Writing Tips and Tools

Get tips, tricks and tools on the craft of writing.

A portrait of Lee Kofman

"Compelling personal essayists are not those whose worldview the reader agrees with," says Lee Kofman, "but those whose voice and worldview the reader is interested in enough to follow."

A photo of Astrid Edwards

"The first draft is just that: a first draft," says writer and disability advocate Astrid Edwards. "It is not a judgement on your skill or ability, it simply means you have started to write your story.

A photo of Jessica Walton


"Don’t just read the work of other writers, get to know them. Go to their launches, celebrate successes, whinge about writer’s block together on Twitter. You might like to write alone, but being a writer alone is no fun."

Marija Peričić Headshot

"Never stop reading, but read actively," says tutor Marija Peričić. "Pay attention to the mechanics of the novels you read, and the way they are put together."

Meelee Soorkia headshot

"Be just as obsessive about reading as you are about writing," says tutor Meelee Soorkia.

Paddy O'Reilly headshot

"Paste your text into an online word-cloud generator to see which words may be overused," says tutor Paddy O'Reilly.

Penni Russon headshot

"Set yourself the unreasonable task of making a list of 100 ideas for a story in one setting," says tutor Penni Russon. "The first twenty are likely to be the most obvious (and you may get a bit silly by the end) but you might find some pretty astonishing gems in the middle. By juxtaposing some of the more interesting ideas, you might find you have a pretty interesting premise for a novel."

Shivaun Plozza headshot

"When receiving feedback, it’s important to listen without interjecting," says tutor Shivaun Plozza. "Really listen. Absorb what is being said and take the time to ruminate on what might be at the heart of the feedback before considering if it is the right advice for your writing project."

Wayne Macauley headshot

"Writing often begins as a conversation with the self," says tutor Wayne Macauley. "Good writers understand that it is also a conversation with the world."

Alli Sinclair headshot

"No words written are ever wasted," says tutor Alli Sinclair. "Even if you delete a scene, half the book or decide to start again, view this as a learning opportunity because once you discover what doesn’t work, it will undoubtedly lead you to what will work and your writing, and story, will be richer from the experience."