Writing Tips and Tools

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

Lee Kofman

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

Luke Ryan headshot

"When it comes to memoir the most important character to understand is yourself," says tutor Luke Ryan. "You are not a blank observer, but an active participant and your own characterisation will drive how you write every other part of the story."

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."

Andrew Nette headshot

"It will help you enormously to complete a publishable manuscript if you are familiar with crime fiction’s many sub-genres and the key conventions and rules of each of them," says tutor Andrew Nette. "Knowing the rules of crime fiction is the vital first step if you want to subvert or play with them."