Creative Writing

At KAE we were lucky enough to sponsor the Whitstable Literary Festival’s Kent Festival of Writing which took place on Saturday 16th April. Attendees were able to take part in a series of workshops, including a ‘Finding your Voice’ session run by KAE creative writing Tutor Kimberley Burridge. Delegates were also able to hear from a range of international writers, publishers and editors. We were able to catch up with a few of them after their talks.

Suzanne Joinson

A Lady Cyclist’s Guide to Kashgar’ translated into 16 languages was the Guardian/Observer Book of the Year in 2012 and longlisted for the IMPAC Dublin Literary Award. Suzanne’s new novel ‘The Photographer’s Wife’ was published in early April.

Writers
Suzanne Joinson

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

“The actual writing

process, being in control of my own day and time and freedom and speaking to the readers of my works.”

Writers need thin skin to feel and see and hard skin for the next stage of the publishing process.

What’s been your proudest moment as a writer?

“Feeling the book in your hands, getting a top review in the New

York Times and when editors and publishers email me complimentary things!”

What’s been your toughest moment as a writer?

“Writing my second book. It’s the pressure that comes with the expectation after my first book. Living up to the standard while at the same time producing something completely new.”

What are your top three writing tips?

1. “Write every day.”
2. “Keep the manuscript fluid – don’t lock down the story too quickly as this can be limiting.”
3. “Read a lot and read everything! Prose, poetry, white papers and posters, it all helps.”

Peggy Riley

Peggy Riley is an author/playwright. ‘Amity & Sorrow’ was a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice and Observer Paperback of the Week. Her short fiction has won prizes with Bridport, MsLexia and shortlisted for the 2016 Costa Short Story Award.

Writers
Peggy Riley

How did you first get into writing?

“I was a great reader as a child – it’s impossible to be a writer if you don’t already love reading. I grew up in a town on the edges of the Mohave Desert and we used a mobile library at the end of a parking lot. It was my most inspirational place.”

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

“The writing itself is a pleasure, the editing process is a little less pleasurable. I like when people read it, it’s always interesting to see if they can see what you saw when you wrote it.”

What’s been your proudest moment as a writer?

“Selling my first novel, people could finally read a novel as I had written it. I also like reading emails from readers, reviews and what people have to say on twitter – it’s thrilling when a reader champions your book.”

What’s been your toughest moment as a writer?

“You have to have quite a high level of emotional resilience, to pick yourself up after you get knocked down, any criticism is hard to take especially when you’re rejected. There’s a famous quote that writers need thin skin to feel and see and hard skin for the next stage of editing and publishing.”

What are your top three writing tips?

1. “Do morning pages – a time dedicated to stream of consciousness writing when you can write freely about anything you want.”
2. “Find out when you write the best and be selfish with the time. Keep your best writer for yourself.”
3. “If something is hard, walk away from it and make a cup of tea.”

Julie Cohen

Julie writes character-driven fiction and is an experienced creative writing tutor. Author of over 20 books, ‘Dear Thing’ was a Richard and Judy Summer Book Club pick in 2014 and ‘Where Love Lies’ won Best Romantic Read of 2015.

Writers
Julie Cohen

How did you first get into writing?

“I’ve been writing since I was a little girl, I wrote my first book aged 11 and it was awful. As I matured I studied English at Brown University and I began teaching full-time and writing in the evenings. My first three novels were all rejected but I finally got published fourth time around!”

What’s the most enjoyable part of your job?

“There’s no better feeling than when the writing is going really well. It’s rare, so cherish it!”

What’s been your toughest moment as a writer?

“The toughest moment in writing is always starting a new book. It feels like everything you write is wrong, but you have to break through the first couple of thousand words before you start to get somewhere.”

What’s been your proudest moment as a writer?

“As a small child brought up in Maine I used to love visiting my local library. Now as an adult I go back to the states once a year to the very same library and there’s nothing better than handing them a copy of my novel and watching them place it on a shelf for borrowing. It never gets old.”

What are your top three writing tips?

1. “Don’t be afraid to write badly. Or rather give yourself permission to write badly because otherwise you’ll never write well.”
2. “Read a lot. Read everything.”
3. “Always finish a project. I know so many serial starters. Always finish before you edit because otherwise you’ll never know what you’ve done until it’s finished.”

If you’ve been inspired by what these writers have to say then why not take a look at our creative writing courses? Begin a novel, write for the big screen, be a poet or start a blog. Write your way through the genres of literature with a creative writing course from KAE.
Our creative writing course provision has had the most new courses for the 2016/17 academic year. We run courses across the county, for beginners, improvers and advanced writers so there’s sure to be a course at a time and a place to suit you. We’re also running a number of free or discounted creative writing tasters across the county, so take a look!
Creative Writing Courses

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