A Farewell to Creative Writing

I have in many ways, from workshops to residential and academia, taught creative writing since my mid-twenties. I have been proud to teach those that have gone on to success, those who continue to write but note at undergraduate level the high proportion of those writing students who never write again. My last year of…

The Lost Student

She strutted into my classroom nestled among students you knew were going to quit. It’s an awful thing to say but after awhile teaching can make you judgemental, you categorise, you’re taught to do that, to see the activists, the theorists, the troublemakers. And boy was she a troublemaker but there was something there devoid…

Walking Workgroup with Andrew Oldham at Saddleworth Literary Festival

WALKING WORKGROUP WITH ANDREW OLDHAM BOOK EARLY TO AVOID DISAPPOINTMENT   Walking With Poetry & Landscape 9:00am – 12:00, Sunday, 2nd October, 2016 Ammon Wrigley’s poems have been woven into the Saddleworth hills, valleys and villages. Even our pubs frequent his poetry. This workshop is open to those interested in writing poetry about landscape. It…

Writer’s Space

A few days ago I told you all about my office and how I fought valiantly to get it back from beneath a quagmire. This is me in a fervent plea to have an office space. It’s affectionately known as, ‘writer having hissy fit’.  Now, a few of you have asked me why it is…

Losing A Dumping Ground, Gaining An Office

I had a a hissy fit recently, there I’ve said it. I had a full blown throw-my-toys-out-of-a-moving-bath-paddy. Why would a full grown man do such a thing? I hear you say. Literally, I do hear you say, only my neighbour reads this blog and they wanted to know why me and my wife where screaming…

Problems With Speech

Yesterday I gave a presentation, it was a mock one for one that I am doing tomorrow and though I knew the people I was doing it to, fear overtook me. I can talk quite easily to crowds of people, I can have family, friends in the audience but when I am told I have…

In Defence of Idealism

Today I have been called an idealist. You’d think this is something to applaud but not when it is married with, ‘you don’t live in the real world’. I have a real problem with people who think idealism is something bad when it comes to society and politics. A bedrock of democracy, liberty and freedom…

Telling Stories

There is a misrepresentation of writers and poets, that we sit down at our laptops, crack them open, click on a blank document and the stories just pour onto the page. Anyone who approaches the blank page with a blank mind will end up with a blank page. Sure, it will have some weird little…

Can You Tell Me A Story?

There is a problem, I can teach you the nuts and bolts of creative writing, I can teach you the importance of voice, creating characters, conflict and tension but I don’t think I can teach you how to tell a story. If you can’t lie convincingly or day dream, the likely chance of you making…

Why Do We Ban Technology in a Creative Writing Workshop?

We are in danger within Creative Writing of alienating ourselves from the next generation. The idea of technology from mobiles to smartphones, from word processors to tablets has always irked some writers. I started my career with a pencil – I am overly fond of a pencil, it never runs out unexpectedly and is accompanied…

New Publication: Refugees Welcome from Eyewear Publishing

Last year, Todd Swift, put the call out after the first shocking images of the Syrian refugee crisis hit the media. These heartbreaking images where at first demonized by the British press and politicians alike, who referred to the refugees as ‘swarms’. This sad state of affairs spurred Eyewear Publishing into asking a number of…

New Work Ethic: How’s It Working Out, Andrew?

Never trust a question whose subtext is one that says, ‘Hey, I hope it has been a thorough fuck up for you’. I’ve been asked about my new work ethic several times, I have to admit that many have been kind inquiries, some just fascinated whether they can replicate and a very small minority that…