Category Archives: Writing Tips

Cruel Summer

‘You get the summer off, right? Go on loads of holidays, yeah?’ I imagine you’ve been asked this once or twice, and you’ve rolled your eyes so hard you pulled a muscle. You might have tried in vain to explain … Read More »

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Creative Writing Studies: The Rise of a New Discipline

When I became a student of Creative Writing in 2007 the pedagogue within me broke through. I came into contact with good teacher-writers, but as a teacher myself I was groping to understand the shape and parameters of the discipline … Read More »

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The day Ray Bradbury died

What a difference a day makes? Today is 5th June, 2012. Here you are, at your university, with a gigantic bundle of paper in your arms. You enter the department, on your way to your supervisor’s office. Then you remember. … Read More »

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On Prose Style: Simplicity Versus Sesquipedalianism

I like my prose thick and porridgy. I like to wade through it. I like it to stick to the inside of my brain. Anything too thin and I rapidly lose interest. I daresay Sarah Waters, for example, is an … Read More »

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“The computer is not working”: being let down by technology

I have always hated to rely on technology. Maybe it is because I grew up in a place where computers and electric devices never seemed to work properly, and repairs took ages to complete. Before you start making assumptions about … Read More »

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Tangles with the Self: What It Takes To Be a Writer (Part 2)

At his book launch in 2008, Will Self responded to a question about managing his time as both writer and media personality. Although his answer was brief, he talked about the writer’s need to adopt a ‘corporate culture of one’. … Read More »

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Tangles with the Self: What It Takes To Be a Writer

In 2008, I attended a talk by Will Self at the Edinburgh Festival, a launch event at which, as John Nicholson describes, he ‘ambles onto the stage, loping like a giant stick insect; all hooded eyes and gangling limbs.’ After … Read More »

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