Trimester two is already underway for this academic year on the MA Creative Writing course at Edinburgh Napier University. That brings a lot of new challenges for our current cohort, but also the prospect of fresh faces in this trimester's bevvy of guest speakers.
This week we welcome writer Jane Purcell to talk about abridging and adapting the work of other scribes. Jane used to work at Random House Children's Books, but now spends a lot of her time crafting scripts for radio, where abridgment and adaptation are commonplace. [You can read more at her blog Freelance Mum and her Twitter feed.]
Jane will be talking to the cohort for a module with the rather cumbersome name Narrative Practice - Vocational Skillset. Essentially, this module looks at key skills for working with other people's narratives - their stories, their characters, their prose. These skills can earn writers money while polishing their own magnum opus.
As well as abridgement and adaptation, the module also looks at writing for pre-created worlds, ghost-writing [with another guest speaker, Richard Havers], fiction editing, reviewing [with our reader-in-residence Stuart Kelly], and the vital art of networking.
For the dark arts of networking we'll be welcoming back Adrian Mead, whose session on building your own unique platform as a writer was nicknamed Adrian Mead's Fight Club by the class last year. You can see Adrian in action in these video podcasts hosted by the Scottish Book Trust.
[We highly recommend Adrian's book Makng It As a Screenwriter, which contains masses of sensible advice for all writers, not just screenwriters. It's available as an e-book, with all proceeds going to the charity Childline.]
All of that's packed into a single module this trimester. Check back soon for details of what's happening in the other three modules we teaching students between now and April!