Among them, George Saunders and Ben Marcus are seeing a great deal of critical and commercial success right now. This dialogue in Granta is a conversation between two writers who are really coming of age, and full of useful reflections on the form.
David Savill – My old tutor used to call it the writer’s disease – anxiety and panic. Maybe its all that time we spend in our own imaginations. Maybe it’s just a product of TOO MUCH THINKING. I’ve certainly found that a number of writing colleagues and Creative Writing students tend to suffer with what used to be called a ‘touch of nerves’, and in my amateur experience, it often has a lot to do with the amount of pressure we direct at ourselves. If you experience anxiety issues while studying, don’t be afraid of talking to your tutors, as well as your friends. We’re here to help!
I used to make a point of buying books on the Man Booker Prize shortlist. Not because an award tells us what books are great (I’ve tended to actually dislike most of the books I’ve read off shortlists in the past!), or even whether they are going to last long after their first printings, but because the shortlist told me something about what our culture values in the contemporary novel. This semester, one of your aims should be to get a grip on the state of contemporary literature, and so the prize is not a bad place to start.
Awake from The Big Sleep! It’s the start of a new term, and St Mary’s has a new writing site. First years — welcome to your world for the next three years. Second years — if you see me around and I forget your name, you have permission to slap me. Third years — aghhhhh! Dissertations, exams, jobs…don’t panic!
This site is a place for you to post your work. It is also a place for you to drop in on writing news, and to begin to immerse yourself in the chatter of the publishing industry. Come here to read up on the latest news in the world of fiction and for links to industry publications. We will also use this site to post news of any social gatherings, readings, author visits and publications.
To post a piece of writing – from fan fiction to poetry, short stories and essays, please send your work to me: firstname.lastname@example.org