Displaying items by tag: rosie garland - Rosie Garland
Liberté! Egalité! Cabaret! Part Deux

The Lexington
96-98 Pentonville Rd,
London N1 9JB
7pm-12midnight adv £10

The Queer Alternative is back with our second cabaret event to raise funds for Pride in London and beyond.

Acts include:

Plus special guest ROSIE LUGOSI - The March Violets / Poet, performer, author, Lesbian Vampire Queen!
*PROFESSOR ELEMENTAL -- Steampunk icon, Gentleman Rhymer and Chap-Hop artist extraordinaire
*LAURENCE OWEN -- Musical comic with a dry and perverse wit
*ANGEL LaVEY -- Comedic chanteuse and compere
*MYNXIE MONROE -- Reigning queen of darkness, expert mischief instigator and professional goth
*JACQUES BRUXELLES -- Stand-up comic and boylesque performer
*WHISKEY ROXX -- Gorelesque with a shot of the macabre
+ More acts to be announced!

DJs Frankie D (Slimelight, Flag Promotions), Andy RavenSable (Monster Truck) and Scott (Alternative Bring and Buy) Advance tickets £10 from http://www.wegottickets.com/thequeeralternative
REVELATOR SOUND SYSTEM SUNDAY LOSERS LOUNGE playing rock steady, ska, pop corn and funk @ 45 rpm from 7".
A damn fine reason to stay out drinking until 2 am Monday morning.

Click to buy tickets
Click to go to Facebook event page

http://www.thelexington.co.uk/

Published in Gig List

Cultures of the Dark Side: A Day of Gothic Music and Fashion
Part of the Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination
The UK's biggest ever Gothic exhibition.

The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

Sun 9 Nov 2014, 13.00-20.00
A packed day of free talks, discussions and performances – most of them free entry - in celebration of alternative style and music. Plus a market place, demonstrations, workshops and more.
Please check back for latest updates to the programme.
Booking will soon be available for the following event.

 
17.45 – 19.15 Goth: The scene that wouldn't die!
£8 (£6 over 60s, £5 other concessions) / Conference Centre
It is now over thirty years since a definable gothic rock scene exploded. Inspired by Bauhaus, Siouxsie and and early eighties The Cure – it generated a vast, diverse and doom-laden world, characterised by the rock of The Sisters of Mercy, the more ethereal Cocteau Twins or industrial sounds of Nine Inch Nails or Marilyn Manson. Two of the most significant figures in the story - Andi Sex Gang (Sex Gang Children) and Rosie Garland (The March Violets), plus music writers John Robb and Natasha Scharf in a wide ranging appreciation of what still makes Goth so enthralling. Chaired by David Quantick.
Click to go to British Library site

Published in Gig List

Thank you to Write-Track for featuring me on their blog for a second time!
Here is the text in full, with the link at the end.

On the Write Track - Adventures with writing habits
Rosie Garland – the bonus interview: channelling characters and living a creative life

In our first interview with Rosie Garland we found out how she kept going using rituals to support her writing and overcome the fear of the blank page. She spoke about having to "hack out time for writing" amongst work and grown up responsibilities. Here we find out how she took steps to adjust the balance of her working and creative life, and get an insight into how she writes such amazing characters.

The work-writing balance

Rosie made the decision to go part time in her job, not to write novels specifically, but to shift the balance of her work life and creative life, which she felt was out of kilter. She describes her life as being a process of getting off the career ladder: decreasing the amount of time given over to conventional work and increasing opportunities for creativity.

"When I was a kid I was always writing and had time to draw pictures, write poems, and create alternative universes. Then at the age of 18 'real' life happened. Time to get a sensible job and put creative self-indulgence away. It may only have been a handful of years, yet it felt like a long sojourn away from what I really wanted to do. I realised that all that creativity I had as a kid was a vital part of my existence, not an add-on. What I was doing was moving away from it and denying its importance. Since my late 20s my life has been a slow process of going back to it, partly by taking part-time jobs that gave me time to think."

Despite day jobs taking Rosie away from herself, she didn't resent it: "I got gifts from work and I am very grateful for the things it has given me. I don't think I would have been right being a full time writer back then. I needed to go and engage with the outside world and not stare at my navel."

