|Some of my current work materials|
1) I attended the SCWBI Agents' Party in London, where I was very brave and pitched my novel to four literary agents. Pitching was terrifying at first but became easier when I reminded myself that agents are book nerds just like writers. We're all just looking for a great book to read. Now I need to finish my polish/proofread and make sure all my spellings are British (rather than Canadian or American: see my last post) and start sending it out.
2) Having previously seen Vertigo as part of the BFI's Hitchcock retrospective, Tim and I also went to see Rear Window, which was also even more amazing on a big screen with great sound. Also, I realized it's much easier to see what the characters in the other apartment buildings are up to on a big screen and in high resolution. (As opposed to the fuzzy VHS version I'm sure I originally watched the film in).
3) At the very beginning of First Week, Tim and I went back to London to see the Original Practices production of Twelfth Night at the Globe, starring the one and only Stephen Fry as Malvolio. It was amazing and very funny, especially since they milked the comedy of men playing women (and in Viola's case, a man playing a woman playing a man) for all it was worth.
Before we went to the theatre, we popped into the famous Daunt Books in Marylebone and finally made it to Regent's Park.
5) Then we had EGO (English Graduates at Oxford) committee elections. I will be serving on the committee for the second year in a row, this time as Academic Affairs Officer. I'm really excited to be involved again and will aim to do my best.
6) I'm also on the organizing committee for the graduate conference again this year. We decided on the theme for the conference just a couple days ago: Object. We're hoping to here some really interesting papers on materiality, tangibility, Thing Theory, and also more political/theoretical/critical objections. A CFP will probably go out in December with an abstract deadline in March(ish).
7) Last week, I also had the opportunity to hear a bit of a children's publishing celebrity speak. The Oxford branch of the Society of Young Publishers hosted a public talk by David Fickling, head of the Random House imprint David Fickling Books, which publishes some of my very favourite authors in the UK: Linda Newbery, Kenneth Oppel, Margo Lanagan... David Fickling was a fabulously energetic and enthusiastic speaker, running off onto fascinating tangents like some of my very best university professors. He spoke really engagingly about what an editor must do (recognize talent, add energy, provide stability, communicate to the author). It was fascinating to hear about the editor-author relationship from the editor's point of view, especially because unpublished writers tend to focus more on getting published and the submissions process. Also, it was lovely to hear David speak so passionately about importance of publishing good books and great stories, rather than focusing on market issues.
8) Last week I also got to meet another hero of mine, David Mitchell, who was in town at the Oxford Waterstones signing copies of his memoir Back Story. If you haven't seen David Mitchell and his comedy partner Robert Webb in Peep Show or their sketch show That Mitchell and Webb Look, do so. Fantastic British comedy.
9) My 9th adventure comes later today when the Interdisciplinary Nineteenth-Century Forum is hosting a tour of Oscar Wilde's rooms at Magdalen College, which I am very much looking forward to.
|This image isn't related to anything in this post, except that autumn has come to my favourite churchyard by the English Faculty.|