Ghazi Alchammat

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How to write a personal statement for English

Tips for convincing English tutors you deserve a place on their course<p>Here's an analogy every student of English will grasp: "Think of your personal statement as a very short, short story. It has to have a beginning and an end and a character that we care about.<p>"For the purposes of this story, you …

Peter Hoffmeister Lived with Bears in Yosemite and Survived to Write a Book About It

A group of people who call themselves the Dirtbags live illegally in Yosemite National Park. They sleep in caves, rock climb, and steal food. Peter Hoffmeister dropped out of school to join them. The whole time he lived with them he heard stories about...<p><i>All photos courtesy of Peter Hoffmeister.</i><p>A …

Beyond development: giving creative writers their place in our world

Children's author David Almond explains why universities must demonstrate a greater commitment to creativity<p>I've always felt a need to explain (as far as I'm able to) how I write. For me, it seems to be part of the job of being an author – to explore what it means to be creative; to break down the …

Academic writing: why no 'me' in PhD?

Alienating the 'I' from academic writing is a big risk, says Aslihan Agaogl – what you're doing is removing yourself<p>The PhD is a lonely pursuit. Ask anyone who has ever done one and they will tell you that there is a lot of "me time" during your years of research. It requires a lot of reading and …

A Creative Coding School Run By Artists Opens In New York

Zach Lieberman, Taeyoon Choi, Amit Pitaru, and Jen Lowe open the School For Poetic Computation to teach people the magic of computational design.<p>Where would you go to learn creative coding? The internet? Read a book? Watch a tutorial? Download a copy of Processing and just get stuck in? Or would …

Neil Gaiman becomes professor at US college

Author to teach wide range of courses over five years in the languages and literature faculty of Bard College<p>Novelist, children's author, screenwriter and internet phenomenon, the writer Neil Gaiman is set to add another string to his bow, as Bard College appoints him a professor in the …

Horoscopes, Tarot, Psychic Readings

Astrology.com is your portal to the stars, unlocking the mysteries of the universe with horoscopes, tarot, and psychic readings.<p>Whether you're a …

Astrology

Hands: A Creative Writing Exercise

• Share<br>• Flip<br>• Pin<br>• Share<br>• Email<p>Updated December 31, 2017<p>When I've used this creative writing exercise in a class, it's consistently resulted in the most …

Boys: Why don't you write?

A survey has found that boys think that creative writing is uncool. Do you?<p>Broadcaster and children's author Simon Mayo has joined with the National Literacy Trust to call for a renewed effort in encouraging boys to write. This follows the publication of results from the Trust's third annual …

Dani Shapiro on the Pleasures and Perils of Writing and the Creative Life

<i>“At its best, the sensation of writing is that of any unmerited grace,”</i> Annie Dillard famously observed, adding the quintessential caveat, <i>“It is handed to you, but only if you look for it. You search, you break your heart, your back, your brain, and then — and only then — it is handed to you.”</i> And …

Zen in the Art of Writing: Essays on Creativity

Ray Bradbury<p>Ray Bradbury oh how to use lists as creative prompts that open “the trapdoor on the top of your skull”:

Creativity

What books would help with my creative writing project?

One way to learn more about creative writing is to read autobiographies of writers<p>At school (groan) I have completed a Bronze Arts Award. I have chosen to continue to do my Silver Arts Award. <br>For the first part of my Arts Award, which is called Arts Challenge, I will have to complete some form of …

Will a master's in creative writing get you a book deal?

Prajwal Parajuly left Oxford with a two-book contract … and some advice for potential students<p>I signed with my literary agent three days before I started the two-year master of studies in creative writing at Oxford, and I signed a two-book contract with Quercus three days before the second year of …

Teaching creative writing: lead your class by example

English teachers who ask students to write creatively should undertake the task in class too – and share the results<p>Did you ever hear about the art teacher who enthused about portrait compositions and brushstroke, but would never reveal their own artistic creations? Or the maths teacher who taught …

The Art of “Creative Sleep”: Stephen King on Writing and Wakeful Dreaming

<i>“Sleep is the greatest creative aphrodisiac,”</i> a wise woman once said. Indeed, we already know that dreaming regulates our negative emotions and “positive constructive daydreaming” enhances our creativity, while a misaligned sleep cycle is enormously mentally crippling. But can a sleep-like state in …

The Psychology of How Mind-Wandering and “Positive Constructive Daydreaming” Boost Our Creativity and Social Skills

Freud asserted that daydreaming is essential to creative writing — something a number of famous creators and theorists intuited in asserting that unconscious processing is essential to how creativity works, from T. S. Eliot’s notion of “idea incubation” to Alexander Graham Bell’s “unconscious …

Start to write: story telling and imagination with David Almond

SOLD OUT We're surrounded by stories from the day we're born - and yet writing our own can seem impossibly hard. Author David Almond will clear away all your anxieties and doubts<p>Sorry, this course is now full, but you can still add your name to the waiting list in the booking box further down the …

Storytelling

Lindsay Lohan In 1998: 'I Want To Grow Up And I Want To Write Everything And Go To College' (VIDEO)

Lindsay Lohan is getting her own reality show on OWN. It'll document her attempted comeback. But what if she had pursued her original dream of becoming a writer?<p>In this interview from 1998, in which "surfers" ask Lindsay Lohan questions, she talks about her future life plans of college and creative …

How to research and write historical crime fiction

How to dig up dark secrets from the past and find the beating heart of the story<p>Overview<p>Since Brother Cadfael solved his first murder in 1137, historical crime fiction has exploded as a phenomenon, with even the prestigious Golden Dagger Awards having a prize dedicated to the genre. But creating a …

Creative Writing

Top 10 Sources of Inspiration for Creative Writing

Ayn Rand once said, “A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others.” You should think of creative writing in …

Creativity

What I Remember from Getting an MFA in Creative Writing

On my first day in the dorms I went to the bathroom to brush my teeth and saw reflected in the mirror an older woman naked in a bathtub behind me. I’d heard the dorms at my school were haunted, having been built in the late 1800s or something, but when...<p>There’s a long-running argument about the …

Creative writing in the classroom: five top tips for teachers

English teacher, Alan Gillespie, shares his advice and resources on how to teach creative writing<p><b>1. The rules of writing</b><p>I always tell students that there are no set rules for writing and they can write whatever they like. I don't subscribe to the notion that all good stories must have, for example, …

Live First, Write Later: The Case for Less Creative-Writing Schooling

An unexpected brush with professional jealousy reminds a writing teacher that it's what you have to say, not how well you've learned to say it, that's the basis for great stories.<p>Flickr / Brian Crews<p>The other day, a college student sent me an autobiographical essay to read, following my visiting …

When did creative writing eat itself?

Was the experimental novel killed by the creative writing course, the conservatism of publishing and awards – or are they linked?<p>Mark McGurl's recent book, The Program Era, analyses the American novel in terms of its relationship to the explosive growth of creative writing courses in universities, …