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 do we encourage?

Apart from poetry there are sections on journalism, translation, topical political issues and non-fictional prose; we are particularly keen to encourage new writing, cross-disciplinary discussion, and the exchange of ideas across generations. Even if you may not consider yourself to be a writer you are very welcome to comment, criticise, and enter into debate.

What happens on the Forum?

  • Writers need feedback – especially when they are beginners. Our main business 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.
  • We have a number of musicians and performing artists in our midst, so songs and lyrics are frequently posted in poetry threads.
  • We also host 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

Our publishing house, Chough Publications, has periodically published collections of work including:

  • Synergies: Creative Writing in Academic Practice: Volume 1: Sea-Sonnets (2003) and Volume 2: Breaking Moulds (2004).
  • Ballads & Divers Verses (2013): a collection of ballads submitted to a Ballads challenge, plus a collaborative Valentine’s Day Ballad.
  • 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), telling the story of a German barque wrecked off the coast of Cornwall six months before the outbreak of the First World War.
  • The Parliament of Fouls (2015): “being an indictment of the Politickal Classes &c” which first appeared in the Oxford Magazine Issue 359, Trinity Term 2015.
  • Limericks (2015): an anthology of this well-known verse form covering a multitude of subjects, not all of them humorous.
  • Than-bauks (2015): a collection of pieces written in this unusual verse form.
  • 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).
  • Challenges (2018): a compilation of winning entries to challenges set on the Forum since it started in 2013.
  • Now We Are Five (2018): an anthology of Hall Writers’ Forum work, to celebrate our fifth anniversary.
  • Only The Moon Howls (2019): verses written to and about the Moon.
  • Whirligig (2020): this slim volume was published to mark the 250th anniversary of the birth of William Wordsworth.
  • Unruly Riddles (2020): a collection of riddles which were posted in our Facebook group and which proved to be a source of much amusement during enforced Covid isolation.
  • Poems on Conflict  (2022): a collection of poems prompted by the Russian invasion of Ukraine in February 2022 but which cover other areas of conflict worldwide.
Joker in the Pack

For further information please contact Darrell Barnes (darrellmpbarnes@gmail.com) or Lucy Newlyn (lucy.newlyn@seh.ox.ac.uk)

Hall Writers' Forum