Hacks for as­pir­ing writ­ers


Uxbridge Gazette - - News -

STU­DENTS at Uxbridge Col­lege had plenty of ques­tions to ask a lo­cal au­thor when she was in­vited to talk to them about her job as a jour­nal­ist.

The keen writ­ers who are study­ing for a di­ploma in cre­ative me­dia (jour­nal­ism and cre­ative writ­ing) – a brand new course at the col­lege – were quizzing her on her book Tales From An Old Hack – Mem­oir Of A Lo­cal Re­porter which was pub­lished by the The Book Guild in Septem­ber.

Among the top­ics were: dead­lines – are they stress­ful? Is the ed­i­tor all pow­er­ful? How do you deal with peo­ple over sen­si­tive is­sues, and how does it af­fect you? Can the job fit in with a home life? How do you write a col­umn?

Bar­bara, a colum­nist on this pa­per, also talked about her col­lab­o­ra­tion with Phyl­lis Whit­sell on the Sun­day Times best­seller Find­ing Tip­per­ary Mary.

Asked to read from her book, she let them choose a topic from a list of chap­ters. They chose Lunch with the Queen, which is prov­ing to be the most pop­u­lar with Bar­bara’s talks so far.

She said: “Many thanks to the stu­dents and to Emma, their lec­turer, for invit­ing me. They were a great bunch, very en­thu­si­as­tic, and, thank good­ness, clued up about the dan­gers of only tak­ing news from so­cial net­works. I hope many of them go on to make suc­cess­ful ca­reers in writ­ing.”

Emma said: “It is im­por­tant for our stu­dents to have the op­por­tu­nity to meet pro­fes­sion­als from the cre­ative in­dus­tries, to be able to ask ques­tions and learn about the var­i­ous ca­reers open to them in fu­ture.

“By hear­ing Bar­bara talk about her ca­reer and read from her book, they were able to learn first-hand from a re­porter and colum­nist with years of ex­pe­ri­ence.

“I’d like to thank Bar­bara for kindly giv­ing her time and gen­er­ously shar­ing her wis­dom with my bur­geon­ing writ­ers.”

Our colum­nist Bar­bara Fisher (sec­ond from right) with some of the me­dia stu­dents

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