Christmas Presents for Writers

Christmas Presents for Writers (that aren’t tote bags or mugs with typewriters on them)

Lists of Christmas presents for writers often give the impression that all the wordsmith in your life wants is a: notebook fancy pen mug or tote bag with a picture of a typewriter on it mug or tote bag with a literary quote on it mug or tote bag that demands you leave them alone […]

George Orwell hard at work rejecting foreign words.

Should You Use Words of Foreign Origin When Writing in English?

George Orwell thought not. So should foreign words and phrases really be verboten, or can they add a certain je ne sais quoi to your magnum opus? Orwell’s essay Politics and the English Language is a good read for anyone interested in the art of clear and truthful written communication. I recommend it as a […]

A portrait of the youthful Virginia Woolf

Does One Need a Room of One’s Own In Order to Write?

A surprising number of writers today still stand by Virginia Woolf’s assertion that women (and men, for that matter) need plenty of time, head space and freedom from the daily grind in order to write well. I disagree. Don’t get me wrong: I’m not knocking those things. If you can arrange to have them in […]

William Morris and Writing as a Craft

It’s bank holiday again, so I’ve got that off-duty feeling: I’ve even been getting away from my desk (which is why this post is a bit late). Yesterday I went on a mini adventure to the William Morris Gallery in Walthamstow. My knowledge of Morris was sketchy before this visit, although I did previously know […]