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, […]

9 Things You Need to Write a Novel (#NaNoWriMo2016 repost)

  The first thing you need to write a novel is… Time. The second thing you need to write a novel is… More Time. And the third thing you need to write a novel is… Even More Time. This perhaps seems a bit obvious. But let me explain. Time, More Time and Even More Time are all necessary. […]

9 Things Not to Do in NaNoWriMo

It’s NaNoWriMo 2016, so I’ve quickly put together these 9 Things Not to Do in NaNoWriMo, along with reposting my 9 Things You Need to Write a Novel. I hope you find them useful. They’re based on the bits of advice I most often find myself giving students. Any comments, or additional don’ts, welcomed.   1. Don’t Bore […]

Sport – or, What Can Writers Learn From Athletes and Coaches?

This talk was first delivered to students of the Creative Writing MA at Birkbeck on May 3rd 2016. Leicester City won the Premier League, and since then a great deal of the national conversation – online, in newspapers, in corridors – has been, ‘How did they do it?’ The next thing after that, of course, is, […]

Keston Sutherland Material

As a follow-up to What is Literature?, I’ve gathered together some of the best accessible things of Keston Sutherland’s. You could find these yourself, but I’m putting them together into a suggested order. You could begin by buying Poems 1999-2015, published by Enitharmon. (Odes to TL61P is still available. Most of the pamphlets are out of print.)   […]

What is Literature?

[This was first delivered as a lecture to the Creative Writing MA students at Birkbeck on 5th May 2015. As preparation for this, the students were asked to look at Keston Sutherland’s reading of HOT WHITE ANDY on YouTube.]   When I choose a subject to talk about, in this summer lecture, I try to find […]

Intimately Uninvolved: Notes of a Librettist

Vastation When it gets to curtain up, The Librettist is intimately uninvolved in the opera she has co-written. She is aware that, some time in the past, if her fingers had struck a different arrangement of keys, then what is about to happen would be other. That this character is already on stage – that […]