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Bath Spa University has been working in partnership with Bath Festivals, helping to develop a thriving creative and cultural life for the vibrant city of Bath.

Bath Festival’s three leading festivals – Bath International Music Festival, The Independent Bath Literature Festival, Bath Children’s Literature Festival – and year round Learning and Participation programmes provide exciting opportunities for our students. As well as performance, the backstage volunteering roles offer valuable experience for anyone interested in events production and management, publishing or PR.

In 2015/16 students were involved in an estimated 700 hours of production related activity with Bath Festivals and over 300 hours of individual performance activity.

Our student’s involvement with the festivals has included:

  • Delivering performances, workshops and education work;
  • Stewarding;
  • Completing placements;
  • Managing social media.

In 2015/16 students were involved in an estimated 700 hours of production related activity with Bath Festivals and over 300 hours of individual performance activity.

The partnership was formally confirmed in January 2013. In 2016 the University became Principal Partner across all three festivals and Creative Partner of the Bath Literature Festival.

We run a variety of partnership events with Bath Festivals, which are often a great platform for Bath Spa staff, graduates or students. In addition we sponsor many other Bath Festival events.

Bath Literature Festival

Our partnership

The relationship between Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and the Festival spans the last 21 years. Our first graduating students were invited to launch their work there — giving occasion to the first public readings by authors and graduates Tessa Hadley, Patricia Wastvedt and Mo Hayder. Today, our students work for the Festival in a variety of capacities from interns to social media campaigners. Some of our graduates, now internationally renowned authors, feature in the festival as guest speakers.

In 2016, Bath Festivals and Bath Spa University formed the Creative Writing Education Hub. The Hub is a coalition of writers, researchers, educators and art providers working together to improve creative writing provision for young people in the UK.

Voices in the city

Voices in the City is a student-led an activity which has run in venues across city. The event varies each year, and has previously included a public reading of the complete text of David Copperfield.

In 2016 Voices in the City attracted over 100 participants.

Partnership events

2016

  • Great Bath EU Debate with Professor Christina Slade, Vince Cable, Sir William Cash MP and Kate Hoey MP;
  • Writing for the Screen;
  • Stealing the Scene;
  • Tessa Hadley and Deborah Moggach;
  • Bringing Words to Life with Tessa Hadley;
  • Writing Short Stories with Gerard Woodward;
  • Alison Oddey in: A Gift for Eleanora;
  • The Importance of Short Story.

2015

  • Fay Weldon: Bliss is Editing;
  • Writing the past, present and future, Bath Debut Writers - Anna Freeman and Emma Hooper;
  • How to Write a Novel and Not Let Life Get in the Way;
  • Poetry Slam with Hammer and Tongue;
  • Music While You Write: Workshop;
  • Giving characters a voice;
  • Start that novel;
  • A Product of their time?;
  • Modern British Art in Context.

Sponsored events

2016

  • The 21 Best Coming of Age Novels;
  • AC Grayling: The Age of Genius;
  • Katherine Norbury and Lucy Wood: Landscape and Literature;
  • Edward Wilson-Lee: Shakespeare in Swahililand;
  • Fresh Talent: Bloomsbury’s New Writing Showcase;
  • Tracy Chevalier.

2015

  • Kate Mosse, 20th Anniversary Event;
  • The Twenty Best Books of the Past Twenty Years;
  • Lynne Truss;
  • The Deepest Seas;
  • John Carey – Bliss is … Beekeeping;
  • Elif Shafak - Bliss is … Turkey;
  • The Rise of Chinaphobia;
  • Around the World in 10 Books;
  • Truth in Writing – Rachel Cusk and Andrew O’Hagan.

2014

  • Hanif Kureishi, ‘Create’ strand of workshops and activities and workshops;
  • Writer’s Surgery with Creative Writing Department in libraries;
  • Booker judge Alex Clark, Holly McNish Spoken Word Poetry;
  • Night in the Porter;
  • Boris Akunin;
  • Literary Lunches in Allium Restaurant with James Pembroke and Matthew Fort;
  • Pen Vogler ‘Dinner with Mr Darcy’.

2013

  • Hilary Mantel;
  • The Book of English Folk Songs with Steve Roud with live performance by Beth Porter;
  • ‘Pitch Perfect’ – panel of judges from Bath Spa uncover unpublished talent;
  • Gossip from the Forest;
  • How we have transformed the land with Francis Pryor;
  • Miriam Darlington: Otter Country, Iceland and Antarctica;
  • Sarah Simblet on Trees;
  • Harry Mount: How England Made the English;
  • Michael Jacobs: A River Journey Through Colombia.