Writing is the process not the end

Like many writers, Rosie says she writes because she has to. She describes writing as being a process and uses a Zen proverb to illustrate. "If you meet the Buddha on the road – kill him." I must admit to being rather puzzled by the idea of killing the Buddha, so Rosie explains.

"Rather than being literal, the proverb symbolises the creative 'road' I travel as a writer. The 'Buddha' could stand for some idealised faultless novel and therefore the end of needing to strive, grow, create... you get the picture. This deceptive Buddha suggests that I'll reach some magical, perfect endpoint. That a magical endpoint exists. No it doesn't. So I need to throw out that illusion and keep writing. There is no retiring from being writer."

Character: it all starts with a question

The rituals Rosie previously talked about help open her up to ideas and characters. She said "Part of the process is to find ways to put myself in the way of characters, to make it easier for them to come to talk to me." I was fascinated about this approach to developing character and asked her to tell me more.

"When I'm at the absolute beginning of developing a character it will often start as a question that niggles me. So for Abel [the central character in The Palace of Curiosities] the question in my head was – 'what would it be really be like to live forever?' I began to daydream and found that a particular character was answering. He – and his answers – developed into the voice of Abel. He's one example. It happens with the others in a similar way. Often, inconveniently, at 3am..."

"I write pages and pages of conversations with these characters in notebooks, longhand. I might fill six or seven notebooks with rabbiting, unedited scribble. When I've done that I start typing up to see what I've got, where all the gaps are, whether there is a story in the mess. And if, out of all the whatever-thousand words, I see the root of a story then I will start writing."

Right character wrong novel

Rosie says that her characters have very insistent voices and they can stay with her for a long time. Abel began in "awful novel two which was woefully in search of a plot" and couldn't tell his story. Rosie carried him around in her head until she introduced him to Eve in The Palace of Curiosities who enabled him to grow and develop. "He just needed to meet the right people at the right time."

Abel has left Rosie alone. She explains. "He has told his story now. It's like closure. He gets the last line in Palace, 'I am joy, complete, forever'. And that's it. Abel has told his story and has left me alone."

Don't get it right – get it written

Tom Clancy summed it up when he said "just tell the damn story". Rosie believes that you don't have to get it right but get it written. It's very easy to get carried away with research, especially when writing novels set in the past. Because Vixen is set in 1349, it's important the historical details were correct, but they mustn't get in the way of the story. She explains,

"I did some research about mediaeval laundry and some of the awful stuff they used to bleach it, but none of it is in the story – what's important is that Thomas makes Anne do the laundry far more often than necessary and it drives her nuts having to waste all her time. That's the important thing, the interaction between them, not about what paddle she uses. Just tell the damn story."

If you get stuck over a detail Rosie advises putting it in brackets for checking later and carrying on with the storyline. She says "No one cares whether the arrow is tipped with pigeon feather, eagle feather or goshawk feather, what's important is who the hell does he shoot with the arrow."

Read our first interview with Rosie Garland. Find out what she's been up to by following her on Twitter @rosieauthor and Facebook https://www.facebook.com/rosielugosi. Or better still read her excellent novels Vixen and The Palace of Curiosities.

Click to go to Write-Track blog page

Published in News

Thank you to Write-Track for featuring me on their blog!
Here is the text in full, with the link at the end.

On the Write Track - Adventures with writing habits
Keeping going – novelist Rosie Garland on persistence and creative rituals

Three years ago Rosie Garland had pretty much given up all hope of getting her novels published. Her agent wasn't taking her calls, rejections were coming thick and fast, and she'd been diagnosed with cancer. She had spent 12 years writing four and a half novels – perhaps it was time to call it a day? As her second novel is published to great acclaim she shares her experience of keeping going through the tough times.

Overcoming creative self-harm

Rosie had an early taste of fame as a singer in post-punk band the March Violets. Grown up responsibilities soon got in the way and full time work as a teacher pushed her creative projects to the side. She wrote short stories and poetry, and performed her cabaret act Rosie Lugosi, then at the turn of the millennium she got an idea "that was too big to be a poem or short story." Rosie made the decision to work part time to shift the balance of her work and creative life, she landed an agent, and dedicated more of her time to writing novels.

