Phoebe Quinn

7 reasons your novel might be a short story (and how to fix them)

I am a fan of the humble short story - so much so that I am currently constructing a novel out of them. But it’s an underrated medium, one that is almost feared by both authors and the publishing industry,... Continue Reading →

Using and abusing the past

The adage ‘write what you know’ has been thrown around and debated in equal measure by far too many people at far too many points. Yet, as with all adages, it has an element of merit, one I have been... Continue Reading →

Why I don’t write every day

My Twitter timeline is awash with urging. Write every day. Even if it’s for ten minutes. Just write. Write well and often. And so on. But, should you really be writing every day? Getting the balance right between craft, routine,... Continue Reading →

Review: Lily & The Octopus by Steven Rowley

This review does not contain spoilers but may indirectly refer to some events contained within the novel There was another Phoebe. A long-haired miniature dachshund who came to live with my family when I was thirteen, who died almost three years... Continue Reading →

7 ways to write visually (without describing everything)

The world is pretty visual, but I’m not. Despite my insistence that, if I had to choose, I’d rather lose my hearing than my sight, I’ve never been able to work in a visual way. My mother is an artist... Continue Reading →

Review: The Mandibles: A Family, 2029-2047 (Lionel Shriver)

There’s a danger to hero-worship, as I have ranted about in a previous post, and I am dangerously close to it with Lionel Shriver. I picked up We Need To Talk About Kevin as a grumpy, disillusioned teenager who spent... Continue Reading →


Watching a band I’d never heard of playing their last ever gig was a surreal experience. My friend was lost in the moment so I didn’t turn round and talk to her, and as I leaned on the bar in... Continue Reading →

10 ways to get through your crappy job

If you’re reading this, I’m guessing that being a full-time writer, a fully-fledged author, is one of your dream scenarios. Working for yourself and doing what you love - it couldn’t get better. Unfortunately, most of us have a day... Continue Reading →

The multimedia writer: Beyond the blog

Self-publishing, if you want to be good at it, is a lot of work. A few nights ago I rattled off all the things I’ll need to consider in the coming months if I want to give my book the... Continue Reading →

7 rookie writing mistakes (and 7 ways to improve)

I started writing when I was six years old, and have carried on (and off) since then. It's been an interesting learning process.  7 rookie writing mistakes: Writing about writers. The adage write what you know is all well and good... Continue Reading →

Why it’s okay not to be Beyonce. Really.

Where did SLAY, QUEEN (or SLAY QUEEN or SLAAAAY QUEEEEEN and variations thereof) come from? Actually, you know what, I don’t care where it came from. All I care about is that it is my least favourite Internet phrase of... Continue Reading →

How to use a bullet journal for writing

It’s just another stupid fad was my first thought when I heard the phrase ‘bullet journal’. I was a bit confused by the concept - do you fire notebooks from a massive gun? Riddle your least favourite with bullets so... Continue Reading →

Has self-publishing made everything a bit… sterile?

Six year-old me dreamed of seeing my name shining on hardbacks in the window of Waterstone’s as the latest bestselling debut author. Twenty-seven year old me has altered the dream slightly to a single webpage with the all-important average customer... Continue Reading →

The myth of the ‘writer’s retreat’

I wrote this post a while ago, but it seems appropriate to publish now given that, at this very moment, I am meant to be in Milan eating gelato and relaxing by Lake Como. But then Boyfriend got flu. At... Continue Reading →

Friday Reads: 22nd April 2016

This is just a quick one as between packing for a brief trip to Milan this weekend, I am finalising and editing a short story for a competition that closes on Sunday (Shooter Lit magazine, if anyone is interested). I’ve... Continue Reading →

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