What is Place Writing?
And why you should subscribe to this newsletter
Hi, I’m Yasmin. Welcome to my Substack newsletter on Place Writing!
As this is my first post, I’ll take the opportunity to introduce myself and explain my mission.
I am a researcher, writer, and mentor.
I write about the intersection of place, time, and memory.
I thrive on the love of my family, friendship, life-long learning, and a plant-based diet.
Place Writing is described by the Centre for Place Writing, based at Manchester Metropolitan University, as an ‘emerging literary genre’. My mission is to encourage and inspire readers and writers to engage in the art and craft of Place Writing—it has huge potential as a field of study, and brings together many aspects of importance and concern in contemporary society; from the minutiae of living organisms, the climate, the landscape and urban-living, to the furthest planets and stars in space.
‘I have recently been attending an online discussion group on Place Writing over a period of several months, organised and chaired by Yasmin Chopin. I can honestly say that it has proved to be one of the most interesting and enlightening experiences in the whole of my educational career. It has provided me with useful and informative observations on my own creative writing and helped me to pursue my own writings with greater confidence and purpose. Yasmin's selection of, and observations on, non-fiction texts have been insightful and imaginative, and have contributed much to my own development as a writer of fiction.’
Jeff Wilkinson. Retired senior lecturer and teacher: forever learning.
Let’s develop a supportive community here on Substack. Spread the news. Tell your friends about Place Writing.
I live in Cambridgeshire, in the east of England, and I’m currently working towards a Creative Writing PhD at the Centre for Place Writing. In my first career, managing trade associations and professional institutes, I wrote business reports, promotional literature, and magazine editorial, most of which was mundane but necessary; although there was little room for creativity I gained confidence with words. Later, in my second career as an interior designer, I established an award-winning blog; it was then that I realised my passion for research and writing.
‘I’ve enjoyed and been enriched by working with Yasmin, sharing sections of our PhD writing together. She is always encouraging and supportive, with an eye to where work can be improved. Her writing style, which connects the internal psychological world and the external physical world, blends imagination, personal insight, and political reflection. I have found reading her work to be deeply peaceful, and have come away from her pages feeling refreshed, in a similar way to coming home from a gentle walk through a beautiful landscape. I recommend Place Writing as a forum to grow and to be supported, to be inspired and to find insight.’
Daniel Ingram-Brown. Author ׀ Theatre Maker ׀ Educator
What can subscribers expect?
My interests sit firmly in the arts and humanities, and I’ll be drawing on my passion for nature, art, art history, architecture, design, and home to produce monthly updates. I’ll publish useful information that will help subscribers to broaden their reading, and I’ll encourage writers to consider how place might feature in their work. I want to create a safe space for people to ask questions about Place Writing. Perhaps you wonder what it’s like to do a PhD as a mature student, or you’d like to discuss the topic of Place Writing—explore ideas of what it is, and how it can be viewed through different lenses. In my monthly updates I’ll share what I’ve learned so far.
My intention is to increase the audience for Place Writing and broaden conversation on the topic so it strikes me that all updates, and the ever-growing archive, should be FREE. This is a FREE newsletter but there are options for paying subscribers because I know that some people like to support writers with their work. For those of a philanthropic disposition, a monthly or yearly £subscription is available. If you can afford it, you will not only help me with my research for this newsletter, but you will also support my work as a mentor to new writers. Writing is my third and ultimate career; it is my full-time occupation now and I could not do it without you. THANK YOU! Together I hope we can nurture new writers and create some exciting Place Writing projects.
‘I’ve known Yasmin for a number of years now. She first welcomed me to the writing group she’d set up, and earlier this year I joined her Critical Place Writing Discussion Group. Working with Yasmin has been instrumental in the development of my writing skills and my knowledge and application of place writing. The latter through the sessions she hosts in which we closely read and discuss texts that centre on place. Yasmin is pleasant to work with, very supportive of other writers, and she has a lot of knowledge to impart. I highly recommend joining her Place Writing community.’
Berendsje Westra. Author, writing coach, and translator.
Want to learn more? Want to join the debate? Whether you join as a FREE, or as a paid subscriber, you are very welcome.
Writing can be a lonely business and this Substack newsletter will provide a great way to build a community of people with similar interests. I know I’m going to really appreciate your company. Before you go, I’d like to get to know you a little. If you have a moment, hit the comment button and tell me:-
Where are you in the world?
Who is your favourite author?
What place is special to you?
Make sure you’ve subscribed so you get the next update straight into your inbox.
Sign up for the Talking Place Symposium in September 2022—dates are 2nd, 9th, and 10th. The first day is online and FREE. This is followed by a two-day in-person conference in Manchester, which is very reasonably priced.
Get ready for some armchair travel with a special Place Writing issue from Hinterland. Issue 11—Summer 2022—is available to order for £10.00. Published in collaboration with Manchester Metropolitan University’s Centre for Place Writing, it is guest-edited by Andrew Michael Hurley.
Credits and Links
Multiple thank-yous to my daughter, Jess Payne, who created the artwork that forms the brand image for this newsletter. I have the luxury of snipping pieces from a digital version of an original acrylic painting which was inspired by her walks across the fields of Cambridgeshire during the summer of 2022. Say ‘hi’ on Twitter @jesspayne, or follow on Instagram.
My thanks to Jeff Wilkinson, Daniel Ingram-Brown, and Berendsje Westra for their generous and thoughtful testimonials. See Daniel’s website here and Berendsje’s here. Say ‘hi’ on Twitter to Daniel @DIBrownAuthor and Berendsje @fictionbw.
Browse the website of the world-renowned Centre for Place Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University.
I’m on Twitter @YasminChopin.
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Bye for now!