Why Symbolism is Beautiful (And Why You Should Be Using It)

Way back at the beginning of term (I'm in the Transnational Creative Writing Masters Programme at Stockholm University) we had an awesome workshop from Cassie Gonzales. She was talking about character needs and goals, as well as symbolism. Now, symbolism isn't something I'd really thought about putting into my writing before this point. Not intentionally, anyway.…Read more Why Symbolism is Beautiful (And Why You Should Be Using It)

The Terror of Submitting Your First Piece of Fiction

I did something truly insane today. I submitted a piece of work to The New Yorker. It was a piece I've been working on for about two months now, a short story that follows a young girl in the run-up to a natural disaster. I went through about six edits to get to the final…Read more The Terror of Submitting Your First Piece of Fiction

What’s the Difference Between a Writer and a Pretender?

I had a poetry lecture today, which I was dreading. Poetry for me brings back memories of exams in a dusty sports hall with the lingering smell of old socks; looking at pieces of writing that had been butchered with highlights and notes in the margin about form and theme and prose. Imagine my surprise, then,…Read more What’s the Difference Between a Writer and a Pretender?

The 10,000 Word Itch (or What To Do When You Come Up With A New Book Idea Whilst Writing A Different Book)

You're in a relationship. You've been together three months. You're starting to get to know each other, you've had quite a few dates - and things are starting to go really well. And then, BAM. You meet someone else. They're just as attractive as your current partner, but they're exciting and new. You tell yourself not…Read more The 10,000 Word Itch (or What To Do When You Come Up With A New Book Idea Whilst Writing A Different Book)

Why All Writers Have Two Personalities

You wouldn't think a Masters in Creative Writing would lead you to the conclusion that you're schizophrenic. Or at least, not immediately. You'd want to work up to that after two years of batting the idea back and forth, at the very least. In fact, it's widely accepted that all writers have a dual personality…Read more Why All Writers Have Two Personalities