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Author Meg Rosoff in conversation with Helen Newdick and Rachel Norman, two MA Creative Writing students, about Voice: How to figure out what you should be writing about.
On a snowy Saturday morning Meg Rosoff came to Oxford at the invitation of MA Creative writing students from Oxford Brookes University. Meg has had six books published and her seventh, Picture Me Gone is due out this year. Her books are about young people, normally in their teens and have won awards such as the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Carnegie Medal. Her talk was held in the Blue Boar lecture room of Christ Church College, a magnificent set of buildings used for, amongst other things, the filming of Harry Potter.
Myself and Helen Newdick (who deserves the credit for organising the event) are both students on the MA course and it was a thrill to be sitting with Meg, asking her questions in front of over 100 people.
Entitled’ Voice: How to figure out what you should be writing about’, Meg talked at length about how connecting the subconscious to the conscious enables a true writing voice to be expressed. She is a very funny person and her anecdotes and tips on writing were well received by the audience. She explained that although her books are marketed as Young Adult, she considers them to be for adults old or young and in-between. She enjoys writing about adolescents because they are experiencing so many new things and there is a wealth of topics to write about, from love to careers.
Personally, I learnt a tremendous amount from her. She sucks up information about her surroundings and the people around her: a very useful skill for an author. She says she doesn’t do much research for her books, just writes about what interests her, from horse-riding to fishing. The Oxford Literary Festival was her 17th appearance in the last month, but she was warm, engaging and honest.
It was a great experience for Helen and I and completely engrossing to be on the other side of the table, participating rather than watching.
Meg Rosoff gives a fascinating insight into her life as a writer at the Sunday Times Oxford Literary Festival. Find out why she has only just grown out of adolescence, why the Oxford festival is her favourite, and why she is cross she was not asked to write James Bond. And see her talk about How I Live Now and Picture Me Gone.