Podcasts

21-03-2019

Nicholas Murray and our host Julia Copus discuss two favourite classic poems, ‘To His Coy Mistress’ by Andrew Marvell and ‘The Sun Rising’ by John Donne, in another instalment of our special ‘Poetry Break’ series.

14-03-2019

Jon Mayhew speaks with John Siddique about schoolkids’ ongoing love of ghost stories, his reasons for getting into teaching, the pros and cons of plot templates, and how his writing career started with a running accident.

28-02-2019

Steven Pinker speaks with his old friend and schoolmate, the RLF’s Marcy Kahan, about his writing and editing process, why the Enlightenment matters more than ever, why the world is actually better than it used to be, and some approaches to achieving happiness.

21-02-2019

Steven Pinker speaks with his old friend and schoolmate, the RLF’s Marcy Kahan, about coming of age in Montreal’s Anglophone Jewish community, the nature of good writing and the 'classic style', and managing a dictionary by democratic processes.

14-02-2019

Nigel Cliff speaks with James McConnachie about the 19th century 'Shakespeare Riots' in New York, what might be driving his choice of subjects, and the differences between the US and UK publishing industries.

31-01-2019

Donny O'Rourke welcomes the tentative beginnings of spring, introducing us to the Gaelic festival of Imbolc and taking us on a whistlestop tour of the coastal East Neuk of Fife.

Mavis Cheek explains how writing always came easily to her, even when schoolwork didn’t.

24-01-2019

Nigel Cliff speaks with James McConnachie about cold war concert pianist Van Cliburn and Portuguese explorer Vasco da Gama, and considers their roles at turning points in history and meetings of cultures.

17-01-2019

Stephen Wyatt takes us to an unusual destination: the Gallifrey One convention, where participants are enthusiastic, oddly dressed, and gratifyingly appreciative of his own 30-year-old TV script.

Doug Johnstone reminds us that no completed novel lives up to what its creator initially imagined, and explains how a complete failure three books in led him to find his true writing voice.

20-12-2018

Chris Arthur speaks with Cherise Saywell about the essay as a multifaceted and ‘heretical’ form, the notion of a ‘dangerously failed’ piece of work, and the encouraging fact that ‘If you can find the objects that speak to you, essays will follow’.

13-12-2018

Jane Rogoyska speaks with Frances Byrnes about being drawn to her father’s homeland of Poland, telling hidden stories from that country’s brutal history, and how the frustrations of film production drove her to writing.

06-12-2018

Jackie Wills joins host Julia Copus to discuss two favourite classic poems, ‘How do I love thee?’ and ‘Grief', both by Elizabeth Barrett Browning, in our ongoing 'Poetry Break' series.

29-11-2018

Ali Knight explores the murky depths of the Grand Union Canal in Londonand explains how it inspires her crime fiction.

John Greening takes us to the poetic village of Little Gidding and its nearby literary landmarks.

Miranda Miller introduces us to Henry James’ Lamb House in Rye and its connections with various writers.

22-11-2018

Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about the tragic fates of two lesser-known Kennedy siblings, doing meticulous scholarly research and yet publishing accessible books, moving into writing fiction, and investigating the psychological health benefits of reading with ReLit.

15-11-2018

In ‘Writing vs Life: On Balance’, we talk to a number of RLF writers about the challenges of balancing writing against other aspects of their lives, how to stay grounded, and whether it’s ok for artists to be selfish.

08-11-2018

Judy Brown talks with Julia Copus about changing career from lawyer to poet, writers' residencies, and how certain places can live on in the mind long after they’ve been left.

01-11-2018

Mary Colson takes us to Olney in north Buckinghamshare, her childhood home and the site of an historic friendship between a poet and a slave trader.

Simon Rae takes us to Great Tew in north Oxfordshire, an estate village that began with lofty aspirations but descended to decrepitude.

25-10-2018

Paula Byrne speaks with James McConnachie about Jane Austen’s laptop, why she wouldn’t write about somebody she had no affinity with, being a ‘footnote queen’, recovering lost women’s voices, and being a pioneer of the ‘partial life’ biography.

18-10-2018

Pascale Petit recounts how the sudden re-emergence of her long-absent father triggered both a sense that she’d discovered the material for her new book, but also a complete inability to write it.

