Write a life-changing novel

Wed 29 Nov 2017 7:30 pm - 9:30 pm
The Square Club, 15 Berkeley Square, Clifton Bristol


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Write a life-changing novel image

Novelist Susan Elderkin has spent the last six years exploring the benefits of reading fiction. She argues that when we are swept up in a novel – seeing what the main character sees, feeling what they feel, loving what they love – we are affected by these experiences much as if we had lived through them ourselves. In her talk, Susan will draw from her combined roles of bibliotherapist, creative writing teacher and novelist to explore what exactly it is that gives a piece of prose the power to touch and move its readers in profound and life-enhancing ways.

Susan began her career as a travel writer. She went on to write two award-winning novels set in deserts (Sunset over Chocolate Mountains, and The Voices) which earned her a place on the 2003 Granta list of best young British novelists. In 2008, she and her friend and fellow book-lover Ella Berthoud set up the Bibliotherapy Service at The School of Life in London. In 2013, they published The Novel Cure: An A-Z of Literary Remedies (Canongate, 2013) which offers cures in the form of novels for everything from anxiety, divorce and existential angst to having the hiccups or a partner who snores. Last year, they followed this up with The Story Cure: Books to Keep Kids Happy, Healthy and Wise (Canongate, 2016), which recommends the best books to help kids ride the ups and downs of childhood. Susan has taught creative writing at every level, including on the MAs at Birkbeck and Goldsmith's in London, and currently runs workshops from her home near Bruton in Somerset.

Photo credit to Mara Levitt