Monday, 29 March 2010

Foyles bookstore literary event

On 20 March I went to Picador Day at Foyles bookstore, part of a series of events for writers where you can hear authors from different publishers talk about their books. There were 15 people on the panel, who were mainly novelists along with poets and biographers, and the day was split into four categories: 'Family and Self', 'Writing of Place', 'Poetry and Beyond' and 'Becoming a Writer'. It was mostly directed at people who want to write books, but as a journalist I found it inspiring and gained a few helpful hints and tips for my own work. Here are five quotes from the authors that I found most enlightening.

1. Jon Ronson on 'Family and Self'. Although he didn't recommend writing about your personal life, having done it himself in The Guardian, he did have this to say: "Always put yourself in as a slightly unreliable narrator. Never patronise the people you're writing about and consequently portray yourself in the worst possible light."

3. William Fiennes on 'Family and Self'. His favourite expression is "Truth in conference with the imagination". He was speaking about how to write memoir and how a fiction writer can look back and use their imaginations to make the past more colourful.

2.  Jim Crace on 'Writing of Place'. On answering a question put to him from the audience about how to prioritise your information, he said, "Evoke a response with images of place such as light falling on a broken piece of glass in the forest, don't try to tick all the boxes."

4. Prof Gerard Woodward, who teaches creative writing at Bath Spa University, on 'Becoming a Writer': "Don't borrow a voice from your favourite writer because this is often a mistake."

5. Jim Crace, who before becoming a novelist was a journalist, on 'Writing of Place': "Accuracy is important [when writing about real places] because the reader will notice any false notes."

The next writers' day at Foyles, Charing Cross Road, will be on 8th May with Vintage publishers covering 'Classic Travel Writing' and 'Sex in Literature'. Tickets are £18 full price, goody bag included.

No comments:

Post a comment