Essays help attune the ear to the music of things. But I’m still startled — and delighted — by the sheer unexpectedness of the connections that proliferate once I start to really listen to the notes that sound in the objects that catch my attention.
How does one teach writing? It’s not a craft. I attended a one-day workshop in wooden spoon making, great fun it was, and that was a craft. Or in my case a bodge. Literature is an art form. As Doris Lessing said, ‘There are no laws for the novel'.
'I’ve felt that not doing an English literature degree has been the making of me. Knowing how lacking in confidence I was as a young woman, it seems such great good fortune that I was nourished by so many writers outside of those parameters.'
Clare Morgan explores the influence of early bereavement on her writing and traces her mother’s legacy through her own body of work.
Nick Caistor on a translating job that revealed his own family history, writing synchronicity, and how fiction and reality are intimately intertwined.
Paul Munden describes the challenging process of writing about the musical genius of Nigel Kennedy, and how it inspired a hybrid form for his new biographic work.
Anna Wilson reflects on her writerly beginnings, how she found the confidence to call herself a writer, and the circularity of her career.
Katie Hickman on Josephine Waggoner, the first female Native American historian, and the importance of preserving the experiences and life-stories of people whose voices have been hidden.
Alex Nye shares how a month in a hospital bed, unable to read or write, challenged and changed her as a writer, and how we can find transformational experiences in unexpected places.