Penny Hancock explains how a professional setback and a series of personal losses led her to decide to give up writing completely - and how the unusual life story of an elderly relative provided two kinds of inspiration for starting again.

11-10-2018

Rupert Christiansen speaks with Frances Byrnes about journalistic antecedents, career vs vocation, being a ‘jobbing writer’, and his memoir serendipitously inspired by Don Draper of ‘Mad Men’.

04-10-2018

Kathleen Jones revisits the remote hill farm she grew up on in Cumbria, and the landscape that shaped her.

Catherine O'Flynn explores the hidden spaces of Merry Hill, the suburban shopping centre where she used to work.

Doug Johnstone ponders his adopted city of Edinburgh, a literary capital that he was nervous of using as a setting for his novels.

27-09-2018

Jonny Wright talks to John Siddique about his need to write the roles that have been missing from theatre repertoire, his attraction to protagonists who find themselves at odds with the world, and the literary values of Hip Hop.

20-09-2018

Martina Evans speaks with Julia Copus about her work as a hospital radiographer, the influence of dream lives, and why she’s said ‘no’ to fiction.

13-09-2018

Gillian Allnutt speaks with Geoff Hattersley about poetry and role models, her work with asylum seekers, and the contrasting influences of teaching and meditation on her writing.

06-09-2018

Jane Draycott joins host Julia Copus to discuss two favourite classic poems, ‘God’s Grandeur’ and ‘Felix Randal’, both by Gerard Manley Hopkins, in our ongoing 'Poetry Break' series.

30-08-2018

Rob Chapman continues his conversation with John Siddique, exploring his move into music journalism, his wide-ranging exploration of sixties psychedelia, and his return to writing fiction.

23-08-2018

In ‘Writing vs Life: The Pram in the Hall’, we talk to a number of RLF writers about the challenges of balancing parenthood and a professional writing career, and whether mothers and fathers still have differing experiences in this area.

16-08-2018

Catherine Czerkawska speaks with Cherise Saywell about her fascination with Jean Armour, the greatly underestimated wife of Scots bard Robert Burns, and discusses writing history as fiction, and her own professional journey.

09-08-2018

Amanda Mitchison shares the ways she’s entwined with Scottish history, and how one of Scotland’s great historical outrages reached through time to shape the course of her novel.

Lucy Moore explores the challenges of choosing a subject, the dangers of identifying too closely, and how she looks for stories that both allure her and also urgently need telling.

02-08-2018

Rob Chapman speaks with John Siddique about how music saved him from his disastrous secondary education, lyrics and literature, and his celebrated biography of musician Syd Barrett.

26-07-2018

Cynan Jones speaks with James McConnachie about 'the square mile' in Welsh culture, the experience of re-telling stories, and the spark that sends him to the writing shed to get a pending novel down on the page.

19-07-2018

Judy Brown considers how two decades spent as a practising lawyer have impacted her experiences and processes of writing, and considers the parallels and contrasts between the law and poetry.

Martina Evans considers her unlikely literary beginnings as the youngest of ten in a County Cork family: ‘I was known as a dreamer, a fumbler, a fool; if I was so busy dreaming, how did I notice so many things? My family asked this question too, even then.’

12-07-2018

Mary Colson speaks with John Siddique about the value of children’s non-fiction and the unusual constraints involved in writing it commercially, her love of writing for screen and stage, and the right way to teach writing and nurture children’s voices.

05-07-2018

Donny O’Rourke speaks with Geoff Hattersley about losing and rediscovering self-belief as an artist, the pleasures of improvisation, handling midlife melancholy and the joy of that moment 'between apprehension and comprehension'.

28-06-2018

Ruth Thomas explains how the publishing industry went cool on her genre, and how a 60p discovery at a charity book fair helped her regain her mission and extend her range.

Mimi Thebo considers the myriad ways writers can fail, and describes how she came back from failure, and before that, from something even more serious.

21-06-2018

Cynan Jones speaks with James McConnachie about writing as a kind of imaginative remembering, the act of taking a novel from ninety to thirty thousand words in a single cut, and why it’s good to have more abandoned books in drawers than published ones on the shelf.

14-06-2018

Catherine O’Flynn dissects her enthusiasm for failed utopias, such as the ghost real estate ventures of the Spanish Riviera, and the influence of growing up surrounded by the 'bizarre and melancholy landscaped public spaces' of Birmingham.

