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'If you’re lucky, something else kicks in: a kind of defiance that makes you dig deep. Isn’t that deadline a manifestation of yourself, your hopes, your ambitions, your drive to produce something of substance that, against all odds, communicates truly?'
'We tolerate the disorganised genius who can never submit their work on time because their work is worth the wait. Most of us are literary mortals, however, and we aren’t afforded the luxury of being unreliable.'
'A non-fiction book tends to be sold before it's written. Whether its your first book, or your fiftieth, the deadline will have been in the contract from the beginning. As far as I'm concerned, I'm undertaking a craft, and I go about it in a professional way.'

Christie Dickason shares the extraordinary experience of learning to assert her place in a wild wolf pack, and how navigating that lupine environment has permanently transformed her writing practice.

'Choosing books indiscriminately by weight as much as content, I wanted to find books that were heavy enough to keep me going until my visit the following week and I didn't risk wasting my precious allocation of books on something slim.'
Most writers need to support themselves financially, one reason why the RLF has proved a lifeline to many. Sue Fletcher pays tribute to the organisation which has enabled her to ‘write without worrying’, and reflects on the wide variety of other jobs she has taken over the years in order to support her writing career.
Like most writers, Linda Buckley-Archer has experienced the horror of a looming deadline. But is it better to rush to finish a piece of work, no matter what, or hold off until it is the way you want it to be? As she explains here, there is no easy answer…

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.’


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.

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