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Vicky MacKenzie


Australian literature

I’m guessing that many of you won’t have heard of Eleanor Dark and until I stayed at Varuna I hadn’t either. During my month in Australia I was determined to immerse myself in Australian literature and to start building up a picture of the “Aussie lit scene”.

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When is a collection of short stories a novel?

It might seem obvious whether a book is a novel or a collection of short stories, yet I keep coming across books that seem to straddle both categories. So how can a book be both?

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Writing about other species

I’m currently writing a collection of short fiction exploring our relationship with animals. When I tell people this, they often ask me if it’s a book for children, and it’s true that many classics of children’s literature feature animals: Kenneth Grahame’s The Wind in the Willows (1908), E.B. White’s Charlotte’s Web (1952) and Richard Adams’ Watership Down (1972) all spring to mind, and if you search online for animal stories, many of the results are stories for children. But thinking about and appreciating the lives of animals shouldn’t be something we associate only with children.

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Writing about food

It’s not surprising that writers often bring food into their stories and poems: the way that a  character relates to food can be a shorthand for letting the reader know something significant about their personality or their relationships.

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What is your tutor up to? Chapter 11: Vicky MacKenzie

reative Writing tutor Vicky MacKenzie will be getting a dose of her own medicine in June when one of her short stories is critiqued by writer A L Kennedy in front of a live audience. This event will take place at the Byre Theatre in St Andrews on 20th June.

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Reading habits

I’m an avid reader and am also fascinated by other people’s reading habits. For the last fifteen years I’ve recorded the title and author of every book I’ve finished (unfinished ones don’t count, it’s one of the odd little rules I have) in a dedicated notebook, and enjoy geekily looking through it sometimes to see what books I’ve read and when.

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What is flash fiction ?

Flash exists all over the world, and is known by a variety of different names which are often used interchangeably: flash fiction, micro-fiction, nano-fiction, sudden fiction, short shorts…

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