Siân Rees takes us to Asunción in Paraguay, where magical realism makes sense and ghosts haunt the landscape and the imagination.

07-06-2018

Donny O’Rourke speaks with Geoff Hattersley about American influences, anthologising a golden age of Scottish poetry, his love of travel, and how you distinguish a poem from a song.

31-05-2018

Martina Evans joins host Julia Copus to discuss two favourite classic poems: ‘They Flee From Me’ by Sir Thomas Wyatt, suggested by Martina, and ‘Aspens’ by Edward Thomas, suggested by Julia, in the first installment of our new 'Poetry Break' series.

24-05-2018

Todd McEwen tells Frances Byrnes about how his early life in Southern California gave him abundance – in literature and landscape – but also taught him scepticism and helped him develop his distinctive writing voice.

17-05-2018

Alyson Hallett luxuriates in an unusual writing week that’s actually mostly dedicated to writing, with a side serving of bonfires, friends, yoga al fresco and getting enjoyably lost in the woods.

10-05-2018

Penny Black speaks with Frances Byrnes about teenage summers in Vienna, the shock of revisiting old contracts, and how her desire to speak perfect German accidentally led to a passionate career in writing for theatre.

03-05-2018

Tobias Jones speaks with James McConnachie about his lifelong fascination with communal living, the secrets of making it work, and his own experience in establishing and nurturing a residential community.

26-04-2018

Rob Chapman shares the importance of wholly invented bands and songs in his creative life, and considers other examples of imaginary culture and the fictitious within our fictions.

19-04-2018

Kona Macphee speaks with James McConnachie about being an outsider, the challenges of generalism, her relish for constraints, and the transcendence to be found in the experience of creative flow.

12-04-2018

Julia Copus shares her diary in ‘My Writing Week’, encompassing a glitzy awards night in the city, the challenge of everyday administrative distractions back at home, and the role of dogs – the ‘heartbeat at my feet’ – in the lives of writers.

05-04-2018

Tobias Jones speaks with James McConnachie about the 'dark heart' of Italy during the Berlusconi era, and his experiences as a Briton living in and documenting the real Italy beyond the journalistic bubble of Rome.

29-03-2018

Diana Evans speaks with Frances Byrnes about how story and 'real life story' aren’t the same thing, what you really need to be writer, writing versus dancing and the need for more black writers.

22-03-2018

Sarah Ardizzone and Euan Cameron speak with fellow translator Nick Caistor about the pleasures and challenges of rendering another writer's work into a new language — and what liberties a translator should and shouldn't take.

15-03-2018

Lorna Thorpe speaks with Geoff Hattersley about wild youth and being a 'late starter in everything', becoming a poet by accident, being dead for six minutes, and her American and musical influences.

08-03-2018

Charles Boyle speaks with Julia Copus about literary gender-swapping, the role that small presses have to play in today’s publishing world, and how serendipity has helped shape his life and career.

01-03-2018

Cherise Saywell describes how an unexpected writing career descended into paralysis, and how a short and anonymously-published piece helped her to reconnect with what she loves about writing.

Cynthia Rogerson explains how escaping to a weekly writing group turned her from a frustrated mother-of-many to a fledgling novelist, who discovered that as far as family went, ‘it was extraordinary how happy we all were just suiting ourselves’.

22-02-2018

Horatio Clare speaks with James McConnachie about difficult journeys, the manic episode that cost him his notes for an entire project, and the difference between loneliness and love of solitude.

08-02-2018

Diana Evans takes us to a writer’s retreat in upstate New York, where she considers how race is a theme that seems imposed on black writers, obligating them to rage against racial injustice. Her characters, she says, have the right to be human first, 'to be ordinary.'

Cynan Jones considers place and authenticity in the storytelling process. 'Risk being unique or aim for palatable? That’s the choice, in writing as in wine-making.'

01-02-2018

Horatio Clare speaks with James McConnachie about the pleasures and plights of Welsh sheep-farming, the creative criminal record of his youth, and why writers should 'live it and leave it until it's ready' when using real life as material.

25-01-2018

Clare Pollard talks with Julia Copus about her experiences of motherhood, her thoughts about politics, and how it feels to be labeled a ‘Bad Girl’ of the literary scene.

