Tag Archives: East of England

Ellen Lives On

Writing in The Guardian in late 2014 the author Rupert Wallis was minded to tell us that ‘…more and more not-so- young adults are reading YA fiction’ –  which he declared was no bad thing. He went on…

‘The power of YA fiction to generate an emotional resonance around death should not be underestimated in UK society, where young adults spend a lot of time immersed in the artificial realities of cyberspace and gaming’.

Source: The Guardian, 18th August 2014.

Ellen Lives On - cover image and web link
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Lynda Haddock, in her first novel, has wonderfully underscored the sentiment with her first novel Ellen Lives On. The book features the journey, the exploration of a new life and the acquisition of a new set of values, by the teenager Ellen.

For Ellen the journey is mapped from the suicide of her mother, an emergent rally to the cause of education and her exodus to the Metropolis in search new friends, political engagement and the forming of a new identity for herself.

‘One way of tackling the difficult questions raised by death is to feel connected to one another in addressing them, to feel human together…’ writes Wallis in his article. Indeed, the sensitively written, clear narrative from Lynda Haddock stirs up the emotions and will clearly illuminate a shared experience for teenagers suffering loss.

Buy this book, with free shipping here…

The new novel was enjoyed by the Books go Walkabout team in our office. Sue Martin, writing for our new season book list opined…

”A desperately moving novel about a young girl whose life changes forever when she returns home to find that her mother has committed suicide.

Ellen, a scholarship girl at a local grammar school in the 1970’s, finds that life is uncomfortable and fraught as soon as you are no longer the ‘norm’ pupil, let alone the trauma of discovering that she is alone in the world. Alone, that is, apart from her Grandfather, who is elderly and lives a long way from Ellen.

Taken in by her aunt and uncle, Ellen finds the welcome is short lived and that she is a burden to the family, simply used as the girl in the house to do all the chores. Her uncle tells her the sooner she finishes school and starts a job the sooner she can pay for her living.

After a series of heart-wrenching problems with friends, teachers and those who were meant to be supporting her, Ellen goes on the run. She finds friendship with people in a squat, her grandfather is taken into hospital and she abandons any hope of a career with prospects.

Eventually Social Services find Ellen and her life starts to rebuild, but never back to where it was and with very little hope of the future that had been planned.

A moving and poignant story for Young Adults and a thought provoking debut novel for Lynda Haddock.”

It is also, in its way, a primer for adults, the ‘not so young’ in Wallis’s narrative, to recognise the strains and pains of a teenager going through this crisis, such is the insight afforded the reader of any age by Lynda Haddock’s writing.

Lynda Haddock’s work joins a solid tradition of novels that seek to offer reflection and a way forward in the face of death and loss. From The Fault in Our Stars by John Green to Jacqueline Wilson’s Vicky Angel – the Haddock narrative deals with death, yes, but also in the exploration of self, equality and values – all of which are significant markers for young adults as they march forward into the 21st Century.

For Wallis ‘…the true significance of death in YA is that authors are reflecting back what they see everyday; namely, that death is ominously prevalent these days, whether in fiction or a national news broadcast or the obituary columns‘.

This is certainly true of the author Lynda Haddock, whose professional life before her novel encompassed education and the specialist support of children experiencing difficulty in their lives. The storytelling resonates with it.

The experience tellingly shows in the novel Ellen Lives On, and we hope it might become a staple of your library of resources – tendering a way into loss and bereavement that will be recognised by any teenager, whatever their culture, age or background.


Editor’s Note:

We would commend Lynda Haddock’s publisher to note that the YA Book Prize for 2019 is now open for nominations.

You can discover the latest updates to the YA Book Prize here.

Publishers can find the YA Book Prize terms and conditions and how to apply details here.

We loved this book, buy a copy and explore challenging and stirring landscapes of the teenage mind.

The conversationsEAST team.

Our team also deliver international author and illustrator visits and exchanges through our Books go Walkabout project. Find out more here…

You can also discover reviews and features for younger readers on Book Monitor, our BgW review pages. See more here...

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Into the library vortex…

Library vortex, image and web link
Into the library vortex of knowledge and imagination…

We have, with our new Libraries news-feed page, given our readers the opportunity to keep up with latest news from across the UK.