However, after 12 years Rosie had pretty much given up all hope of being published. She said:
"My agent wasn't getting back to me and I felt I had to stop continually putting myself through the self-cruelty of writing and having it rejected. It felt like a bizarre form of creative self-harm."

She needed to protect herself and go to "the places that weren't harming me. That was the poetry and singing and performance. So I made a decision to do that and that was when I entered the Mslexia competition as a last ditch attempt."

Mslexia ran its inaugural competition for unpublished novelists in 2011. Rosie not only bagged the top spot with The Palace of Curiosities, but got a place on the shortlist with another (as yet unpublished) novel. From this came a bidding war between publishers and a six-figure two-book deal with Harper Collins. Her second novel Vixen has just been published to rave reviews.

The apprentice novelist

Rosie believes if success had come earlier she might not be where she is now. "I might have sunk without a trace – become one of those people who has one book." She refers to the years of writing as her apprenticeship, and doesn't resent the time spent refining her writing skills. "The amount of time I have had to work to become a novelist has paid off. I have learnt my craft, I have done my apprenticeship."
She learned from her mistakes, referring to the second novel she wrote as "awful". She said, "it's going to stay under the bed forever. I will keep it as a reminder to never get above myself. The second novel was a process of writing something really badly – I can point to it, as an example of how not to write."

Keeping going: habits and rituals to support creativity

Over the years Rosie developed tactics to support her writing. The first is being open to feedback. She told me:
"I try to give myself as much input as possible. That might be going on a writing course, or Arvon retreat, getting full, frank feedback from tutors, my agent or editors. I don't want to write in a vacuum – 'bring it on' is my mantra! Part of being a writer is always wanting to grow, always wanting to learn, never taking for granted that I am a writer. Because I think the day that happens is a really bad day for me."

Her other support mechanism has been creative rituals. This is vital to someone who admits to being terrified of the blank page and needs a routine each day to get words on the page and the creative juices flowing. Rosie starts the day with three pages of journaling – she says this isn't creative writing but "rubbing the crust out of my eyes" and getting out of the way all the 'what I did yesterday' stuff.

She continues:

"The next thing I do is write six images. What a snail looks like climbing up a leaf, what it felt like to stub your toe. I do it every morning without fail, if miss one I do a catch up session later. Coming out of the six images I write a haiku. Then I do the classic three pages of morning pages – free writing coming out of the six images or using a writing prompt."

These rituals sound like a lot of work, but taken individually they are small tasks and quick to perform, and that's the secret for Rosie. "For me it's all about small commitments. Don't set yourself up to fail. If had to write a full chapter I wouldn't be able to do it."

Dealing with an inner critic – silencing Mavis

Morning can be a special time for writers and artists, and for Rosie it's when she's open to more playful non-linear writing, but also because her internal critic hasn't got out of bed yet.

Throughout her writing life Rosie has battled with a vicious internal critic. A few years ago she gave this critic a name: Mavis. She found that naming her was a release; separating the cruelty from herself made it easier to deal with the criticism.

Rosie says "My rituals are there to nurture and support me. They enable my writing; provide nourishment, support and food for my writing. Yet Mavis will say to me, 'call yourself an artist when you enjoy rituals so much.' That's Mavis telling me an artist flounces around in clothes pulled together from a bunch of headscarves."

A weekly reflection inspired by Julia Cameron

The rituals are the foundations of Rosie's writing, a way of keeping in touch with her creativity. She's a big fan of Julia Cameron, though admits it took nearly a year to complete one 12-week programme and felt it "nearly killed me!"

Her final ritual was inspired by Julia Cameron from her creativity bibles The Artist's Way and Walking in the World. Rosie takes time each week to reflect on four things:

How have my morning pages been going this week?
Have given myself an artist date?
Have I gone on an artist's walk?
Other issues – what else has been going on?

Keep going

For most of her life Rosie has worked while writing. "I haven't had the luxury of being a writer as my full time job. I have had to hack out time for my writing in around all the things that put bread on the table and keep the rent man from chucking you out the time at the end of week."

Getting cancer made Rosie realise that life is too short. She told herself, "I'm not doing this any longer. I don't care what's in the future, I'll just trust." Rosie's advice to others struggling to find their creative balance is to just "keep going". It might take a long time, but it will happen.

