Emma Darwin introduces the Instant Gratification Monkey, and his role as a productivity aid in her writing life.
Esther Selsdon, Mario Petrucci, Courttia Newland, Marina Benjamin, Hugh Stoddart and Nicola Baldwin discuss the books they are currently reading.
Louise Foxcroft describes her researches into the varied histories of drug addiction and diets, and despairs of dismissive attitudes to menopause.
Gabriel Gbadamosi finds his talisman, and his Yoruba spiritual counterpart, in a junk shop statue.
Hugh Stoddart, Courttia Newland, Marina Benjamin, Esther Selsdon, Nicola Baldwin and Mario Petrucci discuss their desert island book.
John Pilkington shares several tales of serendipity, showing how luck has played a part in his literary life.
Chris Simms introduces his writing talisman, chosen from a plethora of candidates to ward off the perils of dark places in the psyche.
Ali Knight, Robin Blake, Sally Kindberg, Vayu Naidu, Caitlin Davies, Sarah Ardizzone and Nicholas Murray discuss their favourite book in translation.
Jon Hotten takes us on a tour of 'thwarted masculinity' including big boxers, hairy rockers and ... um... cricket.
Harriet Castor tells the story of how an unlikely lucky break produced a lovely long-term treasure.
Courttia Newland, Esther Selsdon, Nicola Baldwin, Hugh Stoddart, Mario Petrucci and Marina Benjamin discuss their favourite children's book.
James Sherwood presents a sample of his fashion-related literature, written for both commercial publishers and discerning private clients.
Duncan Forbes explains the significance, and the very long history, of his strange-looking writing talisman.
Caitlin Davies, Nicholas Murray, Vayu Naidu, Sally Kindberg, Sarah Ardizzone, Robin Blake and Ali Knight discuss the books they are currently reading.
Philip Osment describes his literary coming-out from acting to writing, and the need to explore fresh source material as a writer's career progresses.
Sanjida O'Connell unpicks the many threads that tie her to her writing talisman - an abstract landscape painting by an artist she loves.
Steph Swainston describes how an autistic character in one of her novels led her to discover her own Asperger's Syndrome — and explains its writing benefits.
Kathleen Jones explains her changing talismans — including a special treasure that she tried to refuse.
Cliff Yates on special Sunday evenings, and why a 1970s LP record still has him in a spin.
Paul Sayer shares what drove him to become a writer, and what happened after his first novel won the Whitbread prize.
Alyson Hallett casts a spell when she shares her writing talisman with us.
John O'Donoghue explains the origins of his memoir 'Sectioned', and how his experience of Victorian asylums has inspired his first novel.
Novelist Helen Grant shares her writing talisman, a reproduction statue from her childhood that bridges eras of its own.
Wendy Oberman describes her writing process and shares a pro tip from the screenwriting business.
Historian John Keay has a changeable talisman, which most recently took the form of an equally changeable bird.
Mark Piggott takes us on his journey from 16 year old school leaver to novelist, with a detour through journalism and a year without beer.
Cynthia Rogerson explains how she acquired her writer's talisman - a personal letter from one of the writers she most admires.
Zoë Marriott on discovering the magic of books, a career which began in snatched moments of writing, and her Evil Cinderella.
Cherise Saywell introduces her writer's talisman – a very special pen – and explains why she never writes with it.
Dean Stalham describes getting his writing start in prison (to the despair of his cellmate), and staging a play with a cast taken from the criminal justice system.
Jonathan Tulloch opens a box that didn't always belong to him — and finds meaning inside it.
SuAndi describes her late start in writing, and her delight that a self-proclaimed Liverpool Nigerian might be 'paid for talking'.
Doug Johnstone gives us a good look at his head.
Playwright and novelist Samuel Lock (1926-2016) describes the mysterious inner genesis of all his work.
Donny O'Rourke introduces us to St Francis, a saint with spiritual and personal significance, as rendered in wood by a New Mexico craftsman.
Chris Westwood shows off some retro tech, and shares his creative routine and his own gothic beginnings as a writer.
Max Adams gives us a look at his writer's talisman — and it takes a good look back.
Roy Bainton describes his early occupations from sailor to sewage worker, and how he achieved his childhood dream of becoming a writer.
Eleanor Updale shares her Writer's Talisman — the fragmentary but potent remains of a bear named Bobby.
In this short animation, writer Alexander Hutchison shares his infectious enthusiasm for libraries.
Millie Murray describes the kinds of books she writes, and her writing process.
Ruth Thomas shares her Writer's Talisman — the famous Three Wise Monkeys, with a dash of personal significance.
Kevin Cadwallender describes mortifying poetic beginnings and how he wrote a pamphlet in a weekend, and shares a bear.
In this short photo-narrative, Linda Cracknell visits her favourite bookshop — The Watermill in Aberfeldy, Perthshire.
Jack Mapanje describes his accidental route into writing.
Marc Alexander explains how he became a writer after reading kept him going during a long childhood illness.
Julia Copus presents her Writer's Talisman — a wee man who's definitely no worry-wart.
Judy Hindley describes the background to one of her enduringly popular children's books, and how she found a spy in a library.
Kapka Kassabova introduces her Writer's Talisman — a nifty little fellow called Karlsson On The Roof.
Trader Faulkner tells a tale of lost marbles, illicit whisky and how he got his unusual name.
Jane Bailey describes the significance of two very different photographs for her third novel.
Angela Patmore speaks about her interest in extreme psychology, cerebral climaxes and her controversial research on stress.
Trader Faulkner tells the tale of a most unusual bullfight.
Angela Patmore talks about her love of dogs and her latest dog book.