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David Manderson – 17th Sept 2014

David Manderson 17 09 14
Well, first it was Dave Anderson. Then it was Dave Manderson. Anyone know a Dave Sanderson?

David Manderson, who spoke to us about Novel Writing on Wednesday 17th, is a teacher of Creative Writing at UWS and we are grateful to Pearl and her links to the university for providing the contact with Dave. Those who attended the SAW conference this year may remember him as the judge of the Short Story competition.

Dave is the ‘real deal’ and he brought along copies of his work to prove it. He also brought along a collection of stories written, edited, collated and published by UWS students of Creative Writing. This little book, which contains a piece of work by one of our own writers, is available from Pearl, price £4.

As well as being an experienced teacher of writing, Dave is a published author, having written non-fiction, short stories and a full-length novel. His advice to us is to try to explore different genres, sometimes even using the same idea, especially if it is one that refuses to come to fruition the first time we try. Rather than abandon an idea when it doesn’t work as a poem, why not, he suggested, try it again as a short story?

Dave explained how his experience as an editor has made him a better writer, and suggested ways in which we might improve our work, not only with careful editing of our own writing, but by evaluating and giving feedback on the work of our peers. AWC already promotes this activity and new members of the Club, in particular, should be encouraged to come along on Feedback nights and get the chance to see what other members are writing.

Dave also recommended performing one’s own work, i.e. reading it aloud, not only to ourselves to hear how it sounds, but to an audience, to gauge whether their reaction is the one we intended. Again AWC is ahead of the game with our summer Readarounds, where members read out a short piece to a small, informal group of fellow writers. Dave very kindly invited us to perform at Tchai-Ovna (42 Otago Lane, Glasgow. 0141 357 4524), any time we like. Just get in touch and tell someone you’d like to read.

Dave’s final piece of advice is one often heard and repeated. It is simply, keep at it. The more we write, the better we write.

Pat Young

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