All items: F. Scott Fitzgerald

You love Star Trek and Star Wars, because those things are like someone has gone into a laboratory and created the opposite of 1970s suburban London; don't feel guilty about enjoying popular culture by the way, it's going to have its moment.
As the child of bookshop owners, Simon Rae grew up knowing that running a bookshop might be his destiny. But the revelation that he would rather write books than sell them took him along a different path…
I went back to my hotel room, leafed through the mound of tattered pages on the desk, and wished with all my heart that I could be working on something very, very simple.
Plot is often the hardest thing to get right when starting a novel, argues Beatrice Colin, but surely (as F. Scott Fitzgerald is said to have remarked) plot and character are inseparable? She outlines some of her own strategies for getting to grips with the story.

Amanda Mitchison shares the ways she’s entwined with Scottish history, and how one of Scotland’s great historical outrages reached through time to shape the course of her novel.

Lucy Moore explores the challenges of choosing a subject, the dangers of identifying too closely, and how she looks for stories that both allure her and also urgently need telling.

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.