Friday, July 20, 2012

Friday, July 20, 2012 12:30 am by M. in , ,    2 comments
A press release from the Brontë Parsonage Museum:
Brontë Parsonage Museum announces third 'Brontë Festival of Women's Writing' 
31 August - 2 September 2012

Jane Austen will go ‘head to head’ with the Brontës in a battle between these great women writers, as part of the third Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing, to take place in Haworth from Friday 31 August to Sunday 2 September 2012. The full programme of events has been announced and will feature readings, talks, workshops and family events dedicated to celebrating and showcasing women’s writing.

The weekend will feature writers Helen Simpson, Tiffany Murray and Claire Harman discussing whether Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters have had the greatest influence on contemporary fiction. Novelist Sadie Jones will also be in conversation about her work and latest novel The Uninvited Guests. An exhibition of new poetry by Zoe Brigley and Hebden Bridge-based poet Amanda Dalton, inspired by their previous residencies at the Brontë Parsonage Museum, will go on display in the period rooms of the Parsonage for the weekend, and Amanda Dalton will be reading from her Brontë poems as part of the festival. There will also be a variety of creative writing workshops taking place to enable emerging writers to develop their own creative skills, and a series of events for museum visitors and families. The full programme details are included below.

The first Brontë Festival of Women’s Writing was held in September 2010 and was supported by the poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy. The festival takes place as part of the Brontë Parsonage Museum’s contemporary arts programme and is funded by Arts Council England and the Esmee Fairbairn Foundation.
“The Brontës were pioneering women writers and continue to inspire contemporary literature in limitless ways, so it’s fitting that the museum should explore their legacy and showcase the work of both high profile and emerging women writers working today”. (Jenna Holmes, Arts Officer, Brontë Parsonage Museum.)
Events will take place at various locations in Haworth, and tickets can be booked from the museum: jenna.holmes@bronte.org.uk / 01535 640188.

Full Programme

Friday 31 August
My Last Rochester: Poetry Exhibition
Brontë Parsonage Museum

Poets Zoe Brigley and Amanda Dalton publish new collections of poetry, featuring new work inspired by residencies at the Brontë Parsonage Museum. As part of the festival weekend, poems from Zoe Brigley’s Conquest, and Amanda Dalton’s Stray, will be exhibited as a series of text installations in the historic rooms of the Parsonage.

Zoe Brigley was born in 1981 and grew up in Caerphilly in the Rhymney Valley. She won an Eric Gregory Award and her first book of poems, The Secret, was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, and longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. She has taught creative writing at Warwick University and at the University of Northampton, where she is research fellow, and is currently living in Pennsylvania, USA. Her second collection, Conquest, was published in 2012.

Amanda Dalton is a poet and playwright. Her first book-length collection, How to Disappear was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and chosen as a Next Generation Poets. Her new collection STRAY was published in 2012. She writes for BBC Radio and for theatre, and holds an Honorary Fellowship in the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is Associate Director at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester.


Making up Stories 1pm – 3pm
West Lane Baptist Centre

Do you want to write fiction but don’t know where to start? Where do we get ideas from? This workshop will explore different ways to generate story ideas and will look at developing some of these ideas into fiction. Suitable for beginners as well as those with some experience.

Anna Turner is a writer, teacher and reader development librarian for Calderdale Libraries. Her first novel, Falling Through Clouds, was published in 2010 under her maiden name, Anna Chilvers. She studied English Literature at UCL and also has an MA in Creative Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. She teachers fiction writing for the WEA, and is a director of The Elmet Trust.

Sadie Jones 7.30pm
West Lane Baptist Centre

Sadie Jones’ first novel, The Outcast (2008) was the winner of the Costa First Novel Award. It was also shortlisted for the Orange Prize. Her second novel, Small Wars (2009) was longlisted for the Orange Prize. The Uninvited Guests (2012) is a ‘supernatural comedy and spellbinding thriller that strips away the respectable layers of Edwardian society to reveal the dark secrets beneath’.

Saturday 1 September
Poetry Masterclass with Amanda Dalton
10am – 12pm
West Lane Baptist Centre

Suitable for beginners and more experienced writers looking for refreshment, this workshop explores some of the ways in which historical lives and landscapes - such as that of the Brontës - can be explored imaginatively through poetry.

My Last Rochester: Reading
1pm
Brontë Parsonage Museum

Amanda Dalton will be reading from her new collection Stray, as part of the My Last Rochester poetry installation.

Writing from Life
2pm – 3.30pm
West Lane Baptist Centre

The popularity of autobiography, memoir and biography continues to rise, and this workshop will show you how to shape your life experiences (or the lives of others) into interesting prose for a range of styles including memoir, biography, diary and travel writing. The session is suitable for beginners and more experienced writers, especially those wanting to explore life writing for the first time.

Anne Caldwell is a writer and poet based in Hebden Bridge. Her poetry collection Talking With The Dead is published by Cinnamon Press. She edited and contributed to an anthology of life-writing stories called Some Girl’s Mothers published by Route. Anne Caldwell is Senior Lecturer in Poetry at Bolton University and teaches for the Open University.

Stormy Sisterhood: Jane Austen versus the Brontës
7.30pm
West Lane Baptist Centre

The passions are perfectly unknown to her: she rejects even a speaking acquaintance with that stormy sisterhood.

Charlotte Brontë on Jane Austen

Charlotte Brontë was famously dismissive of Jane Austen’s ‘highly cultivated’ novels, and yet 200 years later both the Brontës and Austen have never been more popular, inspiring countless sequels and reinterpretations from Bridget Jones to Bollywood. In a battle between these great women writers, who has had the greatest influence on contemporary fiction? Writers Claire Harman, Tiffany Murray and Helen Simpson join the debate.

Claire Harman is a writer and biographer. She has written biographies of Fanny Burney, Robert Louis Stevenson and Sylvia Townsend Warner, which won the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize. Her most recent book is Jane's Fame: How Jane Austen Conquered the World (2009), She is currently writing a new biography of Charlotte Brontë for publication in 2016. Claire has taught English at the Universities of Manchester and Oxford and creative writing at Columbia University in New York.


Tiffany Murray is the author of two novels, Diamond Star Halo (2010) and Happy Accidents (2004) both of which were shortlisted for the Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize. Diamond Star Halo was selected as one of 'the best' in The Guardian’s pick of 2010 Fiction, and drew inspiration from both Persuasion and Wuthering Heights. Tiffany is Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Glamorgan.


Helen Simpson’s first collection of short stories, Four Bare Legs in a Bed (1990), won the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year, a Somerset Maugham Award and she was chosen as one of Granta magazine's 20 'Best of Young British Novelists'. Her subsequent collections include Dear George (1995) and Hey Yeah Right Get a Life (2000) a collection of stories about modern women and motherhood which won the Hawthornden Prize in 2001. Her latest collection is A Bunch of Fives (2012).

Sunday 2 September

A range of fun writing activities will be taking place at the Museum all day for visitors and families: join the poetry trail, and play a giant Wuthering Heights word game on the Parsonage lawn!

For all bookings and further information contact the Brontë Parsonage Museum: 01535 640188 /jenna.holmes@bronte.org.uk

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