Melissa Todd

  • About 6 o’clock, just as Melanie came to the end of her day’s work and grew aware that she was hungry, someone knocked at her door – a timid knock, signalling someone of no importance. She went to open, and saw […]

  • Sketches by Baz is Medway’s own Gotterdammerung. It tells of a dusk of the old Gods by drowning and purging, those men who belonged to Chatham’s faded maritime glory days, and now fall into rickety chairs in A&E […]

  • “Write about anything!” said the email, and at the word “anything”, my mind wandered away. When you can have anything, there’s only one thing left to want: the joy of being denied it. The masochist knows this, and […]

  • At birth, we become writers. The moment our lungs fill with air, we gain an idea of desire, which is plot in its simplest form. Someone wants something. That’s a story. And of course, along with our story we c […]

  • It’s more than 160 years since The Origin of Species was published, but its legacy continues to resound and ricochet like a stubborn genetic mutation. Written predominantly at Down House in Kent, it came to e […]

  • Each of Amanda McLeod’s stories tells of the human experience, exploring some facet of life, love, parenthood, via some curious fact about animal behaviour, reflected in the titles. It’s a clever, interesting i […]

  • I got shortlisted for an award recently. Kent columnist of the year. Feels weird to be talking about it, borderline indecent, but I’ll have to get used to it, because they sent me a giant cardboard oblong that s […]

  • Waterboarding’s a funfair compared to hearing your writing criticised. You slave to create and perfect your tiny word babies, set them free to skip about the globe; then some oik rips into them, and you wish […]

  • For a truly tremendous literary endeavour, there’s an extraordinary amount of science in this book. Maths, too. It starts with an equation, which seems brave: surely we’ve all heard Stephen Hawking’s warning that […]

  • I do enjoy the variety of womanhood. No, honestly, I do. Must be peculiar being a man, stuck with being the same person, with the same predictable feelings and ambitions, every damn day. Having ovaries is like […]

  • “What I have thanks to money…is what I, the possessor of money, am myself….I am ugly, but I can buy myself the most beautiful women. Consequently I am not ugly. (Money) changes fidelity into infidelity, love into […]

  • I’ve entered a load more competitions recently, including just about everything I see that’s free. It’s amazing how many of these exist. Thanet Writers does an excellent monthly round up of these oppor […]

  • “Do you get paid for writing reviews?” my friend Jenny asked. “Or do you do it – for love?” The question stumped me, because while I very seldom get paid, I certainly don’t do it for love. I hate writing reviews.  […]

  • You make a good point I think, and I’m truly sorry if the piece sounded mocking. In my defence, I do go on to compare elaborate descriptions to Dickens; I would have offered sensitive detailed feedback had it been […]

  • There’s no reason why you should compose creatively in standard English. Language is culture. If you only write in the tongue of the establishment you are cutting yourself off from dozens of different cultures, a […]

  • “I’m going to turn myself inside out to write this”, Maria Straw-Cinar writes, in the opening pages of her inventive, intimate novel, Girl, and “You need to listen cuz one thing I hate is people that don’t. […]

  • Often when you start to write there’s a tendency to string word after word together, like a child making a daisy chain, assuming that more is inevitably better. As in: The sun-dappled soft blue waves lapped l […]

  • When we start to write we first need decide whom our likely audience might be. No point my pitching articles to the Guardian when they’re better suited to Take a Break. Before even considering your first draft, s […]

  • “A sharps bin?” said Leonie

    “A sharps bin,” said Fenella.

    The arts director of Margate’s creative collective Zealous gave a small plaintive groan, and, needing a moment, turned to gaze out over the windswept […]

  • There are seven different stories in the world, they say. Well, so what? There are sixty-four positions in the Kama Sutra, but they all amount to the same essential mash-up; a toe pointed there, a wrist flexed […]

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