Author Archives: Beth Wren

An ode to the first draft

Ok, I finished a rough first draft of a short story about ten minutes ago, and nothing felt more apt than writing a speedy blog post about just how much I love this feeling (and just how much I dread the next stage of the process). As most people know, the first draft of anything […]

Review: Autumn, Ali Smith

Have I mentioned that Autumn is my favourite time of year? Seven years of writing about Autumn on this blog later, I think it’s fair to say I’ve made my feelings about this season pretty clear. So it seems apt that the most recent book I read was the beautiful Autumn by Ali Smith which […]

Review: Under the Greenwood Tree, Thomas Hardy

Sometimes it’s nice to go back to an author where you know exactly what you’re going to get. As I make my way through Hardy’s rural back catalogue, I am conscious of the fact that I am knowingly avoiding the most depressing and shocking of his titles, Jude the Obscure. And, of course, it’s often […]

Review: Faces on the Tip of My Tongue, Emmanuelle Pagano

Reading books in translation is something I don’t do often enough, so a huge thank you to Peirene Press who kindly me sent a copy of this book and encouraged me to try something new. Faces on the Tip of My Tongue is a collection of stories set mostly in rural France, with a range […]

Review: An American Marriage, Tayari Jones

I’m not often so organised in my reading and rarely have I read a prize winner so quickly after it received a prize. But a short trip to Prague/Dresden this month meant that I plenty of opportunity to get stuck into something new, and Tayari Jones’ An American Marriage was my first pick. The way […]

Why I’m writing (and reading) short stories

When I’m asked what I’m writing on my Creative Writing MA, a lot of people seem surprised to hear that my answer is short stories. As many of you might know, I have written one (and a half) novels, and until I started on my Creative Writing course, I had never even considered the idea […]

Review: Washington Black, Esi Edugyan

From the front cover and blurb, I had a feeling that Washington Black was going to be just my cup of tea. The Man Booker Prize nominated novel from Canadian author Esi Edugyan spans years and continents, from the atrocities of Faith Plantation in Barbados, to inspiring and unbelievable adventures on the high seas and […]