Professionals share expertise with Creative Writing studentsTuesday 16 February 2016
Award-winning crime fiction writer Paul Johnston and Guardian theatre critic Mark Fisher shared their expertise with Creative Writing students.
Mark (pictured), author of How to Write About Theatre: A Manual for Critics, Students and Bloggers led a session on the analysis of perspective writing and positional balance in art reviewing.
Paul and Mark are one of several visiting speakers on the Creative Writing course who are enabling students to explore a wide range of writing experiences and discover their preferences in both fictive and non-fictive modes of expression.
Mark said: “One of the challenges faced by every critic is to express their option at the same time as doing justice to the work of the artist. You want to avoid being too egotistical, on one extreme, or too reverent, on the other. In this class, we looked at some of the principles behind criticism and put them to the test in the form of our own tweets and 300-word reviews. We also considered the critic's role as an entertainer in their own right, drawing in the reader with lively writing that is also informative and analytical.”
Students also explored how the immediacy of social media impacts on writing style.
Paul Johnston, who has a PhD in Creative Writing and recently completed the sixth novel in the Quint Dalrymple series Heads or Hearts (2015), led a number of sessions on how to write a novel.
He said: “Writing a novel is a marathon not a sprint, and need not be something that puts students off. With appropriate levels of organisation and planning, students are able to understand the journey as achievable in the medium to long-term.”