Posts tagged #Japan Writers Conference

Rediscovering the joy of writing whilst waiting for a typhoon

Writing is fun because when I write, I get to make up stuff. I get to imagine new worlds and people, and their stories. And sometimes, just sometimes, people even give me money for doing it. How cool is that?!

It's Sunday afternoon, and I'm sitting by the window, waiting for the typhoon to come.

It's been raining for the past 2 weeks, and while earlier in the week, I wanted nothing more than to be outside, somehow today it's ok not to be.  It feels right to be indoors with a glowing heater and blanket around my legs whilst outside it's wet, cold, and grey. Perhaps because there's a typhoon on the way, and it's so deliciously melancholic.  Around midnight, Typhoon Lan will hit. It's a category 4 typhoon and I'm not sure what to expect. I'll pack a bag just in case. 

In the meantime, all this wind and rain is making me reflective. Why, in the last two weeks, have my thoughts towards how and what I write become kinder? 

The reason is when it comes to writing, I load myself up with pressure before I've even picked up a pen, or opened my laptop.  There's pressure to come up with ideas that are unique, gripping and insightful, to create characters that ring true and aren't cliche, to tell stories that are moving and worthy of a literary prize, and to write fast and frequently.

It's paralysing. 

But over the past two weeks, a subtle change has taken place.

Posted on October 22, 2017 and filed under Conferences.

What Harry Potter has to do with the Japan Writers Conference

'There’s a scene in one of the Harry Potter movies. Hagrid invites the students to come up and meet a really terrifying critter. “All right, then,” he says, “Who’s first?” All the students take a step back, leaving Harry standing alone in front of the group. That’s kind of like how I fell into the job.'

This October 8 and 9 is the annual Japan Writers Conference. A melting pot of free talks, workshops and readings, the event brings together a community of writers, publishers, and lovers of literature to share their knowledge and celebrate words.

Whether it's the ins and outs of writing horror, poetry, interactive fiction, memoirs or first lines, exploring the pros and cons of small presses, learning how to be a writer and an editor, or landing a newspaper column in Japan, this year's lineup has something for everyone. We'll be doing a session on interactive fiction on Monday Oct 9 at 2pm. So if you're in Tokyo, come down and say hello,  Programme details here.

We sat down with John Gribble, one of the organisers, to learn what Harry Potter has to do with his involvement, what he finds surprising and challenging about running the conference, and what he's working on now. 

Posted on October 2, 2017 and filed under Workshops.