First, listen. I love sharing stories so please have a listen. Second, I absolutely love being told stories. There is nothing quite like a well-woven story and the voice of someone who wants to share it. So, share recordings of you reading from your own writing. These posts can be fiction, creative nonfiction, or poetry.

Why am I calling this a Play on Words? I’m hoping you’ll read your story dramatically, a bit like it’s a play, a performance, a spoken word piece, a story.

I realize while recording these that I am not an audio editor. I've also realized that I can't upload these from home until my home internet starts working again so I'll be recording them daily, and uploading them as I can. Thanks for joining me on this journey. By the end of it, I hope to become more comfortable with Audacity and to get to know you through your stories. 

Here's my first one: And the Winner is...
           
           

Saturday, July 7, 2018

Introducing Summer of Prose, Creative Non-Fiction Writing Workshops


Summer of Prose: Creative Nonfiction

Summer is in full swing. People are creating memories faster than you can say "cheese". What better way to preserve them than with a true story?

No matter how many pictures we take, how many tweets we post, or how many videos we film, memories, events, and people, just like old photos, can be lost, forgotten, or misplaced. It’s true, a picture speaks a thousand words, but nothing captures the depth and detail of a moment/memory like a story. If you’re writing a personal essay and need help getting it into shape, join us for summer of prose, an online summer writing camp.

Sessions are six weeks and run Sunday-Sunday
Price: £150. Payable upfront or £25 a week payable each Sunday.
What is it? An online creative writing course aimed to help you develop a personal essay to submit to publications, perform, and/or inform a larger collection. The course includes weekly writing prompts, tailored weekly writing exercises and readings, and weekly feedback to help develop your personal essay (up to 3,500 words) for your target audience.

Each Sunday, you will receive a writing prompt and reading list tailored to your writing goals, development, and the piece you submitted on registration. You will also be encouraged to submit writing weekly and will receive constructive feedback via email.

Weekly Themes:

Week 1: Writing You, Character, Motivation

Week 2: It’s All in Your Head, Memory and Writing

Week 3: Telling your story, your way: Shape/structure, Perspective, Ownership

Week 4: It was a Dark and Stormy Night, or was it? Setting Place, Time

Week 5: Where did I leave my keys? Writing Place, descriptions

Week 6: Editing and Exploring the Marketing: finding publishing and performance opportunities

About Me:

Yvonne is an American writer living in Lancaster, UK. A writer of fiction and Creative Nonfiction, her writing has been published in riverSedge, Assisi, Not Somewhere Else But Here: A Contemporary Anthology of Women and Place, Welter, Slices, and The Chesapeake Reader Literary Journal.

Winner of a Northern Writers Award in fiction (2017), her first novel, Remembered (forthcoming 2019), is the story of an emancipated slave haunted by both the past and the present as she struggles to lead her dying son  home. Yvonne’s practice-based research explores silence, legacies of slavery, motherhood, and community. Her novel will be published by Dialogue Books of Little, Brown Group (Hachette). Yvonne was shortlisted for the Words and Women Competition (2017) and commended for children’s writing in the Faber Andlyn BAME (FAB) Prize (2017).

Yvonne is represented by the Elise Dillsworth agency and holds an MA in Writing (Dual Concentration fiction and nonfiction) from Johns Hopkins University and a Creative Writing PhD from Lancaster University. She is an Associate Lecturer at Lancaster University and a Lecturer at University of Cumbria. Yvonne is a creative producer, writer, and is co-founder and co-Director of North West Literary Arts CIC.

Yvonne is co-creator of the North West Literary Salon, a monthly literary event featuring local writers, musicians and food; Stories at the Storey, a monthly true-story open mic night providing a platform for new writing and creative nonfiction since 2014, and Off the Page, interdisciplinary creative writing workshops as well as founder of The Writing Life radio show. 
The organization aims to increase diversity in publishing and to build community one story at a time.

**Optional features: Character Sketch: artist sketch of main characters
**In-character reading: recording of actors reading the work in character.
Ready to get started? Classes are ongoing. You can start any week.

Email Yvonne at northwestliteraryarts@gmail.com for more information or to get started on our writing journey.


Thursday, June 7, 2018

Call for True Stories: Disruption

Detours, delays, cancellations: sometimes plans, journeys, and schedules run into unexpected disruptions. Sometimes we end up somewhere else; sometimes we arrive late or not at all. Good or bad, disruptions can lead us places beyond our imagination.

Whether you or your plans have gotten derailed, rescheduled, cancelled, or delayed, we want your story of disruptions (physical, mental, emotional) and the things that sometimes run off course on the journey from point A to point B.

Have a true story to share? Email (storiesatthestorey@gmail.com) message, tweet us to sign up for your 3-5-minute (2-4 pages A4) slot.

