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.

For the latest edition, see RECENT POSTS (left sidebar)

Previous 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    – Rob Walters describes how a synopsis of an unpublished book on his website took him to Harvard to take part in a documentary film.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.