I'm going to give the last line to one of Rosie's characters, Anne from Vixen who says "I shall live that life like the gift it is, and waste neither it nor myself. I am my own woman. I like her. She has stories to tell and all of them are interesting."

Vixen was published in July in hardback, and The Palace of Curiosities is available in paperback. You can find out what Rosie has been up to by following her on Twitter @rosieauthor and Facebook Click to go to Rosie's Facebook page

Click here to go to Write-Track blog page

 

Published in News
Thursday, 04 September 2014 14:24

29.10.2014 - For Books' Sake - London

 For Books' Sake, Halloween Witchfest

The Proud Archivist
2-10 Hertford Rd,
London N1 5SH

Tickets - £8 advance, £10 on the door
Doors 6pm, event starts at 7pm
For Books' Sake are very excited to have two ghoulishly glorious grrrls giving you the full on Hallowe'en treatment!
Obviously with Hallowe'en being a Friday we've allowed you the dressing up and drinking time for the weekend but thought we wouldn't be For Books' Sake if we didn't offer you something ghastly.
Rosie and Wanda will be reading from their respective books and then discussion the demonisation of women in history and historical fiction, followed by a Q&A.
After the readings and discussion there will be Hallowe'en party games open to all. Can you pin that broomstick on the witch?
Rosie Garland has sang in post-punk gothic band The March Violets, toured with the Subversive Stitch exhibition and performed as Rosie Lugosi the Lesbian Vampire Queen, cabaret chanteuse and mistress of ceremonies.
Having published five solo collections of poetry, Rosie is also winner of the DaDa Award for Performance Artist of the Year and a Poetry Award from the People's Café, New York and won the Mslexia Novel competition in 2012. Rosie's debut novel 'The Palace of Curiosities' was published in March 2013 by HarperCollins. Her second novel, 'Vixen', is out on hardback, ebook and audio (July 2014) with paperback coming in February 2015.
Dr Wanda Wyporska
Wanda recieved her PhD in researching witches and subsequently published 'Witchcraft in Early Modern Poland, 1500 - 1800' - A groundbreaking work that looks at the many reasons why individuals used witchcraft, accused each other and admitted to carrying out witchcraft. It goes behind the trials to discover narratives of abuse, power struggles, and the relationships between men and women in the early modern period.
All tickets come with a complementary blood curdling cocktail!
Click to go to For Books' Sake page
Click to go to Facebook event page
Click to buy advance tickets

Published in Gig List
Thursday, 04 September 2014 14:13

26.10.2014 - Gothic Manchester Festival 2014

The Two Rosies: Life as a Goth Icon


The John Rylands Library,
150 Deansgate,
Manchester,
M3 3EH


12 noon – 1pm
Free
Click here to get your free ticket via Eventbrite
Following the phenomenal success of the Gothic Manchester Festival 2013, which launched the Manchester Centre for Gothic Studies, we are back with a new programme of events and activities designed to showcase MMU's academic expertise in the gothic and foreground Manchester's rich vein of gothic talent.
The stellar Rosie Garland (aka Rosie Lugosi) holds a place like no other in the dark firmament of Gothic culture.
Spanning careers in rock music (as singer with post-punk Gothic behemoths The March Violets), through performance, poetry, burlesque and cabaret and on into her current incarnation as an award-winning novelist, there are few creative dark alleys she has not dared venture down.
Rosie will be honouring us with readings from both her first novel The Palace of Curiosities and new release Vixen, and she might even treat us to a poem or two. In keeping with the theme of our festival, she'll also be regaling us with a few choice insights into her life in the spotlight (and dry ice) of show business.
All this amongst the neo-gothic pomp and circumstance of John Rylands Library's magnificent Historic Reading Room. And as if this weren't spoiling you enough, we'll also be having a book signing and reception featuring a specially designed (and rather foxy) cake by the incredible Annabel de Vetten of Conjuror's Kitchen.

Click to go to Gothic Manchester main website

 

Published in Gig List
Delighted to announce that Rosie Garland is appearing at TWO events at Rochdale Literature and Ideas Festival!

