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In this installment of 'My Favourite Book', we hear from Royal Literary Fund fellows about what makes particular books special to them, from subject matter and style to larger-than-life characters and those all-important opening lines.

'‘Kill your darlings’ is high on my list of unhelpful comments about writing, almost as bad as Connolly’s dismissive ‘pram in the hall’ which implies parents (and probably especially women) can’t be good writers. We need greener metaphors for creativity.'
'Had I started anything freely — a poem or a description, a riff of dialogue or rough journal entries — my block may have dispersed. But duty made me stick at the thesis and not diversify. I didn't know then what kind of writer I was.'
'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?'
'Loneliness is the follower of bereavement and isolation; the sequel to so many sad life events. An imposition, creeping up with its cunning net. But solitude is a fresh place, chosen to create new work and connections to life outside.'
'As an adult, I've formed the habit of taking seasonal notes almost every day. It feels like reaching out a hand to touch the outside world and gain the state of self-forgetfulness needed to write.'

Stephanie Norgate speaks with Jane Draycott about dramatising the life of a pioneering undercover woman journalist, giving voice to the collapsing landscapes of West Sussex and her out-of-doors childhood in Gilbert White’s Selborne.


Stephanie Norgate explores her practice of keeping notebooks, relishing the 'unexpected jewels' they produce, and shares her fascination with the notebooks of other writers and the remarkable insights they can provide.

Remembering her own childhood holidays in Italy, Stephanie Norgate reflects on why so many works of literature deal with a return to one special place which means something to the writer.
Stephanie Norgate reflects on why are there so many films with a writer as the central character and why the writer in question is so often a man.
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