Best Books of 2022

Ten of the best of my reading in fiction and five of non-fiction. Fiction The Trees (2022) Percival Everett. A detective novel that is harrowing and hilarious. Inspired by the real-life 1955 lynching of 14-year-old Emmett Till in Money, Mississippi. Literary fiction. Maps of our Spectacular Bodies (2022) Maggie Mortimer. A woman’s life told in part through the […]

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Best Books of 2021

A year of skewed views and unreliable narrators; cli-fi and post-apocalyptic lands; and journeys of discovery. Ten of the Best in Fiction In no particular order: Best hypocrisy in small town America novel: Pew – Catherine Lacey Best unworldly young woman takes a false identity to resolve a mystery novel: Case Study – Graeme Macrae […]

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15 Top Tips for Moderating a Panel

The prospect of moderating a panel may seem daunting, but with preparation you can deliver an informative and entertaining discussion. Below are some top tips on getting the best from your panel. Most of this advice applies just as well when interviewing one guest, as three or four. Research the subject and the panellists. Pick out an […]

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Ten Dark Tales for Halloween

Spine-tingling atmosphere, mounting dread and unhinged characters equal great Halloween reading. Ten of the best modern classics in Gothic horror. The Other, Thomas Tryon. In 1930s Connecticut, twins Niles and Holland are yin and yang. Witty psychological thriller. We have Always Lived in the Castle, Shirley Jackson. The last remaining members of the Blackwood family […]

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Archetypes and the Writer

An archetype is an innate, universal model of personality traits which influences human behaviour. Over the course of his career, psychologist Carl Jung developed his theory on certain archetypes which occur time and again across different cultures. These include archetypal events, such as birth, death, separation from parents, initiation, marriage, the union of opposites; archetypal motifs: the […]

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Archetypes: the Outlaw

In Jungian theory, the Outlaw lives for revolution. A rule breaker, this archetype challenges convention and questions the status quo. They are outrageous, shocking, outspoken, radical, reckless, counter-cultural, independent and innovative, and are most fulfilled when they change something to better the world.  At times, the Outlaw may be motivated by the desire for revenge, and can be disruptive, dangerous, […]

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Archetypes: the Sage

The Sage archetype is a seeker of truth, wisdom and knowledge. In Jungian theory, the archetype represents the spiritual aspect of the personality and may take different forms of enlightenment and wisdom. The Sage engages in meaningful introspection and self-reflection. The sage is a perfectionist whose weakness is caution and lack of action. At worst, […]

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9 Books on Labyrinths or Crumb Trails

House of Leaves by Mark Z Danielewski – a family move into a house to discover it is bigger on the inside than it is on the outside. Ariadne by Jennifer Saint – a modern retelling of she who gave Theseus the secret of how to slay the minotaur and escape the labyrinth, and of […]

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Reading your Work in Public

A good way to get you and your writing known is to read aloud at festivals and other literary events. Here are some tips to guide you through selecting the right piece, to the performance itself. Preparation Choose a piece that stands alone. Action is more appealing than introspection. Give plenty of mental pictures. Dialogue can […]

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Finding an Agent

Finding an agent is much like applying for a job. You must convince the agent that your book is right for them, and you must also be sure they are the right agent to represent you. Do your research and apply only to those agents who are a right fit for your writing. If their […]

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Archetypes: The Explorer

The Explorer archetype seeks the answers to the questions: Who am I? Why am I here? The Explorer is driven by curiosity to discover new places and new things about themself. The archetype craves novelty and adventure, and is motivated by self-improvement, but has a tendency toward restlessness. The Explorer’s purpose in literature is to […]

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9 Tips on Network Building for Writers & Authors

Why network at all? Building a group of likeminded people around you can help with motivation and overcoming crashes in confidence. It can also keep you up to date with what’s happening. Through your network, you will find out about events, resources, publication outlets, calls for submissions, competitions, training and advice. What’s more, when you […]

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