Archive

Coming to your senses 

I’ve been thinking about the senses recently. Kit de Waal claimed  in a Guardian interview about her reading habits that audio books were now her preferred way of reading.

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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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Competition corner

We often get asked by creative writing students how they can get their work seen, published, made or accepted. This is particularly in the mind of Level 2 and 3 students who are thinking of life after their studies. Competitions are a valuable part of any writer’s career strategy – but especially so for new writers. They can help to cement your reputation, create a portfolio and get you noticed by agents and commissioners.

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Travel writing for competitions

I was recently a winner of the Exodus Travel Writing Blog Competition, which had a limit of 500 words, and I have their consent to use it here. Hopefully, it gives a few pointers as to how to go about it.

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Point of view in non-fiction

The things which you’re predisposed to notice, and to respond strongly to, are part of what makes you who you are. Everyone’s subjectivity is different.

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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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Non-fiction: one thing after another?

When writing non-fiction, look for ways to utilise the skills you’ve learned in fiction writing exercises, and ask yourself how you can make your subject-matter into a story, rather than simply one thing after another.

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How to sequence a sequence

“We looked for connecting themes, for a narrative, for a chronology.. Having achieved an order that I have to admit at first I doubted was going to be possible, I began to feel quite pleased with the way this random selection of poems had turned into a sequence.”

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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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