All items: Bill Bryson

Mark McCrum speaks with James McConnachie about how he came to take up ghostwriting, its similarities with travel writing, the drama of being the official documenter of the troubled Castaway TV series in 2000, and the challenge of Robbie Williams versus impending deadlines.

Jonathan Tulloch takes us to a Cumbrian riverbank, circa 1983, for a picnic eagerly awaiting the end of the world at half past three (please pass the ham sandwiches.)

Mary Colson faces down the aimlessness and lack of purpose that takes hold when a book has been finished, but hasn’t yet found its place in the world.

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.