All items: Tom Stoppard

Nicola Baldwin describes her first forays into writing about medical science, and how this became a major theme in her playwriting.
Once I start on a novel I write every day and become captivated by the way the story unfolds. Although as author I am notionally in charge, in fact I write to find what happens next.
Should poetry be about something — other than itself? asks John Greening, considering some famous examples of works that have defied this question, as well as others which have dared to be topical, even at the risk of becoming irrelevant over time.
Since Shakespeare delighted Elizabeth I by giving Sir John Falstaff his own play, characters from stories have often had afterlives — existences outside the works that gave birth to them. John Pilkington argues that appropriating a character, and turning him or her into someone new, is very different from writing a mere sequel.
The dark, haunting music of the Italian princely composer Don Carlo Gesualdo, and his equally dark life, has disturbed and inspired many writers. How then could Shaun McCarthy approach his subject anew? And how could he avoid ‘men and women moving around glum candlelit interiors in sixteenth-century costume’ and create something fresh?