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 – Things to do with wrestling with things to do with things to do with wrestling

[This is a different version of the first chapter of the book – currently up on the Galley Beggar website.] The story of my great-great-great grandfather’s life is the best true story I know. It has everything – a strong, handsome, charismatic, tragic lead man (William Litt). It involves crime, disloyalty, poetry, love. It’s a […]

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 […]

Against “Show, Don’t Tell” (With Walter Scott)

‘Show, Don’t Tell’ (like ‘Less is More’) has become a cliché of creative writing teaching. It’s usually associated – to my mind at least – with American minimalist writing. Not just the more recent instances, such as Lydia Davis and Mary Robison. And not the middle distance of Ann Beattie, Raymond Carver and Tobias Wolff. […]

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, […]