This episode features me chatting to writer, performer, poet, podcast presenter, film-maker, playwright and educator Ross Sutherland about his work experimenting on words to make them do cool stuff.

His podcast Imaginary Advice recently won Best Fiction Podcast at the British Podcasting Awards, he’s produced work for radio and TV, he’s a legend of the UK poetry scene and his critically-acclaimed solo show Standby For Tape Backup stormed the Edinburgh Fringe and has toured the world. His work is funny, dark, emotive and brain-melting. He’s really cool, you guys. He’s also my mate.

We talk about how he got into writing, his early experiences learning from his grandma and punk poet John Cooper Clarke, how he uses repetition to induce trance states in audiences and get past his own internal censor, and his advice as an experienced creative writing teacher for finding the ‘game’ of a piece of writing. He explains how the work of French experimental literature group the Oulipo inspired him to rip Little Red Riding Hood apart noun by noun, and how he helps teach writers to hack language to create weird, vivid effects. We also talk about what it’s like when you or your work don’t quite fit anywhere, and how to make a virtue out of writing work that’s ‘hard to explain’.

This is a great episode to listen to if you want to know:
– how do I find ideas?
– what should I write about?
– what if my work doesn’t fit into an existing genre?
– what are some warm-up exercises I can do to kickstart my imagination?

You would be foolish indeed not to sample an episode of Ross’s award-winning podcast Imaginary Advice. Here’s the episode he talks about writing towards the end of our chat.

If you like it, please do Ross a big favour and subscribe to it on Soundcloud or iTunes, leave a little review so other folk can find it, share it on your Twitter or Facebook. All that stuff helps so much, and you’re helping someone else stumble across it and have some of the same happiness you did.

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