UEL English PEN Launch Party

Posted: Sunday, 13 October 2013 by Mandy in Labels: , , , , , ,

On Tuesday, the 8th of October, UEL English PEN hosted our official launch party at the Student Union lounge located on Docklands campus. After hours of food shopping, organizing the lounge and trying to make our projector work, we were ready to open the doors to the public at our scheduled 5pm time.

We were amazed at the amount of people who turned up, just as much as they were amazed at the amounts food and drinks we provided. We wanted to make everyone feel comfortable and it worked. We equipped the lounge with English PEN flyers, our ‘lucky book dip’ and we were also holding a raffle where winners received one of the amazing books we had on the display.

After a short introduction we invited Julia Zimmer, PEN’s events and development officer, who explained what English PEN does internationally, how big the organisation is and what we can do to help.
This followed by a short movie about what freedom of speech actually is and then continued with Tim Atkins, reading a powerful piece by a member of Pussy Riot.

After a short break, it was time for an open mic night! We encouraged students to come and read their work and were surprised at the amounts of people that shared their amazing writing. Among the pieces, we also had a privilege to hear a piece written by one of our classmates, who visited Turkey over the summer and shared the horror stories of the riots – her story is so moving English PEN asked to publish it on their website! You can read the piece here if you haven’t already.

We were also proud of everyone else who read their brilliant work which varied from political to comical. We’d like to thank every single one of them – you made us laugh, think and be creative!
The night finished with an announcement of the winners of our book raffle, which made everyone walk out happy and excited.

Again, we’d like to thank everyone who participated in any way in our launch – we never expected that amount of people and we were really humbled by your positive feedback. We promise to hold these nights more often as they bring us and our ideas closer together. Check out the pictures from the launch on our Facebook page!

Hope you are all having an amazing weekend,
UEL English PEN Society.