Standish Cope

Standish Cope

When did you first realise you wanted to write for a living?

I realised the career of writing was something instinctive, like breathing and reflecting on my life’s experience, starting as a child when story-writing was one of the few means of entering another reality, beyond the mundane. This parallel scripting life has always been my most important discipline, like brushing my teeth daily. Without a pen in my hand I am a poorer, unhappier being.

Which writer, past or present, do you most admire?

There were two writers I admired most as a young person: John Bunyan and Oliver Goldsmith, because the former gave me an understanding of the notion of a spiritual journey and the latter because he enabled me to inhabit others’ lives, feelings, motivations and destinies in another believable century. Latterly, I have been influenced by Tolstoy, Dostoevsky, De Lampedusa, Ben Okri, Alexandre Dumas, Isak Dinesen, Hermann Hesse, Paolo Coelho, Emerson, George Orwell and recently Louis de Bernieres.

What was your first published (or performed) credit as a writer?

Boarding School Britain was published by the Green Curtain Theatre Company in July 2020 and more recently, The Rift Stage Play premiered in Mombasa, 12 December 2022.

Which piece of writing work are you most proud of?

My favourite work is The Rift novella which I have been working on for 15 years and which I hope will be published by Austin Macaulay later this year.

Who or what inspires you to write?

For me writing on a daily basis is the essence of who I am, and the subjects that give me my greatest inspiration for both poems and stories are relationships, feelings, mother nature, and my artistic and spiritual quests.

How do you switch off when you’re not writing?

I love reading, painting, walking in nature and listening to music.

Which one piece of advice would you give to aspiring writers?

Try and balance each day with mental, physical and creative activity.

Why are you a member of WGGB?

I joined the Writers’ Guild on the advice of my son, Liam Harrison (playwright) because it’s a great network of fellow writers and it represents us all in ensuring best practice, fairness and mutual creative communication into the future.

I have been a writer since my childhood and keeping a daily journal is the most important constant in my life. The main inspiration for my writing life has been nature poetry followed by poems on the themes of love, healing and spirit – around 30 poems. Since completing a creative writing degree 15 years ago I have written a novella, The Rift, a radio play, Grace’s Wood and finally, The Rift Stage Play (Mombasa, Kenya, 2022).


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