I’m Published! The Wicked Young Writer Awards // London 2017

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As briefly mentioned in my mid-year review post, I was super lucky to have made it into the top twenty finalists for the 18-25 category of the Wicked Young Writer Awards 2017. Last Friday (June 23) I attended the award ceremony at the Apollo Victoria theatre in London and got to share the stage with a wealth of truly inspiring writers.

Vlogging Failure

I did attempt to vlog the day but like an idiot I used up all my space before  we even arrived at the venue. I did, however, manage to catch a couple of snaps.

 

 

Poetry Workshop

At the event, workshops were organised for the various age categories. In ours, we took the opening two lines of the Jeff Kass poem ‘Underneath’ and produced our own self-analytical pieces. Here’s what I conjured:

Under my shirt is my skin,
Under my skin is my heart,
Further still is a world torn apart.

Beneath that, an image lingers on
Like the words to a forgotten song.
Between the lines a scene forms,
One of despair and raging storms.

Like a magic eye, the image clears,
Allowing me passage through the clouds.
Patterns morph, distorted by tears –
My skin keeps it all in, tight like a shroud.

An extract from Paths

Although I did not win, I am honoured to have made it so far and had the opportunity to share in such a brilliant experience. My piece ‘Paths’ was published in the official anthology, making it my second creative writing piece to have been published in a physical book.

I smiled, but it was not returned. My old friend registered my presence, but did not really see me. Instead, she stared solemnly through me and into some internal abyss, making no attempt to stifle the heavy raindrops that tumbled over the curve of her eyelashes and down her porcelain cheeks. If she had have smiled, I thought to myself, the fragile surface would have surely crumbled.

Allowing my own smile to slip and be replaced by a look of uncomfortable concern, I offered her shelter beneath my umbrella. She thanked me, but declined the invitation, instead opting to pull back her hood, allowing the weather to corrode her further, gradually saturating her dusty blonde hair and turning it black.

Worried, I asked her if she was feeling OK. Our paths had not crossed in a long while, yet I was all too aware of the abnormality of her actions. I pointed out that she was likely to catch her death if she did not accept my refuge.

Shrugging disinterestedly, she explained that umbrellas are untrustworthy. They are liable to break, leak or get turned inside out by the wind. Then when the rain hits it is more of a shock since you have grown accustomed to staying dry. She argued that it is far more sensible to embrace that which could potentially bring us harm than to be betrayed by that which is designed to protect us.

Until next time, *clicks fingers poetically*. 

WYW

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In Memory of Anton

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A year ago today (June 19) yet another flame was snuffed out by the unforgiving year that was 2016. Anton Yelchin’s death was so sudden and bizarre. With such a wealth of achievements already under his belt by age 27, one can only imagine the greatness he could have gone on to accomplish later in life.

Though the subject of my latest Movie Pilot piece was a sombre, the tone is a celebratory one. Read my full piece Remembering Anton Yelchin, One Year On and join me in remembering a fantastic young actor.

When the Worlds of Music and Movies Collide

a hard day's night

“Musically historical movies are the best when it comes to reliving some of our favorite musical moments of the past. They help bridge generation gaps and open up a whole new audience to music that they might have regrettably missed out otherwise. One can only wonder what the next iconic music scene to be immortalized in film might be.”

Be sure to check out my full Movie Pilot piece – Dance To The Video: 8 Movies Based On Iconic Music Scenes.

Mid-Year Review!

I’ve done so much so far in 2017, yet I’ve documented very little of it. Here’s a brief little update of the books I’ve read, the concerts I’ve attended, some fresh finds, what I’ve been up to in terms of writing and where the rest of 2017 is set to take me.

Literature

Currently reading: Testament of Youth by Vera Brittain

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I’m falling a bit behind on my reading schedule lately due to all the writing I’ve been doing, but I’m still determined to complete 60 books this year. Some of the books I’ve read so far this year have been the best I’ve ever read, particularly the works of Graham Greene – who is fast on his way to becoming my favourite author.

Books read:

  • The Great Gatsby
  • The Trial
  • To The Lighthouse
  • Brighton Rock
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button and other stories
  • An Unfinished Revolution: Karl Marx and Abraham Lincoln
  • Bit of a Blur – Alex James
  • Howards End is on the Landing: A Year of Reading From Home
  • The Pat Hobby Stories
  • Tales of the Jazz Age
  • Mr Manchester and the Factory Girl: The Story of Tony and Lindsay Wilson
  • Crash
  • Scorched Earth, Black Snow: Britain and Australia in the Korean War, 1950
  • The End of the Affair
  • Old Goriot
  • Autobiography – Morrissey

Also, I’ve had a Great Gatsby essay stowed away since the start of the year which I plan to polish up and post, so keep an eye out for that.

