How and Why I Write

Oxford Writers' HouseNews2016AugustHow and Why I Write

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Philip Pullman, Mary Loudon, Jane Griffiths, and Fintan Calpin in conversation

How and Why I Write

On June 10th, to a packed out floor in Waterstones bookshop on Cornmarket, four of Oxford's most compelling writers addressed the topic: 'How and Why I Write.' A podcast of the talk is available to listen to above, or by clicking here. 

Philip Pullman is probably the world’s most acclaimed living children’s author. His bold, brilliant books have set new parameters for what children’s writing can say and do. He is best known for the trilogy of books known as His Dark Materials, which won the Carnegie Medal and the Whitbread Book of the Year Award. In 2003, His Dark Materials came third in the BBC’s ‘Big Read’ competition to find the nation’s favourite book, and in 2005 he was awarded the Astrid Lindgren Memorial Award, the world’s biggest prize for children’s literature. In 2007, The Golden Compass became a major Hollywood film starring Nicole Kidman and Daniel Craig.

Mary Loudon is a bestselling author. She has written four non-fiction books, Relative Stranger, A Sister’s Life After Death; Secrets & Lives, Middle England Revealed; Revelations, The Clergy Questioned and Unveiled, Nuns Talking. She has also contributed to six anthologies. Mary’s prizewinning work has been short- and long-listed for the MIND Book of the Year award, and the Richard and Judy Book of the Year award. Her books have been published in 12 countries. She has made over 200 radio and television appearances, been a Whitbread Prize judge and does a lot of public speaking. She is a Fellow of the British American Project (BAP). Mary's publishers, in the UK and internationally, are Random House, Penguin, Macmillan and Canongate. 

Jane Griffiths has published four collections of poetry with Bloodaxe; one of these, Another Country, was shortlisted for the Forward Prize. A new collection, Silent in Finisterre, is scheduled for late 2017. Jane teaches English Literature at Oxford, and is a Fellow of Wadham College.

Fintan Calpin is a second year English student at Wadham College, Oxford. He is currently editor of The ISIS magazine and founder of the forthcoming zine Stories. His work has been published in Ash and online by The Missing Slate. His influences include Frank O'Hara, Steve Roggenbuck, @sosadtoday, Elizabeth Bishop, Andrew Marvell and The Simpsons.


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