Garry MacKenzie, Author at The Open College of the Arts
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Garry MacKenzie


Reading poetry: where to start?

To all creative writing students: hands up if your tutor has ever recommended you read outside your comfort zone and explore the work of a writer you’ve never read before? 

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What I’ve learned from travelling back in time (in short stories)

What have I learned from reading stories from oral traditions?

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What exactly is erasure poetry?

If visual artists can make collages out of previously-existing materials, and musicians can compose pieces out of sampling and remixing, then why can’t poets ‘remix’ a text through erasure?

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Dusty manuscripts and half-burnt newspapers

‘Sounding like yourself isn’t always the effect you want to go for.’

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Point of view in non-fiction

The things which you’re predisposed to notice, and to respond strongly to, are part of what makes you who you are. Everyone’s subjectivity is different.

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Non-fiction: one thing after another?

When writing non-fiction, look for ways to utilise the skills you’ve learned in fiction writing exercises, and ask yourself how you can make your subject-matter into a story, rather than simply one thing after another.

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What is your tutor up to? Garry MacKenzie

I’m really interested in what nets mean to you. Do you come from a fishing background? Can you wax lyrical about the moment when a football hits the back of the net? Are you a knitter?

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What I learned on a writing retreat

With all that time to do nothing but write, you have to deliver, don’t you? Nope. This mindset is guaranteed to make you freeze.

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A new leaf: writing and observation

Write a paragraph describing the leaf in as much detail as you can. The only rule is you’re not allowed to use the words ‘green’, ‘red’, ‘yellow’ or ‘brown’.

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What I’ve learned from travelling around the world (in short stories)

There’s a whole, diverse world of amazing fiction out there, and exploring it is a lot cheaper than other ways of travelling around the world.

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