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

wicked.png

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

Advertisements

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

Vera Brittain.png

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.

From Glamping to Trench Warfare: A Brief Summer Summary

It’s back to normality for me today after a summer of exploration, character-building experiences and very limited internet access (AKA my very valid excuse for a feeble lack of posts).

IMG_1345

 

Since its beginning in a family-friendly campsite in the Derbyshire Dales to its demise in the war-torn fields of Leeds Festival, this summer has consisted of flitting between the East Anglian coast, Mancunian record stores and a good mate’s house in Staveley. There have been weddings attended, new tattoos/piercings acquired and large doses of literature consumed.

 

Books of my summer:

  • Owen Jones, The Establishment: And How They Get Away With It.  
  • George Orwell, Homage to Catalonia. 
  • J.D. Salinger, The Catcher In The Rye.
  • Stephen Fry, The Liar.
  • Pat Barker, Noonday.
  • Jon E. Lewis, The War Behind The Wire: The Life, Death and Glory of British Prisoners of War 1914-18.
  • Gerald Giddon, VCs of the First World War: Somme 1916.  
  • Greg King and Sue Woolmans, The Assassination of the Archduke: Sarajevo 1914 and the Romance that Changed the World. 
  • Anton Rippon, How Britain Kept Calm and Carried On: On the Home Front. 
  • James Dashner, The Death Cure.

boots

Despite having narrowly dodged being peed and thrown up on, barely surviving the weather and leaving with a lovely little cold – I feel like I have left Leeds with some very valuable experience.

Five festival life lessons:

  • Wellies ARE essential and should be worn at all times – even when festival season is over.
  • Indiscreetly pointing at someone wins you a new friend.
  • Puddles are not suitable pillow substitutes.
  • You are not above bumbags.
  • Small tents test friendships.

 

Overall, the last six weeks have been brilliant, educational and physically and mentally exhausting, yet I feel oddly recharged. Now I’m ready to write, work and campaign furiously throughout this next year before returning to university in 2017.

Some highlights:

  • Interacting with Iain Stirling (the reason my mates and I continued watching CBBC well into our early teens) at Leeds, directly followed by:
  • Listening to Owen Jones chat with Andy Parsons and having him inspire me even further.
  • Eating Kimchi in Manchester and Turkish food in Lowestoft.
  • Spontaneous Tramlines outing.
  • (Cheesy as hell, I know, but) spending time with my family and friends, which is a big deal for an introvert y’know.
  • Getting in the bath after Leeds Fest.
  • Oh, and getting new hamsters.

IMG_1511

Fresh Finds: Summer Edition

Since we are well into the middle of 2016, I thought I’d make a second ‘Fresh Finds’ post so that I can talk about some of the music I have been listening to between the start of the year and now.

Writing for various music websites has opened me up to a lot of new music that I might not have previously thought to listen to. Because of this, my musical taste has reached a whole new level of diversity. I’ve been listening to a lot of stuff that I might have turned my nose up at a few years ago.

Below I have listed four of my most significant discoveries:

Rat Boy

Rat Boy – or Jordan Cardy as he’s known at home – is an artist that I would not have expected myself to enjoy. Initially, I was hooked by the straight-up Indie-Rock tracks such as Left 4 Dead, but a taste for the more experimental songs that might have put me off in the past was quickly acquired.

My first encounter with Rat Boy actually occurred while watching this year’s Brit Awards back in February when I noticed him lurking behind Ant and Dec in a brightly coloured beanie. My Twitter feed informed me of his identity, and I was immediately won over by his sheer cockiness. 2014’s The Mixtape is one of the coolest musical discoveries I’ve made so far this year.

Cardy and his touring band are allegedly one of the most exciting live acts to grace the current circuit. I’m looking forward to finding out how accurate this is when I review them later in the year.

