emagazine Student Conference for English Literature AS & A Level & IB – 5th November 2019

An inspiring day of academic enrichment for A Level and IB students.


This year’s emagazine English Literature conference provides students and teachers of A Level English Literature with another packed programme of material that will stimulate ideas and debate for the rest of the year.

Feedback on recent emagazine student conferences

Teachers said:

Inspiring and gave them a broader picture of English Literature but also specifics for the exam.

Really liberating for students to see such an enthusiastic approach to reading literature.

Lots of inspiration for reading outside of the course!

Great day, great venue- I think I want to go back to University now!

Students said:

It made me fall back in love with English! 

All very interesting and unlike much of what we earn at college yet still very relevant to my A Levels.

Presented in a fun way, leaving us both educated and entertained.

Booking enquiries

General booking enquiries:

Email Maria

Fax: 020 7354 0133

Programme enquiries:

Email Emma


emagazine Student Conference for English Literature AS & A Level & IB – 5th November 2019


Tuesday 5th November 2019


Friends House
173-177 Euston Road

Programme & Speakers

Programme & Speakers

image of Emma Barker
Emma Barker


Emma Barker welcomes you to the Conference.

image of Andrew Michael Hurley
Andrew Michael Hurley

Setting in the novel

We are delighted to welcome Andrew Michael Hurley, author of Costa First Novel award winner The Loney, to discuss how characters and place inform one another in novels, specifically how particular places generate particular stories. He will explore this relationship in classic as well as more contemporary texts. 

Andrew Michael Hurley's first novel, The Loney, was originally published in 2014 by Tartarus Press and then John Murray a year later, after which it won the 2015 Costa ‘First Novel’ award and the 2016 British Book Industry awards for ‘Debut Novel’ and ‘Book of the Year.’ The Loney has been translated into almost twenty languages and is currently being developed as a feature film.

His second book, Devil’s Day, was published in October 2017 and was listed as one of the books of the year in The Times, Financial Times and the Mail on Sunday. It went on to jointly win the 2018 Royal Society of Literature Encore Award for best second novel.

His third novel, Starve Acre, will be published in October 2019. 

Photo credit: © Hal Shinnie

image of Sarah Howe
Sarah Howe

Raymond Antrobus and Theresa Lola in conversation with Sarah Howe

Poetry sales are booming – particularly amongst young people. But why? Shahidha Bari, chair of the Forward Prize judges for 2019, recognises the 'playfulness and experimental approach to genre' within contemporary collections and it has been called the 'most capacious and communicative of the contemporary arts.' Can it also be true that some poems are 'universally relevant' – as one of the judges described Raymond Antrobus' collection The Perseverance?

Ted Hughes award-winning poet Raymond Antrobus and Young People's Laureate Theresa Lola join us to  perform some of their work, and then join Dr Sarah Howe to discuss the nature of poetry and its readership more broadly.  

image of Raymond Antrobus
Raymond Antrobus

Raymond Antrobus was born in London, Hackney to an English mother and Jamaican father, he is the author of Shapes & Disfigurements, To Sweeten Bitter and The Perseverance. In 2019 he became the first ever poet to be awarded the Rathbone Folio Prize for best work of literature in any genre. 

Other accolades include the Ted Hughes award, PBS Winter Choice, A Sunday Times & The Guardian Poetry Book Of The Year 2018 and a Griffin Prize shortlist. Also in 2018 he was awarded 'The Geoffrey Dearmer Prize', (Judged by Ocean Vuong), for his poem 'Sound Machine'. 

Raymond is a founding member of 'Chill Pill' and 'Keats House Poets Forum' and is an Ambassador for 'The Poetry School'.

image of Theresa Lola
Theresa Lola

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet and facilitator, and is the current Young People’s Laureate for London.

She is an alumni of the Barbican Young Poets programme, and was joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize. In April 2018 she was commissioned by the Mayor of London's Office to write a poem for the unveiling of Millicent Fawcett's statue in Parliament Square, which she read at the ceremony.



image of Conor Short
Conor Short

Lamentable Comedy’: Finding the Funny in Shakespeare

“Humor can be dissected, as a frog can, but the thing dies in the process.”