We are rotating our topical feeds across University libraries, feminist collections and featuring, as we must, the go to public library resource, PLN.

Library image by Jaredd Craig…

Check our our Libraries page below and keep coming back to stay informed.

    See more: http://www.conversationseast.org/libraries/

In The Guardian you can find an encompassing article that sums up the decline of the local library. Picturing a library using population that has tumbled by 30% in a decade. See more

The study it regales us with is Taking Part (.pdf) from the DCMS. It found that…

The greatest fall in adult library usage was seen among 16 to 24-year-olds, according to the DCMS report. In 2005, figures showed that 51% of this age group used the library. In 2015, the figure fell to 25.2%.

Statista, the Statistics Portal, offers detailed annual library visits data, from 2002 to 2014.  Here the analysis shows that from a peak in 2005/, with a total of £42 million visits, by 2013/14 this figure had declined to just over 282 million visits.

It is never too late to fight back and get into good library habits. We like the 10 Reasons to use Your Library article, on the web journal Ten Penny Dreams. Elegantly laid out, the author, a North of England writer, gently chides us to remember why using a library is such a joy and a revelation. See more here

If you need it, visitcambridge.org in the East of England are offering public tours of the Parker Library, including parts of Corpus Christi College. Where you can ‘…sample its amazing collection which includes the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle, principal source book for early English history, the sixth-century Gospels of Saint Augustine, the Bury Bible and the best manuscript of Chaucer’s Troilus…

Proof, if proof were needed, that librarians are keepers of our collective culture, and that libraries, as buildings, are the engines of our future dreams. Don’t lose it, use it!

    See more: http://www.conversationseast.org/libraries/

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Seasonal best wishes for 2019

 

We hope our readers have enjoyed the contributions to consEast this year. We look forward to supporting the work into the New Year.

Best wishes from all at SmithMartin LLP – supporting voluntary projects across our region wherever we can – at any time of year.

Contact us here for editorial copy, images or more information about our projects.


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It’s never too early for a JDRF UK Christmas card!

It’s that time of year again. When we hope we are early enough to persuade you to buy your Christmas cards from JDRF.

JDRF Christamas card - image and web link
A great source of Christmas cheer and really useful seasonal giving…see more

This year, as well as the usual well designed, delightful cards, you can choose a virtual gift to support JDRF.

Every pound you spend helps support the work of JDRF in fighting type 1 diabetes.

You can find the JDRF card shop on-line here.

The JDRF Gift Packages enable you to select a gift to your value, so that your purchase has even more impact on the work of JDRF, our favourite charity.

How does it work?…

‘Select and order your gift. JDRF will send you a …pack containing a premium gift card that is blank for your own message and a brief description of your gift. We also include a letter from us explaining how this gift can help people with type 1, all wrapped up in a blue gift envelope. You can then personalise and send your gift to a friend or loved one’.

Find the JDRF Gift Pack shop pages online here.

Even before the snow has fallen, we wish you a very Happy Christmas – from all of us at conversationsEAST and SmithMartin LLP. We are proud to be continued supporters of JDRF.


About JDRF:

Supporting JDRF at Christmas...image and web link
Supporting JDRF at Christmas…

JDRF is the type 1 diabetes charity. We won’t stop until we create a world without type 1 diabetes.

We are committed to eradicating type 1 diabetes and its effects for everyone in the UK with type 1, and at risk of developing it.

To work towards a day when there is no more type 1 we:

• fund world-class research approved and administered by our international research programme to cure, treat and prevent type 1 diabetes

• make sure research moves forward and treatments are delivered as fast as possible.

• give support and a voice to people with type 1 and their families

Source:  https://jdrf.org.uk/

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Applications for British Science Week 2019

The application process for grants to support British Science Week in 2019 is still open.

British Science Week will next take place between 8th-17th March, 2019.

The application process involves thematic grants for school, community groups and one for the British Science Association branches. You can see the detail for each sectoral award below…

The deadline for applications is 5pm, 12 November 2018.

Kick Start Grants

This scheme offers grants for schools in challenging circumstances to organise their own events as part of British Science Week. There are three options available:

  • Kick Start grant: A grant of £300 for your school to run an activity
  • Kick Start More grant: A grant of £700 for your school to host a science event or activity which involves your students and the local community.
  • Kick Start Youth grant: A grant of £150 for your school to run an activity during British Science Week organised by students.

