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.
- Pushing out the Boat / Leopard Arts ShowcaseSun, Sep 27Online Performance NightSep 27, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1Online Performance NightJoin 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!
- Jenni Fagan in Conversation with Alan WarnerSun, Sep 27Online Author Talk/Reading
- Ayisha MalikSun, Sep 27Online Author Talk/ReadingSep 27, 2020, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT+1Online Author Talk/ReadingAyisha 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.
- Verbal Remedies – Creative Writing by Medical StudentsSun, Sep 27Online Author Readings
- Make Your Own Zines – Workshop with Olivia HicksSun, Sep 27WorkshopSep 27, 2020, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1WorkshopArtist 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.
- More Than Superheroes: Comics, Creativity, and Education with Golnar NabizadehSun, Sep 27Online TalkSep 27, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT+1Online TalkGolnar 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.
- Lemn SissaySat, Sep 26Online Author Talk/PerformanceSep 26, 2020, 7:30 PM – 8:30 PMOnline Author Talk/PerformanceInternational 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.
- Eimear McBrideSat, Sep 26Online Author Talk/Reading
- Nan Shepherd in Music – with Singer-songwriter Jenny Sturgeon and Filmmaker Shona ThomsonSat, Sep 26Online Talk/PerformanceSep 26, 2020, 3:00 PM – 4:00 PM GMT+1Online Talk/PerformanceJenny 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.
- Leila Aboulela and Seán HewittSat, Sep 26Online Author Talk/ReadingSep 26, 2020, 1:30 PM – 2:30 PM GMT+1Online Author Talk/ReadingA 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.
- UV Arts – Words on WallsSat, Sep 26Online TalkSep 26, 2020, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1Online TalkUV 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.
- Crash Course in Street Art - Live Tutorial with KMG (Katie Guthrie)Sat, Sep 26Online WorkshopSep 26, 2020, 10:00 AM – 11:00 AM GMT+1Online WorkshopKMG 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.
- Doric Performers meet 'Scotland The What?'Fri, Sep 25Online Performance NightSep 25, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1Online Performance NightJoin 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?'
- Jenn AshworthFri, Sep 25Online Author Talk/ReadingSep 25, 2020, 4:30 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1Online Author Talk/ReadingJenn 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.
- Queer Creators Panel with Rowan Heggie, Ana Hine and Shane StrachanFri, Sep 25Online Panel Discussion
- Found Poetry WorkshopFri, Sep 25Online WorkshopSep 25, 2020, 11:30 AM – 12:30 PM GMT+1Online WorkshopFound 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!
- Narrative & Gaming: Dungeons & Dragons WorkshopFri, Sep 25Online WorkshopSep 25, 2020, 10:00 AM – 1:00 PM GMT+1Online WorkshopDungeons 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.
- From Page to Screen with Koby Adom and Alan WarnerThu, Sep 24Online Panel DiscussionSep 24, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:00 PMOnline Panel DiscussionA 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.
- Black Lives Matter: Women and non-binary performance night feat. Jayda DavidWed, Sep 23Online Performance NightSep 23, 2020, 7:00 PM – 8:30 PM GMT+1Online Performance NightJayda 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.
- 'Untold Stories' Virtual Tour with Aberdeen Women’s Alliance - ONLINEWed, Sep 23Online EventSep 23, 2020, 4:00 PM – 5:30 PM GMT+1Online EventAberdeen 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.
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!