Hello there! We are the York Juba Anthology committee and we produce a creative writing Anthology each year through a collaboration between the students at the University of York and the University of Juba in South Sudan.
- We are in our fourth year of publication and are incredibly passionate about our upcoming edition - 'Unity'
The concept of 'Unity' is incredibly special to us as it refers to the growing relationship between the students at the University of York and at the University of Juba, as well as epitomising our aim of uniting both countries and cultures through creative writing.
We are determined to raise enough money to be able to print the 'Unity' edition and ship the books to Juba so that the students can see their work published. Once in Juba, the Anthologies are also sold in a bookshop called 'Leaves' which provides local business for the area and an increased interest in the project. We want to ensure that the 'Unity' edition also reaches as many readers as possible here in York, and so need funding for a bigger and better publicity campaign. It is important to us to be continuously able to present all of our writers in York and Juba with a finished Anthology and unite all our readers together in a way that only literature makes possible.
The first edition of the York Juba Anthology was produced following South Sudan’s independence in 2011. Southern Sudan suffered through repeated civil wars, particularly between 1982 and 2005. The Referendum on Independence in January 2011 made South Sudan the newest country in the world. At this critical stage, the University of Juba really needed our help in starting again.
The York Juba Anthology was the brainchild of our first editor, who was astounded by the lack of resources - libraries without books, a lack of computers - and the lack of a creative outlet for students at the University of Juba.
She built a team in York and worked closely with staff and students at the University of Juba to provide a positive creative outlet through which they could reflect on personal experiences of South Sudan’s independence.
- Over the past three publications, the anthology has grown into something truly special. We have been able to develop close working relationships with contacts in Juba, even expanding to local Sudanese shops to sell the anthology to local residents. Creative writing is not only actively encouraged in Juba now, but tutors are planning writing workshops and the University has invested in computers to help the students write better and faster
Through repeated civil uprisings, the anthology has been a place for students of the University of Juba to reflect on past achievements, warm family memories and some very harsh truths and distressing experiences. It is important to us that this project continues to give this opportunity for their voices to be heard and that York students (and the wider community) are there to listen and respond. Here is a quote from one of the English lecturers in Juba about the Anthology:
For the students in York, the Anthology offers a chance for budding writers to explore their talents and capabilities in a capacity that is both supportive and professional. We work closely with our writers, providing detailed and constructive feedback with each draft they submit - whilst the anthology is a place to express talent, we want to make sure that it is the best it can be to produce a real creative offering both in York and internationally.
What makes our submissions unique are the cross-cultural comparisons we draw out. These cultures, whilst being so vastly different, also share surprising similarities. It is through these similarities that we are able to group the York and Juba submissions into mutual themes, providing a smooth reading experience that blends cultures and experiences.
Where will the money go?
If we reach our minimum target of £500 we will be able to print around 200 anthologies to the high standard that we have previously achieved. The possible inclusion of artwork for the first time this year in the Anthology is going to increase the cost of each Anthology.
If we reach our full target of £850 we will be able to print around 200 anthologies whilst also being able to ship around half to the University in Juba for all the students and tutors to enjoy. We would also be able to invest more money into our publicity campaign and try and increase promotion of the York Juba Anthology by reaching a bigger audience.
If we receive any funds exceeding our full target we would be able to also organise an exciting event to launch the Anthology to the students here and do it justice. We would also, more importantly, be able to secure the future survival of the anthology, leaving a legacy for the future students who will become involved within the project and form the new committees.
Please Support The York Juba ANthology By Making a gift today!
We have some amazing rewards for everyone who donates as a way of saying thank you. Whatever the amount you give, make sure you give them a look!
You could also share this project with anyone you think would support us – on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, by email, telephone, word of mouth or on your blog. In fact, share it with everyone you know as we think it's a fantastic, worthwhile project and the more people who know about it, the more likely we are to succeed!
- We aim to give regular updates through our social media about how we are getting on with our project so please follow us on twitter and facebook!