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RSSCategory: On Writing

An MA in writing – is it worth it?

An MA in writing – is it worth it?

Last month, the novelist Hanif Kureishi declared creative writing courses ‘a waste of time.’ The statement seems counterintuitive – Kureishi himself is a teacher of creative writing at Kingston University. Nevertheless, his statement sparked an energetic discussion, with Jeanette Winterson defending her professorship at Manchester University, while the novelist Lucy Ellmann wrote ‘I can’t stand […]

April 14, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Writing Recipes

Writing Recipes

According to a recent poll, 57% of families don’t eat together, and they eat in up to four different rooms. This has not been my family’s experience. The Mystic Cookfire: the sacred art of creating food to nurture friends and family (written by Veronika Sophia Robinson, and illustrated by Sara Simon) is a collection of […]

March 31, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
Doctors Writing about Patients

Doctors Writing about Patients

I’m judgemental. It is my job to express opinions. Is it cancer? Is this patient about to break down? Will antibiotics cure this cough? Will this person be well in a week? So is it right for me to write about my work? I certainly don’t want to write about the patients who annoy me, […]

March 26, 2014 | By | 2 Replies More
Family Involvement in writing; Reluctant, Conscripted or Volunteered?

Family Involvement in writing; Reluctant, Conscripted or Volunteered?

‘Is writing, your family trade?’ was a recent question at a literary festival. I hadn’t thought of authorship that way before,  the answer probably  is ‘yes.’ My family has done the ‘word’ apprenticeship voluntarily, reluctantly or been conscripted. The family of a writer can’t help involvement in books, either reading them, inspiring or being captured […]

March 23, 2014 | By | 10 Replies More
Childless writers: should we use the childbirth metaphor for the act of writing?

Childless writers: should we use the childbirth metaphor for the act of writing?

Last year I finished a novel. Three years of sweat and tears, false starts, protracted labour, the wish that I’d never conceived it in the first place. I had an eerie sense that it was attached to me by an umbilical cord, but once it was done it had a life somehow distinct and separate, […]

March 18, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More
Untranslatable Words

Untranslatable Words

Earlier this year we were captivated by an article in the Huffington Post called Untranslatable Words by author and illustrator Ella Frances Sanders. When we found  out she was writing book about the subject, we contacted her to ask her if she could tell us more.  Writing this book was less of an actual decision […]

March 10, 2014 | By | 3 Replies More
This Is A Man’s World…Or Is It?

This Is A Man’s World…Or Is It?

Growing up as a tomboy, I didn’t understand the need to restrict girls to certain career choices, and boys to others. I wrote since I was old enough to crawl out of the womb, and the stuff I chose to write about was always a bit…non-girly. My first book, at the ripe old age of […]

March 4, 2014 | By | 4 Replies More
A Writer’s Confession

A Writer’s Confession

The wise say that inspiration strikes at the oddest of hours and in the most unexpected of places. They are right. Inspiration can be found in our dreams, in a cup of tea, in conversations, in public transport, or even in the middle of a natural disaster. And when you find that muse, there is […]

March 1, 2014 | By | 5 Replies More
Meraki: (n) The essence of yourself that is put in your work

Meraki: (n) The essence of yourself that is put in your work

Meraki: (n) The soul, creativity, or love you put in to something, the essence of yourself that is put in to your work. It’s all about emotion. Mostly about love.  That’s what writing is about for me and it’s not that simple is it? I go from thinking it’s all about getting to the truth […]

February 21, 2014 | By | 7 Replies More
Do You Have to Suffer to Write?

Do You Have to Suffer to Write?

Famous authors are often distinguished by horrific childhoods, intensive suffering, depression or desperation. Think Hemingway, Fitzgerald, Wolff. Memoirists notably mine their traumas like gold, exorcising demons along the way. Of course, conflict is the core of storytelling, and emotional conflicts are fiction’s treasure, but do you have to be miserable to write great fiction? Novelists […]

February 19, 2014 | By | 19 Replies More