Wrestliana – The Coal Delivery Man

Next in the continuing series of kill-your-darling sections painfully taken out of Wrestliana. The following really hurt. This was written to illustrate the split between intellectual and physical labour. (It’s meant to be very awkward.) The symbolic moment for me, and I knew it was this at the time, came during the summer of 1986. I […]

Wrestliana ; Or, an Historical Account of Ancient and Modern Wrestling

      This is the original Wrestliana – my great-great-great grandfather’s history of wrestling (as the oldest and greatest sport in the world) Two shillings and sixpence is what it would have cost you in 1823. In 2018, a first edition will cost you around £800. If you can find one. It’s still available print-on-demand – […]

Wrestliana

  When I was looking for a publisher for my non-fiction book, Wrestliana, I put together this poster. It’s based on the posters that Cumberland & Westmoreland wrestling matches used to be advertised with in the early 1800s. That’s when my great-great-grandfather William Litt was doing his best wrestling. More about him next time. I did […]

The Three Virtues of Martin Amis

I have been taking this blogging business too seriously; trying to come up with finished statements, rather than put something out. I doubt I’ll be able to change, but here goes. It’s usually easier for any generation to acknowledge the qualities of the generation above the one above them – not the mothers, the grandmothers. And […]

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 […]

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, […]