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Hall Writers' Forum

The Hall Writers’ Forum is an online community that was launched in 2013 with a view to fostering creative writing, dialogue, and collaboration amongst the students, staff and alumni of St Edmund Hall. 

What kind of writing does the Forum encourage?

The Forum caters for all forms of writing, not just those traditionally described as ‘creative’; it includes sections on journalism, translation and non-fictional prose. It is particularly keen to encourage new writing, cross-disciplinary discussion, and the exchange of ideas across generations. Readers who do not consider themselves to be writers are still welcome to comment, criticise, and enter into debate.

What activity happens on the Forum?

  • Writers need feedback - especially when they are beginners. The main business of the Forum is to comment on new writing.
  • The various discussion threads on the Forum are also popular; these range from cybersexism to poetry’s role in witnessing history.
  • The Forum has a number of musicians and performing artists in its midst, and songs are frequently posted (with lyrics) in poetry threads.
  • The Forum also hosts regular writing challenges - for instance, to write on a set theme, or to compose in a particular form such as a limerick or Christmas carol.

Publications by the Forum

The Hall Writers’ Forum periodically publishes collections of work including:

The cover of 'Joker in the Pack'
  • Joker in the Pack (2017); a collection of verse and prose responses to Bob Dylan, including works by Oxford Professor of Poetry Simon Armitage and comedian Stewart Lee (1986, English).
  • New Proverbs of Hell (2014); a collection of aphorisms inspired by Blake.
  • The Wreck of the Hera (2014); a long historical ballad by Lucy Newlyn, set to music and performed by Stuart Estell (1993, English), which tells the story of a German barque wrecked off the coast of Cornwall six months before the outbreak of the First World War.
  • Ballads & Divers Verses (2013); a collection of ballads submitted to a Ballads challenge, plus a collaborative Valentine's Day Ballad.