Hey guys!! Towards the end of last year, I submitted a piece of writing, all about John Venn, into the blog category for a local competition called the ‘JVenn Young Writer’s Contest’. It was awarded first place. The competition is founded by the JVenn Foundation which is local registered charity in Hull who seek to support education there. Overall, there were 8 different categories for young people to enter into, with all pieces that were submitted, focusing on the theme of circles. A couple of weeks ago, I attended an awards ceremony at Hull Central Library to claim my prize for my victory which was an £80 theatre voucher and I also recieved the opportunity to give a speech about my experience of blogging. It was an amazing affair and one that I immensely enjoyed. I secured an interview with Project Manager of the competition, Laura Smith, to grant you with the inside scoop of competition as a whole and I’m also going to share my entry from the competition with you all which is an instalment from my ‘Famous People from Hull’ series and is all about John Venn.
INTERVIEW WITH LAURA SMITH, PROJECT MANAGER
1. WHAT IS YOUR EVERY DAY JOB? I’m a freelance copywriter and arts facilitator. This means I do anything from social media, writing the content for websites, magazine articles and sometimes even books! Arts facilitation means I work with companies like Hull Libraries to help them organise and manage projects in the arts sector. I’ve worked on writing competitions, film festivals and art gallery exhibitions. It’s really varied work so it’s always interesting.
2. WHAT WAS YOUR ROLE IN THE COMPETITION AND HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INVOLVED? My role in the JVenn Young Writers’ Competition was project manager. I worked with Hull Libraries right from the start on the competition, when it was just an idea! I organised the summer workshops, managed the judging process and made sure everything happened on time.
3. WHAT WAS INVOLVED IN THE JUDGING PROCESS FOR THE ENTRIES OF THE COMPETITION? The judging process was so hard as we had so many great entries to read! Over 200 young people entered in the end, which was a great response. I read every one of them and shortlisted them by putting everyone through to the next round who stuck to the rules of writing on the theme of circles. From there, I asked local illustrator, Kristyna Litten, the director of the JVenn Foundation, two of the student illustrators from Wyke College and Ellen Bianchini, the director of the Big Malarkey Festival, to help me choose the winners. We got together and read everyone’s work and talked about what we liked best. The winners were chosen based on how imaginative and interesting their entries were. Some of them really made us laugh!
4. FAVOURITE MOMENT FROM THE WHOLE PROCESS OF THE COMPETITION? My favourite moment was calling the winners to let them know their entries had won. It was lovely speaking to so many young people that were proud of their work.
5. DESCRIBE YOURSELF IN 3 WORDS. Chocolate biscuit addict.
6. HOW DO YOU THINK THE COMPETITION HAS BENEFITED HULL’S YOUNG WRITERS? The competition was always designed to inspire young people to try out creative writing. By giving them this chance, hundreds of you had a go and now enjoy writing stories, poems and blogs like this one! Whether kids and teens carry on writing just for fun or learn to craft it into something you can make a career out of later in life, it’s a great skill to have and something really enjoyable to practice. I always enjoyed writing when I was younger and wanted to be a writer. I never thought I would be though, I thought I’d have to get a ‘proper’ job but here I am, writing for a living.
Thank you so much to Laura for agreeing to be interviewed and also for playing such a big role in the organisation of the competition.
MY ENTRY FOR THE CONTEST
Hey guys!! So today’s post is going to be all about John Venn, a Hull born mathematician who came up with the ingenious idea of the Venn diagram. The Venn diagram is made up of 3 circles which all overlap in the middle so that you can group pieces of information together. John Venn’s achievements don’t end there though – he was also involved in the Anglican Church, he wrote several books and he later became a lecturer at Cambridge University. In today’s post, I’m going to be educating you more about one of the best mathematicians to ever live.
John Venn was born on August 4th 1834 to his parents, Martha Sykes and Reverend Henry Venn who was part of the Anglican Clergy. He went on to study at Gonville and Caius College at Cambridge University where he was awarded a degree in mathematics in 1857. Towards the end of the 1850s, John Venn was ordained as a priest for the Church of England and took part in religious work for a short time before he returned back to Caius. Eventually, he resigned from the clergy during the 1880s but still continued to commit time to be a member of the Church.
In 1866, Venn published a book called ‘The Logic Of Chance’, which explored the frequency theory of probability and how often something is predicted to happen despite conflicting “educated” assumptions. Venn continued on to expand fellow mathematician George Boole’s theories in the 1881 book ‘Symbolic Logic’ in which he developed what would later become known as Venn Diagrams which is a diagram of two or more overlapping circles. The graphs, featured in the book, showed the relationships between sets, with diagrams similar to the Venn diagram being previously used by Gottfried Leibniz and Leonhard Euler. Venn Diagrams have become a commonly used tool in the teaching of maths and logic as well as to demonstrate similarities between groups. John Venn kept publishing more work such as ‘The Principles of Empirical’ or ‘Inductive Logic’. He died on April 4th 1923 in Cambridge, England, aged 90.
John Venn is commemorated in a number of different ways in Hull, including the Drypool Bridge in Hull which has been painted with lots of overlapping yellow and green circles like Venn diagrams and at the University of Hull with the Venn building which is named after him. He was a genius Hull born mathematician who deserves to be remembered for his great work for a long time to come.
Thank you for reading this post!! Have you ever won a competition? Let me know in the comments!! There’ll be another post out soon but until then bye for now!!
Amelia Grace a.k.a Amelia in Hull