|GUEST POST| Beginning as an MA Distance Learner

Guest post written by Hannah Louise Oldham.

I began university as an undergraduate almost exactly ten years ago. I had just turned eighteen and had really no idea what to expect when I rolled into Exeter wearing flip flops on that hot autumn day. Beginning that journey again triggers a sort of sense memory of those moments when I stepped into my student halls and onto campus for the first time, all tied up in scents and flavours and feelings. Sunshine mixed with bursts of warm rain; rustling pages, cheap wine and cheese toasties.

Beginning instead as a distance learning, part time postgraduate immediately felt quite different. I know my way around a library now, for instance, though I now have to find my own ways to access one, alongside tentatively exploring the wide world of digitised texts available from the University of Roehampton library. The balance of work and studying has swung the other way – as an undergraduate I would fit my hours working in the campus bookshop around my studies, now I squeeze studying in before I start work in the morning, or when I get home at night. When I think about my undergraduate life I marvel over how much time I seemed to have, and how I didn’t seem to realise it. Looking back, I seemed to spend an ordinate amount of time just sitting and thinking. I wondered how I was going to fit everything in now.

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|EVENT REVIEW| ‘Building New Communities in UK Children’s Literature Research’

Review written by Emily Corbett.

Two PhD students embark on a field trip to Newcastle to talk all things children’s and YA literature

‘Building New Communities in UK Children’s Literature Research: A Colloquium for Contemporary Issues in the Field’ was organised by Cambridge doctoral student, Andy McCormack, to bring together PhD students and academics from Roehampton, Newcastle, Glasgow and Cambridge universities. It was hosted by Newcastle University and Seven Stories, the National Centre for Children’s Books, and so fellow PhD student Harriet Salisbury and I ventured north to meet new people, share our research and enjoy all that the colloquium had to offer. As it turns out, the colloquium had plenty to offer!

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|EVENT REVIEW| ‘Being Human’ & MA Open Day from a Distance Learner’s Perspective

Review written by Marcia Kean

A Distance Learner Finds Her Way to Roehampton At Last!

One of the most delightful aspects of the Roehampton Distance Learning program is the opportunity to chat with our tutors on the phone during the semester. Now, double that pleasure for an actual onsite visit, which I did last month for the ‘Being Human in YA Literatures’ symposium and the MA Open Day. I used these events as my ‘excuse’ and Virgin Atlantic was happy to carry me across the Pond from Boston. Here, I share my experiences of both events.

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|EVENT REVIEW| NCRCL MA Open Morning

Review written by Charlotte Taylor.

On Saturday May 18th 2019, members of the NCRCL gathered at the gleaming Duchesne building at the University of Roehampton for their annual MA Open Morning. After informally gathering over tea, coffee and pastries amidst a colourful display of vintage and contemporary children’s books, the members headed to the lecture theatre where the director of the NCRCL, Lisa Sainsbury, welcomed the group and began the morning’s programme. The group comprised of potential and current MA students as well as some distinguished alumni, and so Lisa explained about the different modules available to those starting the course in September. In addition, Nicki Humble and Alison Waller also spoke about their courses and their respective current research projects: Nicki on the presentation of craft and hobbies in 20th Century Children’s Literature, and Alison on her recent book Rereading Childhood Books: A Poetics.

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When Anthony Horowitz visited Roehampton…

Anthony Horowitz is an eminent author, known for a vast catalogue of works including The Diamond Brothers series, the Alex Rider series and The Power of Five Series. Notably, he also continues to write the James Bond novels, as chosen by the Ian Fleming estate. 

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Anthony Horowitz signing his book.

 

Erin Weirrick gives her account of interviewing Anthony Horowitz:

Students and staff alike filed in as I waited at the front of the room with Emily Corbett, my co-interviewer, and author Anthony Horowitz. When I first volunteered to help interview Anthony I felt quite nervous. I had a list of questions to ask, and I was trying to make sure I would remember them all and say them well. I was representing the student population of the university, and being an international student, my home university. I wanted to represent myself and my communities well. Therefore, I was nervous. But even as the large lecture hall filled, I knew when I met Anthony that I had nothing to be nervous about. The energy buzzing in the room let me know that my fellow students were nervous and excited, too. They were seeing a figure that played a prominent role in the development of their imaginations and free-time right before them, with their own eyes. 
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