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York U3A

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Current "Literature, Writing and Anthology" Groups.     Members: to find more details/dates/news or to contact a Group Leader, go to our Member's Page

                                                                                                        Interest Groups are open to York U3A members only.

This lively and adventurous group is engaged in exploring the riches of Middle English literature.


We have had a year on Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales, and so will move next September to other authors, starting with Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (using Armitage’s translation as well as the original text), and the same author’s beautiful consolation-poem, Pearl.


We will then look at selections from two extraordinarily novelistic Romances, Chaucer’s Troilus and Criseyde and Malory’s Morte Darthur.


Venue:The class meets on the second and fourth Tuesday afternoons of the month, at the Group Leader's house. There is room for about 5 new people


21st Century Fiction Reading Group



Children's Literature

Expanding Horizons Non-Fiction Reading Group

Revisiting the Classics 2

Other Lives Biography Reading Group

Revisiting the Classics 3

Crime Fiction

Some Shakespearean Characters

Shakespeare's Dramatic Language

Play Reading (2 Groups)

Write On

Creative Writing

Writer's Bloc

Poetry Group One and Two

Those Were our Days  Groups A & B

Contemporary Literature

Introduction to Medieval English Literature

Are you an avid reader of fiction who enjoys reading and discussing books you might not have chosen yourself?


Then how about belonging to this group reading 21st century paperback fiction chosen by the members.


Venue:Woolman Room on 3rd Monday of each month at 2pm. Starting 19th September.


Each member in turn chooses a recently published book (available in paperback) which we all read; we then meet for discussion.


Over the years we have read a wide variety of literature by many contemporary authors.


Venue:  Generally in Haxby, occasionally at the leader’s home.

Meetings are held at 2pm on the 3rd Wednesday of the month, starting on 21st September 2016.


If you like to explore new territory, expand your vision and get a new perspective on the world then how about joining this group?


Our meetings will alternate between a formal discussion of a chosen book and a more informal meeting (at which attendance is optional) to continue discussing the topic raised by the previous book (in case some people could not attend the last meeting) and having some social chat.


There will be five books discussed over the season including a short one at the first meeting after the group has chosen four books.


Venue: King's Manor Refectory in Exhibition Square, first Wednesday of the month at 1.30pm starting in October.


Cost: Cost of books plus a drink to justify us being in the refectory.


We all have gaps in our reading - a major novel never read, others we would like to go back to. A group was formed a few years ago which has enjoyed several years of serious and varied reading, both of earlier classics and novels which have been published in the last 50 or 60 years, some in translation for the first time.    


A second group was formed four years ago because of the demand for places. This second group is to operate independently from September. For details see Revisiting the Classics 2.


In both groups a programme of reading is discussed and drawn up at the beginning of the year. Thereafter the groups meet once a month to discuss the chosen novel.


Group 1 is at present full, and members intend to continue. Circumstances may change however, so if you are interested it is worth getting in touch with the leader in September.


Venue: The leader’s home normally on the last Friday of the month, 10.00 am to noon. The start date this year will be Friday 30th September.


Do you enjoy revisiting old favourites? Or perhaps you would like to keep up with what your grandchildren are reading? The plan is to read and discuss a mixture of old and new, familiar and unfamiliar titles from the vast range of books written for children and teenagers.


Venue:   At the leader’s home on the first Monday of the month, starting on 5th      September 2016 at 1.45pm.



Revisiting the Classics 1

This group offers the opportunity to re-read books and reflect on them, noting how one’s impression of/feelings about them has changed over time.


However, it is also a chance to “visit” a well-known author or novel, British or otherwise, for the first time and catch up on “essential” reading.


Titles will be proposed by the group and members will be able to participate by introducing a book each month, as well as taking part in the general discussion.


Venue: The leader’s home normally on the last Friday of the month, 2.00 – 4.00pm approx, starting 30th September.



We would welcome new members to join our small and friendly group.  We discuss fairly well known literature written before WW1.  


All our choices are available either on Kindle or Audible which is helpful for those with sight difficulties.  If a new member needed it we would make all our choices available on Audible.  


We meet on the last Thursday afternoon of each month, 2.30pm-4.30pm. The venue is the Group Leader's home.  


Disabled members are welcome.  There is a small step up into my house.


Are you interested in people, their personal stories, achievements and the historical and cultural milieu?  


Then please join this group which will read biographies, autobiographies and memoirs chosen by the group.  


All books will be available on the Kindle, a help to those with sight difficulties.  