Music

  • Gigs

Taking Back Sunday / Muncie Girls / Frank Iero and the Patience

Creeper / Milk Teeth / Energy / Puppy

All Time Low / SWMRS / Waterparks

  • Fresh Finds

Waterparks ~ SWMRS ~ Cabbage

I wasn’t so sure about Waterparks at first, but after hearing Royal I fell completely and unashamedly in love with them. Seeing them support All Time Low also helped further cement this adoration.

I had tried listening to SWMRS a while ago but for some reason they didn’t take back then. However, since seeing them the other month, I have been completely won over, and I can’t understand why I wasn’t instantly sucked in.

There has been some controversy surrounding Cabbage lately, but standing aside from all that, their music is beyond solid. I love their general aesthetic and the themes they cover in their songs.

Writing

  • New Job!

I have recently started writing for Movie Pilot – a film/popular culture website powered by the Creators.Co blogging site. I have just been promoted to Verified Creator which means my work is able to reach a wider audience and I get to make a little money in the process.

Give my profile a gander creators.co/@TETurner96

  • Wicked

In other big news, I thought I’d give this year’s Wicked Young Writer Award competition a go and entered a new piece I had written entitled ‘Paths’. I was pleasantly surprised and chuffed to bits to find out that I had made the top 20 finalists! I can honestly say I will be content whatever the outcome, but I will find out the results at an award ceremony in London later this month.

Still to Come

  • London – for the Wicked Young Writer award ceremony. Expect a vlog of the day.
  • Green Day – Dreams do come true.
  • University – I’ll be trying my hand at being a student again this September, but at a different uni. I already have a great feeling about it this time around.

Political Movements: Why Demonstrating Individualism Within Collectivism Is The Best Method Of Achieving Progress

 

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Political movements have often fallen victim to criticism – some of it fair and some unfounded – whether it be due to the actions and attitudes of some activists or ignorance/lack of understanding on the onlooker’s part. Because of this, a lot of people feel uncomfortable getting involved in movements that they might otherwise support for fear of a negative stigma rubbing off on them.

It is unfortunate that this is the case when so many of the movements in question are inherently good and deserve to be supported by as many people as possible, whether it be causes regarding gender and race politics or an affiliation to a political party. Debate and discussion is a vital part of any group or organisation – without it, very little progress would be made.

Labels

Over this last year, I have experienced a metamorphosis on both personal and political levels. I have always been a leftie, but for a long time I was reluctant to associate myself with certain leftist movements that I did not completely agree with – I was too individualistic for that and feared being tarred with the same brush as those I criticized. With my fickle nature, conforming to labels is something I was never comfortable with, even when it came to trivial things such as style and subcultures since my tastes and interests were likely to alter within a week. It is not such a problem when it comes to self-identity since labels can be restrictive and stunt personal growth, but in terms of politics they play a vital role in aiding progression. It is impossible to do everything on an individual basis when there are so many voices fighting to be heard. It is very rare – if not impossible – to find something or someone that you agree with or feel defines you 100%.

After a long period of growth and self-analysis on my part, dissecting my morals and opinions to their very bones, I came to feel comfortable enough in myself and my own beliefs to be able to adopt labels without feeling as though they defined me on an individual basis. It feels perfectly natural calling myself a feminist even though there have been times in the past where I have fiercely disagreed with certain advocates of the movement. I feel perfectly at home as an active member of the Labour Party even though I might not share the same views as every single member/supporter. It is all about the bigger picture and using these labels as vessels to achieve progression.

Vessels 

The vessels metaphor is by far my favourite at the moment and is one that makes a lot of sense to me personally. I see movements as vehicles or ‘vessels’ which house a wealth of different beliefs and opinions that are all ultimately heading for the same destination. It’s like a colossal carpool – why waste energy fueling your own transport when you could chip in and have a greater impact in the process?

As long as you retain your strong sense of individualism within a movement and do not succumb to sheep syndrome, you can use your voice to help steer your vessel into a direction you wish to take. A difference in opinions is a great thing – without it, movements would come to a stand-still. As previously stated, there can be no progression without debate, even within a group you largely agree with.

Final Thoughts

Individuality is something that should be cherished and used to change our own worlds and those of the people around us, but there is strength in unity that can be made all the more powerful through debate and discussion. Do not be afraid to contribute to a movement you believe in. Challenge ideas you don’t agree with and learn to compromise on certain issues – a unified voice is much louder than a solitary one fighting to be heard above the din.

Do you agree that individualism within collectivism is a good idea, or would you rather go it alone/blindly conform?