writing

Irvine Welsh: How I write

12 August 2017 10:00

If you are a writer of my disposition you tend to grasp any opportunity for self–sabotage and distraction. So here’s…

Why English writers accept being treated like dirt

17 January 2016 13:49

A few months ago, one of the organisers of the Oxford Literary Festival contacted me. Hi Nick I may be…

Jonathan Meades on god, football and brutophilia – and why his memoir was 17 years late

25 September 2015 0:04

This is a transcript of a talk, ‘Composing the Past’, given by Jonathan Meades at the Assembly Rooms in Edinburgh…

Writers tend to the Left because they have imagination, not compassion

10 February 2014 14:00

I apologise for writing a blogpost about a tweet, which can look a bit like over-analysis, but I was intrigued…

Has anything in the recent past had a bigger effect on writers and writing than Twitter?

12 September 2013 9:30

I’ve been trying to think of something – anything – in recent years that has had a bigger effect on…

Elmore Leonard dies aged 87

20 August 2013 15:18

Elmore Leonard has died aged 87. Leonard began his career as a hack and ended it as a modern master. His rule was:…

5 lessons for David Miliband to learn in New York

8 August 2013 16:21

I have the impression that David Miliband’s valedictory essay in the latest issue of the New Statesman contains some really corking ideas;…

The slow slide into senility

18 July 2013 10:16

Senility is a cunning mistress. She’s always finding new ways to twist your melon, man. The latest trick she’s playing…

A dream come true

6 June 2013 10:03

It only took me twelve years as a published writer to get round to seeing one of my own books…

Dear Laurie Penny, please explain this

5 June 2013 15:54

Mr Steerpike has checked his privilege, and he’s a radical feminist. Middle class, self-loathing and instinctively liberal, how could he not…

Writers are tarts

14 February 2013 13:48

Tarts. That’s what we are, really, us writers. Not just in the general sense of loving attention – also in…

In praise of Plum

8 February 2013 12:26

This blog post is not going to say anything original. You’ll have read it all before. Its sole purpose is…

Bad Sex Award

29 November 2012 9:53

Loins are girded and members tumescent, for next Tuesday sees the presentation of this year’s Bad Sex Award. The Literary…

Meeting J.G. Ballard

20 November 2012 19:00

In the programme Frost on Interviews that was recently rebroadcasted by BBC Four, the distinguished journalist, David Frost, attempted to…

Write a novel in a month

15 November 2012 17:54

Could you write a novel in a month? Plenty of people around the world are trying to do just that…

Paper talk

1 November 2012 10:35

The rainforests must be jumping for joy these days. Which is ironic, as they’ve largely got Amazon to thank for…

Plein-air pleasures and the great indoors

24 October 2012 16:44

Some say it’s the walk there that does it. The promenade down a rambling city path and through a crowd…

How many words are there in a day?

4 October 2012 14:37

‘Write your own name a hundred times,’ T.H. White once commented, ‘and you will be bored; seven hundred times and…

An introduction to Javier Marías

13 September 2012 12:31

The fundamental purpose of the literary critic is to incentivise his audience to read books of which he approves. He…

Do we need to know what a character looks like?

6 September 2012 10:06

How much attention do you pay to the physical descriptions of characters in novels? Interviewed on Five Live recently about…

Robert Hughes RIP

7 August 2012 12:02

It has been a bad week for men of letters, with the loss of Gore Vidal a few days ago…

Nabokov’s true love

4 July 2012 8:45

When Vladimir Nabokov’s unfinished book (not quite a novel, not quite a novella) The Original of Laura was posthumously released…

The art of fiction: Jonathan Franzen, essayist

15 June 2012 18:30

Do great novelists make great essayists? Not in the case of Jonathan Franzen, at least according to Phillip Lopate, who…

RIP Ray Bradbury, 1920 – 2012

6 June 2012 18:15

The revered science fiction, horror and mystery writer Ray Bradbury has died aged 91. He was best known for Fahrenheit…