George Orwell’s 1984 in 2019 – the 70th anniversary

George Orwell’s 1984 in 2019 – the 70th anniversary

George_Orwell_press_photoThe 8th June marks the 70th anniversary of George Orwell’s classic speculative-fiction novel, 1984. Most of us know the story; of the repressed protagonist, Winston, covertly facing off against the totalitarian state and the terrifying Big Brother himself – but in 1949, the novel inspired fear in the hearts of its readers for arguably very different reasons than today. People were apprehensive, scared of a future that seemed evermore existent in the still-looming presence of the end of the Second World War. Orwell’s fictions manifested into more than what could be contained within the novel’s 300 pages, with the story of Winston and Julia proving to be more than just speculation in the years to come.

Today, 1984 proves to be terrifying mainly in its predictions of the present, with terms1984-Big-Brother and concepts that have now deferred into our vocabulary and the undeniable resemblance the story presents in relation to the twenty-first century.  The obvious stand-alone concept is the figure of ‘Big Brother’ – besides the obvious comments that can be made about pop culture television, the leader of the ‘Party’ represents more than just a harsh political leader. In the wake of current affairs; of Edward Snowden, phone-hacking scandals and present-day dictatorship states, the man on the big telescreen, and more specifically what he represents today, amounts to more than just throwaway science-fiction.

Then there’s Room 101, doublethink, 2 + 2 = 5, all Orwellian phrases that’ve come to mean so much more in contemporary existence. So perhaps we have George Orwell to thank for terrifying us to our very souls and filling our minds with paranoia – or perhaps we have him to thank for making us more aware; aware of our own freedom, aware of who to elect and who not to- you know what, never mind. But in reality we have him to thank for giving us countless works of brilliant science-fiction that’ve inspired us for over 80 years, and have made us at home in this Orwellian future.

Do you fancy yourself a 21st Century Orwell? In celebration of 1984’s 70th birthday, The Orwell Society has launched its 2019 Dystopian Fiction Prize, where they’re looking for short story entries from BA and MA university students. Visit their website to find out more and to read up on how you can enter.

The 25th of June also marks what would’ve been George Orwell’s 116th birthday – so what better excuse to start reading, and dabbling in writing, Orwellian fiction if you haven’t already?


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2019 – The year so far

2019 – The year so far

As we’re about to step into the halfway point of 2019, we thought we’d take a look back on everything that’s happened for us so far this year. We’ve had a very exciting last six months – from launching our brand new academic journal, to the release of the newest addition to the Grist anthologies, there’s plenty to look back on: and plenty more to come!tillpandm

In January we were delighted to welcome new issues to our journals, Performance and Mindfulness and Teaching in Lifelong Learning. Both issues are packed with six fascinating articles written by the very best minds in the fields of Performance and Education, that explore innovative practice and theory from collaborative and often international perspectives. You can access both journals for free on our website, where you can also browse our entire collection of online academic publications.


Moving on to February, when we launched our brand new online publication; The Journal of Play in Adulthood. The journal is currently still open for submissions, and will focus on aiding the positive discussion of playfulness in adults, and the importance of play after childhood which, in turn, encourages positive attitudes towards learning, working and living. You can find out more about the journal by following the link above, and you can read the call for papers on our blog, where you can find information on the submission and peer review process.FIELDS-Web-Graphic-200

March was a very busy month for us – firstly, the Fields Journal of Huddersfield Student Research released its much-anticipated fifth volume of work. As always, the edition includes high quality research from incredibly talented Huddersfield students from across all seven academic schools. You can explore everything from feminist studies, to computing and communication. You can access the fascinating new volume here and you can also read what the journal’s editors had to say about the milestone release on our blog.

9781862181588The 21st March was a memorable day for us, as we celebrated the release of the latest addition to the Grist anthology family, Trouble, at this year’s Huddersfield Literature Festival. This collection of enthralling short fiction written by incredible up-and-coming writers, centres around the theme of protest and how rebellion can be found in all forms throughout everyday human experience. You can access this book on our website, and you can purchase a print copy here.

Thank you to everyone who has made 2019 an amazing year so far – we look forward to what the rest of the year will bring!

If you haven’t already, follow us on Twitter, like us on Facebook and keep checking out our blog to keep up to date with the latest news and releases from us.

Our Top 2019 Northern Literature Festivals

Our Top 2019 Northern Literature Festivals

Every year, across the country we celebrate our love of literature at literature festivals big and small. So what better way to enjoy the English summer than by relaxing in the sun with an old favourite, or plunging into a world of reading and literature at an event near you.

old peculiar

Theakston Old Peculiar Crime Writing Festival

Harrogate – 18 – 21 July

Every year, this award-winning Yorkshire-based festival never fails to amaze with its bounty of fascinating and memorable events – from author talks, workshops, gigs and interactive experiences. If being immersed into the thrilling and bloody world of contemporary crime fiction sounds right up your street, look no further than the Old Peculiar.

