Event The Kellogg College Centre for Creative Writing fosters a vibrant community of writers and researchers whose work crosses traditional boundaries of genre and culture. The Centre hosts both a masterclass and a research seminar series. The twice-termly research seminars focus on topics of contemporary interest to creative writing practitioners and scholars.
This year marks a huge success for the Creative Writing MA as ten alumni have novels coming out this year. To celebrate these achievements we are profiling a selection of the authors and extracts from their upcoming novels will appear on MIROnline.
Walleye Junction came out in May this year and is the third novel in the Macy Greeley Mysteries series.
Can you give us a brief introduction to the novel? Walleye Junction is the third book in a series of crime novels set in northern Montana. The stories follow a special investigator named Macy Greeley, a single mother struggling to balance career and home life.
When two of the kidnappers turn up dead of a massive heroin overdose the local authorities believe the case is solved, but Macy has doubts. Did you always intend to write a series of novels or did this come about organically?
The series came about organically. The result is far more accomplished. Bone Dust White is a taut thriller with a strong sense of place and a cast of characters that feel authentic. The only constant is Macy but she too is slowly evolving. It is the locations, characters and plotlines that change radically with each new publication.
What do you enjoy most about writing crime fiction? I suppose I should now hold my hand up high and admit that I have an unhealthy fascination with the darker side of human nature. I read crime fiction but am often turned off by the gratuitous violence and the unending parade of serial killers stalking young girls.
I prefer a good psychological thriller with authentic characters, a believable storyline and zero time spent in the morgue. I try to base my books on issues that are prevalent to small town America. Burnt River features returning war veterans who are suffering from PTSD and Walleye Junction touches on the prescription painkiller and heroin epidemic that is presently crippling America.
Gun crime, drug abuse, sex trafficking, right wing militias, traumatised war veterans, unemployment and general disillusionment are all elements that feed into my novels. I like to create a point of tension that can no longer be sustained and drop an inciting incident into the middle of it.
Are the novel and short story connected? The short story, Walleye Junction, is actually connected to the whole series, as its setting and tone provided much of the original inspiration. Redrafting it into a longer format would require making a lot of changes to a short story that meant a great deal to me.
There was little room for sentimentality. The short story follows a young woman who is returning home to a rural community after years of estrangement. The novel puts these mysteries to rest. It was too sentimental.
The young woman had changed too much over the course of the novel.
I tried writing it a dozen different ways but to no avail. I ended up changing it radically. It is now much more subtle. Can you tell us a little bit about your writing process? Karin Salvalaggio Anyone who writes seriously spends a great deal of time sitting in a desk chair in front of a computer.
I create a place, a cast of characters and an inciting incident. After that anything goes. This strategy has its setbacks.
There is a lot of waste. Thousands and thousands of words get thrown out. Instead of saving it in a file, I simply hit delete.Creative nonfiction (also known as literary nonfiction or narrative nonfiction or verfabula) is a genre of writing that uses literary styles and techniques to create factually accurate narratives.
Creative nonfiction contrasts with other nonfiction, such as academic or technical writing or journalism, which is also rooted in accurate fact, but is not written to entertain based on writing . I started writing the opening novel, Bone Dust White during my first year at Birkbeck where I was working toward an MA in Creative Writing.
I never intended to write a ‘crime novel’ and saw this first book as a standalone, but life has a way of throwing up unexpected opportunities. Writing Fix - Sponsored by the Northern Nevadaa Writing Project, this site offers interactive lessons and other tools for creative writers.
Specific resources include creative writing prompts. Creative writing as research Discussing creative writing as research, writers Julia Bell (Birkbeck) and Honor Gavin (University of Manchester) share aspects of their processes and practices.
Hosted by Corkscrew: practice-based/led research at Birkbeck. Our PhD research programmes will allow you to explore your own interests in creative writing, supported by the expertise of our staff. Full description You’ll be allocated two supervisors, with additional staff members available if necessary.
Creative writing is one of the most open-minded, and free-spirited writing prompts that a student will face in either high school or college. This essay falls into the category of narrative essays, since it gives students the freedom of self-expression, and trains them to stretch their imagination.