Writing in a Taxi in Mauritania, Virtually

Now I’m earning a regular wage I’ve been able to buy a new phone. Not brand new, but a year old iPhone 8, quite an upgrade from my old 4s which was apt to randomly switch itself off, and overheated if I tried to use apps such as Instagram. Now I have all the latest […]

Ten Minute Post

For the last two and a half months I’ve been working for/with a company that runs conferences. I only do three days a week so I still have four days to work on my writing and other aspects of my practice, in theory. In reality I’ve been finding it difficult to get everything else done […]

Literature Ambassador 2019: Writer Opps #14

It would seem moving websites is rather like moving house, I’m still tripping over boxes, faffing about with paint-charts, and trying to find the right nook for my reading chair. My new site is still rather chaotic, the pages sparsely furnished, and probably not yet ready for visitors. I’m between two (virtual) homes. I lived […]

Literature Ambassador 2019: Writer Opps #12

Writer Opps Wednesday aims to bring you six new opportunities for writers every week. This week we have: a most intriguing call for entries of microfiction; developmental funding for artists who self identify as sharing one or more of the protected characteristics defined by the Equality Act 2010; a survey about arts funding in Scotland […]

Story-A-Week #13: The Ride

For this week’s story I decided to merge two theories: the first, regards creativity, the second, productivity. Friday arrived, and I had still to even think about a story topic. I knew if I didn’t start that day I wouldn’t get it written, but I wanted to go to Glasgow and pick up a few […]

Story-A-Week #12: Using Objects as Prompts

On my old desktop computer, and in my loft, I have years worth of writing exercises, prompts, and old lesson plans. And this week has seen me searching through old files, dusting off old documents, revamping ideas (with the help of Pinterest), and doing a little testing. I have tended to present lesson plans/rubrics/exercises in […]

Story-a-Week #11: An Attempt at Plotting in Advance

If you’re a writer you’ll be familiar with the question, ‘are you a plotter or a pantser?’ A pantser being someone who writes before looking at such structural things as pace, arc, motifs, etc. A plotter being someone who creates a structure then writes a story/novel/whatever to fit. I’m a pantser, I create a nominal […]

Story-A-Week #10: Narrative Arc

Last Tuesday was the last in my Café Stories series of workshops* so we looked back on everything we’d covered, pulled it all together with a look at the narrative arc, did a bit of editing, and wrote one last story. I gave students a list of all the things we’d worked through: Session 1: […]

Literature Ambassador: 2019 Writer Opps #8

Writer Opps Wednesday is back, and pleased to share two development opportunities in Dumfries and Galloway, and three magazines looking for your writing to publish: Writers’ Gathering Which is run by Wigtown Festival Company. This is what they say: The Writers’ Gathering takes place on Saturday 11th May 2019, 9:30-16:30, in The Print Room, Wigtown. […]

Story-a-Week #9: Memoir and Monsters

For last Tuesday’s Café Stories I put together a lesson that combined memoir writing and plot types. There are umpteen theories on the range of narrative structures, but to keep it simple I stuck to the one that holds there are only 7 Basic Plots, and that all creative texts – films; novels; short stories; […]