“The novel flowed out of me like the current of the Limmat, and it was just as refreshing. I pushed against you, Switzerland, and because you refused to yield, I was forced into motion. Energy has to go somewhere.” Jo Furniss pens a letter to her ex: Switzerland.
“I am supposed to be the custodian of my child’s development, yet linguistically, she will soon surpass me. With regards to understanding, fluency, and ability to assimilate, the student will become the teacher.” Lindsey Grant wrangles a toddler who’s learning about her world in several languages.
“Sometimes he wondered how it all worked, how one day flowed into the next, how the money kept coming in, why the train station was always so clean, but resolved that it was best not to ask …” A short story from local Swiss writer, Alex Hintermann.
“I want to understand human beings, what makes them who they are and why they do the things they do. Before I put pen to paper, I spend a long time getting to know my characters.” Geneva-based author Anne Korkeakivi on novels and writing style, the question of identity, cultural adaptation and withstanding the waves of contemporary politics.
“There’s something interesting about a story that circles—however tightly, however loosely. This is the story that (like most others) is anchored from the start of its telling in a place and an action. It’s an action that is borne of friction: in the world, between characters, or internally.” Libby O’Loghlin on diving deep, and surfacing at the beginning.
“As much credit as I give the Von Trapp family and all their musical life-coaching, this notion, ‘Nothing comes from nothing’, was around long before Maria and the Captain were serenading each other on the subject.” Lindsey Grant on writing, and starting at the very beginning.
“Have you thought about how suspense is created in a book? Or why you become engaged and care about the characters? These are things an author controls and creates quite intentionally.” Catherine Szentkuti and Meredith Wadley-Suter give a round-up of the Fiction and Memoir/Non-Fiction workshops from this Autumn’s WriteCon.
Switzerland-based Irish poet Padraig Rooney expands on the themes behind The Gilded Chalet, talking con-men and le Carré and the coherence of disparate times.
Short stories, snagging agents, indie publishing and marshmallows … novelist Olivia Wildenstein shares her learnings from this year’s Geneva Writers Conference.
Zürich-based writer Liam Klenk is in conversation with Susan Platt: his nomadic life, his journey over gender boundaries and the importance of fluidity to a Paralian.
Black comedy, LA-style: organised crime, enchiladas and fruit juice. Zürich-based Daniel Pieracci talks about how NanoWriMo led to his debut novel, Take Your Shot.
In Explorations in a Parallel Cultural Universe, Berlin-based Chris Corbett digs down into the after-dark, dying art of book touring to promote his first novel.
Jo Furniss, member of our writerly pack, is leaving prints of her own all over Singapore, as she co-founds SWAGLit, Singapore’s newest litmag for writers.
Author and Wall Street based financial behaviourist Jacquette M. Timmons talks about how our stories—our past, our context, our attitudes—affect our relationship and our actions with money.
Zürich-based poet and journalist Claire Doble wrestles with what it means to have money while living in one of the richest countries in the world …
Award-winning journalist and author Juliana Barbassa talks about writing to understand displacement, Joan Didion, and the experience of relocating to Rio, Brazil, a city in crisis.
In a short work of fiction, author Paul Knott contemplates the meaning of home through the eyes of an asylum-seeker.
JJ Marsh ponders displacement, memory, and the emotional importance of place.
Switzerland-based novelist Louise Mangos relives long, hot summer days in the south of France … and discusses the benefits of being displaced at a writing retreat.
Historical fiction writer JD Smith on Tristan and Iseult, and the challenges and rewards of adapting myths and legends for the page;
“Is this person interesting enough for me to want to spend several months inside their head?” Andrew Crofts talks about Ghostwriting, and the strange symbiosis of writing someone else’s story.
Alison Ripley Cubitt and Sean Cubitt are a married couple who write as a team, under pseudonym Lambert Nagle.
Creativity in Tandem: Pete Morin and Susanne O’Leary are co-authors who’ve never met.
“…Some of the big bombastic milestones were achieved during a time in which I felt very much out of alignment and so I almost dismiss them. When I do something and I feel in alignment, then I feel I’ve succeeded.” Bestselling Australian author, journalist, TV presenter, blogger and media consultant Sarah Wilson talks to The Woolf about the online gift economy, independent and partner publishing, and her writerly habits.
What does success mean to a writer? Do any of us write—or pursue other creative endeavours—without some notion of our effort being recognized, rewarded, lauded? And what sort of outcomes ought we to lust after? Kristen Coros investigates.
Behind every great writer you’ll find … other writers. Kelly Jarosz provides seven tips for forming a successful critique group and why you should.
Iida Ruishalme explains how the space between languages is full of serendipity, ripe for a wordsmith’s shameless plundering.
by Johanna Sargeant Why is it that we love reading about exploitation? Anne Frank’s The Diary of a Young Girl and Arthur Golden’s Memoirs of a Geisha sit stoically on my bookshelf next to Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita and Richard Overy’s The Dictators. For most of us, delving into these worlds of both the victim and the perpetrator is like reading any good fiction: It is escapism, it is voyeuristic, it gives us...
“Identity crisis. Check! Laundry lessons in two languages, neither of which I understood. Check! Phone phobia. Check!” Chantal Panozzo on being an American in Switzerland and her new book, Swiss Life.
Meredith Suter-Wadley gives an overview of the Zurich Writers Workshop, held in May at the Volkshaus in Zurich. Meredith attended the fiction workshop run by Anne Korkeakivi. The weekend kicked off with a Friday evening reading at Orell Füssli’s English Book Store in Zurich. Anne Korkeakivi read from her novel An Unexpected Guest, and Chantal Panozzo, the non-fiction instructor, read from her collection of essays, Swiss Life: 30...