18-01-2018

Heather Dyer is living the writer’s dream in her audio diary, by taking off in her old campervan for a week of uninterrupted beachside writing. How will it all turn out?

11-01-2018

Kevin Clarke speaks with Frances Byrnes about playwriting as an essential dramatic apprenticeship, completing his education as an adult, and how his dramatic subjects choose him, rather than the other way around.

14-12-2017

Marina Benjamin examines the changing role of the personal voice in contemporary memoir, celebrates the sharing of ecstatic highs and vertiginous tumbles, and notes that it’s writerly craft that lifts a work beyond mere self-pimping.

Alyson Hallett takes us to Launceston in Cornwall, home of the writer Charles Causley, in the centenary year of his birth.

07-12-2017

Cynthia Rogerson speaks with James McConnachie about ensuring realism in her novels, disliking positive discrimination, and putting up with having her serious novels packaged in chick-lit covers.

30-11-2017

Horatio Clare ponders the necessary pragmatism of the professional writer, and shares a glimpse of what writers really talk about amongst themselves.

Clare Pollard celebrates the playfulness and variety of nonsense verse, sharing examples from across the centuries.

23-11-2017

Brian McCabe speaks with Geoff Hattersley about why mathematicians are a bit like artists, how something being funny doesn’t mean it’s light, and the process of imaginatively recreating the worldview of a child.

16-11-2017

John Keay speaks with James McConnachie about relics of Empire and roving Scots, the other writers in his family and the hectic schedule of non-fiction writers with new books to promote.

09-11-2017

Jonny Wright considers the sobering parallels between the 1959 play A Raisin In The Sun, featuring a black family in Southside Chicago, and the racial inequality, downward economic mobility and defacto housing segregation of contemporary London.

Kerry Young describes her journey from failing 'O'-level English to becoming a successful novelist, and how her writing is a gift both to her late father and to the diverse cultures that have produced contemporary Jamaica.

02-11-2017

Michael Blackburn speaks with Geoff Hattersley about his literary origins, his antipathy to The Establishment, and being the former Enfant, now Grand-père Terrible of the British poetry scene.

26-10-2017

John Keay speaks with James McConnachie about hands-on historical researches from the Himalaya to the Highlands, his best writing advice and the idea that what historians really need is not more documents but stronger boots.

19-10-2017

Charles Boyle considers the range of circumstances that make writers stop writing, sometimes forever, and why this can be an amicable separation.

Kevin Clarke shares a cautionary tale about deliberate plagiarism in the screen-writing industries - an issue he has had to contend with not once, but at least five times.

12-10-2017

Tania Hershman shares an audio diary in which even a rotten cold can’t squash her enthusiasm for the writing life — and she manages to get some writing done.

05-10-2017

Tracey Herd speaks with Julia Copus about the prevalence of female iconography in her work, the low status of writing based on popular culture, and how the spirits of the truly gifted can live on through music, film and literature.

21-09-2017

Roy Bainton speaks with Frances Byrnes about the stories an adventurous life accumulates, the increasing difficulty of surviving as a freelancer, and the way music and writing come together as a cornerstone of his career.

14-09-2017

Clare Shaw speaks with Geoff Hattersley about the origins of her love of poetry, the legacy of mental illness in her writing, and her drive to find the light in even the darkest material.

07-09-2017

Katharine Quarmby spends a diary week researching and editing her first novel, a work of historical fiction inspired by a cruel act of punishment, and finds the process surprisingly familiar.

31-08-2017

Kerry Young speaks with Frances Byrnes about how her early life in Jamaica influenced her novels: her father’s gangster life in Kingston and her mother’s Catholicism and ideas of redemption and Kerry’s passionate feelings about being Chinese-Jamaican.

24-08-2017

John Keay explains why writing a foreign nation’s history is no more presumptuous than writing about Picts and Scots, and shares his enthusiasm for RH Tawney, a man who was ‘more history writer than historian’.

Tobias Jones considers, as both reader and writer, the fascination of the true crime genre, and the profound truths with which it can connect us.

17-08-2017

Marina Benjamin speaks with James McConnachie about midlife, the lost dreams of the space age and the note of melancholy running through all of her work.

