Writing

Why I studied creative writing at university

Nearly seven years ago, and I really can’t believe it was that long, I began my degree at NUI Galway in Ireland. I chose Galway for one reason only: I could study creative writing there. As someone who had been interested in words, books and literature ever since I could remember, it seemed a natural choice.

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Books, Journalism

Q&A with Puffin editor Claire Hennessy

I interviewed the super editor/writer/all-around book aficionado Claire Hennessy about her job at one of Ireland’s major publishing houses, what she looks for in YA submissions and her best advice for aspiring authors.

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Books

Quote of the Week: Anthony Horowitz

I still think of Great Expectations as the greatest novel ever written with Magwitch, Estelle, Miss Havisham and Pip Pirrip, Dickens’s most brilliant creations. I’ve read the Dickens canon three times in my life and it’s amazing how these books have become a mirror for me, showing me how I’ve changed.

His attitude to women, for example, his sentimentality, his humour… I react differently each time I come to them… And that, of course, is the power of the greatest literature. Every time you come back to it, it’s never quite the same.”

– Anthony Horowitz

Original speech for the National Literacy Trust: http://www.literacytrust.org.uk/campaigns/anthony_horowitz_keynote_speech

Writing

Quote of the Week: Mark Gatiss

I’ve never actually written a script where I didn’t know who the Doctor was going to be. You just start thinking about the actor’s voice, speech patterns, mannerisms, and the whole attitude.

– Mark Gatiss

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Writing

Review: One-day Urban Writing Retreat, London

It’s quickly clear that Charlie Haynes has hit on an entrepreneurial concept that works: writers will pay good money to sit in a room without the distractions of the phone or the Internet.

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Books, Writing

Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?

Does a cover really have that much influence on whether or not we choose to read a book?

The New York Times recently published an article about new book covers being created for ‘classic’ novels to attract young-adult readers. Continue reading “Do You Judge A Book By Its Cover?”

Books, Writing

Novel News: J.K. Rowling’s New Book Cover Revealed!

Bestselling author J.K. Rowling, 46, has revealed the cover of her first adult book, The Casual Vacancy, which will be published by Little, Brown and Company on 27th September 2012.

‘The Casual Vacancy’ by J.K. Rowling – Image courtesy of The Telegraph

The striking but simple yellow, red and black cover with white titles indicates a huge departure from Rowling’s previous work. The Harry Potter series, with which she made her name, used colourful character drawings on the cover to attract a younger audience.

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, Rowling’s last release

Her last novel – Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the final book in a series of seven – was published in 2007. Rowling has since earned an OBE for services to children’s literature, as well as having been awarded France’s Légion d’Honneur, the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award and the Prince of Asturias Award for Concord.

J.K. Rowling. Image from Little, Brown

The Casual Vacancy will centre on a small English town, Pagford, and the “blackly comic” parish council election that happens there.

“When Barry Fairbrother dies unexpectedly in his early forties, the little town of Pagford is left in shock. Seemingly an English idyll, with a cobbled market square and an ancient abbey, what lies behind the pretty façade is a town at war,” say Rowling’s publishers, Little, Brown. “[The character’s passing is] the catalyst for the biggest war the town has yet seen.”

The author is currently estimated to be worth more than £620 million from the Harry Potter brand.

What do you think of Rowling’s book cover? Will you be one of the first to buy her new novel? Comment below!

Books, Writing

Writing Tip of the Day: Sebastian Faulks

“I prefer books, ultimately, which are prepared to risk being idealistic than ones which prefer to stay on the safe ground of being critical. It seems a more daring and more interesting thing to do.

Image courtesy of Deborah Feingold/The Guardian

Of course it’s a high-tariff dive, and you risk falling flat on your face and indeed opening yourself up to the sort of people who haven’t taken a step off the safe island,

but there it is, these seem to be more worthwhile books to write.”

– SEBASTIAN FAULKS

Books, Journalism, Writing

Want a six-figure publishing deal? Here’s how Kathleen MacMahon did it…

The name ‘Kathleen MacMahon’ has been on the tips of literary tongues since April 2011, when the award-winning Irish journalist picked up a €684,000 advance and a two-book deal from Little, Brown at the London Book Fair for her début novel, This Is How It Ends.

Continue reading “Want a six-figure publishing deal? Here’s how Kathleen MacMahon did it…”

Books, Writing

Writing Tip of the Day: Emily Brontë

I have dreamt in my life, dreams that have stayed with me ever after, and changed my ideas;

they have gone through and through me, like wine through water, and altered the color of my mind.

And this is one: I’m going to tell it – but take care not to smile at any part of it.

 

– EMILY BRONTË