Lara Pawson in Conversation about This Is the Place to Be

As part of the Birkbeck Summer lecture series, the wonderful Lara Pawson came along to talk to Birkbeck’s Creative Writing MA students, and to me, about writing and other things. It was one of the best events we’ve ever hosted. Lara was extremely open and full of insights. You can listen to the podcast here: […]

Writing Well and Writing to Get Well 3 Podcast

What can writers and teachers of Creative Writing learn from psychiatry, neuroscience, and other medical disciplines about the links between creativity and mental illness? The podcast from the third Friday evening event, which took place on Friday 12th May 2017, can be listened to here: https://birkbeck.hosted.panopto.com/Panopto/Pages/Viewer.aspx?id=c5377e27-5648-4bae-afe6-0b3e2d5b2072 Dr Suzanne O’Sullivan and Professor Rodrigo A. Bressan discuss Creative Writing and Mental […]

High-Rise, Ballard and the 1970s – An Exchange with Adam Roberts

I wrote an article titled ‘Sourcedness’ on Amy Jump and Ben Wheatley’s adaptation of High-Rise for Critical Quarterly. It’s here. (It’s also here, until Critical Quarterly say no.) A Facebook post by Adam Roberts on 20th April 2017 seemed to be thinking along the same lines: The Alec Guinness/BBC “Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy”, set in the 1970s, […]

Success!!!

EUSTON STATION A year or so ago, inside Euston Station, I bumped into a former student from the Birkbeck Creative Writing MA – Nicole Burstein. Since I first met Nicole she had gone, I hope she won’t mind me saying, from submitting some very angsty, introspective, scrappy prose for her first Writing and Reading workshop to […]

How to Tell a Story to Save the World

Normally, when people come along to a creative writing class, they are hoping to learn how to write better, not how to save the planet. A couple of years ago, I was teaching a Guardian Masterclass on ‘Storytelling Secrets’. Among those attending were three representatives of an international environmental activist network. They were young, casually […]

Howard Hodgkin

I interviewed Howard Hodgkin for Modern Painters in April 2006. He was, although charming, about the most difficult interviewee I’d ever faced. He was also a gift of a painter – one who made painting seem a delight, although he found it an agony.   The interview went very well, after we’d abandoned it. Forced […]

Meeting People Is Easy – Get Published in a Great Anthology

  I wrote this little essay on fame, bands, Jack Nicholson and new writing as the introduction to Birkbeck’s annual short-story anthology MIR13 (The Mechanics’ Institute REVIEW).     A new issue of this, MIR14, is being compiled right now. It is taking UK wide submissions until Friday 10 February 2017. Details on how to submit here. So, […]