Community Grants

This scheme offers £500 to £1000 grants for community groups that work directly with audiences who are traditionally under-represented and currently not engaged in science activity. Our definition of groups that are underrepresented in science includes:

  • people who are Black Asian Minority Ethnic (BAME)
  • people with low socio-economic status (SES), including people disadvantaged in terms of education and income
  • young people facing adversity, including those not in education, employment or training (NEET)
  • people with a disability, defined as a physical or mental impairment that has a substantial and long-term effect on someone’s ability to do normal daily activities (Equalities Act 2010)
  • people living in a remote and rural location, defined as settlements of less than 10,000 people
  • girls and women

BSW Grants for BSA branches

This scheme offers up to £500 of funding for British Science Association branches to take part in our national celebration by running local events during British Science Week.

This scheme is open to BSA volunteer branches only.

Source: https://www.britishscienceweek.org/about-us/grants/

You can find the on-line grant application pages here.

If you do apply, the best of luck from the conversationsEAST team

 

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Disturbing the Beast – revisited

Boudicca Press - logotype image and web link
Discover the new work here…

Update: 30th September 2018…

Congratulations to the Boudicca Press team for hitting their Kickstarter target with a whole week to go! Brilliant.


We recently featured the work of Boudicca Press, in promoting new writing for women and in their current process of coagulating new pieces to publish under the banner of Disturbing the Beast.

Disturbing the Beast is a collection of weird fiction stories by some of the best women writers in the UK, featuring Kirsty Logan, Aliya Whiteley and other talented up-and- coming writers. It’s the debut collection from the new literary press, Boudicca Press, who celebrate the strength, courage and literary talents of women.

Great news. Disturbing the Beast Kickstarter launches 3rd September: Weird fiction
stories from some of the best women writers, including Aliya Whiteley, Kirsty
Logan and more.

Distrubing the Beast - cover image from Boudicca Press
The cover image for great writing! Support the work here…

The anthology will be funded by a Kickstarter campaign which launches on Monday 3rd September 2018 with a target of £2500.

Submissions, however, are still welcome from women writers until Friday 14th September. It is intended that the ultimate publication date for the work will be early in 2019.

See more here.

 

Boudicca is keen to unearth challenging subjects in a healthy and respectful way, something that they feel is not often considered in mainstream, contemporary literature. The work is intended to celebrate women’s voices in the weird fiction genre, in a publishing industry where they feel women are under-represented.

Do support this great women’s writing initiative and look for Boudicca Press and Disturbing the Beast on Kickstarter, from Monday 3rd September 2018.

 

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Arts & Business news

Cambridge Open Art Festival 2018 - image and web link
Read our original article here…

Just updated: 17th September 2018

Open Art Exhibition 2018 - catalogue image and web link
Exhibition catalogue available here…

This great exhibition is almost upon us. You can view, print or download the full exhibition catalogue here.

 

We recently ran an article on our pages about the Cambridge Open Art Exhibition 2018. Well the deadline for the submission of artwork for this year’s event is very close.

We have published the key dates, courtesy of the Open Art team, below. Don’t rush, but safely head towards the deadline at a good speed. Good luck too!

 

Key Dates for Artists:
Artwork entry/image deadline Friday 17th August 2018

Delivery of Artwork to Swavesey Village College:
Thursday 11th October 2018 between 4.30pm and 7pm

Collection of Unsold artwork:
Sunday 14th October 2018 between 4.15pm and 5.30pm

Exhibition Dates:
Preview Friday 12th Oct 6.30-9pm
Saturday 13th Oct 10am-5pm
Sunday 14th Oct 10am-4pm
at Swavesey Village College CB24 4RS

Read more about this energising, artistic project here.


SupportingCambs - image and web link
See more here…
Thirdsectorweb, our community web delivery arm, has been having a bit of a tidy up. We have been cleaning up some of our web assets, some of which, although worthy, now need refreshment.
 
 
Seeded and grown by a community interest company called ABMEC, our Partnership has continued to fund and maintain their web site and content.
 
The CIC Registrar dissolved the company in August 2015. We would now like to add two new categories to the list of featured content – which is being updated again as we write.
 
