Review – NottWords workshop with Lara Elena Donnelly

There’s something decadent about knocking off work early to go to a writing workshop. And so it is with a light heart that I bid my work colleagues a good weekend and appear at the door to Nottingham Writers’ Studio on Friday afternoon for Lara Elena Donnelly’s workshop Who is your City? Lara starts us… Continue reading Review – NottWords workshop with Lara Elena Donnelly

Writing maps

In the endless stream of articles and posts about curing writers’ block, there’s lots of advice about writing anything, just anything, to get your shift on. Morning pages. Free writing. Notebooks. But what about maps? Writing maps are a lovely little resource that come in handy handbag sized packets. Each map contains a series of… Continue reading Writing maps

Review: Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

How I long for the days when I could spend a long afternoon curled up on the sofa in a book. These days, 20 minutes of snatched bus journey or late at night with a book torch are  more likely reading situations. The quality of reading is necessarily affected by having to check where you… Continue reading Review: Mr Mac and Me by Esther Freud

September has come & I wake to questions about my favourite poem

September has come and one Twitter exchange this afternoon has made me consider poetry. Which I rarely do. Still, Megan from Writers’ Greenhouse posted a link to Autumn Journal by Louis Macneice today – my favourite poem. Why is it my favourite? Well, I love it because I was born in September and my nature… Continue reading September has come & I wake to questions about my favourite poem

Nottingham Festival of Words blog hop

I’m very pleased to join Nottingham Festival of Words’ blog hop – thanks to Rustic Writer for tagging me next. What’s your connection with Nottingham and its written and spoken words? I’ve lived in Nottingham now for 14 years, and I moved up here because of words. Well, kind of. I moved to transfer to… Continue reading Nottingham Festival of Words blog hop

Plotting…

I went to a workshop at Nottingham Writers Studio last night. It was called ‘Plot your novel in an hour’ and was part of their summer taster workshop series, short sharp shocks to draw in the crowds and boost membership. It was a packed room full of folk keen to learn the basics of plotting.… Continue reading Plotting…

Review: Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell

I was walking to work through a university campus the other morning, wearing a tatty pair of sandals I can’t be bothered/ can’t afford to replace and listening to my ipod on shuffle. On came Britpop favourite Nice Guy Eddie by Sleeper and I sang to myself as I made my way down the road.… Continue reading Review: Instructions for a Heatwave by Maggie O’Farrell

Review: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Here’s a warning: if you are close to your sister, you may find parts of this book upsetting. Well, I did anyway. (I always cry at books in embarrassing places – usually public transport. It was the case here.) Anyway… Yolandi, our narrator, and her sister Elfrieda, grow up in a Canadian Mennonite community where… Continue reading Review: All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

Review: Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? Gareth Roberts

It’s perhaps fitting that I sit to read this as England’s current crop of lacklustre footballing heroes disappoint the nation again. For the pivotal moment of ‘Billy Parks’ is a what if. What if England had scored against Poland to qualify for the World Cup in 1973? What if they’d brought Billy Parks on? Football… Continue reading Review: Whatever Happened to Billy Parks? Gareth Roberts

Review: Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey

Elizabeth is missing. That much is certain. The rest of the story is not so clear. This is down to the narrator, Maud, an old lady struggling with the first stages of dementia. Maud lives alone following the death of her husband and is frequently visited by carers and her daughter Helen. To these people… Continue reading Review: Elizabeth is Missing – Emma Healey