My Ziferblat Experience

Back in 2011, Ivan Mitin founded Ziferblat in Moscow as a community of poets aspiring to progress their work. Mitin shaped the idea for his cafes from a project he ran in Russia called “pocket poetry”, for which he would meet strangers in cafes and together they’d write famous poetry on cards and distribute them around […]

The Writers’ Arrival

It’s sci-fi and it has aliens in it but that’s not all it is. Arrival is thoughtful, atmospheric film with a great central performance from Amy Adams. The screenplay was written by Eric Heissener based on a short story by Ted Chiang called Story of Your Life. Film reviews rarely say much about the writers […]

Alan Bennett as The Incredible Hulk

I listened to Alan Bennett reading from the latest volume of his diaries Keeping On Keeping On on BBC Radio 4. As expected it was funny, poignant and perceptive but I also thought it showed that Bennett has an angry side. He’s not exactly The Incredible Hulk, turning green and bursting out of his tweed […]

When Violence is Good

  I watched Episode 5 of The Missing (Series 2, BBC One). The episode is fast becoming known for its violent ending. The series, which focuses on investigations into missing children, does not often feature violence so this episode came as a hammer blow. Some have criticised the violence shown but I think that this […]

Illustrating your own book; is it as dangerous as performing your own brain surgery?

“You wouldn’t cut your own hair, would you? (Unless you’re Donald Trump, maybe). Or take out your own tooth? How about flying yourself to Barbados? Nope. So why do I think it’s a good idea to illustrate your own book? The sketch above is one that I’ve done for my upcoming children’s book . I’m […]

What are your favourite books of all time?

“The list is constantly changing but, as it stands, my faves are… in reverse order…..” JK 5. Larry’s Party by Carol Shields   4. K-Pax by Gene Brewer   3. Andrew’s Brain by E.L. Doctorow   2. Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance by Robert Pirsig   1. A Portrait of the Artist as […]

Writing for Children; How Hard Can It Be?!!

BY JON KENNA Over the last few months I’ve been trying to write stories for kids. In the past I’ve written a couple of books for adults which were fun to write but also a hard slog at times. I was thinking that writing children’s stories would be an easier ride. Nope. I decided to […]