A weekend of literar y celebration
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‘Cornerstones provided a clear, no-holds-barred critique which stretched me as a writer.
I now have an agent and a book deal.’
Amanda Addison, Laura’s Hand-Made Life,
Little Brown 2011.
‘Helen and her team are great and definitely worth the investment.’
Kate Hordern, Literary Agency scouts for leading literary agents listed by The Society of Authors call Helen Corner 020 8968 0777
Hard Times As government cuts bite deep into the Arts, novelist and academic Celia Brayfield asks what the implications are for writers and what we can do about them INTERVIEW 13 Susan Hill FEATURES 16 Steam Powered Steampunk: it is tipped to be the Next Big Thing. So how come hardly anyone has heard of it? Liesel Schwarz finds out The Insider: Barbara Hayes 19
From Latitude to cool club nights, spoken word events are on the rise. Natasha Tripney investigates a vibrant scene
L AW R E N C E
: J O H N
P H OTO
‘There are no rules – ever. Not even about punctuation and grammar’
Susan Hill, Interview, page 13
Regulars Contents: issue 48
Contributors, Letters, News and Views
Including: Laura Wilson on crime writing Gillian Philip’s first draft, Lisa Matthews’ Song Birds, Lesley Pearse’s bottom drawer, Writing Your Self with Roselle Angwin, Keep Going with Bekki Hill Making a poem: Pascale Petit talks to Colette Bryce
Amanda Craig introduces her selections of readers’ prose and poetry on the theme of ‘Departures’
Including: How to write a bestseller: Eat, Pray, Love Literary landmarks: Persepolis Independent press profile: WingedChariot Writers’ bookshelf by Marika Cobbold
The lowdown on libel Dear Danuta...Submissions to agents
Opportunities: competitions, submissions, retreats, grants Out and About: events and workshops
Barbara Taylor Bradford’s bedside table
Use your imagination
If ever there was a time when women should be angry, it is now. Bearing the brunt of the changes to benefits, the swingeing cuts announced by George Osborne in November are already impacting on community services used overwhelmingly by women: from libraries to children’s workshops to evening classes.
Those of us considering a return to university, or with children who wish to study the arts and humanities, have been left slack-jawed in disbelief at fee increases that will leave a legacy of debt. As Celia Brayfield argues in her Agenda feature
(p. 8), this is not only bad news for students, but bad news for society too.
There is much writers can do to help themselves. But not all involves campaigning. Top of the list is reading, as Amanda Craig, guest editor of New Writing (p. 31), notes. On the theme of ‘Departures’, she encourages readers to let their imagination fly beyond the obvious.
Someone whose imagination appears to have no bounds is Susan Hill. Marking her 50th year as a published novelist – an incredible feat – she shares her forthright views about writing with Caroline
Sanderson (p. 13) in a feature that will have you rushing out to buy her backlist.
Imagination coupled with attention to detail describes Steampunk, a genre few readers will know, but which looks set to be The Next Big Thing. Liesel Schwarz reveals it is more than cogs and crinolines (p. 16).
Added to these gems is all the advice you could want – guidance that marks Mslexia out as an essential read for writers old and new. Guest editing this issue has been a fabulous way to start the new year. I hope reading it is too!
Danuta Kean, Guest Editor