The art of writing

“Don’t be a writer – be writing” – William Faulkner

Writing techniques are not easy to learn, because all you basically need is to read a lot. Explore world around you, watch, listen, communicate, read and travel.

One of the stories by Terumi Tosa on Wattpad

Once you constantly develop yourself, it will be easier to find words to express your opinion. Sharpening writing skills will be the next step to do.

One of the stories written by Terumi Tosa

Terumi Tosa – one of the student from UEA shares her writing experience. “There are many useful books for those interested or thinking about their career in creative writing: Becoming a writer by Dorothea Brande, Where the stress falls: essays by Susan Sontag, The art of writing fiction – by Andrew Cowan”.

One of the favorite Terumi’s book and highly recommended for reading

Also Terumi admitted that recently she was very excited by the book “Conversation with people” by Sally Rouney. And now she is really interested in Milan Kundera’s works.

In 2011, UEA’s Creative Writing programme was awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education. In 2012, Norwich became England’s first UNESCO City of Literature.

Nowadays there are many online courses, which are available for everyone to join. National Center for Writing in Norwich regularly launches online courses about Creative Writing in the collaboration with University of East Anglia.

Online courses available at the National Center for Writing

Alice Kent – a Communication Director at the National Center for Writing point out that writing tips and cooperation programs available online: “We do official online courses across fiction, nonfiction, poetry, science fiction, and we are just about to launch a new course which are free which is about productivity tips around writing, about lifestyle of writing, it is self-guided free courses”.

National Center for Writing in Norwich, England

Also there are online tutored courses with the UEA tutors, where you can ask questions and find different tips for improving writing skills.

Tracy Chevalier was invited as a guest speaker for the Autumn Literary Festival hosted by the Arthur Miller Institute for the American Studies at UEA in 2019 .Tracy Chevalier – famous novelist, author of the books: “The Lady and the Unicorn”, “At the edge of the orchard”, “Burning Bright”, “The Last Runaway”. She shared her experience of writing and working as a reference book editor, since she moved to London from Washington, D.C.. Tracy Chevalier graduated from the University of East Anglia with the an MA in Creative Writing.

She pointed out that her dissertation thesis reflexed and help to build plots for her stories later.  Also Ms.Chevaier read pieces of her recent book “A Single Thread”: “The other parts of the Cathedral had their drawbacks: the nave was enormous, the aisles draughty, the transepts dark, the chapels too reverential, the retrochoir lonely”. Moreover Ms.Chevaier shared her study and research of the Winchester Cathedral, which is depicted in the novel.

Creative writing can be a challenging one, once there are no actual rules to follow. “I would recommend read a lot, so you can absorb author’s style and then proceed writing with your own style, passion and perception of things” – says Julianne Pachico. She is a British-American writer, holds a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing from UEA. Ms. Pachico is the author of the “The Anthill” and “The Lucky Ones”.  During the workshop she asked students to “translate” a memory into fiction, use memories as a resource to “donate” to a character in a piece of fiction. Also, Ms. Pachico teaches on the technique of Automatic Writing, which consists of the following steps:

  • Keep your hand moving; don’t pause to re-read
  • Don’t cross out: leave mistakes
  • Don’t worry about spelling, punctuation, grammar, or paragraphs
  • Don’t pause for thought or any fine phrasing
  • You are free to go completely off the point

 For beginners, Julianne Pachico suggested to go with the book “The art of Writing Fiction” by Andrew Cowan.


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