Skip to content
‘Once upon a time there was a little girl who wanted to be a writer. She worked very hard, scribbling lots of stories. Then, one day, a fairy godagent promised to make all her dreams come true.' Ann Morgan reconciles the myth and business of being an author.

Royal Literary Fund writers explore how their writing relates to the people around them, taking in everything from working with community groups to dealing with isolation.


In the first of a two-part exploration of the knotty problem of ‘Writing versus life’, Royal Literary Fund fellows discuss the ways writers try and sometimes fail to fit writing into their lives, including issues such as juggling family commitments, the importance of finding the right quality of silence and the value of a room of one's own.

'Gather a few authors together in a room and does the conversation veer towards culture, philosophy, art…literature? No, it does not. It focuses on complaints — publicists, publishers, party invitations (lack of), editors and of course…earnings. '
'There aren’t many places where I can’t write. A beach in full sun is no good, nor is a fast-moving car, but trains are fine, parks in fair weather, waiting rooms, anywhere with a seat, in fact. People don’t distract me, nor does any but the loudest noise. '
'How do you get your ideas?’ If this seems a silly question to you: try not to say that. Think ahead and make up a reason. You’re a creator! Invent. And if your audience is bijou — shall we say — involve them.'
Anna Wilson reflects on her writerly beginnings, how she found the confidence to call herself a writer, and the circularity of her career.

Lesley Glaister speaks with Caroline Sanderson about the mystery of why some of her characters roar into life while others don’t; pays tribute to Hilary Mantel as a friend and mentor of her work; and argues that the heart of her fiction doesn’t only lie in darkness, but also in the triumph of the human spirit.

'There was no one in the once-a-monastery-now-a-restaurant but us — maybe the festival had booked the whole restaurant, which didn’t strike me as out of keeping with the general oddness of this globetrotting cohort of writers and translators.'
'When I was asked to co-translate a doorstep on Joseph Beuys, then a monograph on choreographer Pina Bausch and her innovative dance theatre, I realised I was dealing with the great and good of the German postwar avant garde. Yet still winging it.'
'The green room can be daunting when you’re starting on your literary career but I’ve found it a source of conversation and news. After a solitary winter of writing, there’s nothing better than meeting others to discuss the vicissitudes of being a published author.'
Back To Top