10-08-2017

Esther Selsdon shares a late summer writing week featuring Stalin memorabilia, matchgirl strikes, sore toes and Soviet cinema.

27-07-2017

Cliff Yates speaks with Geoff Hattersley about changing from school hater to school teacher, his poetry collections and his love of performing, and shares some poems featuring his distinctive touch of surrealism.

13-07-2017

Ray French speaks with Frances Byrnes about his roots in Wales and the Irish diaspora, and how other writers’ voices can help new writers find their own.

06-07-2017

Jackie Wills speaks with Geoff Hattersley about her long collaboration with visual artist Jane Fordham, her self-directed apprenticeship in poetry, and the challenges of surviving the freelance life.

22-06-2017

Ian McMillan entertains Geoff Hattersley with mushy peas, jazz, Telephone Voices and the vexed question of being ‘Yorkshire enough’.

15-06-2017

Rob Chapman’s working week touches on TV vs. film writing, poet John Clare’s rock-and-roll trajectory and resurrecting a ‘weird’ abandoned novel.

08-06-2017

Mavis Cheek continues her conversation with James McConnachie, discussing how her writing life has charted enormous changes in women’s lives and regretting the dearth of humour in ‘serious’ contemporary fiction.

01-06-2017

Kathleen Jones tells Frances Byrnes about the mythic relationships between people and their landscapes in her writing — be it a disturbing poem set in her now-abandoned childhood Cumbrian fell home, or fierce non-fiction about the Haida Gwaii islands.

25-05-2017

Ian McMillan entertains Geoff Hattersley with a look at the world through Barnsley glasses, featuring rubber jam tarts, a novelty Coronation Street alarm clock and a very strange game of chess.

18-05-2017

Cynthia Rogerson contemplates the literary spurs of exile and outsiderhood, wonders whether she would have written any novels if she’d simply stayed at home in the USA, and explains why being a writer is easier in Scotland than in California.

Brian McAvera considers what we’ve lost in favouring naturalistic, TV-esque theatre over the wider and deeper possibilities offered by non-naturalism.

11-05-2017

Mavis Cheek speaks with James McConnachie about her challenging family background, and how discovering that she ‘had a brain’ took her from ‘Sixties dolly bird’ to acclaimed author of witty contemporary novels.

04-05-2017

Neil Hanson spends his diary week reflecting on subjects as diverse as the subtle art of ghostwriting, SAS men who spend three days hiding in a hedge, and what a big fire really leaves behind.

27-04-2017

Livi Michael speaks with Frances Byrnes about the longstanding appeal of the epic, and of the writer’s need for courage.

13-04-2017

Mick Jackson speaks with James McConnachie about the Creative Writing MA that launched his career, the creative role of the conscious and unconscious mind, and the threads uniting his diverse oeuvre.

30-03-2017

Jonathan Tulloch introduces the first in a series of four seasonal gustatory delights, the wine gums of spring, in a Proustian recollection of lost dogs, sugar sweats and an absence of moral redemption.

Babs Horton and Jon Mayhew share their life-changing literature.

23-03-2017

Sanjida O’Connell speaks with James McConnachie about her roots in science, blurring genre boundaries, and the opportunities and constraints of broadcast media.

16-03-2017

Menna Elfyn finds time in her hectic schedule to share a writing life where the language is rich, the international is celebrated and the political is unavoidable.

09-03-2017

David Spencer, who has written intense dramas in Halifax dialect even while living and working in Berlin, speaks with Geoff Hattersley about his playwriting career, life in a different language, and remaining true to the speech of his characters.

02-03-2017

Rahila Gupta tells George Miller: 'I have a British passport but I’ve always felt like an immigrant'. Their conversation explores the background to that statement, touching on some of the political causes that Rahila has been involved with and how her writing has served those causes.

23-02-2017

Roopa Farooki explores what it’s like to be brown when all your childhood literary heroes are white, and explains why representation matters if we want to draw more children into reading.

Ray French considers his Irish roots and adopted British identity, and how, in writing about the Irish experience in Britain, he inhabits ‘that fascinating space between home and exile.’

16-02-2017

Jane Rogers tells George Miller about how her writing career began, about writing novels versus short stories, and the impact of suffering a brain haemorrhage.

