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'Earnest soul-searching scribes'

23 August 2004

'The very words "creative writing course" can trigger a prolonged bilious attack in any critic whose skin crawls at the thought of all those earnest, soul-searching scribes munching digestive biscuits as they listen to one another's lyrical outpourings. We don't want writers cosily wrapped up in halls when they should be suffering in the time-honoured manner of Kafka or Camus - or experiencing the same infernal torment as the reader trying to wade through 500 pages of The Last Tuna, a postmodern satire about a flooded dystopia ruled by evil talking dolphins...'

'Not that any of these caveats will stop people enlisting on the courses. Writing is a lonely business and most authors I know will stop at nothing to find some excuse to gaggle together, gossip, drink and sleep with one another...'

Rowan Pelling, Independent on Sunday