Haydn Middleton - Editor
Haydn Middleton has been an author and tutor for almost forty years.
Haydn is probably unique in having published quite so many books on such a wide range of subjects – both fiction and non-fiction, for both adults and for children – although some of them are really very short indeed! Many have been translated into foreign languages. Details can be found on his website www.haydnmiddleton.com. The Observer said of his most recent novel for adults, The Ballad Of Syd & Morgan (Propolis, 2018), ‘Haydn Middleton brilliantly imagines a meeting between Syd Barrett and E M Forster’. His next adult novel, The Actual Whole of Music, is to be published in May 2021.
His latest work of fiction for children The Girl Who Said No to the Nazis (Pushkin, 2020) tells the true story of the 1942-43 White Rose plot against Hitler & Co. A historian by training, and a lifelong devotee of fantasy/SF, he has worked as an editor at Oxford University Press, taught creative writing around the world from England to America to Greece and Australia, and he currently tutors students from Stanford University USA on the Bing Overseas Studies Program.
WHY WE LOVE HAYDN
Haydn’s editing skills cover a broad spectrum of genres, and his intricate reports are always packed-full of advice, particularly on voice.
WHAT HAYDN SAYS ABOUT EDITING
I’ve sometimes been told that my reports tend towards the ‘sterner’ end of the JW editorial spectrum. It has also been suggested that I take a ‘tough love’ approach. I’m not sure I go with that – and not just because ‘love’ in this context would be entirely inappropriate! I’d rather say my advice is based on ‘tough respect’. Clients have paid good money for a report, and the last thing they need is from me is soft soap or flannel.
I aim to help each client to communicate their vision more clearly and more entertainingly (two qualities that are often very closely linked). This may require a fairly thorough rethink of the client’s own original aims. In my online courses for JW I frankly admit that I’m not sure whether creative writing can be taught, but I sincerely believe that it can be learned, particularly from open-minded editorial exchanges, and exposure to the great literature of the past.
What Haydn works on
Genres Haydn specialises in
Haydn's published books
The Ballad of Syd & Morgan
A beautiful young man dressed in Cuban heels and a crushed-velvet jacket cuts a dash as he strides up Silver Street in his native Cambridge, heading for the ornate splendour of King’s College. It is 1968. He is the 22 year old Syd Barrett of Pink Floyd, and his destination is home to the great Edwardian novelist, 89 year old E M Forster. What follows is a tender exchange of truths between two men belonging to opposite ends of the 20th century, but who find within each other’s company shadows of the same demons, loves and losses as well as the familiar weight of the creative impulse. They become unlikely comrades passing fleetingly through each other’s lives. Conjuring the mischievous spirit of Pan, Haydn Middleton has created an exquisite fiction involving two towering figures of English culture. The Ballad of Syd & Morgan is a deeply moving but joyous portrait of the despair and redemption at the heart of artistic endeavour, as well as the essential solace of companionship – wherever it may be found.
True Lives: Shakespeare: The Master Playwright
Will Shakespeare dreamed of becoming an actor and a playwright. At nineteen he left his home town of Stratford and headed for London, following his dream. He became an actor, part owner of the Globe theatre – and the greatest playwright of all time. 400 years on, his plays are even more popular. They are performed in theatres all over the world.