How to Write a Novel


I’ve unexpectedly been asked to step in for a colleague at City University London and teach the Novel Writing Course this term.

It’s for people starting out on a novel for the first time, or needing a bit of a boost/steer on an ongoing work, the first 5 weeks are nuts and bolts and the second half of term is workshoping your novel with me and the rest of the group. 10 weeks, Monday evenings 6.30-8.30. Starts 30th September.

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Some people already signed up have opted to delay until next term, because they want to be taught by the incumbent tutor.  This means we are now short of viable numbers and need at least 2 more people to sign up by tomorrow, or the course won’t run, which will be a shame for those who have already commited.

If this sounds like the course for you, get your skates on and REGISTER NOW, or by tomorrow, TUESDAY 24th September.

National Flash Fiction Day


NFFD are celebrating with a ‘flash flood’ – My story Rising Dawn will be up on it at around 8.45am http://flashfloodjournal.blogspot.com/

And I’m speaking, with fellow editors Kam Rehal and Rosamund Davies at Greenwich Book Festival at 10am about editing (and contributing to) Story Cities, a book of flash fiction designed as a ‘City Guide for the Imagination’. Free but ticketed, via eventbrite.

Happy Flash Fiction Day!

 

 

A Summer of Festivals


Early summer is the time for festivals in South London, and this year I am reading/ speaking at several

Hither Green Festival Saturday May 18th 7pm at one of my favourite venues,

Manor House Library, on  Old Road SE13 5SY

I will be reading from my novel in progress, The Bog Mermaid

alongside Joan Taylor-Rowan,  Rebecca Skipwith, Katy Darby, Kate Foley and Math Jones

FREE Readings of stories and poems based in the past – from the 17th to the 20th Century – life stories and imagined lives, followed by a fairly short discussion about writing from history – what inspired the piece, what research was needed, how was the story shaped by the facts and which got in the way – that sort of thing.

 

 

With my writing cronies WOOA we are at  BrockleyMAX Festival again this year, with stories at the Talbot pub, corner of Lewisham Way and Tyrwhitt Road, taking as our theme Hidden Corners.

We haven’t finalised who is reading, but probably Bartle Sawbridge, Neil Lawrence, Catriona Jarvis, Carolyn Robertson. And you can join in a very silly game after the break.

 

 

 

10am on Saturday 15th June (Flash Fiction Day) I am at Greenwich Book Festival for the first time, when I join my fellow editors Rosamund Davies and Kam Rehal for a pre-publication panel discussion on Story Cities at Room KW003 King William Court Greenwich University Old Naval College Park Row Greenwich SE10 9LS.

FREE, but we are assuming you will need at ticket, but they aren’t on the festival website yet.

As well as editing the book I have a tiny story in it, Foundation Myth, alongside 41 other writers. In the shops 13th June, you can buy it here now

STOP PRESS ! I just had a flash fiction accepted for Flash Flood Journal. Rising Dawn will feature on the journal at around 8.45 on 15th June (national flash-fiction day) not long before we talk about forthcoming Story Cities book of flash at Greenwich Book Fest at 10am!

This is a third outing for Rising Dawn, previously on Spelk and Story Friday

Learn from me at Summer School


After the success of last year’s An Approach to Creative Writing summer school, at City, University of London where instead of ten weeks of 2 hours in an evening, we did one week of 2 x 2 hour sessions, during the day, we have tweaked it slightly.

This is aimed at people who like to concentrate their learning, but it turns out I am completely out of the habit of talking all day and need a major lie down.

The format is now Wednesday-Friday, and then the following Monday and Tuesday, so that I get a rest and students get a chance to put their learning into practice and do some writing over the weekend. If evenings are not for you, this is a possible alternative.

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So from Wednesday 24th July for 5 days you can immerse yourself in everything to do with writing fiction at An Approach to Creative Writing Summer School.  Booking open now.

We have already booked half the places, so get your skates on.

We will work mainly on short stories (including flash), exploring inspirations, characters, plots, themes, narrative voice, point of view, dialogue and so on, but with some exploration of how to approach longer work, including planning and structure and looking after yourself. Depending on the interests of the group we will cover writing for performance, specific genres and possibly life writing – You will get the course tailored to the people who attend, as far as humanly possible!

There is room for 20 people, and if the weather is good, the university, which is on Northampton Square, between Clerkenwell and Islington, has little gardens dotted about that we can sit out in for lunch.

We kick of at 10.30, take a lunch hour at 12:30 and finish at 15.30 to avoid the rush hour as far as possible, so that you arrive relaxed and go home energised to write something for your homework (entirely optional).

If you have been thinking about doing a creative writing course, and you like your learning in focussed bursts, this might be right up your alley.

 

 

Shortlisted! WHQ FLASH QUARTERLY 2019: ROUND 1


Knock me down with a feather, I got shortlisted with a bit of flash. Thanks to Writers’ HQ and congrats to the other shortlistees and the winners.

Demonstrating Change

This was an unintentionally topical story, written a while back. For those of us of a certain age, demonstrating, even on the streets of London was not always the comfortable, sunny,  polite, almost-police-free day out it has been recently. The last 3 marches I’ve been on it has hardly felt worthwhile to start a chant, everyone is having such a lovely time. It was not always like this and I have been on marches like the one in the story when it got quite scary and there were snipers on the roofs.

And I have heard Flamenco rhythms cut right through everything else, so that people knew who is being applauded and why.

So, none of it is true, and all of it is true.

Interview on Wombwell Rainbow


Read my interview on Wombwell Rainbow, where I talk about early writing, inspirations , writing routine (pause for hollow laughter) and that sort of thing.

Paul is interviewing writers of poetry and flash, and is always happy to talk to new people. get in touch with him via the website.