Not sure you're ready to read your true story? That’s fine too. Come by and listen. If you would like to share a story but want us to offer some feedback, get in touch. We can help you get your story ready.

When: Thursday, June 28, 7-8 PM
Where: Printroom Café & Bar, Lancaster
Sponsored by Graduate College

North West Literary Arts June Edition: May highlights and Theme Reveal

In this month's newsletter we share our experiences putting on a funding event and hosting our first event in London. We learned a lot. The newsletter offers some highlights and invites readers to share their insights on organizing events. We also included an invitation to join our new Facebook Group, Create. Create is a space for networking, sharing information and resources, and supporting other creatives.

We also reveal this month's theme for Stories at the Storey.

As always, if you'd like to get involved, get in touch.

Thanks for reading

Thursday, May 10, 2018

North West Literary Arts May News

In this month’s newsletter, we’re talking about last month’s Stories at the Storey, upcoming events (you’re all invited), and breaking through writers’ block. Want to read this month's newsletter? May's newsletter is available to read on our Patreon site and on our Onliterary website.

Dates to remember:

May 29th: we are hosting an evening with Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi and Naomi Kruger. If you’d like to join us at our free literary salon in London, please order a free ticket via Eventbrite.

May 31: Funding Your Creativity, the Arts Council will be joining us to discuss funding your creative practice/project. The panel will include discussion of grants as well as ticketing, crowd funding, and collaborations. We have creatives joining us from a number of practices and disciplines. If you’re near Lancaster, order your free ticket via Eventbrite and contact us to make a one-to-one appointment with the Arts Councils Alison Boyle. During the one-to-one you’ll be able to talk about projects, applications, etc…

Thanks and Happy May!

Sunday, April 8, 2018

North West Literary Arts News: April Edition


North West
Literary Arts
Volume 1 / Issue 7

The View from my window

Last month we shared stories loosely exploring the theme “firsts.” The stories made us laugh, think, listen, and cry.  There were stories about loss, love, acceptance, memory, family, and more. As we are each month, Naomi and I were touched by the openness, truth, trust, and generosity of each storyteller.
In the spirit of the theme, Naomi shared an exclusive reading of May. The reading left us breathless and anxious to hear more.

Last month was a first for me too. I shared drafts of my interpretation of the theme as a work-in-progress on Patreon where I will also be posting a recording of the piece.  I am hoping to share my writing journey each month. Writing is a process, by sharing mine I hope to empower other writers to create, share, and publish their own.

April’s theme is another true or false night. Storytellers do not have to tell us whether the stories they share are fiction, creative nonfiction, or hybrid pieces. I’ve already started writing mine. If you’d like to share your 3-5 minute true story in person, via email, on our website, Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram let us know.

At Stories at the Storey there’s always room for one more.
What’s New?

We have some exciting upcoming events and you’re invited!

Book Launch: April 28, 7-9PM, Waterstones King Street, Lancaster: Join us as we celebrate the launch of Naomi Kruger’s, May. The event will include a reading, followed by a lively discussion and light refreshments. The event is free and all are welcome. Please order your free tickets via Eventbrite.
Interested in volunteering? We need volunteers to help the event run smoothly. Some roles could include seating guests, setting up, taking pictures, and/or social media marketing and engagement. Email us at northwestliteraryarts@gmail.com to get involved.

Funding and Developing Your Creative Writing, Practice, and/or Project: May, 2018 (TBC). Join us for a free event to discuss funding, developing, and delivering creative writing and other arts projects. This discussion aims to provide information on funding opportunities as well as providing an opportunity to network and collaborate with individuals and organizations. The event is for practitioners, writers, creators, etc... in literature, dance, music. We will also discuss crowd funding, collaborating, the Arts Council’s role as developers, match funding, and strategies to support one another to create sustainable arts. We will be joined by Alison Boyle from the Arts Council. Alison is also offering individual 10 minute one-to-one sessions to discuss Arts Council proposals and your project. If you are interested in an appointment, please contact Yvonne at northwestliteraryarts@gmail.com. Other guests to be confirmed.

How can this event be useful to you? We are organizing a collaborating/networking event a week prior so that writers and other creative practitioners have the opportunity to consider projects, explore potential collaborations, and develop relationships. If you are interested in this free event or have a suggestion about ways we can make the event more relevant, please get in touch.

London Book Launch: Join us on May 29th for an evening of words with Jennifer Nansugba Makumbi and Naomi Kruger. Jennifer will be reading from Kintu and Naomi will be reading from May. The readings will be followed by engaging discussion, refreshments, and opportunities to have books signed.

Tips and Prompts

Not sure how to start your next writing project? This month’s tip could help. Between researching, plotting, brainstorming, and visualizing, it takes a lot of steps to go from idea to finished draft. While these can be necessary steps, they sometimes get in the way of what we set out to do: write. Whether you outline, cloud, plot, or map, if your current strategy is slowing you down, change it. How?

