My summer at Wimbledon Bookfest

by Suzanne Curley
7 September 2015

Suzanne Curley

Hi everyone, my name's Suzanne Curley, an MA Children’s Literature student at the University of Roehampton and full-time summer intern at Wimbledon Bookfest. What follows is a short piece about what I have been up to this summer – it’s certainly been a busy one.

A little bit of background, for anyone who doesn’t know what Wimbledon Bookfest is, or how Roehampton got involved: Wimbledon Bookfest is a two-week festival that takes place on Wimbledon Common in October every year. It’s not just about books, although there are some amazing authors appearing. We also have some amazing comedy (Seann Walsh headlining our Comedy event is not to be missed), a huge variety of music, and some fascinating science, including the wonderful Ben Goldacre, who will be finding the truth behind the sensationalist claims spread by journalists, government reports and pharmaceutical companies.

A huge part of the festival's work is their education programme, which works alongside local schools, using the power of reading, writing and literature to improve the education opportunities of all children within the boroughs of Wimbledon, Mitcham and Morden.

Roehampton is the festival's lead education partner, and it’s through this partnership that my internship came about. Charlotte White, a Creative Writing undergrad, is another intern, working part time, focusing on the education programme I mentioned above.

I spilt my time at Bookfest between the Box Office and the Festival Office. My work in the Box Office is all about tickets, taking queries, booking tickets over the phone, and posting them all out. I will also be dealing with all the discounted tickets that are available to Roehampton students – another perk of being the festival's partner. Keep an eye on your Roehampton emails as I will be getting in touch with your departments to give them a code for you to enter at checkout to receive your discount!

The rest of the time I work closely with the festival's founder and director, Fiona Razvi on marketing and promotion, updating webpages, and as the key liaison with Roehampton. I've had so many great learning experiences since I’ve been here, but having the honour of being on the judging panel for this year’s Short Story Competition and compiling the anthology of entries is a real highlight. Working with people at the top of the creative writing game, including award winning writer Sian Hughes, Roehampton senior lecturer Leone Ross and former head of the Department of English and Creative Writing at Roehampton, Jenny Hartley has been truly wonderful. I can hardly believe that my opinion has been counted alongside theirs!

We’ve launched the programme now and I encourage you to take a look, as there are so many great events to choose from – and you’ll also see some familiar Roehampton faces on the programme too, including our Vice Chancellor, Paul O'Prey. Remember, the discount code is coming your way very soon.

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