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‘Typing away with two fingers late at night with no idea of plan or structure, not noticing as characters came and went. But you enjoyed every second.’

Cherise Saywell describes how an unexpected writing career descended into paralysis, and how a short and anonymously-published piece helped her to reconnect with what she loves about writing.

Cynthia Rogerson explains how escaping to a weekly writing group turned her from a frustrated mother-of-many to a fledgling novelist, who discovered that as far as family went, ‘it was extraordinary how happy we all were just suiting ourselves’.

‘Two very different teachers put the crazy notion into my head that the daughter of an Irish labourer and a servant could, and should, write books.’