Just write. There is plenty of time to plot, consider, research, and edit after you get the words on the page.

  1. Imagine an idea.
  2. Write.

Before I start writing, I mentally listen to my characters’ voices and begin picturing them in scenes. I get to know them by imagining how they act and react, how they walk, and the boundaries they are willing to cross. So before I pick up a pen or type a word, I imagine.  

Next, I write. 

How do you start writing a piece?

Building Community, One Story at a Time

Have news to share? Let us know and we will share it either via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, or email.

Twitter: @NWLitSalon
Facebook: North West Literary Salon
Instagram: North West Literary Arts

Want our help with a project? Get in touch.
Thanks for reading,
Yvonne and Naomi, North West Literary Arts







Monday, March 12, 2018

Stories at the Storey Call for True Stories: March

Kisses, jobs, loves, speeding tickets; they say you never forget your first.This month's Stories at The Storey theme is "firsts" (loosely interpreted). Want to share your true story loosely exploring the theme "firsts"? Email, message, tweet us to sign up for your 5-minute slot. Not sure you're ready to read your true story? Well, they say "there's a first time for everything".

Get in touch, we can help you get your story ready.
When: Thursday, March 29. 7-8 PM
Where: Printroom Café & Bar, Lancaster

Want to share your 3-5 minute (2-4 pages A4) true story?
Email: storiesatthestorey@gmail.com to sign up for an open-mic slot.

Sponsored by Graduate College, Stories at the Storey is a pay what you decide event. Order free tickets via Eventbrite.

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Good with Money and with Words? Volunteer Opening at North West Literary Arts C.I.C.


North West Literary Arts is looking for a dynamic board member to join us. If you (or someone you know) have experience in writing and managing art funding applications, accounting skills, and experience working with literary events, projects, and/or organizations, we’d love to chat about ways to grow our organization.

About Us: The Directors, Naomi Kruger and Yvonne Battle-Felton, are published writers, educators, and creative producers who are passionate about empowering emerging writers, providing platforms, and creating engaging literature-based events. Our past and current projects include performed workshops, literary salons, and a monthly true-story open mic night. We aim to increase diversity in publishing and most of our projects are aimed at writers over 30. 

We want to make literature accessible to writers from backgrounds under-represented in publishing and to engage audiences who may not currently see their stories reflected on the page.

Our mission is to build community one story at a time. We hope you’ll join us.

Please note, this is an unpaid role. To arrange a discussion about the role please email Yvonne and Naomi at northwestliteraryarts@gmail.com



Thursday, January 11, 2018

Call for True Stories: January Stories at The Storey

Call for Writers, Readers, Storytellers, You


It can warm, guide, and move us; propel, protect, reveal: This month’s theme is “light” (loosely interpreted). Join us as we share true stories of light: walking with or in it, the pursuit of, the search for, the loss of, and everything in between.

Whether you are a writer, reader, storyteller, or can spin an interesting tale, we would love to hear your 3-5 minute (2-4 pages A4) true story loosely interpreting this month's theme. Have a true story to share? Message us here or email: storiesatthestorey@gmail.com to sign up for an open-mic slot.

Please note this month features the opportunity to have your true story recorded by and broadcast on Beyond Radio. As always, this is optional. If you would like to read and have your story recorded, please let us know. If you would like to read and would not like your story recorded, please let us know that as well.

The choice is yours.

Either way, we’d love to hear your true story.

When is it? The next Stories at the Storey is Thursday, January 25.  The event is 7-8 PM (Join us for drinks and refreshments at 6:30).

Where is it? Stories at the Storey is at Print Room Cafe in The Storey, Lancaster

What are we looking for? Stories at the Storey is a true story open mic night. The stories we are looking for are creative nonfiction, lifewriting, well-crafted true stories.

What is Creative Nonfiction? Creative nonfiction draws on storytelling techniques to create stories that engage readers. Create a scene for us; describe the setting, landscape (emotional, geographical, otherwise), bring your characters to life. For an example of Creative Nonfiction, read Truman Capote's In Cold Blood or Creative Nonfiction magazine.

Tips:
The most engaging stories are practiced. Whether you memorize your story, read it from a screen, or read it from a notebook, practice reading your story out loud.

Remember you have 3-5 minutes; that's about 2-4 sheets of A4. Your story will be concise. It doesn't have to connect all of the dots for us.

Engage us, invite us in to your world.

Relax: we want to hear your story as much as you want to share it.


So sign up for your slot and get writing!

Day 12 of 31 Days of Prose: Once Upon a Time

In this personal essay I'm exploring the idea of a fairytale ending. If it's my story, I get to define what happily ever after mean...