Is your Heroine Dull and Worthy?

Posted by on Feb 28, 2019 in blog | No Comments

Writers often tell me they have a problem with their heroine: she is boring and indistinct. Minor characters are leaping off the page, full of flaws and foibles, life-like and life-affirming, while the main protagonist is dull. She lacks the energy and agency necessary to promote action. She is reactive rather than proactive. These writers […]

Farewell Il Collegio, Masseria Impisi

Posted by on Nov 7, 2018 in blog | No Comments

In May we said goodbye to Masseria Impisi, the 16th century farmhouse in Puglia, lovingly restored by artists Leonie Whitton and David Westby, where, for eight glorious years, we held our annual writing retreat.  We’d shared this beautiful, tranquil space with writers from all around the world as well as Chalk the Sun’s south London regulars, […]

Iceland: Land of Ice, Fire and Literature

Posted by on Jul 3, 2018 in blog | No Comments

I in 10 Icelanders will publish a book My recent lecturing gig in Iceland brought some quirky statistics to my attention. One being that 1 in 10 Icelanders will publish a book at some point in their lives. This island nation with a population of 320,000, about the size of Croydon, has a land mass […]

Last Supper at Impisi

Posted by on May 24, 2018 in blog | No Comments

Last week we celebrated our eighth and final writing retreat at Masseria Impisi, a fortified farmhouse, hard by the white stone city of Ostuni. Tearfully we raised glasses of Pugliese Primitivo and shared poems and writings inspired by our stay. With all the poignant farewells, we needed a laugh so as usual I read a less than edifying […]

Liberty Hall: a Night-off for your Brain. New Opportunities for Traditional Plays

Posted by on Apr 12, 2018 in blog | No Comments

Chalk the Sun writers have enjoyed performance workshops from playwright/actor Robin Jennifer Miller so, when her new play Liberty Hall was staged in February at The Old Sorting Office Arts Centre in Barnes, we jumped at the chance of a theatre trip. A dozen of us pitched up for the last night of this comedy, anticipating top […]