Tuesday, 23 September 2008

How to Write

Anyone else collecting this week's give-away in the Guardian - a series of 'How to Write' booklets?

I've really enjoyed the Fiction one (Saturday's) and today's Plays and Screenplays. Interesting and useful info by experienced writers - its got to be a good thing. If you've missed them Sunday's was Poetry, Monday's Comedy and there's Memoirs, Journalism and Books for Children to come) they're all available on-line too at

I haven't read many 'how to write' books (I'm not great with non-fiction) but I'm mainly enjoying the Guardian ones because they're well written and very readable. The same can be said of Teach Yourself Creative Writing of which there is a recent new edition by Stephen May.
An enjoyable read and bang up to date with useful exercises and tips from published writers. It covers a broad scope - feature writing, poetry, short stories, plays and screenplays, novels, blogging, travel writing - so it's not massively in depth, but it manages to pack a lot in.
Excellent if you are starting to write and a good comprehensive recap if you've been writing for a while. Stephen is the current Director of the Arvon Foundation at Lumb Bank, conveniently located just up the hill from where I live. He's had tons of experience as a writer - of plays and a novel - and of working with other writers and would-be writers at Arvon. It really shows in this book (and no I'm not on commission, but I am looking forward to going to the launch of his novel Tag next month (there has been promise of cake :o))

While I'm on the subject - I'm also looking forward to this Saturday - I'm going to a 'Short Stories Day' organised by Manchester Libraries. I've booked in for a couple of workshops - and there are speakers and discussions and a bookstall and - cakes. Fab.


HelenMH said...

I have 'How To Write Poetry', kindly brought home by the Welshman. Glad to hear the others are available on line though.

Jumbly Girl said...

Helen - The poetry one is one that I missed so I'm glad about online versions too

Milla said...

Hi, I came via the time wasting evil that is black box, and have since wasted a happy 20 minutes jumping through all your very useful links. Darn you!!

Jumbly Girl said...

Hi Milla - glad you black-boxed in and that you enjoyed my links. Hope you managed to get back to what you were supposed to be doing (I daren't think how many of my work hours have disappeared into that black box :o) )

KAREN said...

I enjoyed the Guardian series too.

Hope you had a lovely time on Saturday :o)