On Writing

Writers, editors, agents, publishers and more share their thoughts, experiences and stories.

The internet didn’t invent fan fiction. It’s been flourishing for sixty years in the form of the regency romance novel. In this time-span much has happened in the genre.

Jane Godwin headshot

When writing a picture book, "The idea doesn’t have to be original, but the author's way of treating it does," says tutor Jane Godwin. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Jane about how picture book writing isn't as simple as it seems.

On being released from a Turkish prison recently, writer Yusuf Karataş said ‘whether we are inside or outside, we will continue to speak the truth’. These words are emblematic of the ongoing courage of writers who dare speak truth to power.

Wayne Macauley headshot

"In a short story everything has to be working towards exploring and illuminating your central idea with the minimum words and maximum intensity," says tutor Wayne Macauley. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Wayne about what makes a short story great.

It’s bad etiquette for a journalist to make an interview about them. But I couldn’t help myself.

I was chatting to celebrated Victorian chef Ben Shewry of Attica fame for a magazine feature about his restaurant being listed in the prestigious San Pellegrino World’s 50 Best Restaurants.

Andrew Nette headshot

Done well, crime fiction can be one of the most effective genres for talking about social issues and the problems of society, says tutor Andrew Nette. Ahead of his upcoming workshop, we talked to Andrew about what makes crime fiction so thrilling.

As writers we recall our periods of writing as times spent sitting on a seat, our fingers punching our keyboards. In this way we tend to ignore the negative space that shapes the end product. All too quickly we forget those times when we pick up a piece of fruit at the grocers, or step aboard a heaving train and suddenly something comes unstuck in our mind, a plotline resolves itself, or a character forms.

Ellie Marney headshot

When choosing to self-publish, "People often assume that you can slap something together and hit Publish," says tutor Ellie Marney. Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Ellie about the importance of being organised, doing the research, and most importantly, writing a book that readers will love.

2017 has been a big year for South Asian women in Western media. Previously, they have rarely been cast as main characters in pop culture. Western audiences first received a taste of the subcontinent in 2004’s ‘Bride and Prejudice’ starring Aishwariya Rai.

Shivaun Plozza headshot

"What connects an intellectual understanding of story to the ability to construct one," says tutor Shivaun Plozza, "is tied up in soliciting and digesting quality feedback." Ahead of her upcoming workshop, we talked to Shivaun about how to give an receive feedback effectively, and the role it can play in fine-tuning your writing.