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‘Off the shelf’


Kill your darlings

There are rich picking to be had for creative writers who spend time in museums. That’s what visitors to OCA tutor Liz Cashdan’s Memory and Memoir writing workshop discovered at Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words last weekend. Roaming the Victorian galleries of Weston Park in search of a starting point, the workshop participants (among […]

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Narrow groove

The start of a new year challenges all creative practitioners to think about what we can do better. Here are the usual suspects for writers. ‘I will write every single day, even if it’s just for five minutes!’ ‘My commonplace book will never leave my side!’ ‘Writing first, editing after!’ All worthy – but dull […]

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Street View – An Evening with Jesse Alexander, OCA photography programme lead

OCA photography programme lead Jesse Alexander will be talking about his book Perspectives on Place at the Off the Shelf Festival of Words in Sheffield on Wednesday 14 October. Perspectives on Place, which was published in January by Bloomsbury, examines the theory and practice of landscape photography. The book features photographs taken by OCA students. Street View – […]

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‘A cloud that just lands’

A short story is a slice of life, so it needs a narrow geographical location and a small number of characters.  It takes work to produce the 500 to 6,000 words that ‘explore a mood, a pregnant silence, a seemingly mundane scenario that’s somehow charged with significance’ – novelist and broadcaster Marcel Theroux’s description of […]

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Roarin’ and bubblin’ – writing good dialogue

‘Great dialogue, like great music, soars off the page’, says Laura Schellhardt in ‘Screenwriting for Dummies’. Since 1927, every writer has needed to be able to write good dialogue. Not that it didn’t matter before then. It’s just that afterwards it mattered more as talkies came to the cinema screen with ‘The Jazz Singer’. By […]

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