09-02-2017

MIranda Miller works to finish a novel, visits an exhibition related to an old one, and considers whether she wants to ‘be a brand’ in the brave new world of 21st century publishing, in her audio diary.

We also feature two recent pieces from the Vox section of our website, 'Letter to my younger self', from John Greening and Mary Colson.

02-02-2017

Jonathan Gregson speaks with James McConnachie about travelling the Himalaya by unorthodox means including a horse and an Enfield Bullet motorbike, and his mixed emotions about the now-vanishing Forbidden Kingdoms.

26-01-2017

Kathleen Jones explains how writing a hyper-successful biography of a very famous writer nearly destroyed her career.

Mick Jackson recounts the strange time dilation that affects his novel writing, and how he learned to accept it as part of the creative process.

19-01-2017

John Siddique speaks with Frances Byrnes about his troubled childhood, how literature provided him with a proxy family, and the power of colours in his own writing.

12-01-2017

Joanna Nadin tells George Miller about growing up in Essex, her earlier career in politics, and writing about ‘extraordinary things happening to very ordinary people, in very ordinary places’.

22-12-2016

Jan Marsh speaks with James McConnachie about her renowned biographies, the attraction of art history and the advantages of being ‘on the fringes of scholarship’, and always doing something new.

15-12-2016

Jennifer Potter speaks with George Miller about her acclaimed biography of the John Tradescants, father and son, and her cultural history of the rose.

08-12-2016

Julia Copus explores the way that poetry, through its control of language, can influence the perception of time.

Basir Kazmi considers the ‘stage of the mind’, and whether the real measure of a playwright is the script as written word.

01-12-2016

Monique Roffey speaks with Carole Angier about the Caribbean and biographical roots of her early novels, including the starring role of an ordinary bicycle and unique local patois.

17-11-2016

Sarah Salway shares what she calls a ‘realistic’ rather than glamorous writing week, full of teaching, mentoring, fending off Facebook, a weekend busman’s holiday and — most importantly — some highly enjoyable writing.

10-11-2016

Christopher Wakling talks about making the transition from lawyer to novelist and capturing the joys and pains of family life on the page with humour and subtlety in books such as What I Did and Towards the Sun.

03-11-2016

Peter Forbes tells Carole Angier about the appeal of objectivity and poetic forms, and discusses the art of mimicking nature — be it learning from burrs how to make velcro, or learning from animals how to camouflage armies.

27-10-2016

Lyn Webster Wilde speaks with George Miller about Becoming the Enchanter, a very personal exploration of the hidden world of Britain’s native traditions, which takes her to ancient places in search of enduring spiritual meaning.

06-10-2016

James McConnachie speaks with Julia Copus about the plight of non-fiction books in an internet age, his travel writing adventures and the joy of (writing about) sex.

29-09-2016

Jonathan Tulloch shares his audio diary, in which we meet a cast of characters including a wasp, a sausage roll or four, and St Peter in the guise of a benign tobacconist. How will the story end?

22-09-2016

Annette Kobak speaks with Carole Angier about her biography of Isabelle Eberhardt, her memoir of her father and his wartime experiences, and the important role of parallel travels in the structure of her books.

08-09-2016

William Palmer explains the importance of craft, skill and empathy in successful fiction, and examines where novice writers often go wrong.

John Siddique introduces the 'laboratory' of his notebook’s pages, and explains how keeping a journal can lead to 'a more conscious and loving way to live'.

25-08-2016

Harriet Castor speaks with Julia Copus about engaging young readers with history, and why she wanted to climb inside the head of Henry VIII.

18-08-2016

Nicholas Murray talks with George Miller about his book on the British poets of the first world war, and his own career as a poet, including his most recent collection of animal poems.

11-08-2016

Caitlin Davies confronts every writer’s dilemma in her audio diary: how, in a busy week, she can find enough time to write?

This episode also features two recent highlights from the Vox section of our website.

28-07-2016

Nicholas Murray is the author of several biographies, and it is literary biography – and in particular his acclaimed life of Huxley – that he discusses here with George Miller.

21-07-2016

Julia Copus is joined by poets Debjani Chatterjee, Basir Kazmi and Mimi Khalvati, to explore the long history and contemporary pleasures of the ghazal.

30-06-2016

Katharine McMahon speaks with Julia Copus about her novel The Crimson Rooms, and explains how women began to join the legal profession after World War 1.

