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Tania Hershman

Top Five Tips:

  1. There is no one way to write, there are no rules, everyone does it differently. Pick and choose from other people’s writing tips or make up your own, and find the way that works best for you.
  2. When you write, don’t forget that everything is up for grabs: characters, setting, plot, structure, voice, style, beginning, middle, end. Nothing is sacred, it’s all in the service of the story.
  3. Pin a note above your writing desk saying “No-one is ever going to read this”.
  4. Don’t try and write for a particular market or competition, write the kinds of things you love to read. Surprise yourself, delight yourself, tell yourself stories.
  5. Don’t be afraid to take risks, to stray away from the known into chaos, to get away from labels and boxes. Feel free to make your writing messy, raw, and original rather than neat, safe, familiar.

Recommended Reading

  • Roald Dahl: Tales of the Unexpected
  • Ali Smith: The Whole Story and Other Stories
  • Alan Lightman: Einstein’s Dreams
  • Roy Kesey: All Over: Stories
  • Wislawa Szymborska: Poems New and Collected

Tania HershmanTania Hershman is the author of two story collections: My Mother Was An Upright Piano: Fictions (Tangent Books, 2012), a collection of 56 very short fictions, and The White Road and Other Stories (Salt, 2008; commended, 2009 Orange Award for New Writers). Tania’s short stories and poetry are published or forthcoming in, among others, Five Dials, Stinging Fly, Tears in the Fence, PANK magazine, Smokelong Quarterly, the London Magazine, and New Scientist, and on BBC Radio. She is writer-in-residence in Bristol University’s Science Faculty and editor of The Short Review, the online journal spotlighting short story collections and their authors. Tania teaches regularly for the Arvon Foundation and gives workshops on short stories, flash fiction and science-inspired fiction. Visit Tania online at: www.taniahershman.com

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