An evening with Tim Dowling

Tim Dowling stood at the lectern. There was an easy manner about him as if he was enjoying this moment, talking to a hundred strangers at the Guardian Masterclass. Tim writes a humorous column for the Guardian which he describes as ‘observational writing, a lifestyle sub-genre otherwise known as ‘wonky trolley’ columns, and by ‘wonky [...]

Sometimes we need to ‘pretend’

The word 'pretend' has a bad press. We worry about doctors who aren’t doctors, builders who can’t build, teachers who aren’t qualified to teach. But the word ‘pretend’ comes from the Latin “praetendo” meaning to stretch forth, reach out, extend. Pretending allows us to believe we can do something new and different. Pretending allows us [...]

What question am I trying to answer?

In today’s Guardian, the scientist Siddhartha Mukherjee writes about his love of writing and tells us the question he asks before he starts to write. My single rule for writing about science is that you cannot know the answer if you don’t know the question. Before I write anything, I ask myself ‘What is the [...]

Childhood Stories

Childhood stories are about friendships, laughter, bravado, tears and pain. Ask yourself a few questions to spark those memories. As a child: your favourite toy was ... your favourite book was ... your favourite sport was ... your best friend was ... your favourite sweets were ...