'After commuting for twelve years, I went freelance. I told GWR I had written three books on their train, and that I should be made their writer in residence. To my surprise they agreed, giving me a staff pass that allowed free travel on their network.'
'How will we ever code for experiences of wonder, grief, joy and awe? How will a humanoid artist ever yearn? Such experiences will never be reducible to simulated feelings, even if simulations might be transmitted across our neural networks. '
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.
'Words are a re-ordering of dream, an attempt to drag down the superconscious into the good old conscious, where theatres are and publishing happens. But too much world-order and the dream-power is lost. I have to stop, dip back down into sleep.'
'On that rainy afternoon in O’Connell Building, surrounded by my classmates, my love of drama ignited. You tasked us with devising a dramatic scene: recreating Joan of Arc’s last night on Earth. Maybe some of her rubbed off on me that afternoon.'
Laura Barnett explores the fears she experienced in pregnancy and early motherhood and how she reconciled her new role, as mother to a young son, with her writer self.
I took a blanket and the six scripts I was paid to read to the park. Seven pillows were too much — I couldn’t find seven pillows, let alone carry them. I would lie in the sun and work (for £6 a script but hey, early nineties). My job was to think about the words on the page.
Nathalie Abi-Ezzi on the power of storytelling to create community, identity and belonging, and how a textile art project in London’s East End pushed the boundaries of her work.
'In strange pandemic times, I found this continual cycle comforting. As Sue Stuart-Smith observes: ‘When things are precarious…it is with the promise of spring that nature vouchsafes us an answer’. Bulbs you plant in autumn will come up in spring. '
'I needed to learn that so much happens in the prewriting stage when the mind is working stuff out. I was sitting down to write like I was clocking on to a shift. I hadn’t played with the screenplay and was placing huge demands on this moment.'
'Over the past thirty years I’ve pretty much jumped from one project to the next. I even took a laptop on a family holiday and got up early to write. What kind of holiday is that? Not only was I working, I wasn’t entirely with the people I love.'
'On Saturday nights, you put on a miniskirt and drink (and often throw up) vodka orange in south London living rooms. You kiss boys. You stay up whispering to girl friends about kissing boys. You do not think that you are thinking about kissing girls. '