Students keep audiences up to date at the Port Eliot Festival

Audiences at the Port Eliot Festival this summer will be kept up to date with the latest news and views thanks to a project involving students at the University of Plymouth.

English and creative writing and illustration students will work alongside Cornish-based publishing company Guillemot Press to produce a free festival newspaper, the Murmuring Guillemot.

It will include reviews of live performances, interviews with some of the headline acts and updates about events taking place all around the festival site.

From a base within the estate’s walled garden, five BA (Hons) English and Creative Writing students will write the articles featuring in the eight-page publication while five BA (Hons) Illustration students will produce eye-catching images to adorn its pages.

It will be designed and printed on site by Guillemot Press overnight during the three day event and made available to festival goers every morning.

Ben Smith, Lecturer in English and Creative Writing, and John Kilburn, Lecturer in Illustration, are coordinating the project for the University. They said:

“This is a fantastic challenge for our students and a chance for them to gain experience of working at a major event. They will have to work to tight deadlines in conjunction with a professional publisher, producing something that they are proud of but which also meets the demands of a public audience. With many of them perhaps considering jobs in journalism or publishing, this is an opportunity get a taste of what their future careers might have in store.”

Dr Luke Thompson, Editor at Guillemot Press, added:

“We love working with young writers and artists, encouraging them to play and think and make new things. And we love messing about with different methods of printing - in this case a risograph. The festival has a wonderful line up and always has a great atmosphere, so with any luck The Murmuring Guillemot will be a lot of fun to make.”

The newspaper is the latest element of the University’s expanding partnership with the festival, with its Faculty of Arts and Humanities being the event’s creative and cultural partner.

The collaboration is coordinated by the University’s Creative Cultivator unit, which exists to nurture and support external engagement, knowledge transfer and collaborations between academia, the creative industries and wider community.

Port Eliot aims to inspire and surprise as it draws an unmatchable collection of artists, musicians, writers, comedians, performers, thinkers, makers, protagonists, agitators and scribblers to one of the most beautiful corners of the country.

This year’s event will run from Thursday 27 to Sunday 30 July on the rolling park and woodland of the ancient estate at St Germans, on south-east Cornwall’s Rame Peninsula.

Working with Guillemot Press to produce The Murmuring Guillemot

Colin Midson, Associate Director of Port Eliot Festival, said:

“Our partnership with the University has undoubtedly brought an extra level of energy to the festival. Its creative team has helped programme a string of memorable science happenings that have really lived up to their unique backdrop in the Round Room. And we’re glad to have enabled students to experience at close range how the festival is planned, managed and brought to life. We look forward to continuing our fruitful relationship this year and beyond.”