#20 Talking about rethinking your story with Sheena Wilkinson

Sheena Wilkinson has been described in the Irish Times as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’. From her home in Belfast, she talks to me about her writing process, and how the story you end up writing is often not the one you started out with.

Sheena is a teacher as well as a writer of feminist, historical YA fiction. She and I did a training course together with the Royal Literary Fund, to teach academic writing skills – and I saw in practice what a talented and encouraging teacher she is. A tutor at the Arvon Foundation, she’s someone whose calm confidence and experience can make any nervous new writer start to feel as if they can indeed conquer the mountain, whether it’s a book, a short story or an academic essay. She’s obviously disciplined in the way she researches, plans and writes, but she also talks about the importance of capturing the ‘careless rapture’ of when it’s going well. Perhaps it’s this combination that means she has been nominated for, and won, many awards. 


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© 2020 Sophia Bennett