The prewriting toolkit: freewriting and looping

December 4, 2014

My previous post looked at prewriting, offering some definitions, exploring what it means for the creative process and posing the question as to whether or not it can be taught. In this first follow-up piece, I offer some practical prewriting exercises, tools that might help to generate new ideas and to unblock ones that are stuck. […]

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Prewriting: rehearsing, converting, transforming

November 28, 2014

I’m fascinated by the alchemy of the writing process, how the writer progresses from the glimmer of an initial idea to the coherence of a finished piece.  I’ve always considered myself to be a planner and list maker, qualities that inevitably help with the early stages of a project.  But it’s only in researching the […]

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Literary Dystopias

November 19, 2014

This week, I’m posting a podcast on literary dystopias (from the Guardian Books series), with Canadian author Emily St John Mandel and Clemens J Setz. I’ve always loved novels that look to the future, reconfiguring how society is organised and how technology impacts on daily life.  

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Effortless Writing

November 12, 2014

Earlier this year I moved house.  Five months later, most of my books are stashed away in storage but I did keep my creative writing books to hand – and have finally managed to unpack them and get them onto the bookshelves by my desk.  I couldn’t resist stopping to flick through them, my eye […]

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Elizabeth Gilbert on creativity and the myth of genius

October 29, 2014

 http://www.ted.com/talks/elizabeth_gilbert_on_genius   ‘Don’t be daunted. Just do your job. Continue to show up for your piece of it, whatever that might be. If your job is to dance, do your dance. If the divine, cockeyed genius assigned to your case decides to let some sort of wonderment be glimpsed, for just one moment through your […]

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Glasgow Women’s Library: 21 Revolutions, Jackie Kay

October 22, 2014

Over the past year, Glasgow Women’s Library have been running a brilliant project to celebrate women’s lives – by having contemporary Scottish women writers respond to pieces in the library as inspiration for their work.  Here’s a podcast from the fabulous Jackie Kay, reading the pieces inspired by the collection (scroll down the page a bit […]

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Welcome to my website

October 21, 2014

Welcome to my website.  I’m a novelist, dramatist and prize-winning short story writer.  My novel Sisterwives is published by Crocus Books and also available on Kindle.  My first radio drama The Cloistered Soul was broadcast by BBC Radio 4  as part of the ‘Original British Dramatists’ series.  You can read my prize-winning short story (winner of the […]

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‘Showing people the truth’: S J Bradley on her novel Brick Mother

July 25, 2014

I interviewed SJ Bradley last year, just as it had been announced that she’d been shortlisted for the Willesden Herald International Short Story prize. Juggling writing with a day job, as well as being one of the indefatigable organisers of Leeds lit social ‘Fictions of Every Kind’, she always struck me as incredibly disciplined about her […]

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The Cloistered Soul – BBC Radio 4 Afternoon Drama, Monday 19 May

May 13, 2014

Next week my first drama for radio, ‘The Cloistered Soul’ airs on BBC Radio 4 (Monday 19 May at 2.15pm).  It’s part of a two-week series of ‘Original British Dramatists’ – fresh voices, new to radio.  You can find out more about the play, and how I came to write it, here. Each of the […]

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Cultivating a garden together

March 22, 2014

This month I co-wrote a post for Something Rhymed with my friend and writing buddy, Antonia Honeywell.  Dedicated to literary friendships, ‘Something Rhymed’ is the brainchild of Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney, who are themselves friends and writing collaborators.  Mine and Antonia’s post is in part a testament to our shared experience of writing, […]

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