December

Imagineers: my tribe...

Imagineers: my tribe...

Imagineers: my tribe...

Imagineers: my tribe...

MA Writing for Young People graduate Marnie introduces the 2019 Anthology: Imagineers 

The anthology will have something for everyone... time-slip, adventure, mystery, magical realism, historical, fantasy and animal voice. We have dark tales, humorous ones, stories that are romantic, some that cross different ages. There are stories that are lyrical, full of tech and modern projections, some that are sad, some that are scary. You'll have a wide range of worlds to explore from castles and witches, codes and mysteries to forests and canals.

It’s coming soon – twenty-four writers ready to share their stories with you. We're all different, with a variety of different origins and ages, coming from all over the UK and abroad. We've been on an amazing journey of learning from and with each other. Inspiration has come from discussions, lectures and a shared love of children’s literature.

As a writer, I always felt alone in my writing. It was isolating, especially as my other creative life is within theatre, where ensemble work is crucial. Then I started investigating the Bath Spa MA in Writing for Young People. At the Open Day I realised I wasn’t alone; there were others like me, looking to find advice and hone their craft. My interview with Julia Green and CJ Skuse confirmed that I wasn’t alone. We talked of stories that need to be ‘caught’, notebooks, dialogue and characters popping up when you’re driving or washing up. It was normal to create and there were others like me, and they were on this course.

At the Open Day I realised I wasn’t alone; there were others like me, looking to find advice and hone their craft. 

Workshopping, the primary method of working on the MA, was daunting at first. I’d never really had others talk about my work. They would question it and point out mistakes, which would make me doubt myself. However, they would also highlight the bits they loved which was liberating. We were all writers trying to find our path on the journey of creating. Suddenly I was working with others and was part of a group; I wasn’t isolated anymore.

Corsham Court is the perfect spot for this learning to take place. When you walk up the drive you enter a magical space where peacocks call and move around freely, the gardens entice you, the building inspires, and the peace allows for stories to be nurtured.

The MA 2019 cohort is a mix of full and part-timers. I was a part-time student as it was the only way I could juggle work, kids and family commitments. Across my two years of study I met both full-time and part-timers, including those that graduated in 2018. However, it doesn't end there – because of the welcoming intimacy of the course, I've also become invested in the work of those that have gone before me during the MA's fantastic 15-year history.

Imagineers have created 24 very different pieces and we are all very different writers, but we connect, and we’re not in isolation. We have and will continue to support each other. I'm no longer alone with my ideas and writing, but I have people that I can look to for advice, inspiration and a love of books.

We've had several discussions regarding age banding and whether we were Middle Grade (MG), Teen, Young Adult (YA) and New Adult. We were asked to consider where out books would belong in bookshops and why, as well as the age of our character's voices. In this anthology however we have three bands: MG, Teen and YA. However, many of our writers work in more than one age group.

Seven of the Imagineers have created MG novels for their final work on the MA and their submission for the anthology. The Teen section has eight submissions and the YA section has nine Imagineers. They range from time-slip, adventure, mystery, magical realism, historical, fantasy and animal voice. We have dark tales, humorous ones, stories that are romantic, some that cross different ages. There are stories that are lyrical, full of tech and modern projections, some that are sad, some that are scary. You'll have a wide range of worlds to explore from castles and witches, codes and mysteries to forests and canals. The anthology will have something for everyone. They are a mixture of first and third person and wonderfully evocative.

So, my graduation cohort, my tribe of Imagineers, is a mix of writers with an array of exciting tales ready to be dived into. We'll be writing blog posts, sending out tasters for first lines, there will be biographies where you can learn more about us all, and soon we'll upload the anthology so you can read the beginnings of everyone’s work. Enjoy.

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.

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