All items: Iris Murdoch

When I simply consumed books with no aspiration to write one, every novel was a plus. It existed only to give me joy and if it failed there were plenty others.
The Aegean pebble on the desk, the mug with the silly legend, the quiver of blunt pencils, the wonky chair, are vitally important coordinates like the stars to a medieval mariner. The concrete conditions in which I write are important to me.

Stephen Wyatt takes us to an unusual destination: the Gallifrey One convention, where participants are enthusiastic, oddly dressed, and gratifyingly appreciative of his own 30-year-old TV script.

Doug Johnstone reminds us that no completed novel lives up to what its creator initially imagined, and explains how a complete failure three books in led him to find his true writing voice.

Iris Murdoch advised me to put something for everybody into my novels. She meant that a novel has to work at different levels for different kinds of readers; as a story, as an entertainment, as a page-turner, and as a way of exploring interesting ideas.