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‘Reading as a writer and not just as a reader is a different experience, both richer and less carefree; instead of simply enjoying the ride now you are paying attention to the mechanism that makes it possible’

Julia Copus shares her diary in ‘My Writing Week’, encompassing a glitzy awards night in the city, the challenge of everyday administrative distractions back at home, and the role of dogs – the ‘heartbeat at my feet’ – in the lives of writers.

Donny O’Rourke visits old haunts in Dumfries and the Borders, ghosted by the bards of Scotland’s past, for the liminal Celtic festival of Samhain.

Julian Turner considers the usefulness of imagination, not just to the writer, but also to the exile and the abused child, and suggests that metaphorical thinking may be psychologically essential.