Top Tips

The RSL/Booker Masterclasses are limited to 14 participants so that each writer has a unique opportunity to have individual feedback on their work. We wanted to ensure that the series has a broader reach than the lucky few who secure a place on one of the classes, and to this end we have published here the “top tips” and recommended reading lists of past tutors. We hope these will serve as both a guide and inspiration for readers and writers alike.

Image of David Almond: cross-over fiction

David Almond: cross-over fiction

Bestselling children's writer David Almond gives tips and the essential reading list for writing cross-over fiction, from his 26 May 2012 Masterclass

Image of William Boyd: adapting words for the screen

William Boyd: adapting words for the screen

Novelist and screen-writer William Boyd offers advice for writers, from his 5 November 2011 Masterclass

Image of Adam Foulds: bio-fiction

Adam Foulds: bio-fiction

Novelist and poet Adam Foulds gives his tips on writing biographical fiction, from his Masterclass in September 2012

Image of Tessa Hadley: the short story

Tessa Hadley: the short story

Short story writer Tessa Hadley provides top tips for writing stories and lists some of her favourites, after her November 2012 Masterclass

Image of Peter Kemp: reviewing literary fiction

Peter Kemp: reviewing literary fiction

Peter Kemp gave a class on reviewing literary fiction at Somerset House on 13 April 2013. Top Tips Bear in mind that a review is a balancing act...

Image of Mimi Khalvati: poetry

Mimi Khalvati: poetry

Mimi Khalvati, founder of The Poetry School, gives her poetry tips and reading list from her 14 November 2009 Masterclass

Image of Hilary Mantel: historical fiction

Hilary Mantel: historical fiction

Booker Prize-winninig Hilary Mantel gave her insights into writing historical fiction; tips and reading list from her 9 January 2010 Masterclass

Image of Candia McWilliam: memoir and imagination

Candia McWilliam: memoir and imagination

Prize-winning novelist and short story writer Candia McWilliam discussed memory and imagination in her 24 September 2011 Masterclass

Image of Caroline Moorehead: wordplay - biography

Caroline Moorehead: wordplay - biography

Biographer, journalist and RSL Council member Caroline Moorhead with her essential reading list and tips for biographical writing from the 13 March...

Image of Colin Thubron: the evocation of place

Colin Thubron: the evocation of place

Acclaimed travel-writer and novelist, RSL President Colin Thubron gave a Masterclass on the evocation of place on 21 May 2011

John Burnside: capturing moments of wonder

John Burnside gave a class on writing about the wonderful and wondrous, at St Andrew's Public Library on 9 November 2013. Top tips "Our minds, as well...

Apr 2014

Living with Shakespeare

Richard Eyre

Apr 2014

Auden and us

Alexander McCall Smith, Edward Mendelson

May 2014

On Tove Jansson

Ali Smith, Thomas Teal

May 2014

Jun 2014

To tell the truth

Helen Garner, Helen Simpson

Jun 2014

At home with penguins

Tim Blackburn, Vicky Fyson, Sara Wheeler

Jun 2014

On Character

Bernardine Evaristo

Jun 2014

Jun 2014

What we remember

Penelope Lively

Jul 2014

Beginning, middle and end

Karin Altenberg, Jessie Burton, Michael Holroyd, Deborah Moggach


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