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Creative Writing


Motivated to work in Equality and Diversity

The motivations for my becoming the OCA student representative for Equality and Diversity are deeply embedded in my personal experiences of racial and social class based injustices. I felt that this personal context was important to illustrate my interest and commitment to the role. But equally I wanted to add a real life dimension to the discussion on equality and diversity.

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A diverse reading list: Starting young

In these times when we recognise the need to encourage young people to read, it’s important that children see fictional characters they can identify with. Many readers can remember that feeling when the characters they read about may as well be creatures from Mars, for all they had in common. It used to affect young readers who were working class, for example. But while representations of different social backgrounds have improved in children’s fiction, the same can’t yet be said of ethnicity.

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What is experimental writing? Part 2: Poetry

In that sense, any kind of creative writing – a poem, a play, a story, etc. – is an experiment. A person sets about creating something utterly new, something that hasn’t existed before, and has often very little idea what the end product will be like. But I believe that some kinds of writing are more ‘experimental’ than others. 

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What is experimental writing? Part 1: Fiction

The definition of ‘experimental writing’ is highly subjective, but for me it includes writing that plays with form and pushes the possibilities of language further than usual. Some experimental writing can be difficult, asking for careful and active reading

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Writing in 2020: Multimodal writing and the pandemic

I wonder how much the coronavirus pandemic has affected our writing and our reading; and equally our learning and teaching. Of course as OCA Creative Writers (tutors and students) we are used to the idea of distance and absence of contact.

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Creating great character voices: Barbara Kingsolver’s The Poisonwood Bible

Writing in many voices within one novel is a challenge, one that can demonstrate a writer’s prowess, as it does here, but  one that can fatally wound a promising idea for a story, weighting it down, making it over-complex, and pushing a student writer’s skills to the very limit.

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Calling all Level Three creative writing students!

The Creative Writing department is now offering Zoom-based peer hangouts and workshops for students at HE6 (Level 3) on a regular basis. 

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Writing what you don’t know: The magic of uncertainty

We don’t have to know where a piece of writing is going to end up before we begin; this navigating, or finding our way, is often where the magic of a piece of writing arises.

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Difficulty in writing: part two

In my previous blog on difficulty I suggested some of the reasons why difficult literature might be worth the reader’s effort. This time I’d like to take focus more on why you shouldn’t always avoid it in your own creative writing.

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Difficulty in writing: part one

Difficulty can actually be a great leveller – it places the responsibility of interpretation on the individual. Instead of being spoon-fed simplistic answers to life’s complexities, the reader has to figure out what they think for themselves.

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