Amateurs, Professionals and Bullshit Going Forwards

Will Essays 6 Comments

The new academic year has started at De Montfort University, and I’m teaching a course on Professional Writing Skills. It’s good to be back in the swing of teaching, and a pleasure to see my students from last year once again. This is a course that I love teaching, because of the way that it directly mixes philosophical, technical and practical …

Fashionable topics

Will Snippets 2 Comments

I’ve just finished reading Julia Lovell’s translation of Lao She’s wonderful novel, Mr. Ma and Son, and I thought I’d share the following short quote. In the book, the hapless ex-missionary, Reverend Ely, is trying to persuade Mr. Ma to write a book comparing Western and Chinese cultures. The good clergyman is not entirely disinterested in his urging, because he himself is working on a book called A …

Writing China, at the Nottingham Festival of Words

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I’m delighted to be participating in the international launch event at the 2014 Nottingham Festival of Words, along with two fellow-novelists, the Nottingham-based Rhiannon Tsang (The Woman who Lost China, Open Books 2013), and the Beijing-based Karen Ma (Excess Baggage, China Books 2013). Between the three of us, we’ll be talking about ‘Writing China’.

Take Ten Books

Will Essays 2 Comments

Over on Facebook, a number of friends have tagged me in one of those chain-letter things, asking me to provide a list of ten books that have (“regardless of literary merit”) shaped or affected me deeply one way or another. I’m not a big fan of the “tag-and-pass-it-on” thing, so I thought that I’d put a list here on my …

Margaret, Manuscripts and the Moon

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There’s a good story in the Guardian today about Margaret Atwood’s latest manuscript, which is going to be buried for one hundred years as a part of The Future Library Project, the creation of Scottish artist, Katie Paterson. It’s a terrific idea, so I went over to Paterson’s website to see what she had to say about it. A forest …