“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...
Melinda Nadj Abonji, Adi Blum and Ulrike Ulrich are the initiators of a new writers-in-exile programme for Switzerland. The Woolf talked to Adi Blum, of the Swiss German PEN Centre to learn more.
“What is it that makes us love or hate a piece of literature? Do I love Ginsberg because he gives me a window in the zeitgeist of 1960s America: Sex, angst and drugs? Yes. Do I love Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein because she exposes me to a society where the wonder of electricity was something to be feared?” Johanna Sargeant on
What happens when 35 writers for young people, a children’s agent, and an editor gather in the centre of Zurich? You get a room that’s buzzing with hope, aspiration and imagination. HS Norup and Sherida Deeprose give a round-up from February’s workshop. On Saturday 25 January, Nuance Words presented Writing 4 Young People, a workshop featuring literary agent Julia Churchill (A. M. Heath) and editor Sara O’Connor (Hot Key Books)....