In class this morning I talked about my first boss. Jack Walsh was a news editor who was rumoured to have set type (the old hot metal stuff) before he was old enough to go to school. I was 16 when he told me that any true newspaper man - this was the 70s - only had to go to the bottom of the road to get a story. It was out there: we shouldn't wait for it to land on our desk.
Fiction writers don't even have to open the front door.
Today's exercise was about finding inspiration from a newspaper. Each group had to select three or four items from Friday's Evening Standard. Then individually each student wove these elements into a coherent story and it is was wonderful to hear the magic that came out: small details from adverts were the trigger for well rounded, fully formed characters, a one paragraph business report was part of a surprising twist, a feature article provided the nuts and bolts of a who-dun-it.