By Chris Sparks
In our first post, Jo set out the Writing Matters philosophy. We wanted our first post to be inspiring and engaging. We wanted to tell you that this blog is intended to start a conversation about the process and purpose of writing, without getting bogged down in the details. “That’s great”, you might be thinking “but who are you, and what are you actually going to do?” This post is your answer.
This blog has been started by three members of the School of History at Queen Mary, University of London: Jo Cohen, Chris Sparks and Iain Stewart. We are all historians and writers; Jo and Iain lecture in the department and have been its Writing Tutors, and Chris is its e-learning manager. You can follow the links to find out a little more about us and why we are involved in the project.
We’ve lined up a varied programme of activities for the blog. First, we are going to be posting the six videos from the Writing Project series. They feature historians at QMUL discussing the pleasure and pain of the writing process, and sharing the ways in which they approach it. They were developed by Jo and Chris as an aid for our students whilst Jo was writing tutor, and Jo has integrated them into our first year History in Practice module this year. It soon became clear to us whilst we were editing the videos, though, that we should not limit our audience to Queen Mary, nor to students and academics: writing is something that we all have in common. It was at that point that the Writing Matters idea was born.
Writing Matters will feature some reflections on the videos from their participants, as well as from our own undergraduate and postgraduate students. We have also lined up some exciting guest authors, and we will be posting the audio of talks on writing that we have arranged for the 2013/14 academic year.
From the start, we have said that we want this blog to be a conversation, and we are open to proposals. If you would like to write a short piece about why writing matters to you, please email Chris (or Tweet him). We would love to hear from you.
We’ll be posting about once a week. You can subscribe to our RSS feed, or just keep checking back here. Spread the word.