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.