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University’s academics delighted to support Wimbledon Book Fest again this year

A trio of leading writers from the University of Roehampton are set to enthral audiences at this year’s Wimbledon BookFest which takes place in October, the University has confirmed this week.

Posted: 9 July 2015

The festival takes place on Wimbledon Common for 10 days from 2 October, and the full programme has just been published. The University is the lead education partner of the BookFest, supporting its aim to raise awareness and excitement about the study of great literature.

Wimbledon bookfest contributors

Confirmed speakers

  • Multi-award winning poet David Harsent, Professor of Creative Writing at the University will lead an afternoon creative writing workshop on 4 October aimed at stimulating people who want to launch into writing as a career or for pleasure. Professor Harsent won the renowned TS Eliot Prize for his book Fire Songs in January this year. An opera he played a significant role in creating has just been performed at the Royal Opera House.
  • Professor Paul O’Prey, Vice-Chancellor and Professor of Modern Literature will discuss three of the most prominent women poets of the First World War, with Dame Shirley Williams on 11 October. Vera Brittain, who wrote Testament of Youth and Mary Borden were nurses while May Cannan was a secretary in military intelligence. 
  • Also on 11 October, Professor Zachary Leader will talk about masterful American writer Saul Bellow, following publication of his biography into the Pulitzer and Noble prize-winning writer.

Short story competition
This year's Wimbledon BookFest Short Story competition has the theme A Brave Face. Judges will create a shortlist of 12 entries and the authors will be asked to read their stories to a BookFest audience who will vote in secret for the winner.

One of the judges, Senior Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University, Leone Ross, has offered all shortlisted entrants a coaching session on reading in public.

Young Writers competition
As well as bringing some of the most recognised writers in their fields to the BookFest, the University also supports the year-round education programme in schools. This includes a Young Writers competition on the theme of fairy tales, to be judged by author James Smythe from the University’s Department of Creative Writing, among others.

Young Film makers programme
Five secondary schools take part in this annual film makers programme, run with the University, where pupils learn film making skills in Roehampton’s studios and grounds. Students are introduced to careers in the creative industries and taught how to make short films which are then screened at the festival in October.

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