23-06-2016

Diane Samuels shares her writing week with us, in an audio diary featuring an underwhelming dash of on-stage celebrity, and some accidentally surreal Russian theatre.

09-06-2016

Hugh Thomson speaks with George Miller about the importance of a sense of humour to the travel writer, the erotic pottery of the Moche people, the challenge of writing about his own country, and the importance of the vodka mule in archaeological expeditions.

02-06-2016

Is writing a ruthless business? How much honesty is too much? Should you mine your own life for stories? RLF writers explore this literary quandary in 'The Splinter of Ice'.

26-05-2016

Jane Feaver speaks with Julia Copus about her novel An Inventory of Heaven, an exploration of tragedy and darkness that challenges the conventional notion of the pastoral.

19-05-2016

Brian McAvera takes us to Bordeaux, where research involves wine, serendipity and making your own luck, in 'My Writing Week.

05-05-2016

Fiona Shaw tells Frances Byrnes of how she felt an affinity with her PhD subject — the poet, Elizabeth Bishop — but never anticipated being a writer herself until severe emotions forced something out of her.

14-04-2016

Ian Duhig speaks with Julia Copus about his use of form, his collaborations with other artists and the role of poetry in speaking for the oppressed.

07-04-2016

Kathy Henderson shares the pleasure of global lullaby collecting, and highlights the enduring importance of this powerful, universal blend of words and music.

Harriet Castor is often asked how she first got published — but why is this question so popular, and is it really the right one to ask?

31-03-2016

Jill Dawson tells Frances Byrnes about the importance of 'pleasure not punishment' in writing, the inspiring richness of the Fenland environment, and the barn owl who wanted to be in her novel.

24-03-2016

Alex Martin speaks with Carole Angier about his early writing career as he moves from children’s writing, through English language textbooks, to the whimsical delights of decadence.

17-03-2016

Jane Feaver examines the nostalgic impulse and its relationship with the pastoral, and celebrates their combined generative power in the act of writing.

Katharine McMahon considers the role that location plays in historical fiction, and at what point a writer should go and explore it.

10-03-2016

Ian Duhig speaks with Julia Copus about his early life and work, and the genesis of his well-known and much-loved poem The Lammas Hireling.

25-02-2016

Emma Darwin retreats to country solitude, where she’s writing a memoir about failing to write a novel about her busy family history.

Charles Boyle and Fiona Shaw tell us about why they write, as featured in the Vox section of the RLF’s Showcase.

11-02-2016

The RLF takes an inside look at how writers navigate the shoals of literary genre, and how they really see themselves — despite what those book blurbs might say.

07-01-2016

Annette Kobak considers the lessons that other artforms might provide to the practising writer, including suggestions from her own experiences as a writer and painter.

17-12-2015

Ron Butlin speaks with Kona Macphee about how he came to be a such a diverse writer, his differing experiences of writing in Scots and English, and the importance of music.

10-12-2015

Hilary Davies speaks with Julia Copus about the long poem's role in the literary landscape, and discusses her own long poem 'Imperium'.

03-12-2015

Kate Colquhoun speaks with Carole Angier about the workaholic Joseph Paxton’s parental regrets, the pros and cons of British cooking, and 'holding the basket of domesticity' while ideas float away like untethered balloons.

26-11-2015

John Keay shares his diary during a week in which he lets go of a completed book and considers the next one.

19-11-2015

Julian Evans speaks further with George Miller about his biography of Norman Lewis, the purpose of biography and the biographer’s obligations, and what Norman might have made of the book.

12-11-2015

Eleanor Updale speaks with Kona Macphee about 'all-ages' writing, the ills of contemporary education and the wonder of London’s underground sewers.

05-11-2015

Kate Colquhoun speaks with Carole Angier about the pleasures of rich source material and her need to be surprised while writing, the trials of ever-changing writing technology, and how her career as an author was started by a strawberry crinoline.

22-10-2015

Julian Evans speaks with George Miller about travel and why a book is not the same as a journey, and how he became a 'reluctant biographer' for Norman Lewis.

08-10-2015

Pascale Petit speaks with Julia Copus about the origins and inspirations for her collection The Zoo Father, and about the connections between sculpture and poetry.

