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MIR9 Editors
MIR9 Editors

The MIR9 editors are made up of Birkbeck students on the MA in Creative Writing and the MA in Shakespeare and Contemporary Studies. They are: Sue Betney, Dane Buckley, Sarah Cumming, Natalie Fletcher, Marlowe Harris, Zoë Ranson and Antonia Reed. When they aren't busy with the book, they can be found working on their own novels and short stories or hanging out at the Globe. They are looking forward to the MIR9 Launch Party on 27 September, 2012.


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   24.04.14    
MIR9: Introducing the Birkbeck writers - Tanya Datta, Maggie Womersley and Victoria Grigg   (Page 1 of 1)


The editing process for MIR9 is now complete—our copy-editor, Sue, has worked her magic and the stories are finalised and pretty superb! The whole anthology is now with the typesetter for formatting. But just when the authors thought they could sit back and relax, we collared them for an interview to keep them on their toes and to give us, and our readers, an insight into the mind of a writer. We’ll be sharing these interviews over the next couple of months, here are the first few:

 

 

Tanya Datta has travelled to some of the furthest reaches of the world in her former incarnation as a foreign-affairs journalist. These days, however, she’s more likely to be exploring her imagination since returning to her first love—writing fiction. Currently studying on Birkbeck’s MA in Creative Writing, Tanya is working on a collection of short stories set amongst the Indian diaspora.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Vivid, vociferous and velvety

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

  • Lolita by Vladimir Nabokov
  • The Wind-Up Bird Chronicle by Haruki Murakami 
  • Sacred Games by Vikram Chandra     

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Make the space you write in as void of distractions as is possible. If you can't, find a library with no attractive people in it. Growl at anyone who tries to sit next to you.   
  2. When you can't think of what to write, go back to bed (or lie down on the library floor) with a notepad and pen. Ideas will flow—usually straight after a quick nap. 
  3. If you're still blocked, force yourself to read about all the books being published or winning prizes that week in the newspapers, grow green with envy and convinced of your latent superiority, then storm back to your desk propelled by a gigantic surge of competitiveness. And fear.
  4. Once your writing has eventually got going, slip entirely into your character's head and look at the world through his or her eyes. Remember to come out of character each evening, though, especially if you're writing from the viewpoint of a psychopath.
  5. Write down virtually anything in your first draft even if you think it's unintelligible. Your terrible first attempt will often prompt something much better from you the next day. In the long run, it's far better to have a few passages of guff than one or two perfect sentences... or you will write as slowly as me.

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Green because it is the colour of spinach and Kryptonite.

 

 

Maggie Womersley grew up in West Sussex before moving to London in the 1990s to work as an archive film researcher and TV producer. In 2011 she was a runner-up in the Guardian’s summer short-story competition, and longlisted for the Mslexia Unpublished Novel Award. She is a regular contributor to the Writers’ Hub website where she blogs about being a writing mum.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Still in bed

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

  • I Capture the Castle by Dodie Smith for the right reasons
  • Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone by J. K. Rowling for the wrong ones

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

  • Ulysses by James Joyce
  • A Heart-breaking Work of Staggering Genius by Dave Eggers
  • Anything purporting to have been written by Katie Price—they’d make a great bonfire for attracting rescue.

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Sit Down
  2. Turn on the computer
  3. Ignore Facebook
  4. Write a paragraph you’re happy with.
  5. Get up and make a cup of tea

(repeat)

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Is it too late to go with silver and mauve?

 

 

Victoria Grigg writes short stories and poems about the search for momentum and voice in our modern lives. In 2011 she won second prize in the Cinnamon Press Travel and Land fiction competition, and two of her stories appear in the anthology A Thousand Natural Shocks (Troubador Publishing, 2011). She lives in Hackney and works as an English teacher.

 

Describe yourself in three words

Quite definitely undecided.

 

If you could have written any book which one would it be?

Chekov’s Lady with Lapdog and Other Stories

 

Which three books would you take to a desert island?

The Bloodaxe poetry anthology, Staying Alive, Salt Press’s most recent Best British Short Stories collection and, of course, the complete works of Shakespeare.

 

What are your top five writing tips?

  1. Enjoy your writing.
  2. Run, meditate or knit to smooth your thoughts out.
  3. Read freely to find what you love and drop unconvincing books.
  4. Write just for yourself sometimes.
  5. Observe life as openly as possible.

 

And finally … salmon or green?

Both.


   24.04.14    
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