#1 – Writing workshop
Friday 24 October 2014
3:00pm-4:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the writing workshop

# 2 - Meet the author - reading and book signing
Friday 24 October 2014
4:00pm-5:00pm
Venue: Number One Riverside,
Smith Street,
Rochdale, OL16 1XU
Price: £2
Click to book tickets for the reading and signing!

http://rochdaleliteraturefestival.co.uk/

 

Published in Gig List
Polari Literary Salon

Featuring Paul Burston, Neil Bartlett, Rosie Garland, Jonathan Harvey & VG Lee
Wednesday 15 Oct 2014
7.30pm until 9.30pm
Contact THEATRE
Oxford Road
Manchester
M15 6JA
Tickets £6/£5

Book on:
0161 274 0600

London's award-winning LGBT literary salon began life in November 2007 in the upstairs room of a bar in Soho. Events are now held monthly at the Southbank Centre and feature the best in established and emerging, queer literary talent. Championed by Sarah Waters as "always fun, always thought-provoking", Polari won 'LGBT Cultural Event of the Year' in the Co-op Respect Awards.

Hosted by author Paul Burston, this special salon for Manchester Literature Festival features performances from author & playwright Neil Bartlett (The Disappearance Boy), scriptwriter & novelist Jonathan Harvey (The Girl Who Just Appeared, Beautiful Thing, Coronation Street), comedian & writer VG Lee (Always You, Edina) and Rosie Garland (Vixen, The Palace of Curiosities).

Click to go to Polari website
NOTES
· Suitable for over 16s.
Click to go to Manchester Literature website

 

Published in Gig List
Friday, 15 August 2014 10:14

11.10.2014 - booQfest, Northampton

Welcome to booQfest - Northampton's LGBT Literary Festival.

Venue: The Royal & Derngate Theatre, Guildhall Rd, Northampton NN1 1DP
Rosie Garland's event - 12noon till 2pm
Cost – free event

The festival celebrates a Queer perspective of the written and spoken word on Saturday 11th October 2014.

WHAT'S NEW IN 2014
This year, for the first time, we're exploring lesbian and gay Erotica & Erotic Romance with author Lucy Felthouse. Rosie Garland brings Poetry and Fiction to our festival, and Neil Bartlett will be providing the Drama - with monologues from his book Queer Voices, as well as treating us to some of his most recently published work - The Disappearance Boy.

Additionally, this year we will be celebrating National Coming Out Day with Northampton Borough Council's LGBT Forum.

So, if you come to booQfest in 2014 you will find so much more going on than in previous years! There will still be fascinating author talks and readings, and book signings but on top of that as part of National Coming Out Day local LGBT organisations will be promoting their services, providing entertainment, workshops and Northampton Borough Council's LGBT Forum will launch the Inspirational LGBT Award.
All completely FREE to attend!

http://booqfest.webs.com/

 

Published in Gig List
Darkulture festival

THE FROZEN AUTUMN + ATTRITION + TERMINAL GODS + CORTEX DEFECT + SYD.31
+ DJS BAERSJ / LE FREAK / EVENSTAR / AIDAN
+ Vampire Queen ROSIE LUGOSI - aka novelist Rosie Garland
+ Horror Novelist SIMON BESTWICK
+ stalls and other curiosities

The Zoo
27 September 2014.
126 Grosvenor street,
Manchester,
M1 7HL, UK

Full details on the website:
www.darkulture.org
www.facebook.com/events/523653877749375/

Buy Tickets here:
www.darkulture.org/products/darkulture-ticket

 

Published in Gig List

News and Events

  • 10.8.2019 - Val McDermid's 10 most compelling LGBTQI writers in the UK today
    10.8.2019 - Val McDermid's 10 most compelling LGBTQI writers in the UK today

    I’m thrilled to announce that Val McDermid has selected me as one of the 10 most compelling LGBTQI+ writers working in the UK today!

    Val said: “These writers are writing for everyone. These are not words for a niche readership. These are not writings for a ghetto. These are the works of writers who have something to say that can be – and should be – heard by as many people as possible.”

    She continued: “Auden was wrong when he claimed “poetry makes nothing happen”. Words do change the world, reader by reader. They open our eyes, they provoke thought. The work of these 10 writers… will awaken in us fresh delight in the wonder of words.”

