Festival logo of a abstractly drawn yellow face reading a red book with the pages fanned out.

2020

A massive thank you to everyone who came and took part in  WayWORD this year - to audience-members, writers, artists, performers, workshop leaders, chairs and compères. It was a huge pleasure to have you here in Virtual Aberdeen. Thanks also to all those at the University of Aberdeen who made this possible, to the festival's BSL interpreter and to Blackwells University Bookshop.
We hope to see you all again in 2021!

WayWORD is a student-led arts festival brought to you by the WORD Centre for Creative Writing, University of Aberdeen. Workshops, author events, panel discussions and performance nights are all FREE and live online, with BSL interpretation. 

Register your interest for your favourite events in the programme below to sign up and receive more information! 

Performers include Lemn Sissay, Eimear McBride, Leila Aboulela, Koby Adom, Jenni Fagan, Mae Diansangu, Shane Strachan, Sheena Blackhall, Sean Hewitt, Jenn Ashworth, Ayisha Malik, Jayda David, Jenny Sturgeon and Alan Warner.

WayWORD celebrates unconventional forms of artistic expression from comic books and narrative gaming to poetry, novels, spoken word, screenplay, songwriting and comedy – something for everyone.

Download full programme flyer here

WayWORD poster by Evan Scott
 

Festival Programme

Pushing out the Boat / Leopard Arts Showcase
Sun, Sep 27
Online Performance Night
Sep 27, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1
Online Performance Night
Join us for an evening of performances from writers published on two highly regarded Aberdeen-based literary and arts platforms Pushing Out the Boat and Leopard Arts. From poetry to spoken word to theatre, there is something truly for everyone!
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Jenni Fagan in Conversation with Alan Warner
Sun, Sep 27
Online Author Talk/Reading
Sep 27, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1
Online Author Talk/Reading
Noted for her vivid, haunting and rhythmical prose and her lyrical energy, acclaimed writer Jenni Fagan talks to novelist and screen-writer Alan Warner about her newest work, writing life and adapting stories for the screen.
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Ayisha Malik
Sun, Sep 27
Online Author Talk/Reading
Sep 27, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT+1
Online Author Talk/Reading
Ayisha Malik is a novelist and short story writer whose debut, Sofia Khan Is Not Obliged, was dubbed (perhaps unsurprisingly) the 'Muslim Bridget Jones.' Her latest book follows the travails of a son trying to carry out his mother’s dying wish to build a mosque in a sleepy English village.
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Verbal Remedies – Creative Writing by Medical Students
Sun, Sep 27
Online Author Readings
Sep 27, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Online Author Readings
Students from the University’s Creative Writing for Medics course read from their work reflect on their experiences as aspiring medics in the time of COVID and discuss the importance to of creative expression to their lives and learning.
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Make Your Own Zines – Workshop with Olivia Hicks
Sun, Sep 27
Workshop
Sep 27, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1
Workshop
Artist and graphic novel writer and editor Olivia Hicks will facilitate a workshop detailing how to create comics and zines. You will create both visual and verbal content, learning to let your own ideas come to the page, in words and pictures! No drawing skills required – open to all.
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More Than Superheroes: Comics, Creativity, and Education with Golnar Nabizadeh
Sun, Sep 27
Online Talk
Sep 27, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT+1
Online Talk
Golnar Nabizadeh is a Lecturer in Comics Studies at the University of Dundee. Join her for a talk about the series of public information comics produced by her and the rest of the Dundee Comics Team which aim to raise awareness of health and social issues through an innovatively accessible medium.
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Lemn Sissay
Sat, Sep 26
Online Author Talk/Performance
Sep 26, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PM
Online Author Talk/Performance
International award-winning poet, playwright, artist performer and broadcaster Lemn Sissay MBE has performed on stages worldwide, his poetry emblazoned on landmarks from Manchester to Addis Ababa. Come meet with him and feel the power of words to alter the world.
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Eimear McBride
Sat, Sep 26
Online Author Talk/Reading
Sep 26, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1
Online Author Talk/Reading
Eimear McBride is an Irish novelist and one of today’s most exciting writers. We are delighted to welcome her in virtual form to Aberdeen to talk about and read from her latest book, Strange Hotel, published in February this year.
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Nan Shepherd in Music – with Singer-songwriter Jenny Sturgeon and Filmmaker Shona Thomson
Sat, Sep 26
Online Talk/Performance
Sep 26, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT+1
Online Talk/Performance
Jenny and Shona talk about the origins and experience of working on their latest project, which explores Nan Shepherd’s writing, the Cairngorm mountain range, what it means to connect with a wild landscape and to find a sense of place.
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Leila Aboulela and Seán Hewitt
Sat, Sep 26
Online Author Talk/Reading
Sep 26, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM GMT+1
Online Author Talk/Reading
A long-time favourite of Word and May Festival audiences, Leila Aboulela has written short fiction, plays and five award-winning novels, most recently Bird Summons. Seán Hewitt is a poet whose assured debut collection, Tongues of Fire (2020), was the Guardian’s poetry book of the month in May.
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UV Arts – Words on Walls
Sat, Sep 26
Online Talk
Sep 26, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1
Online Talk
UV Arts create inspired murals with young people and children in Derry, NI, often on walls where sectarian and paramilitary graffiti had previously been. In this talk they will discuss the impact of words on walls in the context of the Troubles to tell a different story.
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Crash Course in Street Art - Live Tutorial with KMG (Katie Guthrie)
Sat, Sep 26
Online Workshop
Sep 26, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT+1
Online Workshop
KMG is a mural artist and illustrator, based in Scotland, whose artwork has graced the walls of Aberdeen many times (as well as cities across the globe). In this online tutorial she will teach you the fundamentals of street art, covering all the basics.
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Doric Performers meet 'Scotland The What?'
Fri, Sep 25
Online Performance Night
Sep 25, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1
Online Performance Night
Join us for an evening of Doric delight hosted by Mae Diansangu, with guests Sheena Blackhall, Shane Strachan, and young North-East singer Ellie Beaton, followed by comedy sketches and songs performed by students, inspired by comic trio of UoA alumni 'Scotland the What?'
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Jenn Ashworth
Fri, Sep 25
Online Author Talk/Reading
Sep 25, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1
Online Author Talk/Reading
Jenn Ashworth was born in Preston and studied at Cambridge and Manchester. Her novels include A Kind of Intimacy, Cold Light, The Friday Gospels and Fell. Her latest work, Notes Made While Falling, is a memoir told in a series of essays.
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Queer Creators Panel with Rowan Heggie, Ana Hine and Shane Strachan
Fri, Sep 25
Online Panel Discussion
Sep 25, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT+1
Online Panel Discussion
Featuring three young Scottish artists and poets, this panel explores the intersections between queer experience and creative work. Chaired by Dr Tim Baker (University of Aberdeen), with questions put forward by students.
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BSL in Theatre - an Interpreter's Perspective
Fri, Sep 25
Online Interview/Talk
Sep 25, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM
Online Interview/Talk
Lisa Li is a BSL / English interpreter. She will introduce audiences to BSL interpretation through her experiences interpreting within theatre and performance art.
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Found Poetry Workshop
Fri, Sep 25
Online Workshop
Sep 25, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1
Online Workshop
Found poems are created by reorganising words and phrases found in other types of literature. In this workshop you'll get to have some fun working with newspaper articles and books, arranging words and phrases to create your own found poem. A perfect intro into writing poetry – no experience needed!
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Narrative & Gaming: Dungeons & Dragons Workshop
Fri, Sep 25
Online Workshop
Sep 25, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM GMT+1
Online Workshop
Dungeons and Dragons is a role-playing game; however, on a fundamental level, it is story telling. Join Darwin McNeill and Jakub Ivanecky, your Dungeon Masters for the game, on a beginner friendly exploration of the free world of dungeons and dragons - where you can create your own story.
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From Page to Screen with Koby Adom and Alan Warner
Thu, Sep 24
Online Panel Discussion
Sep 24, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PM
Online Panel Discussion
A panel discussion featuring Koby Adom, director of acclaimed BBC drama Noughts + Crosses, adapted from a series of novels by Malorie Blackman, and Scottish writer Alan Warner (Morvern Callar, The Sopranos) on adapting literature for TV, cinema and theatre.
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The Next Generation - Creative Writing Postgraduates
Thu, Sep 24
Online Author Readings
Sep 24, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1
Online Author Readings
Postgraduates from the University's popular Creative Writing programme read from their work.
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Black Lives Matter: Women and non-binary performance night feat. Jayda David
Wed, Sep 23
Online Performance Night
Sep 23, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1
Online Performance Night
Jayda David headlines this showcase of black women and non-binary artists. Through the medium of spoken word, this event features activists speaking truth to power and spreading the anti-racist message of the global Black Lives Matter movement.
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'Untold Stories' Virtual Tour with Aberdeen Women’s Alliance - ONLINE
Wed, Sep 23
Online Event
Sep 23, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1
Online Event
Aberdeen Women's Alliance will take you on a virtual tour around the Granite City uncovering hidden stories associated with Aberdeen: from its links with slavery, to the visit of Ida B. Wells, from unconventional artists to supposed witches, confirmed suffragettes and suppressed queer voices.
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ABOUT

