Runnymede Festival inspires love of literature

Posted on 11/03/2013

Marking its eighth year, the Runnymede International Literary Festival kicks off on Wednesday 13 March, with public readings, discussions and performances held at Royal Holloway, and at the Centre for Creative Collaboration in Acton Street, central London.

With former Poet Laureate and Professor of Creative Writing Sir Andrew Motion and two-time winner of The Man Booker Prize Hilary Mantel as its patrons, the Festival aims to bring writers and poets into contact with the community and inspire a love of literature.

Organised by Royal Holloway in association with the Runnymede Literary Association and Runnymede Borough Council, events include a series of creative writing workshops run by postgraduate students in local schools, which are designed to engage school children in a range of fun literary-themed activities. This part of the programme, which is sponsored by Procter & Gamble, reaches its climax with a full day of events here on Wednesday 13 March, when pupils will take part in free interactive workshops on the theme of ‘Science Fiction, Science Fact’, covering diverse topics such as radio plays, elements of sci-fi in ancient literature and different methods that have been used to adapt sci-fi literature.

On Tuesday 19 March, Dr Eric Langley, from the Department of English, will talk about ‘Shakespeare, medicine and illness’.  This is the Festival’s contribution to a series of campus-based events around the theme of ‘The Body and Medicine’, taking inspiration from Mary Shelley's Frankenstein.

In addition, alumni from the MA in Creative Writing will launch their latest anthology of their writing at the Centre for Creative Collaboration on Thursday 21 March and current students will read from their work on the evening of 22 March.

To conclude the Festival on Saturday 23 March, there will be a one-day poetry festival in London, featuring readings by current students from the MA in Poetic Practice, as well as from a range of leading innovative poets, including Prue Chamberlain, Adrian Clarke, S.J. Fowler, David Herd and Sophie Robinson.

Sir Andrew Motion, Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, said: “This year’s event will allow the public to get a taste of the vibrant and inspirational work that is going on here at Royal Holloway.

“The Runnymede International Literary Festival celebrates the importance of writing in our lives and will give readers the chance to meet authors and poets. Our creative writing students will also have the opportunity to read in front of receptive audiences, which is an invaluable experience for them.”

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