Ashley Lister

Ashley Lister is a UK author responsible for more than two-dozen erotic novels written under a variety of pseudonyms. His most recent work, a non-fiction book recounting the exploits of UK swingers, is his second title published under his own name: Swingers: Female Confidential by Ashley Lister (Virgin Books; ISBN: 0753513439) Ashley’s non-fiction has appeared in a variety of magazines, including Forum, Chapter & Verse and The International Journal of Erotica. Nexus, Chimera and Silver Moon have published his full-length fiction, with shorter stories appearing in anthologies edited by Maxim Jakubowski, Rachel Kramer Bussel and Mitzi Szereto. He is very proud to be a regular contributor to ERWA.

Rude Anatomy of a Risqué Poem

By Ashley Lister As many regular readers will know: I love poetry. I think poetry can be an effective tool for writers as it helps us get a better command over our vocabulary, and it makes us think more acutely about the way we use words. I also believe that a lot can... read more

Writing Prompts

by Ashley Lister Whenever we’re asked the question ‘Where do you get your ideas from?’ a lot of us puzzle over our response. To most of the writers I know ideas aren’t the problem: finding the time to commit those ideas to paper is the real problem. However, I’m aware... read more

Writing Rules

By Ashley Lister It’s a common mantra within the writing community that we don’t write: we rewrite. This investment in revision is supported by Hemingway who is meant to have said, “The first draft of everything is shit.” Of course, Hemingway died in 1961 so he never... read more

Is It Good Enough?

By Ashley Lister Without wishing to sound like a neurotic writer, constantly begging for acceptance and validation, I think the question at the top of this blog post is one that we often ask ourselves: is it good enough? I’m not talking about the worries we all have... read more


By Ashley Lister A colleague got in touch with me the other day. He was sitting in front of a blank sheet, waiting for inspiration, and he wanted my advice: “I’m blocked,” he explained. “What should I do?” My response was immediate:... read more

Writing Exercise – Overwriting

by Ashley Lister Happy New Year everyone. I hope 2019 brings you all that you deserve, and may your happiness and pleasure be enviable. Last month I wrote about the importance of description and the lovely Lisabet Sarai was sufficiently sagacious to remind me that... read more


by Ashley Lister One of my favourite writing exercises comes from Jose Silva and Philip Miele, reiterated in Julia Casterton’s Creative Writing, a practical guide. It goes: Close your eyes and sit quietly. Bring into your inner field of vision – a lemon.... read more

Plot – a four-letter word PART ONE

by Ashley Lister When writers discuss writing, most are happy to talk about character and point of view. Narrative tension and description are always good for an interesting debate. And the pros and cons of authenticity in dialogue always makes for stimulating... read more

Cogito Ergo Sum – Characters

by Ashley Lister Rene Descartes said, “I think; therefore I am.” And, whilst he wasn’t talking about the construction of characters in fiction, it’s fair to say that describing a character through their thoughts is one of the most effective ways of letting your reader... read more

Characters: Action

Back in June, I mentioned that characters can be built through four elements: appearance, speech, action and thought. We looked at appearance in June and I touched on dialogue in July and August, which means that it’s time to look at action. In the ‘show... read more

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