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Liz Cashdan, Author at The Open College of the Arts - Page 2 of 4
To find out more details about the transfer to The Open University see A New Chapter for OCA.
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Liz Cashdan

Transitioning thumb


My old school. Well they’ve still got the 11+ but never mind, I’ll  go along all the same, do a talk and maybe a workshop. They still sing the Harrow School Song as their school song: the tramp of the 22 men  in a single sex girls’ school. Well maybe they are transitioning. After all this is LGBT history month.

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Bringing it all together: the genesis of a poem thumb

Bringing it all together: the genesis of a poem

I want to share details of how I wrote a poem recently, bringing several aspects of my writing life together. The idea for the poem started with a workshop I was doing for the WEA in Weston Super Mare.

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Sentences thumb


I was intrigued reading some of the visual arts, students and tutors, writing about the materials and techniques at their disposal. It made me realise that all the writer has is very little in comparison: words and nothing more. We can splash them across the page, join them into sentences, paragraphs, lines, stanzas, novellas, chapters, scripts; or we can sound them out at performances, readings, and online, visually and orally.

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Flash poetry thumb

Flash poetry

Content-wise flash fiction, however short, will have a narrative arc while flash poetry will catch a moment with maybe implied narrative. In fact, flash poetry will have more in common with a photograph than with a piece of prose.

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Observation and writing thumb

Observation and writing

I guess all good writing like all successful visual art has to start with observation. Maybe, that’s too sweeping because sometimes we might start with imagination. But I would still maintain that imagination has to feed on observation.

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The child’s voice in adult literature thumb

The child’s voice in adult literature

Getting the child’s voice right in writing for children is easier than using a child narrator, or child’s eye view in free indirect discourse when writing for adults. If you have a child narrator in adult fiction, you have to decide if the narrator is looking back with hindsight or whether they are pretending to still be the child they were. There are plenty of examples of both of these approaches and some narratives that fall between the two extremes.

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Online as the default method of learning… thumb

Online as the default method of learning…

“Online teaching gives the tutor time to read and think deeply about the student’s assignment, none of which is possible in a workshop.”

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Who can write what about whom? thumb

Who can write what about whom?

In the news recently, Anthony Horowitz reveals that his editor has warned him off writing a black character into his next book. As he comments, that would be a pity, because if he only wrote characters that he represented himself, he would be restricted to 62 year-old white, male, Jewish men living in London!

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