WayWORD Returns 22nd - 26th September 2021
with lead-up events from 19th September
Full programme launches at the end of July. Watch this space.
Follow us on social media for updates:
Enter your email address below for updates on the 2021 line-up
SNEAK PEEK FEATURES: Dan Schreiber; Zakiya McKenzie; Alex Wheatle 📸 courtesy of Penguin Random House; Claire Cunningham 📸 ar photographer; Karine Polwart 📸 Sandy Butler; Ely Percy; Graeme Armstrong; Leila Aboulela 📸 Curtis Brown; Kirstin Innes 📸 Becky Duncan; Preti Taneja 📸 Rory O' Bryen; Val McDermid 📸 K.T. Bruce; A.L. Kennedy 📸 Robin Niedojadlo
A massive thank you to everyone who came and took part in WayWORD 2020 - 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 and youth-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.
2020 Festival Programme
- Sun, 27 SeptOnline Performance Night27 Sept 2020, 19:00 – 20:30 BSTOnline 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!
- Sun, 27 SeptOnline Author Talk/Reading
- Sun, 27 SeptOnline Author Talk/Reading27 Sept 2020, 15:00 – 16:00 BSTOnline 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.
- Sun, 27 SeptOnline Author Readings
- Sun, 27 SeptWorkshop27 Sept 2020, 11:30 – 12:30 BSTWorkshopArtist 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.
- Sun, 27 SeptOnline Talk27 Sept 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 BSTOnline 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.
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Author Talk/Performance26 Sept 2020, 19:30 – 20:30Online 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.
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Author Talk/Reading
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Talk/Performance
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Author Talk/Reading26 Sept 2020, 13:30 – 14:30 BSTOnline 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.
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Talk26 Sept 2020, 11:30 – 12:30 BSTOnline 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.
- Sat, 26 SeptOnline Workshop26 Sept 2020, 10:00 – 11:00 BSTOnline 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.
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Performance Night25 Sept 2020, 19:00 – 20:30 BSTOnline 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?'
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Author Talk/Reading
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Panel Discussion
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Interview/Talk
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Workshop25 Sept 2020, 11:30 – 12:30 BSTOnline 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!
- Fri, 25 SeptOnline Workshop25 Sept 2020, 10:00 – 13:00 BSTOnline 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.
A sneak peek at the 2021 line-up - just some of the amazing performers appearing at this year's WayWORD Festival.
Who do you recognise?
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!