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Amanda Mitchison speaks with John Siddique about her family’s writing legacy, her eccentric newsroom roles in the Vatican and Cairo, the current plight of career journalists, and her wistful links to Scotland.

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.