Articles

How a chance discovery in Compendium Bookshop of a xeroxed pamphlet of poems by an unknown author affected the young Rob Chapman’s decision to become a writer.
As writer in residence in a palliative care unit, Diana Hendry had to put into words the thoughts and feelings of the dying. Twenty years on, she reflects on what she learned from this experience, and wonders if attitudes to death have really changed all that much in the intervening time.
As a former member of a rock band who has also been a music journalist, Doug Johnstone has always felt that music was essential to his writing. Here he considers other writers who have also made a career out of music — and vice versa.
As an avid reader of poetry, Roy Bainton had always felt it was beyond his capabilities to write it. Then a fortuitous encounter with another RLF writer – and a provocative study of poetry by Stephen Fry – made him think again.
Arriving in Britain from her native Australia Cherise Saywell wondered if she would ever find the confidence to write. More recently, she has found that being an outsider may be no bad thing for a writer.
As a writer of novels set in the past, Katharine McMahon has come to realise that the preoccupations she addresses in her fiction are also those of the present day, and that the distinction between ‘historical’ and ‘contemporary’ fiction may have outlived its usefulness.
Kona Macphee considers two contrasting states of mind—in one of which the mind is wholly engaged, in the other, when it is distracted and unable to concentrate fully. Social media has exacerbated the latter of these tendencies, she argues, making it harder to focus on creative activity.
Catherine Czerkawska considers the pleasures and drawbacks of writing a series of novels, looking at various celebrated examples, from Agatha Christie’s Poirot stories to J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, and wondering if she too has the stamina to sustain a lengthy series.