WELCOME to WayWORD! 

We’re delighted to announce a fantastic programme of literary and cross-arts events, brought to you by University of Aberdeen as part of its 525 celebrations. Together with a dedicated group of students (of subjects ranging from arts and humanities to medicine), the WORD Centre for Creative Writing has devised an exciting line-up of poets, novelists, playwrights, artists and performers for readings, performances, workshops and discussion panels. Due to COVID-19 the festival is mostly taking place live online, with BSL interpretation throughout. From Lemn Sissay to Eimear McBride, Leila Aboulela to Shane Strachan, from Jenni Fagan, Koby Adam, Sean Hewitt and Sheena Blackhall to Ayisha Malik, Jenn Ashworth, Jenny Sturgeon and Alan Warner, there is plenty to entice audiences of all ages and interests.  

Besides established authors and new talent, the festival focusses on more unconventional forms of artistic expression: whether your thing is Comic books and Dungeons & Dragons or novels, screenplays, rap, film, songwriting, poetry or comedy... there is something here for everyone. WayWORD is here - and WORD is back. Spread the WORD!

Dr Helen Lynch, Festival Director

WayWORD Student Committee

 

© 2020 by WORD Centre for Creative Writing and University of Aberdeen.
For more information contact: waywordfestival@gmail.com | University of Aberdeen, King's College, Aberdeen, AB24 3FX

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