Discover your inner bookworm or writer this November
Autumn is the perfect season to celebrate all things reading. When the evenings are drawing in and the weather gets colder, why not curl up with your favourite book and spend time drifting into another world?!
In celebration of National Author’s Day on November 1 and National Novel Writing Month this November, we’re sharing some fantastic Welsh authors, events and stories which will detail why Wrexham is an idyllic location to indulge in reading and creative writing.
Starting with (one of) the best
Some would say that Roald Dahl is one of the greatest storytellers for children of the 20th century. Born in a Cardiff suburb, Llandaff, during the First World War, Dahl rose to prominence as a writer in the 1940s and wrote his first official story aimed at children in 1943 named The Gremlins. During his colourful career as a writer, Dahl invented more than 500 new words and character names such as ‘oompa-loompas’ from the well-known Charlie and the Chocolate Factory. Known for writing many of his fantastic stories from his garden shed, Dahl died in 1990 and since 2006, on what would have been his birthday (September 13th) children across the world celebrate ‘Roald Dahl Day’ and remember some of the brilliant stories he had written.
Other notable Welsh authors are of course Dylan Thomas whose most celebrated work was ‘Under Milk Wood’ and RS Thomas the famous 20th century poet who was nominated for a Nobel Prize for Literature in 1996.
Present day writers
More recent writers Welsh writers include Russell T Davies, TV writer and producer of Doctor Who, Ken Follett the thriller-writer who has sold 160 million copies worldwide and Philip Pullman the author of His Dark Materials trilogy which has been made into a televised production.
Closer to Wrexham we also have David Ebsworth who writes historical fiction novels and political thrillers covering topics such as the Battle of Waterloo and the Spanish Civil War. Each of Dave's novels has been critically acclaimed by the Historical Novel Society. His latest trilogy covers the life of philanthropist (and slave-trader) Elihu Yale who is buried in Wrexham and after whom Yale University in the USA is named. For more information on the author and his work, visit his website www.davidebsworth.com
Literary festival on the doorstep
Nearer to home, we celebrate literary locally each year at Wrexham’s Carnival of Words event. Running since 2015, the festival usually takes place in Springtime to bring a variety of authors, poets, and workshops together and provide a space for literary enthusiasts to meet other likeminded people. Hosted across various local venues, there really is something for everyone.
At the University
Earlier this year we launched a short story competition where students were asked to create a story inspired by the covid-19 pandemic. Delving into the emotions felt during the pandemic, students were asked to theme their story around ‘lockdown’. With over 40 entries submitted, the judging panel decided on four winners, each offering a generous cash prize.
Jenny Jones, studying an MA in Education, won first place for her story titled ‘#essential’. Jenny sought inspiration for her story from colleagues and friends losing elderly loved ones during covid-19 and wanted to portray how some of the elderly may have felt during those uncertain and frightening initial months.
Creative Writing at Glyndwr
In the new year, we will be offering a short course Beginning Creative Writing to help you get started on learning how to develop your own plots and characters.
For those of you interested in a longer course we offer a degree BA (Hons) Creative Writing course which can provide you with an opportunity to learn and practice a variety of writing techniques to pursue some of your own author aspirations. Exploring a range of narratives, drama and poetry, the course provides students with a good understanding of industry practice for them to later apply in work.
Delivered by our team of writing experts, the course gives students creative freedom to find their own writing style to harness and develop through various creative pieces and essays.
Available to study on a full-time (3 years) or part-time (6 years) basis, previous graduates have gone onto to work in publishing, marketing, and advertising to name a few.
Don’t forget to tweet us what you’re reading or writing this #NationalAuthorsDay and #NationalNovelWritingMonth.
Written by Alice James, Faculty Engagement and Liason Officer at Wrexham Glyndŵr University.