E.B. White

If this is true of a joke, what about a joke written over four centuries ago? As habitual readers of his work, what do we lose of Shakespeare’s humour when focusing on the page over the stage? And should you, as Hamlet demands ‘let those that play your clowns speak no more than is set down for them’?

In a practical exploration of some of Shakespeare’s best-known works, we will consider the often fine line between tragedy and comedy, the interaction between prose and verse, and how the playing conditions for Shakespeare’s actors might have affected the content of his writing- funny or not.

So can we dissect the frog without killing it?

Conor is an actor and educator, specialising in adapting active approaches to Shakespeare from the rehearsal room to the classroom. After a BA in Drama and Theatre Studies at Royal Holloway, he trained at Drama Centre London with a residency at the Globe in 2007. Acting work since has included Oberon in A Midsummer Night's Dream, Troilus in Troilus and Cressida, Cymbeline at the RSC Studio, The Comedy of Errors, King Lear and Macbeth. He also writes and has appeared in several short films and commercials. As a Globe storyteller, he adapts and performs Shakespeare plays as one-man shows, most recently A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Julius Caesar



2.05-2.50pm TBC

To be confirmed. 

image of Natalie Haynes
Natalie Haynes

Natalie Haynes Stands Up for the Classics

To coincide with her latest novel,  A Thousand Ships (publ. May 2, 2019), Natalie will take audiences on a tour around Trojan War, the greatest conflict in ancient literature, perhaps in literature full stop. From the causes of the war (divine displeasure) to its complex aftermath, this show encompasses some of the greatest poetry ever written: The Iliad, The Odyssey, The Oresteia, The Trojan Women and much more. The stories of the women whose lives the war affected have been largely untold, from the Amazon warrior, Penthesilea, to the priestess who saw the whole thing coming, Cassandra. Continuing a project she began with her novel, The Children of  Jocasta, Natalie takes the women out of the shadows and puts them back where they belong: in the middle of the story.



Where is the Conference Held?

The emagazine Literature Conference is being held at Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, London, NW1 2BJ – directly opposite Euston Station.


Getting to the Conference


The closest train stations are Euston and Kings Cross.

Tube (underground)

Tube stations within a 5 to 15-minute walk include: Euston, Euston Square, Kings Cross, Goodge Street, Russell Square, Tottenham Court Road and Warren Street. The closest tubes are Euston and Euston Square.


Numbers 10, 18, 30, 73, 205 and 390 pass the door whilst 59, 68, 91, 168, and 253 stop nearby.

Travelling by Minibus or Car?

Friends House is within a meter parking zone. Charges must be paid Monday to Friday 08:30 - 18:30 and Saturday 09:00 - 13:30. Please note that Friends House is within the congestion charge zone. Details of how to pay here.


Coaches may stop outside Friends House to drop students off.


London Euston Station Car Park

MSCP Melton Street
Tel: +44 (0)345 222 4224

The Royal National Car Park 

38-51 Bedford Way
Tel: +44 (0)20-7691 2630

Important Info

Important Info

Prices and Booking


The fee is £22 per student, with one free teacher place per 10 students. (For small groups of up to nine students, a single free teacher place will be available.)
For additional teachers, or teachers attending without students, for their own interest or CPD, the charge is £50 each.


  • Book online and choose to pay by invoice.
  • Conference places will be allocated on a first come first served basis. 
  • Please note: we are unable to take provisional bookings.
  • Please do not make final travel arrangements until your final booking has been confirmed and we have contacted you to let you know that you have definitely been allocated places.

Arrangements on the Day

Teachers Accompanying Students

We expect all students to be accompanied by a teacher. There should be a minimum of 1 teacher per 20 students.

We request that teachers meet their students in advance, register as a group and sit with their groups of students. Teachers are responsible for ensuring that their own students maintain acceptable standards of behaviour in the auditorium and in the Friends House building.

Lunch and Refreshments

The cafe at Friends House is open from 8am.

You and your students will be responsible for providing your own lunches. There are sandwich shops in the area immediately behind Friends House and plenty of food outlets across the road at Euston Station.

There are spaces outside for students to eat their packed lunch but no indoor spaces.

Booking from 9th September


Booking for the emagazine Conference opens on 9th September