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'Seventy-four years after Dickens’ night-walk, in the year 1930, Virginia Woolf sets out from Bloomsbury to the Strand. Her object is not to get through the night but to purchase a pencil. Under cover of this, she can indulge in the pleasure of rambling.'
Nicola Baldwin reflects on her time as Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the University of Greenwich, and how the legacy of Floyer Sydenham – the destitute author whose fate inspired the foundation of the RLF – lives on.
RLF writers explore the effects that encounters with readers have on them, and the sometimes surprising consequences of interacting with someone who might have read your words rather differently than you imagined.
'On the first of September I sat down at my desk and two female characters arrived. They were called Antonia and Jane. "Write about us!" they shouted. The screenplay finished itself ten days later... and was bought by Miramax in New York.'
'The unwritten play becomes so tantalisingly wonderful, surprising, profound: — why spoil its hypothetical brilliance by encasing it in specific words? Deadlines are the best motivation ever devised to shift the play from inspiration to first draft.'

In the second instalment of 'My Hero', we hear from a number of RLF writers about their personal heroes, and how those heroes have had an impact on their lives and their writing.


Marcy Kahan speaks with Gabriel Gbadamosi about rejecting the overly literary via her inner clown, writing urbane romantic comedies for radio, why fascists hate satire, and her long-running series Lunch.


Marcy Kahan describes how a sudden, unexpected mid-career dip led her to playwriting manuals, while maintaining a ‘respectful ambivalence’ towards the genre.

Zoë Marriott explains how character is the North Star that steers her journey through each new fantasy novel, shaping every aspect of setting and story.

'I also aspire to read a play a day, which is unrealistic if you are a commissioned writer with a Netflix subscription, and a poem a day, which is more achievable. '

Steven Pinker speaks with his old friend and schoolmate, the RLF’s Marcy Kahan, about his writing and editing process, why the Enlightenment matters more than ever, why the world is actually better than it used to be, and some approaches to achieving happiness.


Steven Pinker speaks with his old friend and schoolmate, the RLF’s Marcy Kahan, about coming of age in Montreal’s Anglophone Jewish community, the nature of good writing and the 'classic style', and managing a dictionary by democratic processes.

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