The marvellous Fiona Melrose has put together a series of courses and workshops that draw on her own wealth of knowledge, as well as those of special guest authors and members of the publishing industry. I signed up for the Craft Masterclass with Paula Hawkins, author of The Girl On The Train, Into the Water and A Slow Fire Burning.
I needed a bit of a motivational boost and this class seemed just the thing to do it, and it was.
Continue reading “Notes from the Paula Hawkins masterclass”
I have been playing Dungeons & Dungeons (D&D) for about two years now – not that long compared to some players, but long enough to know the ins and outs (and get the jokes).
Continue reading “What D&D can teach you about character building”
I’m currently binge-watching Broadchurch on Netflix, a murder mystery set in an English coastal town. I love moody, atmospheric mysteries, and this one got me thinking about a story I once wrote that takes place in a similar setting.
Continue reading “The importance of place in storytelling”
I hosted a workshop on short story writing at this year’s Open Book Festival. Some of the greatest writers in the world are known for their short stories – Edgar Allen Poe, Ernest Hemingway, Franz Kafka, Nadine Gordimer – and South Africa is home to some of the best.
I love short stories, writing and reading them, and wanted to share some tips for aspiring writers.
Continue reading “Notes from my Open Book Short Story Workshop”
The Open Book Festival takes place from 6-10 September at the beautiful Fugard Theatre in Cape Town.
I’ll be hosting a free workshop on short story writing at this year’s festival which is open to anyone, whether you’re a beginner, experienced writer or simply love short stories and want to know more about the craft.
I’ll be giving a brief introduction to short story writing, offering tips and advice, reading excerpts from some of the country’s top storytellers, and inviting attendees to take part in writing exercises designed to sharpen their skills.
I’ve run two previous workshops for the festival, one on Writing for Young Adults with Cat Hellisen and Sarah Lotz and another on Worldbuilding with Cat and Zimkhitha Mlanzeli.
This year I have another special guest lined up.
Continue reading “Open Book Festival: RSVP for my Short Story Workshop”
21 September 2015
My YA masterclass returned to Open Book again this year and to my absolute delight, was one of the first events to sell out. Last time we tackled How to write a YA novel, so this year I decided to narrow the focus a little bit.
Continue reading “Open Book Festival: Worldbuilding workshop”
13 September 2013
Cat Hellisen, Sarah Lotz and I hosted our first Young Adult masterclass at the Open Book festival on Wednesday 11 September 2013.
Continue reading “How to write a YA novel in 3 minutes”
5 February 2013
Whenever I’m out and about, trying to sell books or talking to kids about pursuing a career in writing, the question inevitably arises about why I write YA.
I’ve made it pretty clear in the past that I didn’t specifically set out to write YA. My first novel had young people in it, and as a result, became branded as YA. To be honest I had never even heard the term before then, but rather assumed that books marketed towards the teen market were simply that – teen books. I grew up devouring L.J Smith and R.L Stine after all. I had no idea they were called YA.
Continue reading “Why YA?”