Visit their website to book and to find out more…


Ilkley Literature Festivalilkley

4 – 20 October

The programme and tickets for the festival are due to be released in August, so keep an eye out on their website for further information. If last years’ events are anything to go by though, expect talks from amazing contemporary authors, exciting workshops and days packed with amazing activities for kids and adults alike.

Join their mailing list to keep up-to-date with event releases and information about this years’ festival.


manchesterManchester Literature Festival

Ongoing and 4 – 20 October

Manchester Literature Festival is famous for welcoming a host of well-known names and faces, from Graham Norton to Michael Morpurgo, and this year is set to be no different, along with engaging events set to entertain kids, adults and everyone in- between. Check out their website for further details and to download the programme, as well as to see what events are happening right now!


Durham Book Festivaldurham

5 – 13 October

Durham Book Festival aims to inspire, with events held in some of the city’s most iconic venues. Each year the festival welcomes back literary legends and also an assortment of new, exciting faces in contemporary literature.

Visit their website to get a taste of what the festival has to offer, and watch out for the release of this years’ programme.


Or perhaps something a little bit different…



Lancashire – 2 May – 24 June

From their work with food banks, to their innovative ticket scheme – which helps you donate tickets to those who can’t afford to purchase one themselves, WoWFest is all about shaking things up. This one-of-a-kind Northern arts festival sets out to answer the question ‘Where are we now?’ and reflect upon today’s society through literature and art. There are events happening now, right up to the end of June, so don’t miss out on this amazing experience!


Call for Papers – Journal of Performance Magic – Volume Six

Call for Papers – Journal of Performance Magic – Volume Six

The Journal of Performance Magic is now open for submissions – read the call for papers below to find out information on how to submit and the peer-review process.

The Journal of Performance Magic is an annual, peer-reviewed online publication from The University of Huddersfield Press. (ISSN 2051-6037)

The Journal focuses on a multidisciplinary and contemporary approach to the field of Performance Magic, covering its influence, legacy, and future on wider performing arts practice and other diverse academic disciplines. In recent years, the academic study of performance magic has made exciting and creative links within emerging disciplines such as; cognitive sciences, architectural design, and emerging technologies. The journal seeks to strengthen these relationships as well as encourage consideration into areas of performance magic that have not yet been explored within academic research, and to develop new perspectives on previously researched areas.

The Journal of Performance Magic serves a wide and international academic and non-traditional academic community and invites contributions from researchers and practitioners throughout the world and from a wide range of disciplines. Research will be welcomed from areas including, but not limited to; performance training, psychology, scripting, scenography, cultural studies, philosophy, neuroscience invention/application, magic technology, ethics, narrative/story-telling, and theme parks.

Volume Six sees the journal’s re-launch on a new platform: and we are therefore announcing an open call for papers for this brand new issue, that attempt to uncover some of the crucial themes and key issues facing contemporary performance magic.

Articles between 5000 – 9000 might address, but are no means limited to, the following areas:

  • Frameworks: What are the most suitable academic tools and frameworks for interrogating performance magic?
  • Directions: Where is the study of performance magic heading?
  • Challenges: How is magic responding to the challenges?
  • Innovations: What is changing within our perception of performance magic? What is new? What is driving change?
  • Technologies used within, and responses to, performance magic – both as creative motivators and problems.

All contributions will be peer-reviewed subject to their acceptance.

The deadline for submission is 31 August 2019 with a planned publication date of 31 October 2019

We also accept book, performance and exhibition reviews.

If you have any queries, please email the editors at

The Fields journal – the student experience

The Fields journal – the student experience

The Fields journal recently published its fifth volume of Huddersfield undergraduate student research in March. One student included in the issue, Theresa Lingg, wrote to us to tell us about her experience of writing and being published in an academic journal. Read what she had to say below:

When I was approached and asked whether I wanted to convert my final year dissertation into a published article for the Fields journal, I felt excited and honoured but I was also aware that I had never done anything similar before. While my university course ‘Costume with Textiles’ included lessons on undertaking research, analysing literature and academic writing, it has more of a practical focus.

The academic support available at the university introduced me to the various processes that go into publishing a journal article; including possible structural approaches and writing techniques. Due to the support of the Fields team and the fantastic help I received from them, I managed to reshape my dissertation to the now-published article, ‘Perfume’.

The inspiration for the article was my final year costume project, ‘Perfume’, which the design and creation process for it, were elaborated on in my dissertation. Inspired by the novel, ‘Perfume – Story of a Murderer’ by Patrick Süskind, I created a garment that would disintegrate on stage by breathing.

