Author: Vicky MacKenzie

Reading habits

I’m an avid reader and am also fascinated by other people’s reading habits. For the last fifteen years I’ve recorded the title and author of every book I’ve finished (unfinished ones don’t count, it’s one of the odd little rules I have) in a dedicated notebook, and enjoy geekily looking through it sometimes to see what books I’ve read and when.

Street View – A Creative Writing Workshop and Walk

On Saturday 24 October Vicky will be leading a creative writing workshop as part of Sheffield’s Off the Shelf Festival of Words. The first half of the event will be a leisurely stroll around Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter, the second half will be a writing workshop where we’ll use the material gathered on the walk in a number of stimulating writing exercises.

Redrafting Part 1: Writing as Rewriting

Recently a student asked if it would be a problem that his redrafted work for assessment was considerably different from the pieces he had originally submitted for his assignments. I replied that it was absolutely fine – it’s assumed that students will develop their craft over the duration of the course.

The Art of Science

There’s a widely held perception that the sciences and arts are at opposite poles of human understanding and knowledge. Many people would suggest that science is concerned with objective facts whereas art is concerned with subjective experience.

The Thrill of the Chase

When singer-songwriter Nick Cave discovered he’d been nominated for an MTV Award, he sent a polite note to the organisers asking to be withdrawn: he did not enter competitions – his muse was not a horse. So why enter your…

Poets on Film

There’s been a spate of films about poets in recent years and this got me wondering whether there was still something ‘romantic’ about the figure of the poet in the public consciousness – a strange idea perhaps, given the ever-diminishing sales of poetry. But how successful are films at showing the creative process of a poet, or encouraging viewers to actually read the poets’ work?

Fact into Fiction

Many writers use real people as characters – there are many other examples and this isn’t a new trend – after all, Shakespeare used ‘real’ characters too, from Cleopatra to English kings…