Posts in Literary events

I’m Teaching a New Online Writing Class

I was happy to be asked recently to teach an online writing masterclass for Litro, a London literary magazine. I’m teaching a four-week course on breaking writer’s block. In a decade and a half of writing novels, short stories, journalism and other stuff, I’ve learnt a thing or two about facing and ultimately overcoming writer’s block. The idea is to… Read More

Literature and Empathy

As a (very) part-time journalist, I get inundated with press releases, most of which I delete. But one email subject line today caught my eye: “Step into the shoes of a migrant in the UK with groundbreaking audio experience.” In the current political climate, I think that stepping into others’ shoes—especially those of migrants—is about the most important thing we… Read More

New Opportunity to Get Started in Fiction Translation

I’ve always wondered how you get started in fiction translation. I mean, translating a novel seems like such a huge endeavour, and how do you get commissioned to do that? I guess you could translate short stories or something, but how many of those get published? So becoming a literary translator seems like one of those Catch-22 situations in which… Read More

New Bitmead Bursary Winner Announced

Winning the Luke Bitmead Bursary back in 2008 changed my life in many ways, some of which I’ve detailed on the blog before. One thing I haven’t written about so much is the wonderful people it introduced me to, most notably Luke’s mother Elaine Hanson. Losing a son is one of the hardest things for a human being to experience, and losing… Read More

Q&A with the founders of new indie publisher Dodo Ink

Dodo Ink is a new independent publisher in the UK, promising to publish “bold, daring, risky but accessible literary novels”. They’re currently running a crowdfunding campaign to fund their first three novels, with incentives ranging from free books to getting your own dedication page. One of the founders, Sam Mills, is a writer (I reviewed her 2012 novel The Quiddity of… Read More

London Fiction: a Reading List

A couple of years ago I was involved in a panel event on London fiction. As part of my preparation I decided to put together a list of novels that are set in London and shed some interesting light on the city. Here’s what I came up with: Londonstani by Gautam Malkani The Lonely Londoners by Sam Selvon Brick Lane by Monica Ali Brixton… Read More