Fiction Motivation PEOPLE Reflective Thought-Provoking

Richard Skinner – Enlightened and Liberating Teacher

Jersey is no longer a literary wasteland, the Festival of Words is in its fourth year and is inspiring the lives of many. Richard Skinner, was part of the packed programme this year and he is exactly as the author, Renée Knight, so succinctly describes him… 'An enlightened and liberating teacher.' 

‘Richard Skinner is an enlightened and liberating teacher. Writing A Novel is a must for all who want to write and for those who already are. My copy is always on my desk.’

Renée Knight, author of Sunday Times best-seller Disclaimer


Laura Carter talking about Romance Writing

After an hour in the company of romance writer, Laura Carter at the Arts Centre yesterday, I had started to buzz.

Jersey is no longer a literary wasteland, the Festival of Words is in its fourth year and is inspiring the lives of many.  Romance Writing with Laura Carter was part of the packed 2018 Jersey Festival of Words programme… thanks to the unprecedented efforts of the Festival Chairman, Jennifer Bridge and all her committed festival committee members.

Hot-footing it around to the Opera House, I crashed through the door of The Studio, out of breath and red-faced just as Richard Skinner was about to start his session on How to Write a Novel.

Jennifer Bridge introduces Richard Skinner – Jersey Festival of Words 2018.

Novelist, poet, and critic, Richard Skinner, created the flagship ‘Writing a Novel’ six-month course in 2009, which hundreds of talented writers have benefitted from since that time.

richard skinnerI had just started reading his book Writing a Novel, so I was excited to have the opportunity to spend time in his company.  As a self-confessed lazy reader (something I am not proud of, because I know it holds me back as a writer), by the time I had gobbled up the first thirty pages of this book, I was enthused and enthralled in equal measures.


Yesterday we discussed five crucial points of writing a novel, which he raises in his book and I love them all, especially…

Twist your plot like a screw,

don’t hammer it like a nail.

The softly spoken Richard Skinner is exactly as the author, Renée Knight, so succinctly describes him… ‘An enlightened and liberating teacher.’  An hour in his company seemed to evaporate in seconds, making an investment in a Faber Academy course very appealing.

‘Richard Skinner believes it is your duty as a novelist to bring your whole self to the page; to find your story, not force it; to meet your reader in a spirit of openness.’


I stepped out of the Opera House and power-walked up sun-soaked Gloucester Street, anxious to get home and eyeball my own, grubby, first attempt at a novel, conscious of my duties as a wannabe novelist.

Writing a Novel now sits on the desk of my writing space, next to my dog-eared copy of Stephen King’s On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft.  Both books inspire me and give me hope that one day, I will master the craft that I love and burns like a fire in my belly.

And, by the way, Richard, it is I that need to thank you.



Thank you very much for visiting my niche-less blog! If you have time before you leave, would love you to tell us what you think. All the best, Tessa Barrie

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: