The best books on creative writing

Look up the best books on writing and you’ll find thousands – all with similar sounding names and blurbs on the back. With limited time and limited budget, how do you know where to start? I definitely haven’t read all of them. No-one has. It’s impossible! But I do have quite the collection on my…

April: Writer in Residence at ‘Moving Parts’

One of the most exciting projects that I knew was coming up in 2019 was my official involvement with ‘Moving Parts’, the Newcastle Puppetry Festival. Ben and I went to a few shows at the 2017 festival, and we were so completely overawed by it that we were half-intending to run away from life and…

What is an art song?

It’s not something you necessarily listen to everyday on Spotify, but I’ve recently been introduced to ‘art songs’. This all started when a wonderfully talented composer, Charlotte Marlow, got in touch with me to collaborate on an art song sequence for a celebration at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester. March 19th this…

Meet my literary agent…

After a crazy few weeks of emails from literary agents flying everywhere and living on the edge of my nerves, I couldn’t be more thrilled to announce that I’m now represented by my very own literary agent – the stupendously enthusiastic Ed Wilson from Johnson & Alcock in London! And he seems just as excited…

How setting affects a story

I haven’t posted too much about this yet, but this month I officially started writing the first draft of my second novel. I’m right back in the throes of working out where, when, why, and how – and refreshing my memory with the basics of how to write a first draft. Flipping from the final…

What a year. And what’s ahead in 2019? (Here be some announcements!)

Hopefully you’re cosied up somewhere suitably blankety and mulled wine-y. I’m currently wrapped up in 4 layers of fleece and drinking pots and pots of tea. For us, New Year is spent inside, waiting for the bells to ring and for there to be another new beginning. It’s just that this time I’m pretty flippin’…

How to get published (and some free writers’ resources)

Whether you’ve been trying to find a publisher for a while, you’re trying to publish your own book, or you just fancy giving a single poetry submission a go – the question stands: What can I do to stand a better chance of getting published? There are LOTS of routes to getting published from digital-only…

6 Books that should be on your Christmas List this Year

I can’t be the only person whose Christmas list is quite often just a huge list of books? Admittedly I have a bit of a problem, in that my house is stuffed full with books. In fact, stack them up around the walls and I could very well brick up the house with them. But…

Lest We Forget – ‘It Isn’t Yet Winter’, by Caroline Hardaker

Bit of a bonus blog today – I’m breaking the one a month rule! I wanted to share a poem of mine that’s recently been included in the ‘The Sorrow’ issue of The Linnet’s Wings magazine. It’s an issue dedicated to today’s centenary – 100 years since the guns were silenced. I wrote ‘It isn’t…