01-10-2015

Max Adams speaks with Kona Macphee about writing and walking, geography and the joys of generalism.

17-09-2015

Simon Rae speaks with Carole Angier about his writing life as a poet, biographer, playwright and Young Adult novelist.

10-09-2015

Michael Bywater talks with George Miller about his book on the infantilization of contemporary culture, Big Babies, the nature of male friendship, and his recent work on a musical about the life of Oscar Wilde.

03-09-2015

Jonathan Falla shares his experiences and observations (and even some of his writing exercises) as he directs a residential Creative Writing summer school in St Andrews.

We also share two recent highlights from our Vox short audio series.

27-08-2015

Ruth Thomas speaks with Kona Macphee about short- and long-form fiction, the role of imagery in her work and the challenges of balancing life and career.

06-08-2015

Tony Gould speaks with Carole Angier about his long writing career and the different subjects it has touched on, from military history and memoir to dole queues and diseases.

23-07-2015

Jane Draycott speaks with Julia Copus about her modern translation of 'Pearl', the great Mediaeval poem of earthly loss and spiritual consolation.

16-07-2015

Ann Coburn speaks with Kona Macphee about her writing life, the challenges of travelling theatre and her faith in the future of reading.

09-07-2015

The RLF provides an inside look at the diverse and surprising ways in which contemporary writers support themselves beyond their writing lives.

02-07-2015

Jeremy Seal tells George Miller how he overcame his fear of deadly snakes and about his 500km journey along Turkey’s Meander river by canoe.

25-06-2015

Ron Butlin explains the role of the Edinburgh Makar, describing how he came to the job and his varied experiences as a civic poet in the Athens of the North.

Gerry Cambridge speaks with Kona Macphee about his route into writing, living simply and the pleasures of editorship.

18-06-2015

Jonathan Buckley speaks with James McConnachie about his formally complex novels, the plight of avant-garde writers in the UK and the surprising difficulty of writing.

04-06-2015

Robyn Bolam speaks with Julia Copus about Eliza’s Babes, her anthology showcasing four centuries of women’s poetry.

28-05-2015

Jeremy Seal tells George Miller about his thirty-year fascination with Turkey and how he came to write his first book about the suprising history of a small red hat, A Fez of the Heart.

07-05-2015

Marcy Kahan shares an exciting writing week with us in this nightly audio diary.

Babs Horton, Neil Hanson, Esther Selsdon, Philip Caveney, Susan Price and David Spencer tell us about why they write, as featured in the Vox section of the RLF’s Showcase.

30-04-2015

Heather Dyer speaks with Julia Copus about the pitfalls of early career success, and how she overcame creative block through a process of awakening and relinquishment.

23-04-2015

Emma Darwin is a novelist experimenting with radio plays.

Annie Caulfield is a radio writer embarking on a novel.

In this final part of a three-part conversation, we rejoin Annie and Emma to hear how they got on.

16-04-2015

Julia Copus examines the role of intense personal experience in contemporary poetry, including her own recent work.

Joanne Limburg examines the complex responsibility of writing honestly about one’s own life when this also requires writing about the lives of others.

19-03-2015

Katie Grant speaks with Kona Macphee about how she came to be a writer, the differing roles of novelist and journalist and the musical journey she took in writing her latest novel.

12-03-2015

Max Adams explores the role that long-distance walking plays in his work and his life.

Ann Coburn considers the importance of creating a sense of place when writing for children and young adults.

05-03-2015

Miranda France speaks with Carole Angier about her experiences abroad in Buenos Aires and Spain, the role of mordant humour in her work, and her own journey from travel writing to pure fiction.

26-02-2015

Emma Darwin is a novelist experimenting with radio plays.

Annie Caulfield is a radio writer embarking on a novel.

In this second of a three-part conversation, Annie advises Emma about how to write radio drama.

12-02-2015

Kate Colquhoun explores the responsibilities of non-fiction writers in dealing with matters that are disturbing, controversial or simply unclear.

Katie Grant considers the burdens and benefits of family history and the writer’s duty towards the dead.

05-02-2015

Emma Darwin is a novelist experimenting with radio plays.

Annie Caulfield is a radio writer embarking on a novel.

In this first of a three-part conversation, Emma gives Annie some advice about the joys and tribulations of writing fiction.