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Rosie Johnston’s three poetry books are published by Lapwing Publications in Belfast. Her poems have appeared in various magazines, on the Poems and Pictures blog of the Mary Evans Picture Library website and in Live Canon’s ‘154 Project’ celebrating Shakespeare’s 400th anniversary. She was Cambridgeshire Wildlife Trust’s poet in residence 2014-18 and since 2014 has been reviewing poetry for London Grip. Her two novels are The Most Intimate Place (Arcadia Books, London, 2009) & What You See Is What You Get (Wolfhound Press, Dublin, 2005).

Since 2011, Rosie has been running informal writing groups in London and Cambridge for new writers of all ages. She enjoys helping people develop the confidence to finish drafts, polish their story-telling skills and attract the attention of agents and publishers. Her weekly blogposts are listed here to allow you to share in Rosie’s tips, shortcuts and writing exercises wherever you live:

17 08 17          WELCOME

17 08 17         GETTING STARTED

17 08 17         What holds our writing back?

17 08 17         Things not to worry about

17 08 17         Three ‘rules’ for writing a novel

27 08 17          How do we get started?

03 09 17          Inspiration or hard graft?

10 09 17          Your book’s world

17 09 17          Fiction’s biggest trick: CHARACTER

17 09 17          The hillside exercise

24 09 17          What is it about Lizzie and Darcy?

01 10 17          Digging for secrets

08 10 17          Did she marry the prince for love or money?

15 10 17          Character is Destiny? Why?

24 10 17          Family skeletons and state secrets

27 10 17          Your characters’ places

29 10 17          Let’s find your plot’s engine

05 11 17          How to make characters feel complex, real and vital

12 11 17          Point of View made ridiculously simple

19 11 17          You, me, I, she – what’s 3rd person about?

26 11 17          CHARACTER INTERVIEWS ALL IN ONE PLACE

03 12 17          Fictionalising real people

10 12 17          Old friends (and how we write them)

17 12 17          How do we write about sex?

07 01 18          PLOT – what is it good for?

14 01 18          The quest for a perfect story

21 01 18          Tell me the truth about love stories

28 01 18          The course of true love stories

04 02 18          Rags to Riches

11 02 18          What can crime thrillers teach us?

18 02 18          Rite of Passage stories

25 02 18          Overcoming the Monster

04 03 18          The weather outside is frightful

11 03 18          Show and Tell? What’s the difference?

18 03 18          Epics – why do we love them so much?

25 03 18          Ten top storytelling tips from Homer

01 04 18          BOX OF TRICKS – introduction

01 04 18          Point of View made easy

02 04 18          1st, 2nd & 3rd person

08 04 18          Through-line – the single most vital trick in writing your novel

15 04 18          Things not to worry about when choosing a title

22 04 18          How to lay out your dialogue

29 04 18          Dialogue – keeping it real

06 05 18          Dialogue – subtext and lying

27 05 18          REWRITING – the First Draft High

03 06 18          Three great tricks for revising your draft 

08 06 18          When the writing flow stops – 12 tips to keep writing

10 06 18          10 useful things to get your novel published

17 06 18          Finding a publisher – how did the Brontes do it?

24 06 18          Feedback etiquette – or how to keep your friends

01 07 18          How to avoid painful feedback – calendars and timelines

08 07 18          How to avoid painful feedback – losing track of time

15 07 18          How to get published – what do agents do?