Meet with UK poets and writers at the British Council

Saturday, 22 January 2011 00:01 -     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

Popular UK poet Roger McGough, contemporary UK writer Jill Dawson and well-known author Sandra Jansen will conduct events and workshops at the British Council Colombo and Kandy on selected dates from 22 January to 2 February.

Popularly acclaimed as one of Britain’s best-loved poets for both adults and children, Roger McGough has written poetry for over 40 years. In addition to writing poetry, he presents the BBC Radio 4 programme, ‘Poetry Please’.

Much travelled and translated, Roger’s poetry has gained increasing popularity, especially from its widespread use in schools. A prolific writer, he is twice winner of the Signal Award for best children’s poetry book and recipient of the Cholmondeley Award.

Roger will conduct a special event at British Council Colombo and Kandy on January 22 at 5.30 p.m. and January 24 at 5.15 p.m. respectively. The event titled ‘Roger McGough: A work in progress’, will give the public the opportunity to watch and listen to this genius as he reads a combination of both new unpublished work and some of his well known ‘oldies’. The interactive session will be open to the public and will be free of charge.

A writer and poet, Jill Dawson began publishing at the tender age of 22 by winning the first prize in a national short story competition in the UK. An author of six novels, editor of six anthologies of poetry and short stories, and having published a poetry pamphlet, Jill received an honorary doctorate in 2006 in recognition of her writing and her work with new writers.

Jill has taught creative writing on a freelance basis since 1988, both in the UK and internationally. She will be conducting a creative writing workshop titled ‘Making Characters Live and Breathe’ at British Council Colombo on 31 January from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m.

The workshop will provide tips on how to create characters and make them seem more real and less paper-thin. The workshop is for those aged 17 and above and is priced at Rs. 500 for registration. Limited places are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

On 1 February at 6 p.m., Jill will read from her novel ‘The Great Lover’. The event titled ‘Messing with People’s Lives – the perils and pleasures of writing stories based on facts’ will be held at the British Council Colombo and will be followed by a Q & A session. The event is open to the public and is free of charge.

Sandra Jansen has a publishing record of over 20 short story/fiction publications in literary magazines and journals including print, online and for audio and iPods in the US, UK, Ireland, Canada and New Zealand. In 2010, she was awarded a professional writer’s grant from the Canada Council for the Arts to work on her first novel, which is set in Sri Lanka.

Sandra will be conducting a workshop which will help writers evaluate whether or not their writing is ready to be sent out for potential publication. At the workshop, she will also discuss the generalities and specifics of publication and how to maximise chances of breaking into the prestigious literary journal market. Among the topics covered will be ensuring you are ready for publication, finding a ‘fit’ for your work, preparing and correctly formatting your submission, writing effective cover letters and tracking submissions.

Sandra’s workshop titled ‘Aspiring writers: Do you dream of being published?’ will be held on 2 February at British Council Colombo from 4.30 p.m. to 6.30 p.m. Registration is Rs. 200 per person. Limited places are available on a first-come first-served basis.

For further information regarding the events and workshops, please call Lakmaal on 4521542 or Ranmali on 4521538.