2012

  • Ali Smith, Gill Lewis: Sky Hawk;
  • Sian Rees and Lucille Turner – how do you research a novel?;
  • Writers’ Surgery with Creative Writing department staff;
  • Debate: Are Books Doomed?;
  • Tim Liardet with Fiona Sampson poetry event.

Creative Workshops

As part of Bath Literature Festival we have hosted a variety of creative workshops including: Nature Writing with Jean Sprackland and Writers’ Surgeries.

Bath Children’s Literature Festival

About

The Bath Children’s Literature Festival is unique to Bath – being the first and largest dedicated festival for young people in the UK.

Highlights of our partnership with the Bath Children’s Literature Festival include one of our alumni, Axel Scheffler – who happens to be the illustrator of the Gruffalo – giving a talk, as well as frequent events including our MA Writing for Young people academics and graduates.

Partnership events

2015

  • Axel Scheffler – Pip And Posy;
  • Bath Picks 2015: Sarah Crossan, Sarah Benwell  and Virginia Bergin;
  • Diversity: The Daily Telegraph debate with the Institute for Education;
  • Panel event: The Writer’s Creative Journey, An Appreciation Of Children’s Literature;
  • Bath Picks 2015: Helena Coggan, Catherine Doyle And Taran Matharu;
  • Bath Picks 2015: Shane Hegarty, Kieran Fanning, Will Mabbit And Linda Davies.

2014

  • Opening Night Debate – The Future of Teaching;
  • Launch of Bath Spa Institute for Education;
  • BSU Professorial Lecture by David Almond – Celebrating Children’s Creativity;
  • 10 year MA in Creative Writing for Young People course celebration event with drinks reception for alumni, students and staff.

Sponsored events

2015

  • Festival Opening Night with Judith Kerr

2014

  • Meet Michael Rosen
  • Sally Green and Marcus Sedgwick
  • Lauren Child

2013

  • David Almond Artistic Director and The Boy Who Swam with Piranhas as Kids Big Bath Read;
  • Collaboration on a National Conference: Children as Readers, Children as Writers;
  • Opening night panel debate: Exploration of the richness and diversity of Children’s Literature;
  • David Almond joined by Julia Green, Cressida Cowell and school librarian Gill Trueman;
  • Reading the Future: Digital Children’s Publishing. Kate Wilson, Managing Director of Children’s Publisher Nosy Crow leads discussion on how digital experiences for children are evolving;
  • Meg Rosoff and Anthony McGowan;
  • Other authors and events including Francesca Simon with Horrid Henry, Jeremy Strong, Maudie Smith and Derek Landy.

2012

  • Opening Night Gala with Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler;
  • Gill Lewis, Julia Green: Tilly’s Moonlight Fox;
  • Panel event: New Voices, Writing for Children and Teenagers;
  • Closing Night Gala: Chitty Chitty Bang Bang Flies Again with Frank Cottrell Boyce;
  • ‘Doing Crime’ Writing workshop for teens, Schools Programme.

Bath International Music Festival

About

While the Music Festival has traditionally been rooted in classical music, it’s always been a place where a range of creative ideas develop and evolve – in 1969 the Festival organisers collaborated to stage The Bath Festival of Jazz and Blues (headlined by Fleetwood Mac and Led Zeppelin and compared by John Peel) which inspired a young dairy farmer in attendance named Michael Eavis to start ‘The Pilton Pop Festival’ near Glastonbury.

Party in the City

Party in the City is Bath’s biggest celebration of community talent and opens the Bath International Music Festival with over 2,000 performers, including many our students. Attracting an audience of over 20,000 it’s Bath’s biggest free party.

Bath Spa University acts that have performed at the event include: Bath Spa University Choir; George and the Dragons; and Charles Wiffen with Lady Evelyn Strasburger.

In 2016 four Bath Spa bands provided free music in Party Goes On, which was held in the Parade Gardens in the week after Party in the City.

Partnership events

2015

  • Shakespeare in Georgian Bath;
  • Isabel Villanueva and Charles Wiffen.

2013

  • Composers' Masterclass, Singers' Masterclass;
  • Florilegium workshop;
  • Bath Spa University Gamelan and Vocals;
  • Bath Spa University Wind Ensemble and Chamber Choir.

2012

 

  • On the Edge of Life: Labyrinth of Candles;
  • The Dark Magic of Angela Carter: 20th Anniversary Concert.

Sponsored events

2016

  • Tenebrae
  • Shlomo

2014

  • Stacey Kent, Jan Garbarek and The Hilliard Ensemble

2013

  • Scottish Chamber Orchestra, Norma Winstone Trio

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