Muncie Girls

I was flicking through the pages of Kerrang! when I first stumbled across Muncie Girls. The article, packed full of punk, Plath and politics turned me into an instant fan before I had even heard a single note. Bands that use their platform to promote something they believe in gain my instant respect. So many artists shy away from politics, claiming they don’t want to influence their fans’ views – what a waste of a voice! Muncie Girls, however, grab the opportunity with both hands and what’s more, their message is really worth listening to.

I find that more often than not, I am drawn to masculine vocals – I’ve been meaning to have to look into the science behind this at some point – so it makes a refreshing change for me to be infatuated with a female fronted group.

Diamond Youth

Diamond Youth came to my attention while I was carrying out research for an essay on the emo movement that I’ve been working on for some time now (more to come on this project later). Various sources had listed them among the bands that contributed to the ‘emo revival’, and since I was writing about them, I felt it was necessary to delve deeper into their music.

Cannonball was the first video I found by the Maryland band, and I fell deeply in love within the first few seconds. I feel as though their visual and audio aesthetics are a perfectly balanced blend of my varying tastes and styles, making them a great ‘summary of Tyler’ band.

Jake Bugg

I will hold my hands up and admit that I was stupid for not listening to Jake Bugg properly a lot sooner. I had heard bits and bobs here and there, but never sat down and actively explored his music, which I now deeply regret after having spent the last few weeks doing exactly that.

Gimme the Love was the first song that awakened an interest in the Clifton-born singer-songwriter within me, which is somewhat surprising since many long term fans saw it as a form of betrayal due to drastic shift in style. Perhaps that’s why I liked it so much, because I was able to approach it neutrally with no preconceived opinions to get in the way.

It is impossible for me to choose my favourite of his three studio albums – each encapsulates a range of different moods and emotions that provide perfect listening material to accompany a wealth of different situations.

 

Gig Day

It has finally happened. The day I thought would never come has finally arrived. Today I have reached a significant milestone in my life which proves that at my nineteen years of age, I am finally getting – or am at least feeling – old…

This is the first time I will be arriving at a concert at a reasonably acceptable time.

Apart from on the odd occasion where  I’ve had to endure six excruciating hours of school before a gig, feeling as though I was missing out on the most exciting part of the day, I have always arrived at the venues a good eight hours or more before doors open.

I’ve powered through rain, sleet and snow while wearing nothing but corset dresses and fishnets – with the extent of my teenage rebellion being to not take a coat – with my heavily applied make-up streaking my face before I had even set foot in the sweaty venue, all in the name of live music. People have often pointed out how insane I am, but honestly, making a day out of seeing your favourite band is one of the coolest things to do.

I have met plenty of like-minded people during my time, friends whom I never would have met had it not have been for music. I’ve even been lucky enough to meet members of most of my favourite bands in chilled environments before the hoards arrived or the music started thumping, eliminating all hope of a decent conversation. Methods of passing the time included howling at the doorway, singing acapella in the street and helping each other top up on talcum powder. We’d hold feasts of McDonald’s and chocolate digestives on the pavements and binge drink cans or Rockstar or Relentless, feeling hella bad ass. There was even something oddly satisfying about sneaking past the staff in Starbucks just to use their toilet without buying anything. Although these activities will undoubtedly sound tedious to some, they’re what got us through eight long hours and still left us with enough energy to party.

 

(Below) Tallying how many dirty looks we got from passing vehicles outside Nottingham’s Rock City whilst waiting for Black Veil Brides in our war paint. 299588_2015044223561_1031097728_n

I’ll admit, the thought of waiting so long before a gig nowadays doesn’t appeal to me quite as much as it did when I was fourteen, but I am extremely sad that this is the case. The simplicity of sitting around with a few good friends and making a few more in the process is the thing I miss most as I write this from the comfort of my warm dry house.

I can’t say that this new found maturity will definitely be upheld in the future – old habits die hard I guess – but right now, as I listen to the hail thumping against my window, I think that perhaps it’s okay to let go of a little crazy every once in a while.