V.E Schwab’s Tolkien Lecture: ‘In Search of Doors’


In May of this year, author, and queen of my lil writing heart, V.E Schwab (AKA Victoria Schwab) was the speaker at Oxfords Tolkien Lecture. I’ve watched the speech a few times now and I have a lot of thoughts.

I really look up to Victoria and her writing style sings to my soul so when I saw that the video of her speech was finally up online I was very excited.

The speech is titled ‘In Search of Doors’ and it’s a beautiful examination of how we become writers and readers because of specific books. Schwab opens by saying that she, in fact, has never read Tolkien (I haven’t either!) and that it doesn’t mean she could never love fantasy. She comments on the pressure many people feel to read the ‘greats’ and classics to be able to truly be readers and writers. But as she says, ‘there isn’t any one door through which we must find a love of reading’. I loved her comment that even without Tolkien she was able to ‘find another door’ into reading and writing. It’s so true. So many of us remember the first book that made us a reader. I don’t count mine as Harry Potter, or the Hobbit or even Winnie the Pooh. The book that made me love reading was Twilight! It sucked me back into the world of reading and I’m grateful.

I really loved how she described her love for words and writing. I also really loved that she talked about wanting more of the world, more adventure, more strangeness, because she had not found her place in this world. This really resonated with me.

I could talk on and on about this speech and all I got out of it. I’ve watched it more than a few times now and each time I seem to find more in what she’s saying. Her writing process is also so fascinating, for young authors I think it would be intriguing to hear her approach to a new novel idea.

If you’re a writer, I highly encourage you to go and watch this lecture. V.E Schwab is one of my doors to writing. She has shown me that writers can be normal people following their dreams in a way no other writer has. I think V.E Schwab has opened many a door for many a young writer and her speech only proves that more. I was hooked on every word and filled with passion again for writing, knowing that I have more doors to cross through and more stories to tell and be told.

V.E Schwab: In Search Of Doors 

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