On Pine Street Redesign, Relaunch

Dear Readers,

You may have noticed that I’ve been blogging a lot less lately. A large reason for that has been the start of my PhD: not only have I become incredibly busy, but I’ve become once again part of a large institution. As all of you who belong to large institutions probably know, a significant portion of your thoughts become concerned with the successes and failings of that particular institution. But talking about my University online seems inappropriate–hence a certain drying up of emotionally valid material.

The name “On Pine Street,” also seems increasingly obscure as I more and more drift away (in time) from my house in Philadelphia.

I’ve also reached a stage where I would like to make my blog more focused, more directed at issues and topics I hope I can debate and change. Being back in the UK for five months was lovely, but it re-inforced for me my feeling that right now, I feel like I belong in America, and in the American fiction writing / publishing / creative writing teaching world in particular. Those are the subjects that speak to me. It will probably change one day, but, as I hope you’ll see over the coming weeks, I have a lot to talk about in this area, and think I have a few worthwhile ideas to share.

This blog will become more explicitly focused on writing and teaching, arguing for the kind of teaching of literary fiction writing that focuses on what an imaginary “common reader” actually wants to read. This is, as you’ll see, a more complex endeavour than it may initially seem.

I will respond in regular “columns” to essays published about writing (in journals such as Writers Chronicle, Poets and Writers, and literary blogs). I’ll talk more about writing technique, potential cultural difference between fiction in the UK and the US, and maybe even have a few competitions.

I’ve changed my blog several times since I first began writing online ten years ago, each time altering the look and feel of the site as my life seemed to enter a different stage. I’ll still share personal developments, and publishing successes, and I’m sure the new structure of the blog will take me a while to get settled into. I’m excited. I’ve got several posts already lined up. The new dot.com address is bought (thought the old one will continue to bring you here, as well).

Now I just need to get to work on arranging the new sidebar and tabs. Sigh. The real work begins now.

Best wishes,


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