We generally meet on the last Monday afternoon of alternate months, 2.30pm-4.30pm.   On 26th September we will be discussing ‘Too Close to the Falls’ a memoir by Catherine Gildiner and choosing books for the rest of the year.    The venue is the Group Leader's home.  


Disabled members are welcome.  There is a small step up into my house.

How did Shakespeare sound to the audiences of his day? Is there a dramatic tradition which can help modern actors speak his verse and prose to the greatest effect? What rules are there, and do they help or hinder our understanding and enjoyment of the plays?


These are some of the questions we plan to explore by drawing on the expertise of Sir Peter Hall, legendary director and founder of the Royal Shakespeare Company, and Professor David Crystal, author of many books on the history of English language and speech.


We will study scenes and speeches from Shakespeare’s early, middle and late plays; try them out for ourselves; and listen to contemporary actors recorded in rehearsal and performance.


Venue: At the leader’s home on alternate Mondays from 2.00 to 4.00pm, starting on 14th September 2016.

Read and discuss crime fiction – new best sellers, old favourites, new discoveries.  


Each member in turn chooses and introduces a book.  


Venue: Two groups meet at 10.30 am on the 2nd and 4th Thursdays of the month; members are 'regulars' in one group but can swap to the other to suit diaries when needed.  Meetings are at the leader's house, near The Mount in central York.  

The focus will be on Shakespeare's representation of some significant characters through a study of a few of the plays chosen by the group.  


This is not an academic study but rather an enjoyment of Shakespeare's art and language accessed through listening to our chosen plays (CD) and joining in some discussion.  


Some members are continuing from last year but our scope this time will be wider than before, and may include characters from the comedies or the late plays.


Venue: Meetings will be fortnightly starting on Monday 5th September in the afternoons 2-4pm. The venues will be variable by arrangement with some existing members, but there will be space for newcomers.


We write stories and talk about one another`s different stories (or anything they may have written) participating together to create an interesting read for every member.


We include a short workshop in each session (by popular demand) and also on occasions have longer workshops. It is aimed at having fun and we certainly do.  As well as writing we encourage members to bring along or talk about anything they find interesting.


If there are occasions when you can`t manage to write a story that`s ok, bring along something to talk about - a funny story always goes down well.


Venue:  Fell Room every second and fifth Monday of the month at 10am till 12noon. The dates are from 12th September 2016 till the 10th July.


We have 2 groups, with about 10 in each, which meet twice a month to read a play together.


Venue: The Woolman Room (which has disabled access) on the first and third Thursday of each month, commencing 1st September.


The groups meet 10.00 - 12.00 and 1.30 - 3.30 pm. The first term will finish on 15th December and restart in January.


The course is designed for people who have previous experience of writing on a regular basis.


There will be an opportunity for writers to explore different aspects of writing and then have a go at writing in that particular style.



There will also be time each session for members to read and discuss their own writing.


Venue: Woolman Room second and fifth Monday of each month. 10am -12noon  

Start date September 12th 2016, finish June 2017.



'Writer's Bloc' is a Creative Writing Group aimed at people who have some experience in writing and want to share their work in a supportive group environment.


Numbers will be limited to about eight people so that there is time for feedback in a sustaining way.


We write short pieces, including Flash Fiction, with a view to publishing a selection on Amazon.


Venue: Woolman Room. Meetings will be held on the Tuesday morning of the fourth week (10-12)



These groups are for anyone who would like to explore writing their life story or stories from life that gives insight into past times, people, events, places and things and who would benefit from ideas and tips on how to make the task manageable, interesting, fun and creative.


Even those who feel they have no writing experience will be pleasantly surprised at how they progress in a creative group setting.  


The monthly sessions will include presentations, practical writing exercises based on a ‘milestone framework’, discussions, reading and feedback in a small group setting.


The overall emphasis will be relaxed and friendly.  Group members will have the opportunity to submit stories for publication if they wish.


Group A Venue:  Woolman Room 10am – 12 noon. 3rd Tuesday of each month

Group B Venue: Woolman Room. 1pm – 3pm. 3rd Tuesday of each month



There are two groups run by U3A. Meetings are light-hearted and subjects are chosen by members at each meeting for reading and discussion.


Venue:Group One: In the Fell Room 10.15 to 12.15 second and fourth Tuesdays. The first meeting will be 13th September.


Group Two: In the Woolman Room, from 1.45pm - 4pm on the first and third Fridays of each month.   Our first meeting will be on 2nd September 2016 and our last meeting of 2016 will be on 16th December.