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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.

Pascale Petit recounts how the sudden re-emergence of her long-absent father triggered both a sense that she’d discovered the material for her new book, but also a complete inability to write it.

Penny Hancock explains how a professional setback and a series of personal losses led her to decide to give up writing completely - and how the unusual life story of an elderly relative provided two kinds of inspiration for starting again.