Archive

Join the new OCA Book Group!

The Book Group is running again! Sign up to have a relaxed discussion about books and writing.

Read More

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?

Read More

Join the new OCA Book Group!

Do you like books? Do you like tea? Then join the OCA’s new online Book Group

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

What Is Prose Poetry?

The name itself is surely a contradiction in terms – how can a poem be ‘prose’, when ‘prose’ is the very word used to describe writing that’s not poetry?

Read More

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…

Read More

Street View – A Creative Writing Workshop and Walk

On Saturday 24 October Vicky will be leading a creative writing workshop as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words. The first half of the event will be a leisurely stroll around Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, the second half will be a writing workshop where we’ll use the material gathered on the walk in a number of stimulating writing exercises.

Read More