The Oxford Writer
This is the newsletter of Writers in Oxford, and is sent free to members. It is published three times a year, and includes Oxford literary news, reports of recent WiO events, contributions by members, and news both of them and their books.
Recent articles have included:
- ‘WiO and the Society of Authors’ by Philip Pullman, on WiO’s origins and the various activities of the Society of Authors on behalf of their membership.
- ‘Poetry to your door’, a report on the setting up of Poetry Direct – an Oxford poetry publishing venture with WiO connections.
- ‘How we won the Booker’ – Claire Squires explains how the publishing department of Brookes University won the coveted Booker archive.
- ‘Bear necessities’ – Recently Robert Twigger, one of our more intrepid members, crossed the Rocky Mountains in a canoe in search of adventure. He found it.
- ‘A prison visit’ – Rebecca Abrams, who writes regularly for the Daily Telegraph and the New Statesman, turns her hand to one of the most challenging of all literary genres – a 250 word account of a WiO outing.
- ‘The battle of the book prices’ – Richard Webster investigates combatants in the controversy over whether to scrap prices on book jackets – and finds himself faced with an ethical dilemma.
- ‘Books and bullets’ – D’Arcy Adrian-Vallance reports on his visit to Jerusalem and the West Bank as part of a team writing schoolbooks for Palestinian children.
- ‘The invisible poison’ – Trevor Mostyn describes his trip to Belarus on behalf of English PEN to try to secure the release of a scientist who blew the whistle on nuclear contamination.
- ‘Hollywood starlet: her part in “my ultimateskive”’
– Rob Walters describes how a synopsis of an unpublished book on his website took him to Harvard to take part in a documentary film.
- ‘Carol Thatcher ruined my life’
– Edward Fenton on how Carol Thatcher’s charm put paid to his career as a budding journalist with the New Musical Express.
- ‘Local hero, global heavyweight’ – Rita Carter interviews philosopher Donna Dickenson, winner of the 2006 Spinoza Lens Award (who is also WiO’s membership secretary).
- ‘Jan Mark (1943-2006)’ – Philip Pullman pays tribute to his fellow Oxford children’s writer, Jan Mark.
- ‘Diaries, Truth and Consequences’ – Ian Cotton explains why diaries are such an important literary form and why he supports the idea of an archive for unwanted diaries.
- ‘To blog or not to blog: a guide to blogs and writers’ websites’ – Richard Webster on authors’ website designers. (This is a much expanded version of the article which appeared in the November 2007 edition of the newsletter.)
There have also been many other fascinating, sometimes hilarious accounts of past events – of an increasingly inebriated punting trip during which many punters turned out to be surprisingly accident prone; of how one of the society’s parties cured a bad back; of how members braved gales and rain to visit Hampton Court Palace; of a fascinating talk on the experiences of e-publishing; of Lisa Picard’s talk on her quest for such information as how to fit a codpiece, iron a ruff, or (if you were a woman) pee in an alehouse. These are just samples.
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