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‘Helen Dunmore was an established writer, but she revealed how she wasn’t happy about the stories she was writing. I hadn’t heard a writer talk about failure before. ‘
‘The student distrusts their own abilities to evoke a fictional world and so they add in more and more detail. But they also distrust their reader.’

Cherise Saywell speaks with Doug Johnstone about the correspondence course that showed her she had something to say, the striking sense of place in her writing, her love of clean, understated prose and the benefits of continuing to write short stories alongside her novels.

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