We now want to add two new buttons – The Arts and Enterprise/Business to the pages of Supportingcambridgshire.com
Partly to illustrate hope, activities which cast forward and stimulate creativity – as a break from engagement with crisis. We recognise that not all newly arrived residents fit this category, of course.
 
The Arts can include any welcoming, inclusive creative activity that supports newly arrived or minority community members.
 
Enterprise/Business can be services, free at the point of delivery, which will add to the enterprise creation expertise and knowledge of our communities of interest.
 
If you have a group, or project, that welcomes any new arrivals or BME community members in these categories, drop us a line and we’ll add it to our community gazette.
 
If you write a 100 words or so to tell us what you do, that would be great too. We will support contributors by using our publication skills to develop and promote the work of groups.
 

 

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Women’s Weird Fiction – Disturbing the Beast

Boudicca Press, creators of brave and powerful writing from women of weird fiction, are calling for submissions for their short story collections.

They are seeking…

  • Strong female-led stories
  • Stories that are filled with carefully considered, breath-taking prose
  • Stories that contain depth and reflection
Weird fiction from Boudicca Press - by women for all readers - image and web link
Weird fiction from Boudicca Press – by women for all readers – see more here!

Boudicca are encouraging female writers to submit original work, which involves lesser talked about female-centred topics such as sexual abuse, pregnancy issues and body image. ”Your work should be fiction, and not so on-the-nose of the issue”.

   You can find the Boudicca submission guideline here.

You must submit, as indicated, by Friday 14th September, 2018


Editors Note:

“Boudicca Press celebrates the strength, courage and literary talents of women. We publish weird, literary and relationship fiction by women in the UK.

We love strong female-led stories filled with breath-taking prose, in the genre of weird, literary and relationship fiction. Stories that stay with you. Stories that are reflective and deep. Stories that empower women“.

Source:  https://boudiccapress.wordpress.com/

Good luck and get writing today and we look forward to seeing your stories published. Congratulations to Boudicca Press for an empowering literary initiative…The team at conversationsEAST.

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Cambridge Open Art Exhibition 2018

Exhibition Dates: 12th to 14th October at Swavesey Village College

Cambridge OPen Art Exhibition 2018 - image and web link

Call for entries Open Tuesday 12th June 2018 – see below for details:

# Updated: July 12th, 2018  – ”We had a very fast sign up to this year’s exhibition in October and the exhibition is now full. Many thanks to all artists who have applied this year – we are set for another exciting exhibition.

There are tables still available for selling cards, small gifts and unframed prints on the Friday evening, Saturday and Sunday daytime at £15 per day for exhibiting artists and £25 per day for non exhibiting artists”.

    See full details of tables, waiting list and entry here


Exhibition dates and times:

Friday 12th October 6.30 – 9pm               Preview and Prize giving

Saturday 13th October 10 – 5pm             

Sunday 14th October 10 – 4pm                            

You may enter artwork on-line from Tuesday 12th June. The exhibition is non-selective. Only the first 270 artworks entered can be accepted.

The Closing date for Entries is Friday 17th August or earlier if fully subscribed.

Source: https://coax.org.uk/2018/05/conditions-of-entry-2018/

The Cambridge Art Awards, emerging from the exhibition, will give the top twenty artists selected the opportunity to exhibit their work at the Storey’s Field Centre, Cambridge during December 2018.

There will also be a Best in Show Prize available of £300, three runner-up prizes and a Win A Picture draw for visitors, the the value of £150.

You can find all the conditions for entry, fees and ‘get in and get out’ for the exhibition here:  https://coax.org.uk/2018/05/conditions-of-entry-2018/


About Cambridge Open Art:

The open art exhibition is owned and run by volunteer artists, to promote art, artists and well being through exhibition, education and participation.

It is a not-for-profit, self-funded organization run by volunteers.  Presently the volunteers are assisted by the local Arts Development Manager at Swavesey Village College. We are actively seeking business sponsorship to support the exhibition. We work with a charity partner and are hoping to gain a media partner“.

See more at: https://coax.org.uk/who-are-we/


If you are already preparing your palette good luck from us all at conversationsEAST.

Enlightenment in the East of England

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Once Upon A Festival – Suffolk Libraries

We love libraries!

