Attempts at writing in difficult times

It’s April (how the heck did that happen?!) which means that it’s time for another annual attempt at National Poetry Writing Month (NaPoWriMo).  However, with recent local news from Spice in Manchester to recent reports on asylum seekers in Rochdale (please allow me a small, cynical moment: I guess that’s why subsequent governments partly make the capped … More Attempts at writing in difficult times

In the headlines: fines for swearing? WTF?!

You may have noticed that Rochdale has been in the media for not so salubrious reasons. Yesterday saw a scattering of (suspiciously) similar news articles released about Rochdale Metropolitan Borough Council’s proposed Public Spaces Protection Order (PSPO).  These articles focused on a favourite moral panic: swearing. Here’s a selection if you missed it: The Guardian: Flocking hell: council plans to ban … More In the headlines: fines for swearing? WTF?!

Reading week 1: Caroline Preston & Leanne Shapton

Reading Week is a semi-regular reflection on stuff I’ve read and how it feeds into the writing and research process.  (Plus, there’s a bonus creative writing exercise to try out yourself!).  This week, two fictional books with intriguing methods of storytelling. Caroline Preston (2011) The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt. HarperCollins. When I was in my early teens my Gran … More Reading week 1: Caroline Preston & Leanne Shapton

Mapping place, politics, literary locations: learning from Lancaster University

I’ve started the final draft section of my PhD thesis on how Rochdale is read, mapped, and written.  In this section I’m trying to pull together the literary survey and the maps sections in order to inform creative responses to the borough*.  This has, in part, been inspired by other work in this area (for … More Mapping place, politics, literary locations: learning from Lancaster University

Sound: Putting noise into words – writing exercises

Yesterday I gave a workshop for Touchstones Creative Writing Group but rather foolishly forgot to take my usual photograph of the board! This blog post reflects on the session and there are a few creative writing exercises provided that you may wish to try.  Alliteration, Assonance, Onomatopoeia I ran an alliterative icebreaker: “my name is Jennie, I like to … More Sound: Putting noise into words – writing exercises

Peeling back layers of time: excerpts from ‘The Miller’s Cottage’

He said: “you get your eye in after a bit” trace wall lines, the culvert of Trub brook, kick up leaf litter roots, leaves and mycelium disrupts, unseen spores are dust motes on equipment  picked clean: the bones of the mill, the bones of the fence rainbows on the millpond, oil painting wrinkles on the water’s … More Peeling back layers of time: excerpts from ‘The Miller’s Cottage’