    The list was commissioned by the National Centre for Writing and British Council, supported by Arts Council England as part of a two-year programme to promote writing from the UK to an international audience. It also includes the amazing Colette Bryce, Juno Dawson, Juliet Jacques, Keith Jarrett, Kirsty Logan, Andrew McMillan, Fiona Mozley, Mary Paulson-Ellis & Luke Turner.

    The Guardian - The Word Is Out. Val McDermid selects Britain's 10 most outstanding lgbtq writers

    Written on Wednesday, 14 August 2019 08:44
  • 20.6.2019 - Peterloo: massacre or riot? The John Rylands Library
    20.6.2019 - Peterloo: massacre or riot? The John Rylands Library
    Peterloo – massacre or riot?

    On June 20th 2019, The John Rylands Library staged a live performance event to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre. It was a first for the library and I was excited to take the part of Jemima Bamford – one of the thousands of men, women and children who gathered at St Peter’s Field in August 1819. I donned bonnet and shawl and created a speech, imagining how she might have spoken out against the actions of the militia, who charged into an unarmed crowd, and murdered up to 23 people.

    Then joined by 5 other actors, I took part in a public debate as we decide: was Peterloo a massacre or a riot? At the end of the debate, votes were cast, and Manchester decided overwhelmingly – massacre.

    Written on Sunday, 21 July 2019 10:32
  • 8.6.2019 - Guest vox with The Bellwether Syndicate, Wave-Gotik Treffen
    8.6.2019 - Guest vox with The Bellwether Syndicate, Wave-Gotik Treffen
    Guest vox with The Bellwether Syndicate at Wave-Gotik Treffen

    The high point of WGT 2019 was being invited to be guest vocalist with The Bellwether Syndicate from Chicago! Rocking out to a special rendition of The March Violets track ‘Snake Dance’…
    The gig on Saturday 8th June 2019 at Taubchenthal, Leipzig was packed out – and what a crowd…

    A great pleasure to work with William Faith, Sarah Rose (aka Scary Lady Sarah), keyboards Phil Destefano, bassist Paul Sin & drummer extraordinaire Stevyn Grey

    https://www.wave-gotik-treffen.de/ro/go4it.php?id=197&loc=en

    Written on Sunday, 21 July 2019 10:20
  • 'How to ask for a residency' - The John Rylands blog
    'How to ask for a residency' - The John Rylands blog
    How to ask for a residency

    Since I wrote about the Power of Asking, I’ve been heartened by how many writers have told me they’re going to ask for Writers’ Residencies too. There are plenty of questions: What do you say? What do you ask for? This blog offers a few suggestions.

    Where do you want your residency to be?
    Chip shop, bus stop, lighthouse, theatre, cemetery. The choice is yours. Think of where you’d love to write. It may be a place you pass every day on the way to work, or somewhere you’ve stumbled on by chance. Perhaps you have a connection already. For example, when I was invited to read at The John Rylands Library, I fell in love with this Mancunian gem. It sparked a train of thought…

    What do you want to do?
    I’ve a pretty simple plan: my next novel is set in The John Rylands and I’m exploring what it’s like to write ‘on site’, drawing inspiration from the spirit of the place. You’ll have your own ideas. It’s a wonderful opportunity to try something new, with time to focus on your writing in an inspiring workspace. The clearer you are about what you’d like to create and how it’s connected to the venue you’ve chosen, the better. Do your research, and put together a proposal. I’ve broken this down below.

    How long is a residency?
    Weeks, months, or a year – it’s largely up to you and the organisation. My residency is running for a calendar year; time to produce a first draft of the novel. I’ve committed to being on site for one day a week, but can’t keep away from the place…

    What can you offer?
    As well as being clear about what you want to achieve, think about what you can offer your host organisation. Ideas can include giving talks, workshops, writing tutorials or readings, and writing blogs on the progress of the residency. You might produce a poem etched in the window, or devise a grand finale performance. There’s no limit.
    If you’re unsure, ask for advice from writer friends (or friends of friends) who’ve done residencies in the past. If you don’t know any – ask the internet. Social media can be a lot more supportive than you might imagine.

