yasmin chopin | Journal
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Journal

The term creative writing is new for many and sounds like it could be a clever but possibly dodgy kind of literature. Feelings of uncertainty creep into the conscious mind along with visions of suited professionals scratching their scalps as they practice creative accounting. Well,...

This hardback sits solidly on my desk; the title letters, ART DECO CITY, are debossed in gold and catch the light. Fanning the pages I pause inside the back cover; Arnold Schwartzman, OBE, stands in front of a white painted art deco house smiling in...

Dreary grey weather cloaked his late November birthday. What to do, where to go? A walk followed by pub grub had seemed like a good idea but the damp air cooled our enthusiasm. We decided on a trip to Peterborough for a bit of pre-Christmas...

Crime novelist Emma Flint was the keynote speaker at ‘How to get Published’, a one-day conference held in London on 16 November 2018. Emma talked about the essential skills required to get a reader’s attention. You have to hook a reader with the first chapter...

After every high tide the sea dumps seaweed and debris on the beach; known as the strandline it is a constantly changing landscape. Jean Sprackland is more widely known as a poet and this book is her first foray into non fiction. In an interview with...

It’s conker time! October winds knock lime green spheres to the grass, spiked sheaths spear the earth where they fall. Three horse chestnut trees stand on a triangular piece of ground near my house, have stood there for decades, their strong limbs reach out beyond...

Dark crimson and brown leather-bound tomes, and others like them, emerge every so often from the blackness several stories deep beneath the reading rooms of the British Library; on demand the volumes rise up from London’s bowels. A young man with a faraway look in his...

Six authors* shared their experience of travel writing with an audience of one hundred and twenty people in London on Saturday 6 October 2018. The ‘Travel Writing Study Day’ took place in the comfortable Knowledge Centre Theatre, a state-of-the-art meeting venue annexed to the British...

Kate Watson-Smyth is known by thousands, perhaps millions, as the woman who is mad about the house. A journalist writing for the masses Kate offers advice that is genuine and down-to-earth. I met Kate in 2014, we were invited to an upholstery workshop run by...

The 16 September 2018 is a  milestone; it was the first exhibition of my writing and the first reading of my work. Earlier in the year, it was the tail end of June, the impulse to apply for a residency with Caroline Salem took hold and I'm very...

Some of my closest friends visibly shuddered when I told them I was hoping to spend time in a crypt. Stephen’s eyes flickered like a dodgy light fitting as he repeatedly asked,  ‘But what would you do down there?’  I wasn’t really sure. It was more a...

Miya, a dental surgeon from Trinidad, had bought a new-build apartment by the river. She was desperate to introduce colour and called me in to help. The room was not quite square but trapezoid, with kitchen units along one wall. Though the shape was a...