Mary-Lou Stephens on Dialogue 

‘Two Orchards’ is Mary-Lou Stephens’ new novel about the tumultuous years of the Tasmanian apple industry after the 1967 bushfires. Here she talks about the power of getting the dialogue right.  For Mary-Lou Stephens dialogue can do a lot more heavy lifting than merely the [...]

Mary-Lou Stephens Reading to Write

Mary-Lou Stephens’ last act before embracing ten days of silence at the Vipassana meditation retreat was to sit down and talk to Cornerstone about the importance of reading and research to the writing process.   Mary-Lou Stephens knew little about apples and even less about [...]

Why I’d Take Growth Over Achievement

By the end of last week, I learned that chutzpah has a silent ‘c’. I read a memoir about the dangers facing a woman born without a sense of time and space (how far away is that car and how long until it gets here?). [...]

Learning is difficult and that’s the point.

In Natural Born Learners, Alex Beard talks about his first term as a new, fresh faced English teacher in the borough of Elephant and Castle – one of the poorest and most diverse areas of London. Beard was convinced that his passion for Shakespeare, Jane [...]

Here’s what we never talk about in student writing

In the headlines about the falling standards of student writing I almost never hear one thing being discussed. That is, the basic distinction between writing and teaching writing. It’s a big difference, with the latter being difficult enough to mock the pop wisdom that ‘those that can’t [...]

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