Category: Creative Writing

Complexity in Creative Politics

How far should our writing be political, social, polemical? That’s a tough question for all creative writers whatever their genre. If we’re writing about people, places, events we can’t really avoid any of these even if they are not among our prime intentions.

Confessions of an art student: Part 4

Recently I was contemplating the distinction between origin and originality. I was reading Re-writing the Self by Mark Freeman at the time I was reviewing contemporary artist research for Major Project and how they influenced my own work. I was horrified. What I took to be my own work, the product of commitment to a process with no predetermined fixed point or predicted outcome, resulted in pieces that were strikingly similar to those out there in the world.

How do writers use the idea of memory to help tell stories?

Are there any novels or films that don’t rely on the premise of ‘I remember’? The idea of memory is more embedded in art than I think we credit. The fact that a story needs to be told is central as to why the reader – or viewer is being offered in the first place. We have all heard stories that began with the winsome phrase ‘Once upon a time’ when we were children.

Facing up to what you really don’t want to try

For decades I was terrified of poetry. It all seemed so incredibly technical and difficult. I didn’t see the point; I wanted to tell a story. So when I did my MA I made myself face up to this and do the poetry module, even though the scriptwriting one beckoned as I’d already had five radio plays broadcast. What’s the point of doing a course if you don’t learn something new? I struggled. It hurt. I came to realise that this was something I had to actively learn.

Reading Proust By Kindle

Last week I bumped into myself near Oxford Circus. Well, not me exactly but a slightly older and much cooler version of my teenage self: strap-hanging in the rush hour with one finger tucked into the first few pages of Proust and with his thumb in the Appendix.

I’ve got stuck

Oh, it happens, and it’s horrible, whether it’s a book, a play or a short story. It’s like being in a maze when you can’t find the way out, and you keep passing the same point over and over again.

The question of development

The OCA course material and the assessment criteria ask and are looking for developed student work. But what does this mean? Frequently in student feedback I am drawing students attention to the concept of development. As a textiles tutor I…

Sandals with socks?

Writing practise is the only way to become assured about your voice, I think. The more you write – and, as important – the more you think about writing – the clearer your voice will shine through, from your thoughts, from your heart, from your soul.

OCA’s Diana Ali

Here at OCA HQ we love to hear what our students are up to but we also want to know what our tutors are doing. Congratulations to OCA tutor Diana Ali who will be starring as a mentor on BBC’s new painting show later this month! We hope everyone will check it out!