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On Thursday, Flash Journal Lancaster – one of the university’s student-run writing magazines, which accepts all manners of creative, critical, and hybrid work – collaborated with the Writer’s Society to create Flash Floods – a creative writing event focused on the floods that hit the Lancashire area in December of last year. The event was split into two halves – part creative writing workshop, in which both published writers and poetry novices alike came together to create work based on visual and written prompts provided by Writer’s SOC.
These prompts allowed room for both distinguished and non-writers to express themselves creatively, and garnered many differing yet successful results, with poems about being stuck on trains or being stranded on campus being created. One participant, Mark Doyle, commented that he ‘found it interesting that a number of people had stories about being affected by the flood even though some where a couple of countries over, one was in the capital and even one person was on a cruise. It was a powerful reminder that a flood is a great deal more than some water misbehaving.’
The second half of the event involved the open mic, in which published poets and university lecturers Eoghon Walls and Graham Mort were special guests. The event proved to be a successful one, welcoming in anyone and everyone from Peter Whalley, a script writer for Coronation Street, self-declaring poets and prose writers, to new writers performing for the first time. First year Creative Writing student and first-time poetry performer Stephanie Heaven-Terry said of the event: ‘Flash Floods had a warm, welcoming environment which gave me the oppurutnity to read my poetry to an audience for the first time. It had a really good atmosphere where people could meet in the middle and not feel judged on their work.’
The event also raised funds for the Lancashire Flood Recovery Fund, joining people together for not only an evening of poetry but also for a good cause. In total, the event raised £26.50, all of which will be donated to the Lancashire Flood Recovery Fund in order to aid small, local businesses devastated by the events of December 2015. Speaking about the Flash Floods event, Flash Journal’s co-executive editor Sianne Fraser commented: “It was a fantastic opportunity offered to us by Campus in the City that paid off in so many ways: not only did we have the chance to collaborate with the Writers’ Society, we heard some truly fantastic poetry (some of which was read out by first-time performers!), and best of all we managed to raise some funds for the Lancashire Flood Recovery Fund.”
I myself read my own poetry aloud during the open mic section of the Flash Floods event, and I am grateful to both Flash Journal, the Writer’s Society, and Campus in the City for offering me such an opportunity. Sadly, poetry is often marginalised – both within the writing world and the curriculum – and so it was uplifting to meet with a group of other poets and share our work, all for a great cause. Flash Journal are currently accepting submissions for a special flood-themed issue – if you have any specific flood-themed writing, or attended the event and would like to submit the work you composed during the workshop, please email it to HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com Alternatively, you can ‘Like’ the facebook page ‘Flash Journal Lancaster’ for more information. Lancaster University’s Writer’s Society meet every Tuesday and Friday at 6pm in County Main Seminar Room 1 – their email is HYPERLINK “mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org” email@example.com