Anthology Yearbook

Getting Started

Anthology front cover

Towards the end of March, all the students on my programme got an email asking if we’d like to get involved to help run our Final Degree Show. I had a couple friends who had a degree show a few years ago, and so I volunteered immediately, my head full of ideas.

When I went to our initial meeting, I was a little disappointed. It felt to me like the structure of the degree show had already been decided, and we were there to make it happen. (In hindsight, there’s no way I could have done even half of what I wanted in the time frame we had.)

But out of that, I decided to produce an Anthology Yearbook for people on my programme, thinking that: firstly, it would be a great memory of our time at University; and secondly, would be a fantastic way to showcase our work.

Since then, getting things prepared has been an awful lot of work, but as of today, I feel serious progress is being made.

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I have all but confirmed the venue for our Anthology Launch event – the stunning Waterstones bookshop in Newcastle – and I feel that I’m close to agreeing University funding for it.

I now have 23 confirmed contributors to the anthology, and I have confirmed my cover artist, the fantastic Oliver Hoffmeister.

Hopefully more information to follow, but I am already getting excited for the event – Wednesday 20th September, 7pm – 8:30pm.

If you’d like to attend, you can sign up for free tickets here.

If you’d like to buy a copy of the anthology, or contribute towards our project, you can do so here.

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Projects · Unholy Island

Unholy Island – The Idea

High on the Northumberland coast is the holy island of Lindisfarne; it’s remote, historic, and for about ten hours a day the only road off the island floods. Where better to set a horror film?

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Me and Nic had talked about writing a film together for a while. I was a wannabe writer working the standard nine-to-five and he was a wannabe director making early steps in the film industry. If life is a road trip, we were both in the petrol station fuelling up for the long road ahead.

The day before Nic was due to leave to work on a film we went for a road trip. I don’t think we had a destination in mind, not when we started, but we ended settling quickly on Lindisfarne –  a place we both knew from school trips when we were younger. When we got there the island was deserted. It was, after all, late January, although we hadn’t given that much thought. The shops were shut but, like all good British towns, the island’s two pubs were open. And we went exploring.

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It’ll have been about two hours later when we got back to the car. My phone battery had dipped below twenty percent and Nic’s wasn’t doing much better.

We set off home.

The car turned the corner, dipped down the little hill that led to the causeway off the island, and instead of road there was water. Everywhere we looked, water. So we did what all good British people do in such a crisis – we went to the pub and waited for all this to blow over.

With seven hours to kill before the tide ebbed away and we could set off back home and our phones early dead, we quickly ran out of things to do. Sure, we could talk to each other, but we’re millennials – we want more! And that’s when the idea hit us.

We could write a screenplay!

About what?

About a group of people who get trapped on Holy Island (but we have boundless imaginations…)

And so, in front of a log fire in a pub, Unholy Island was born on scraps of papers from Nic’s boot, us spitballing ideas at each other while the barmaid and her dog tried not to look too concerned.