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Suzannah Evans


Everyone’s a Critic: Some pointers for writing book reviews

Writing a book review is something that you’ll very likely be asked to do as part of your OCA courses in creative writing at some point. It’s a good way to begin looking at books critically, and it’s also something you could use to keep a record of books that you’ve read to help you decide what you really think of them! 

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The novel took over: Writing for Surprise

Has your writing ever surprised you? Have you ever looked at the sentence you’ve just written and been moved to laugh, cry, or seek out a professional that you can talk to about it? The art of surprise is something that writers have learned to harness, whether it be the twist in the whodunnit or the turn in the sonnet, and it’s a part of the writing process that should not be underestimated, and we all know the powerful effect a good surprise can have on us as a reader. 

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Insider tips from a small publishing house

If you’re studying creative writing, chances are that the idea of publication has crossed your mind once or twice. Depending on what you write, you might want to pursue the accepted path of applying to agents, who will represent your fiction or non-fiction to large publishing houses. However, if you write poetry or are interested in making a direct approach, you may be interested in this blog post, in which I explain a little about the inner workings of a small indie publisher. Having worked for several over the last few years, I hope that this piece can give you some insight. Here are my absolute top insider tips from a small publishing house!

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Battling the fear 

After a while, in my experience, the fear of not writing anything at all does tend to finally trump the fear of not writing anything good.

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Have Fun with it: Word games to shake up your process and get you out of writers’ block

So you’ve been trying to come up with some new ideas, or turning over that same piece of work for weeks now, and it just doesn’t feel like inspiration is coming your way. We’ve all felt like this, I think, and we can agree that ideas can come from the least likely places – something you overhear, something found in a pocket, a billboard on your drive to work – but what if you’re just not finding them? This post introduces a few ideas that are excellent ways of playing with words, freeing up your process and creating the circumstances in which new ideas might present themselves.

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Writerly life advice: Writing retreats for beginners

A writing retreat is one way of giving yourself time and space to write, and committing to writing more seriously. It’s also an increasingly popular thing to do, perhaps because our working lives leave us little time to be creative, so taking enforced time out in a place where the laundry and the washing up are not going to be causing distraction can be a good way to really put the hours in on a particular project. With that in mind, I have a few pointers to help you to choose a good writing retreat, and to help you make the most of it once you’re there.

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Writers and the world of work , or that’s not a job!

A friend once introduced me to some people at a party as a poet, and straight away someone loudly responded with that’s not a job!

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Poetry with a Cause: Writing a Poetry Manifesto

What does a poem stand for? What is a poem? What is a poem for? What should a poem be? What should it feel like? What should a poem do? How should it do that? How does a poem relate to the world? Why do you want to write it? What is writing like? Is poetry political? Is all poetry political? How can poetry change the world? How will your poetry change poetry?

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The Writer’s Workshop – What to Expect

This post, in a lot of ways, relates to my previous writing about how to get your poetry out there, because it’s yet another way of sharing your work as a fledgling writer, and something of a rite of passage for many writers of various genres.

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Light and Shade: Writing our emotions

How do you know when to turn something deeply personal into something that another person might read, and even understand and enjoy, and maybe even want to publish? And how do you know when to keep it to yourself?

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