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Neil Rollinson explores the relationship between writing and alcohol and considers some famous writers who found their muse – and sometimes their nemesis – at the bottom of a bottle.
'Disconcertingly, 'memory' frequently changes shape. First there were folders of paper, then square floppy discs, then round CDs, extra disc drives, and now tiny memory sticks that are easily lost. Will I be forced to rent online storage?'
03-06-2021

Catherine O'Flynn is surprised by the dearth of literature about car boot sales, the ideal place to take your internal apocalpysometer for a spin.

Stuart Walton recalls the Pleasureland Fairground, home of ‘The Rides’, an experience that grew with him and his sister throughout their youth.

'I met the real-life inspiration for one of the women characters, Carolyn Cassady, wife of Neal, or 'Dean' as he is known in the novel. She'd just published a memoir describing what it was really like to be a woman in the Beat world.'
'He stood up and toured the crowded shelves of his study, picking up a book here and a book there. "Read these", he said, "Come back later in the summer and we'll discuss them."'
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.
01-02-2018

Horatio Clare speaks with James McConnachie about the pleasures and plights of Welsh sheep-farming, the creative criminal record of his youth, and why writers should 'live it and leave it until it's ready' when using real life as material.

Jonathan Tulloch considers ways in which train travel can stimulate a writer’s creative flow, with reference to famous practitioners for whom this method of transport proved inspiring, such as Edward Thomas, Thomas Hardy, and Philip Larkin.
08-09-2016

William Palmer explains the importance of craft, skill and empathy in successful fiction, and examines where novice writers often go wrong.

John Siddique introduces the 'laboratory' of his notebook’s pages, and explains how keeping a journal can lead to 'a more conscious and loving way to live'.

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