Louis de Bernières, Iain Sinclair & Sara Maitland at DMU

I’m very excited to be involved in organising this series of events, with award-winning writers Louis de Bernières, Iain Sinclair and Sara Maitland, all of whom will be talking about aspects of the relationship between writing and place. The events are being hosted by the Leicester Centre for Creative Writing at De Montfort University. The talks are all free of charge and open to all.

3 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Louis de Bernières

5 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Iain Sinclair

12 June: 6pm – 7.30pm — Sara Maitland

All talks are in room 3.03, Clephan Building, De Montfort University, Bonners Lane, Leicester.  If you want to go to the Facebook event page, here is the link.

You can download a poster here (it’s quite pretty):


Young Writers’ Summer School

I’m very pleased to be involved in running the Young Writers’ Summer School at Warwick University, along with writer Naomi Alsop. The summer school is being organised by the lovely people at Writing West Midlands in partnership with the Warwick Writing Programme and Institute of Advanced Teaching and Learning at the University of Warwick, the Paul Hamlyn Foundation and Authors’ Licensing and Collection Society.

The cost of the summer school is £50, and there are bursaries available. Visit Writing West Midlands website if you want to find out more.

On Pakistan, Bicycles and Religious Experiences: Unmapped Magazine

I’m delighted to have another article in the most recent edition of the truly wonderful Unmapped magazine. Unmapped, for those of you who haven’t come across it, is a magazine for travel writing from all those hidden places that are off the map (whatever this map might be). The piece is called The Domed Heaven, the Domed Earth, and is about a strangely religious experience in the tomb of Ali Mardan Khan in Lahore, Pakistan. It is a piece I’ve been thinking of writing for about a quarter century, so I’m pleased that the editor of Unmapped pushed me into it!

Do pay Unmapped a visit and, whilst you are over there, subscribe.They are a fabulous publication.

Complete Writing a Novel Course: Teach Yourself

Since this time last year, I’ve been working on writing a beast of a book for Hodder & Stoughton’s Teach Yourself series on the art, the craft, the mechanics and the business of writing novels. As the book has now been announced on Hodder’s website (see the link here), I thought I’d announce it on my blog as well. Although the link at the moment says that the book has zero pages, this is only because they have not yet received the manuscript yet. It will weigh in at something around 130,000 words, so it’s a weighty tome, and it has been huge amounts of fun to write.

I’m just polishing the final draft of the book, and I am looking forward to sending it off at the end of the month. The publication date will be some time in the first half of 2015.

Extract in Dnevnik

There’s an extract from the Bulgarian translation of my novel, The Descent of the Lyre, or (in Bulgarian) “Произходът на лирата”, on the website of today’s Dnevnik newspaper in Bulgaria. If you want to know how the book reads in Bulgarian, then go to the link here. I’ll be following the comments with interest, but feel inordinately pleased with the person who said that I’m clearly not British because the book is, you know, poetic and stuff like that…

Doing Literary Nothing

An email arrived in my inbox this morning, and in the email was a fantastic life-enhancing tip that I simply had to share — because you too can lose pounds and pounds by doing literary nothing!

And the best thing of all is that it really works! I have been doing literary nothing for years now, and can’t even begin to calculate the number of pounds that I have lost as a result.

Literary Nothing
Literary Nothing

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