Bringing Attention to Atrocities in an Apathetic Western World

Louisa Leontiades MA Convergence Journalism Workspace

But there is no victorious ‘democratic’ ending to this story. In Syria the civil uprising has gradually been transformed into a full scale civil war. Sayid and his colleagues have all lost loved ones to this war and their political is personal. Sayid’s own crime–and why he is here–was to film government violence and put it up on YouTube, after which he was put on the list of wanted terrorists.

The Impossible Conundrum of Objective Journalism

Louisa Leontiades MA Convergence Journalism Workspace

Our word choices, even if–or perhaps especially if–unconsciously made, reveal our attitudes, values, bias, education, self-image and purpose. For a man of letters like Stephen, who has made his fortune from a personal brand of verbosity, that means his objectivity in linguistic matters comes under question.

What to Cut (and when to not)

Louisa Leontiades On Writing, Women Writing Memoir to Release Trauma

So what should you be cutting (or rewriting)? Anything that does not move the story forward, anything which seems slow. This is the reason you need fresh eyes, because without them you will be too attached to what you have just written. It’s like a child, in a manner of speaking. Right after birth, you are smack in the middle of attachment. A few years down the line, you start to see them as a separate person! Thus when you re-read what you’ve written after a while, you may find that there are places where even you put your story down because it lags. These are the first passages to examine.

Working on Individual Scenes

Louisa Leontiades On Writing, Women Writing Memoir to Release Trauma

But be careful that you don’t make outright assumptions about others’ motivations and behaviours. You cannot know what is in their mind, you can only know how you interpret their words and behaviour. If you move into describing the internal reflections of someone else, your memoir will be less believable. Do it too much and you will have moved into the realm of fiction using an omniscient narrator.

Help! My Memoir isn’t Good Enough

Louisa Leontiades On Writing, Women Writing Memoir to Release Trauma

It took me fifteen years to publish my first book and it is my hope that I can shorten that time for you because a lot of that time was spent on unnecessary self-doubt. Those fifteen years were spent trying to improve my self esteem. Had I continued writing despite my self-doubt, I truly believe that my self-esteem would have improved much more quickly. Instead I looked to others to give me tips which were for the most part a load of rubbish. 

Finding the Plot Structure in Your Story

Louisa Leontiades On Writing, Women Writing Memoir to Release Trauma

Authors say that ‘writing is rewriting.’ Nowhere is this more true than when you write memoir in order to heal. I wrote the stories as I remembered them and as I felt them, in my younger voice. But as I grew older, read more, learned more and loved myself more (which came largely but indirectly, from continuously writing and publishing my stories), I found silver linings to my past trauma.

If it’s Monday it must be moped

Barton Hartshorn On Writing, On Writing and Music

Today I’m starting to put vocals on the music and song cycle now known as Twelvemonth. As you can see from my songbook, lyric writing is not always (rarely in fact) a straightforward affair. I work in pencil for a good reason. And don’t let anyone tell you that using a rhyme dictionary is cheating. This song is from the second cycle and …


Barton Hartshorn On Writing, On Writing and Music

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, twelvemonth is an archaic noun meaning “a year”. As any writer or musician will tell you, the relevance of things happening around you increases the further you immerse yourself in your work, until every song you hear or snippet of dialogue appears to have a direct link to your project.

Piano theme one

Barton Hartshorn On Writing, On Writing and Music

The first theme has landed. Still not sure what final form it will take or what arrangement will accompany it but here it is in its raw form. Very easy to play. In fact if anyone would like to revisit their piano study years and post a clip of themselves playing this theme they’ll be rewarded with a download copy …

Reflections on Losing My Mind

Louisa Leontiades On Writing, On Writing-General

People often wonder why I write so much. I’ve been called selfish, vain and self-obssessed. I over think things. That people don’t know me, don’t care to find out why and denigrate me according to their own judgements is something I’ve had to learn to live with. Because for me writing is the way I remember my life and my purpose. I write because otherwise I would forget who I am.