The Art of Reading

I did a reading last night at Read to Write in South Yorkshire via Zoom and one of the audience, Richard Schramm, drew a picture of me. I do love a drawing over photos, it catches the energy of the reading. I know Zoom events can be hard going but for me, as a disabled…

100 Days of Writing: What Have I Achieved?

It’s day 100+ of #writing and what has this little experiment done for my practice? In a simple word: freedom. No, I am not channeling the wonderful and late, George Michael, though we may close with his iconic song. I mean freedom is the sense that I have put aside certain things: Fear of failure….

100 Days of Writing: Days 22-26

Day 22 of #100daysofwriting and I have moved from the bear to the stars. Started a story about what will happen to sailors 5 billion years from now. The Earth will be dead, half the universe will be extinguished and we will be moving into a cosmos full of dead stars and black holes, how can anyone…

100 Days of Writing: Days 16-21

Day 16 of #100daysofwriting and I am at the end of Draft 7 of a 6,000 word story. This means in roughly 50 hours I have gone through several drafts, in this one before the edits I have been ruthless pulling out anything that doesn’t add anything to the story. For example, there is a sequence between…

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…

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…

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…

Do I Have The Passion For Writing?

There are times when we all ask this. There are times, like Marlon James said in his Booker Prize speech, that we think about giving up. The mountainside is too steep, the track too worn and our shoes too threadbare to carry on. Then there are writers who say, ‘I can do nothing else. I…

Why I Love Kurt Vonnegut

There are few writers that leave me breathless, delirious and chuckling all in one sentence. I feel like that about Ray Bradbury, I once felt it for Douglas Adams and I still feel it when I look back at the body of work that Kurt Vonnegut produced. For me he was the major writer of…

The Art of the Short Story

There are always short story courses but not many come with such heavy hitters as this one in London, so if you’re serious about writing or just want to work with some great writers, book now while there are places. Join the award-winning writers Michèle Roberts, Alison MacLeod, Adam Marek and literary agent Carrie Kania. Curated by the founder of the…

The magic reality in the ordinary world

Tomorrow I will be reading at The Ted Hughes Festival and leading a workshop/walk on the magic reality in the ordinary world. Those hidden voices that often in front of us within architecture, nature and people. I’ll be reading with the wonderful poets, Sheree Mack and Valerie Laws.

Legacy of Violence

As a species we are drawn to violence. Violence in the Roman Empire became art, glorified and hailed. It became bread and circuses. Two thousand years later and it is still bread and circuses. I am appalled but drawn to violence, I have written stories on violence and I have tried to understand it. We…