Frantic Februaries (Successful Friends)

During an exciting fortnight moving house, attending my mother's book launch for the quixotic This is the End of the Story as well as Adam Craig's oneiric High City Walk and submitting my PhD We Are Seven to Bangor University’s printers and binders, two people I edited have shared exciting news. Terry Melia published his magnificent coming-of-age Tales from the Greenhills (review pending) and Marg Roberts released a new blog-website. The customary January fatigue has given way to a good tumult for everyone. And there is more coming this month: I have a few fresh projects to promote, including a utopia themed writing competition and a return to essaying—as well as lots and lots of editing.

The Courage of Utopia

‘The only safe way of reading a Utopia is to consider it the expression of the temperament of its author.’—William Morris

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Introductions


Many ideas have coalesced to form my new editing website, RowanTreeEditing. Samuel R. Delany once proposed that ‘it is almost impossible to write a novel any better than the best novel you’ve read in the three-to-six months before you began your own. Thus, you must read excellent novels regularly.’ Delany’s Architectures of Possibility is a book about writing, but it is not a catalogue of clichéd injunctions—show, don’t tell; write what you know—but a prompting to explore and expand literature’s limits. Therefore, between exercises and interviews, he only demands that we read. I hope to accomplish something similar. I will encourage my clients to be bolder, know the histories of their genres, read and then write with greater ambition.

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