    How do you get an introduction?
    You’ll need to approach your chosen organisation to find out of they’re interested in your idea. I asked writer friends for signposting, and got an introduction. People were only too pleased to help, a warm reminder that we’re in this together. There’s a community of writers out there, and we are pretty groovy people.

    What about money?
    This blog is about building your own residency from scratch, not applying for a funded opportunity. So, when the question of money and payment arose (pretty much the first question), I said no. Nowhere has money for residencies, unless it’s a regular gig like The Forestry Commission
    And, unsurprisingly, these residencies are massively oversubscribed.
    A personal tip is to source funding elsewhere. I applied to The Arts Council - Successfully.

    Then again – aim for the stars! One writer told me she’s asking for a residency at a private members’ club with buckets of money. Needless to say, she IS asking them to fund it.

    What’s the worst that can happen?
    Fear of the word no can stop us asking in the first place. Your chosen venue may say no. But they’re not going to poke you with forks. Trust me on this one. And in the words of Steve Jobs: “Most people don't get experiences because they never ask. I've never found anybody who didn't want to help me when I've asked them for help.”

    Keep going. Keep asking.

    https://rylandscollections.wordpress.com/2019/02/26/how-to-ask-for-a-residency/

    Written on Sunday, 24 March 2019 10:08
  • 'The Power of Asking' blog - The John Rylands Library
    'The Power of Asking' blog - The John Rylands Library

    As part of my Writer’s Residency at The John Rylands Library, I’m writing a series of blogs… here’s the first – The Power of Asking.

    “I’ve just been appointed the first writer-in-residence at The John Rylands Library. How did I manage this wonderful achievement? I asked.

    Sounds easy.

    It wasn’t. If you’re anything like me (and the longer I live, the more I realise I’m not alone), asking is far more difficult than it sounds.

    Let’s start at the very beginning, a very good place to start. Unless you were born with a set of silver spoons in your mouth (which is everyone reading this, right?), then you’ve worked out that opportunities don’t fall magically into your lap. You’ve had to work hard to get where you are.

    I like what Julia Cameron (author of the inspirational ‘The Artists Way’) says: “Pray to catch the bus, then run as fast as you can.” It’s a reminder to put myself into the path of opportunities. The bus does not come to the front door. I have to leave the house, and darn well run for it.

    I have to take a deep breath, and ask. So, why is it so difficult?

    Here’s my take. I grew up with a spectacularly unhelpful dictum: Ask, don’t get. Don’t ask, don’t want. I shared this with friends recently, and was shocked to discover it’s very common. I end up stuck in a bizarre Catch 22 situation, thinking that if I have to ask for something, then I don’t deserve it. Or, that I must to wait for someone else to ask me. The most I’m allowed to do is stand around looking hopeful.
    This lose-lose mentality is combined with a vicious internal critic. I call her Mavis (I’ve blogged about her here and run Anti-Mavis workshops). She never, ever says anything nice. If someone says they like my writing, Mavis jumps in and whispers ‘they’re only being nice.’ In fact, she can be neatly summed up by this great Savage Chickens cartoon (Doug Savage):

    Naturally, my internal critic undermined any notion that somewhere as amazing as The John Rylands Library would want the likes of me.

    So – standing up and asking for what I want can be pretty damn hard. I’m swamped with fears of rejection, coming over as needy, an underachiever, someone who’s failed because they need to ask.

    Luckily, this isn’t a poor-me blog.

    Years ago I decided that I was not going to let fear of rejection stop me living a life that is too darn short as it is. I take inspiration from Jia Jiang, whose TED talk about dealing with rejection is well worth 15 minutes of anyone’s time.

    So, however hard it is to ask, to put myself forward, to send that manuscript to a competition or agent – I take several deep breaths and do it. In the words of Susan Jeffers: ‘feel the fear and do it anyway’.

    And here’s the good news. The John Rylands Library is delighted to have a writer-in-residence. Correction: The John Rylands Library is delighted to have me as a writer-in-residence.

    I have told Mavis to put that in her pipe and smoke it.

    Coming next – what I asked for, and how to ask for a residency.”

    https://rylandscollections.wordpress.com/2018/12/10/the-power-of-asking/

    Written on Saturday, 02 March 2019 15:36