Showing Tag: "creative writing" (Show all posts)

Readers, if you were to write a novel...

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, December 20, 2016,
The saying goes that we all have a novel in us. As we prepare to take down 2016 submissions and start all over again in 2017, I can't help but wonder what we will see next year.
Personally, I have a good imagination and always think I could write a novel. I see something unusual - a woman crying on a park bench, a family cold with each other at a restaurant table - and I think, 'Oh, that's the beginning of a novel.' But, of course, a novel takes so much more than that - a plot that lasts longe...
Continue reading ...

What I learned from my MA in creative writing

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Monday, June 15, 2015,
From Victoria Owens, author of Drawn to Perfection
Like any other art, writing requires regular practise. The course framework, with its submission deadlines and workshop expectations, ensured that I wrote whether or not I was ‘in the mood.’ Over the MA year, I got used to putting words on the page when I was sick, miserable, hung-over or guilty about neglecting my family. Much of what I produced under these conditions was rubbish, but at least it was something to work on, and t...
Continue reading ...

What did an MA in writing do for you? Part 2

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Friday, June 12, 2015,
There have been a few comments on my previous blog 'What did an MA in writing do for you?' And I hope to post some of the responses next week.
In the meantime, I've had a few more thoughts. Mainly, they concern dismal plot devices that I might have forgiven before I earned my MA, now they can prompt me to toss the book aside.
1. Dreams - a boring way to provide a character's fears or hopes. I did this in my dissertation MA and shouldn't be surprised that it didn't make publication.
2. Telling us...
Continue reading ...

What did your MA in writing do for you?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, June 9, 2015,
Once upon a time, I was a journalist. My prose consisted of static attribution - he said, she said. I studied for an MA in writing to loosen my style - and, for the most part, it worked. Now I try to come at each sentence from a differing angle, varying sentence length and structure - no more 'just the attribution of facts.'
My MA dissertation had to be a complete novel 'worthy of publication.' Until this point my maximum written piece had been around 5,000 words (an advance obit on Mother The...
Continue reading ...

To MA or Not To MA?

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, April 7, 2015,

Guest blog by Vicky Delderfield. Her novel Effects and Belongings will be out later this year.

I remember the precise moment, driving out to lunch with my in-laws, when I first floated the idea of doing an MA in Creative Writing. Yes, I told them, it would involve quitting my job as a Marketing Manager, relying on Mark’s, my husband’s income, and making sacrifices as we saved up the hefty tuition fees. Er, no, I admitted, the MA was no guarantee of publication. But it was a sign of my seri...

Continue reading ...

When is 'The End' not 'The End'? Five tips on polishing your manuscript

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Tuesday, March 11, 2014,

The scene is quite clichéd. A writer hits a paragraph break, types ‘The End’ and lets out a huge sigh.

However finishing a novel is never like this. ‘The End’ doesn’t happen until the editor says it happens. Prior to this point, an editor will highlight issues – plot discrepancies, dialogue that could be improved upon or even recommend a structural change. I compare this to the polishing of a very rough table top – it might look beautiful at a distance, but run your fingers ac...

Continue reading ...

Hookline Novel Competition short list 2012

Posted by Yvonne Barlow on Thursday, June 7, 2012,
Our reading groups have voted and we have our short list of authors for this year:

Ainscow and the Children of Fire by Paul Beatty of Manchester Metropolitan University

The Net by Andrea Case-Rogers of Manchester Metropolitan University

Charlotte by Andrew Chesney of Anglia Ruskin University

The Ivy Stone by AJ Morgan of University of Wales

Caelica’s Bridge by Victoria Owens of Bath Spa University  

An interesting point to note is that three of the five are men - so far Hookline has publi...
Continue reading ...

About Me

Yvonne Barlow Editor at Hookline Books - where book clubs and readers choose the novels that go to print.

Would you like to receive our monthly newsletter?