It’s about four months until I finish my Creative Writing MA and hand in my final project and dissertation, and although that seems like a long amount of time, I am sure, with a certain degree of dread, that the time is going to fly past. I promised that I would document my degree on […]

A friend on Instagram recently tagged me to share my 5 book recommendations and then tag 5 friends to share theirs. There have been a lot of these challenges going around in the time of coronavirus, and this was one I could get on board with! I thought I’d make it into a blog post […]

Salt on Your Tongue called to me in so many ways. It’s not fiction, so it’s different to what I normally read. It’s about folklore and myths, and also about real life. And it’s ultimately about the things I love and love to write about: women and the sea. Side note: there are so many […]

The Mercies has been on my TBR pile for a while – with a brilliant title, an intriguing premise and a beautiful cover, I knew that I’d fall hook, line and sinker for Hargrave’s dark and atmospheric novel. Set on the remote Norwegian island of Vardo in 1617, The Mercies follows the story of a […]

Wow, consuming Ocean Vuong’s debut novel was quite the experience. Every sentence packs a punch. Every image is super charged and electric. In short, I absolutely loved it. Written as a letter to his mother, the novel is fragmented and rich – just the way I like my prose. Memories of childhood are threaded through […]

These are strange times we are living in, there is no doubt. I, like many people, have sought some comfort and escape in my vast TBR pile and the wonderful world of stories. Thank goodness for online book shops, Kindles and friends who pass you on pre-publication proofs of the biggest upcoming novels. The Girl […]

Having visited the wonderful Aviemore twice in the last year, and having stayed in the town itself (without a car) for a week, I like to think that I’m now something of an expert of what to do and where to eat and drink. Aviemore is a small town in the Scottish Cairngorm National Park […]

A recent article in The Guardian caused some controversy by suggesting that writing is an elite activity because it requires two things: time and space. Of course, both those things will often require money, meaning that as Lynn Steger Strong suggests, you can only be a writer if you can afford it. I’m not saying […]

Knowing that I would be writing my dissertation on Daisy Johnson’s beautiful Fen, it was good luck that I recently went to an event at Waterstones on Gower Street (clearly the best Waterstones in London) and heard Molly Aitken talk about her debut novel, The Island Child. Set on a remote Irish island, The Island […]

Look, I’m going to be honest here: I’m no short story competition expert. Of the 20+ competitions I have entered in the past year and a half, I’ve had exactly 0 successes – longlist, shortlist, somewhere-in-between-list. No luck. But I haven’t given up, and I continue to methodically and strategically apply to short story competitions, […]