Academics Writing Too Fast?

Interesting piece … look out for the words that are used! We all know that academics, under constant pressure to publish, are writing too fast, with little time and even less inclination to craft their prose as scholars of old might have done. Consequently, it is easy to complain about declining aesthetic standards, but this does not get to the heart of what is going wrong, particularly with academic writing in the social sciences. Read Continue Reading →

Writing Persuasively?

Fascinating insight into writing persuasively: I never had a single rejection as a fiction writer, but that was because I spent an eight-year apprenticeship as an advertising copywriter, learning to use words to persuade and convince (I nearly wrote corrupt), everything I wrote subjected to reading and noting tests, every word graded according to efficacy. I learned to identify with readers, the uses and abuses of typography, how one enthusiastic adjective makes three times the Continue Reading →

Narrative Trust with Helen Sword

Definitely an article to take on board, as someone who is keen to write ‘clearly and engagingly whatever the audience’: What theory can be advanced to explicate the propensity of a significant proportion of individuals engaged in the scholarly profession to manufacture writerly texts that exhibit a more substantial resemblance to the technicality-replete discursive formations of androidal entities than to the quotidian narrative artefacts of the non-academic populace? Or to put it another way: Why Continue Reading →

From PhD to published…

This has been published from the train – I’ll be back to sort headings, links, etc when on something other than an iPad In 1991 (I think it was) I picked up a postcard ‘Women of Britain’ at the Imperial War Museum. So started a fascination with British wartime propaganda posters… With an A-Level project, a BA dissertation, and a PhD in the subject, as well as chapters, articles and press coverage, I think you Continue Reading →

Feel the Rush @timeshighered

Incisive debate on contemporary issues is curtailed by the glacial pace of academic publishing, argues Tim Luckhurst. Adopting new journalistic models would inject vitality into academics’ work As a journalist, I learned a lesson that many academics consider not just counter-intuitive but heretical: if a job is worth doing it is often worth doing fast. If the job is very important, it may be necessary to complete it at supersonic velocity. To an editor in Continue Reading →

London Fringe Festival Short Fiction Awards

Even though the Edinburgh Festival Fringe is the big thing that the moment, London’s Fringe Festival continues throughout the year. I was invited to come hear Charly’s short-story which had been short-listed. I don’t leave work til 7, when the event started, and unfortunately they went in alphabetical order, so I missed, but still, I think the support as the results were read out was appreciated! The guy who set up 4’33” reading his short Continue Reading →

Stanford Study: Student Writing

“Today’s kids don’t just write for grades anymore. They write to shake the world. Moreover, they are writing more than any previous generation, ever, in history. They navigate in a bewildering new arena where writers and their audiences have merged. These are among the startling findings in the┬áStanford Study of Writing, spearheaded by Professor Andrea Lunsford, director of Stanford’s Program in Writing and Rhetoric. The study refutes conventional wisdom and provides a wholly new context Continue Reading →