 

 

 

 

In 1851 J.W.Hudson, speaking at the opening of the Mechanic’ and Apprentices’ Library in Liverpool, opined that a visit to the library would, for the reader, lead to them ‘…receiving cultivation, not in reading the latest accounts of mis-demeanours and local calamities…but in imbibing instruction and high gratification from the perusal of select and valuable works whether they lead him with the traveller, across the pathless tracts of oceans, or cheer and console him, with moral sketches of human nature’.  (Source: Mid-Victorian Britain 1851-75, Geoffrey Best, Fontana Press, 1985, London, p.232)

Once Upn a Festival button, image and web link
See more about the Festival here…

Whilst the publicly accessible library, after nearly a century or more of rising literacy in our country would then clearly stir the intellectual interest of Everyman (and Everywoman and Everychild too – Ed.) the message is still clarion today, stimulating the autodidact to seize the high ground of undiscovered knowledge and learning.

The adult, or child reader, will today find a mesmerising range of interests available at their local library that carries the long echo from that opening event in mid-nineteenth century Liverpool. Experience is still to be garnered for the mind, in the face of closures, funding cuts and, perhaps, even a topical turn away from the intellect towards ‘accounts of mis-demeanours and local calamities‘.

Suffolk Libraries web button - image and web linkSuffolk Libraries, during June 2018, are teaming up with Theatre Royal in Bury St Edmunds to host five performances as part of the ‘Once Upon A Festival’ children’s arts festival.

The Suffolk Libraries festival programme looks like this:

Once Upon a Festival: Pied Piper

Sat 16 June – 1045 to 11.30
Bury St Edmunds Library

‘When the Pied Piper plays his flute the rats run, the greedy mayor rubs his hands and the children dance… Norwich Puppet Theatre’s humorous and irresistible one-person show combines a skillful mix of puppetry, foot-tapping music and storytelling and will have audiences young and old entranced’.

Once Upon a Festival: The Children in the Moon

Sat 16 June – 1430 to 15.15
Newmarket Library

‘The Children in the Moon is a wonderfully visual and original take on centuries old children’s verse, packed with puppetry and live music this is an ideal show for all the family. Tickets for this show are £1 per child’.

Once Upon a Festival: Graffiti Classics

Wed 20 June – 1530 to 1630
Newmarket Library

‘6 strings, 8 dancing feet and 4 voices with 1 aim: to make classical music wickedly funny and fantastically exhilarating for everyone, young and old. Graffiti Classics burst the elitist boundaries of the traditional string quartet with their hilarious all-singing, all-dancing musical comedy show’.

Use the Suffolk Library links to check out these gems of ‘library performance’ and kick-start the 7 to 13 year old auto-didact in your family today.


Context and Editor Notes:

Libraries and the Arts are deeply embedded in our culture and history. By the 1680’s, in England, libraries were growing more common, from the large installation in the affluent country house, to ‘the more modest bookshelf in the yeoman’s farm‘. Public libraries, as we might understand the term, were extremely rare outside Oxford and Cambridge.

In 1684, the Rector of St. Martin’s in the Fields, working with Christopher Wren, set out to build a library ‘for public use’. The Rector and Wren built a large house in the grounds of the churchyard, using the upper story as an accessible library and the downstairs as a ‘workroom for the poor’.

Thus beginning, arguably, the long tradition of the library as a multi-use space, feeding the individual mind, raising community social capital and road-mapping the way to the intellectual horizon.

Everything we might want today.

(Source: English Social History – Chaucer to Queen Victoria, G.M.Trevelyan, Penguin Books, London, 1978, p. 279)

Once Upon A Festival is now in its fourth year and aims to make performance art more accessible in theatres, schools and communities by taking the performances to children in their school or community. For more information visit www.onceuponafestival.co.uk   

Melissa Matthews, Suffolk Libraries Art Programme Co-ordinator, says: “We’re delighted to host these events. Once Upon A Festival delivers high quality dynamic performances from a variety of companies and libraries are a great place to host exciting events like this in the community. We want to deliver more events like this as part of our Arts programme to open up new and accessible arts experiences for children and young people.”

(Source: Suffolk Libraries Press Release, June 2018 – https://www.suffolklibraries.co.uk/news/once-upon-a-festival/ )

Love your library, whatever age it is – we do!

Enlightenment in the East of England

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