Within the novel, a person’s existence is irrevocably linked with the sensual phenomenon of scent. Every person carries their identity in their inherent aroma – and this odour becomes the motive for murder in Süskind’s novel. I was motivated by this fascinating connection – that breath is clearly essential in order to survive but at the same time, the unavoidable olfactory reception, leads to the loss of life. Therefore, I decided to develop a costume that evoked the loss of identity through breathing.

The construction of such a garment required a long research process, including talking to many experts and gathering document research – but especially required a lot of trial and error. All of this research was documented in detail in my dissertation, as well as the project’s textile and construction journey. Working on this article encouraged me to re-examine the research and writing that was incorporated into my dissertation, to create a more concise version that was more accessible to a wider audience.

At the outset, it felt almost painful cutting, rewriting and editing so much of my original text. But in reality, it was a valuable process of clarifying and condensing my work. The whole process encouraged me to consider my final year project from a new perspective and re-examine what the project had really been about. As a result, writing the article for Fields enabled me understand my own project on a deeper level, which was an unexpected and beautiful experience.

You can access the latest edition of the Fields journal here


Trouble, the new Grist short fiction collection – launches today!

Trouble, the new Grist short fiction collection – launches today!

If you seek writing that inspires, motivates and moves you, look no further – the new Grist collection of short prose, Trouble launches today. This year, the anthology is inspired by the theme of ‘protest’, featuring an incredible collection of amazing up-and-coming authors and some of the most innovative voices in contemporary prose. If you’re a lover of fiction, and after the success of the 2017 collection of poetry and prose, I You He She It: experiments in viewpoint, this is definitely one to check out.

Grist editor, Simon Crump talks us through the new edition, and the real inspiration behind this year’s theme.

‘At 1.25pm on 2nd November 2016 I was arrested with fellow tree protester Calvin Payne on Marden Road, Sheffield for trying to prevent the felling of a hundred year old street tree which was perfectly healthy and still very much in its prime. We were taken away in a police van and locked in the cells at Shepcote Lane Detention Suite for over eight hours. We were questioned, photographed, fingerprinted and DNA swabs were taken. We were charged with breaking an obscure anti-Trade Union law and released. Two days later, a court date arrived in the post. We attended court to plead not guilty and the charges were subsequently dropped as not being in the Public Interest. Since then I have been arrested again (and again the charges were dropped for the same reason), I am currently the subject of a High Court injunction and I have a suspended prison sentence. All for peacefully protesting against the needless felling of thousands of perfectly healthy Sheffield street trees.

My experience on the ground in Sheffield is being echoed across the country. Local and national government is being sold off to private companies, and when that happens the public’s right to have a say is often lost in the world of PFI commercial contracts. Sometimes protest is the only option left available to us.

Protest is the distillation of a simple human experience: to see a wrong being done and, on a very basic level, to try to do something about it. In my role as the editor of Grist it seems appropriate that our new anthology should reflect what has become a significant part of my life. With the rise of the anti-fracking movement, of Extinction Rebellion, of Youth Strike 4 Climate, and an increasing disillusionment with the existing political system, protest appears to be our last best hope as we tumble headlong into the anthropocene.

The stories featured here in the 2019 Grist anthology Trouble celebrate protest, rebellion, disobedience and general bloody-mindedness in all of its forms. The pen is no longer mightier than the sword sadly, but when the shouting stops, that’s when the writing begins to do its job.

The best writing about protest should inspire, educate, motivate, compel and of course, entertain. And that’s what this collection is all about. There are historical protest stories here – The Flag, Happy Harpies – stories set in the future – Money Bank, Last of Them – stories of personal protest against sexual and racial discrimination – Meet Me, The Walk of Blood – and the closing story, The Calling, which embodies the simple truth that sometimes all you can do in protest is to make a lot of noise.’


You can download Trouble for free on our website, or order a beautiful print copy for your bookshelf.

Call for Papers – Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies – April 2019

Call for Papers – Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies – April 2019

Identity Papers: A Journal of British and Irish Studies, is a peer-reviewed online publication from the University of Huddersfield Press. (ISSN 2058-6205)

Identity papers was founded by the University of Huddersfield’s Academy for British and Irish studies, and sets out to connect with readers and academics across all disciplines – both within and external to the university sector. The journal primarily focusses on the construction and preservation of British and Irish identities that are associated and connect with both today, and in the past.

The journal is multidisciplinary in its nature, publishing varied work and research across many divisions of identity studies, proudly showcasing the very best of contemporary perspectives, as well as reflective and fresh takes on the past. Identity Papers is formatted as almost part academic journal, part intelligent magazine, and even part contributor blog, seeing itself as a melting pot of fascinating work from academics and non-academic alike. The journal’s scope is broad, showcasing insights, theories and reviews of any aspect of experienced and researched factors of British and Irish identity.

The new issue will seek to provide a fresh interdisciplinary outlook on personal and shared identity, both in the present world, and within history.

All contributions will be peer-reviewed subject to their acceptance, you can find out more about Identity Papers, and how to submit work, here.