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In this installment of 'How I Write', we hear from Royal Literary Fund fellows about their favourite places to write, taking in everything from garden sheds to trains and foreign hotel rooms.

'Etymology is important here: rejection means thrown back. You send something out and it’s thrown back. Over the years I’ve come to see that it’s good to understand that rejection of a piece of work isn’t the same as rejection of me as a writer. '
'When you’re used to publishing work in a book or journal, the idea of having words carved into stone is thrilling — and terrifying. A poem in a pavement is public, that’s public with a capital ‘P’. There are different responsibilities and considerations.'
RLF writers consider what advice might be most helpful for those hoping to pursue the writing life, including thoughts on time management, careers guidance and maintaining emotional equilibrium through the highs and lows of the creative process.
'These poems are never conventionally published: they skittle through the air into the hearts of whoever’s present, as gifts, ways of marking a moment that never comes again. They are poems of witness, poems that usher us over a threshold.'

Alyson Hallett speaks with Jane Draycott about the migration of stones and people, the mischief of making anonymous work, the responsibility of writing for public spaces, and writing decades later about a secret affair.


Alyson Hallett tells of how her words came to be carved in stone and laid down in a pavement in the centre of Bath.

Donny O'Rourke pens a testament to the enduring and evolving nature of Glasgow tenements, stone stoics in a city that endlessly cannibalises itself.

A change of place, finding a new muse, pausing on a London bridge, all can stimulate the writer's imagination again, says John Greening. From a sexual potency operation for W.B.Yeats, to Clive James’ terminal illness, there are many ways to trigger inspiration.

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.


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.

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