Good articles on writing

Here, I’m collecting links to articles on writing or writers that I’ve found interesting or useful.


‘I was told there was no market for foody books set in rural France.’ How ‘Chocolat’ came into being – an interview in The Guardian with Joanne Harris

The flexibility of the short story, from a Bridport Prize judge.

The Guardian interviews debut novelists in the UK for 2018.

An excellent collection of writing advice to avoid (or at least think about hard) from Paul Anthony Shortt.

How Rupert Thomson’s novel The Insult ended up on David Bowie’s must-read list.

Where you buy your books matters: discounts mean deep cuts for authors and illustrators. Jackie Morris on thinking about a book as a pie.

Have literary writers lost the plot? Tim Lott says they should write better books.

I don’t think you can fault much written or endorsed by Jane Friedman. Here’s a link on how to avoid the worst possible first page errors.

Here’s a great piece with Phaedra Patrick on why she writes. I interviewed Phaedra in 2016 about the novel in question, The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper, and once you’ve read this piece, you might like to read about how she came to write it here.

How writers write: Graham Greene. I heard something in a BBC radio programme about Greene’s novels being short because of restrictions on paper after the war. Novels had to be around 220 pages at most, around 65,000 words. It takes a lot of discipline, epitomised by Greene’s intense working style described in this article.

What editors of magazines want to seeWhat Editors Want; A Must-Read for Writers Submitting to Literary Magazines (The Review Review)

“Write what you know is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.” A piece from Emily Temple on what Nobel Prize winner Kazuo Ishiguro has to say about the writing process.

Researching locations for a novel: David Nicholls in The Guardian.