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The Writing Life

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We're a podcast for anyone who writes. Every week we talk to writers about their writing journeys and techniques, from early career debuts to self-publishers and narrative designers. We've featured Margaret Atwood, Jackie Kay, Sara Collins, Antti Tuomainen, Val McDermid, Sarah Perry, Elif Shafak and many more!Brought to you by the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall in Norwich.

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We're a podcast for anyone who writes. Every week we talk to writers about their writing journeys and techniques, from early career debuts to self-publishers and narrative designers. We've featured Margaret Atwood, Jackie Kay, Sara Collins, Antti Tuomainen, Val McDermid, Sarah Perry, Elif Shafak and many more!Brought to you by the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall in Norwich.

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iTunes Ratings

2 Ratings
Average Ratings
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Cover image of The Writing Life

The Writing Life

Latest release on Sep 17, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail 1 day ago

Rank #1: BookTube & Your Online Platform - with Leena Norms

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Prominent BookTuber Leena Norms joins us to talk about developing and maintaining an online profile, handling abuse and her parallel careers on YouTube and in the publishing industry. Also, she politely explains to Simon what BookTube actually means.Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna, who are joined by special guest - and BookTube afficionado - Vicki Maitland.Find out more about what we do: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.ukLeena's website: https://www.leenanorms.com/Leena on Twitter: https://twitter.com/leenanorms

Mar 06 2020

36mins

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Rank #2: Joanna Walsh talks digital narratives at Worlds Literature Festival

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Joanna Walsh talked to us during the hustle and bustle of the Worlds Literature Festival about cyber feminism, post-humanism and exploring digital narratives.Joanna is the author of Hotel, Vertigo, Grow a Pair and Fractals. She's been published in Granta, multiple short fiction anthologies, The Stinging Fly, The Dublin Review and others, is a regular reviewer over at The New Statesman and The Guardian and is the editor of 3AM Magazine and Catapult. She's judged the Goldsmiths Prize and is currently studying a PhD in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of East Anglia.Find out more about Writers' Centre Norwich: http://writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/More information about Worlds: http://www.writerscentrenorwich.org.uk/main-events/worlds/Explore the International Literature Showcase: http://litshowcase.org

Jan 24 2017

14mins

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Rank #3: #33 How to write video games with 80 Days' Jon Ingold

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Jon Ingold, co-founder of Inkle Studios, joins us on the podcast today. The studio has produced award-winning adventures for mobile and PC, including the Sorcery series and 80 Days, and they're only weeks away from releasing their latest project, Heaven's Vault. Jon somehow found the time to talk to us about his career, the founding of Inkle and the creation of their games, as well as diving into the nuts and bolts of what it means to write interactive, branching fiction and dialogue. There's incredible insight here from one of the most experienced writers in gaming, and if you're interested in games writing this is a must-listen.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Links:Inkle Studios: https://www.inklestudios.com/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Feb 27 2019

57mins

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Rank #4: #45 The 10 year road to publication with Kelleigh Greenberg Jephcott

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Kelleigh Greenberg-Jephcott, writer of the Women's Prize for Fiction longlisted book Swan Song, joins us on the podcast to discuss her debut novel and it's 10-year road to publication.Also on the pod today: We talk about the Nottwich gathering of delegates from the UNESCO Cities of Literature network, which took place earlier this week, and this weekend's exciting Norfolk & Norwich Festival literature extravaganza.Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna, with guest Flo Reynolds.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing:https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Norfolk & Norwich Festival: http://nnfestival.org.ukMore info on Nottwich: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/nottwich-begins/About UEA Live: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/uea-live/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

May 23 2019

37mins

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Rank #5: #12 Anthony Horowitz on The Word is Murder

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As the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2018 kicks off, we look back at the 2017 festival when Anthony Horowitz sat down with Chris Gribble to discuss his long and varied career and the creation of The Word is Murder.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Mentioned events:Noirwich Crime Writing Festival: https://noirwich.co.ukDragon Hall Salon: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/dragon-hall-salon/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Sep 12 2018

45mins

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Rank #6: #24 Margaret Atwood's Top 5 Writing Tips

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It's a very special episode this week, as we present the full, extended interview with Margaret Atwood conducted by our Young Ambassadors Emily Webb and Grace Murray earlier in the year. The interview covers everything from how Margaret started writing, why her novels tackle such challenging subjects and her top 5 tips for new writers.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.You can watch a video version of this episode on YouTube: https://youtu.be/fDkbyyPRKFYFind out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Links:Young Ambassador scheme: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/young-ambassadors/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Dec 05 2018

19mins

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Rank #7: Alicia Morgan in a Room of Her Own

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90 years ago, Virginia Woolf published her ground-breaking essay 'A Room of One's Own', which posited that to be a writer, a woman needed money and a room of her own. We joined forces with the Royal Society of Literature to offer a week-long residency at Dragon Hall to address this: giving a female-identifying writer the time, space and support to write whatever they wanted.Alicia Morgan was selected from many amazing submissions. She is a poet, playwright, performer and culture maker now based here in Norwich. She talks with Steph about being an active part of the underground New York punk scene in the 80s and 90s, working as a journalist and her move into fiction.Follow her on Instagram @alicia13morganHosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna.Find out about writer opportunities at https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.ukMusic by Bennet Maples.

Aug 07 2019

32mins

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Rank #8: #15 Found in Translation

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In the first in a new series focusing on translation, we talk to Susan Harris and Samantha Schnee from magazine Words Without Borders about the how translation works, why it's important and how it has the potential to bring the world together.These interviews were recorded at London Book Fair - apologies for the background noise of intense hubbub.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Useful links:Words Without Borders: https://www.wordswithoutborders.org/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Oct 04 2018

27mins

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Rank #9: Structuring non-fiction with Ed Parnell

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Ed Parnell is on the pod to talk about his first non-fiction book, Ghostland. He discusses his obsession with structure, how to pitch a non-fiction book and how he switched from fiction to non-fiction.Simon and Steph also dive into the pod archive to pick out their favourite episodes of the year:Outer Wilds with Kelsey Beachum: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/the-writing-challenges-of-outer-wilds/Jon Ingold from Inkle Studios: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/how-to-write-interactive-narratives-for-games/Elif Shafak & Bidisha: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/elif-shafak-talks-metoo-identity-politics-libraries-and-inequality/Life of Bookseller with Joe Hedinger: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/life-of-a-bookseller/Val McDermid & Sian Cain: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/val-mcdermid-sian-cain-on-the-publishing-landscape-for-lgbtqi-writers/Hosted by Steph McKenna and Simon Jones.Find out about our work: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Music by Bennet Maples.

Dec 19 2019

36mins

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Rank #10: #37 Elif Shafak talks to Bernardine Evaristo, Lucy Caldwell & Sara Maitland

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Elif Shafak hosted a conversation with three of her selected writers for the International Literature Showcase at London Book Fair earlier this month. Bernardine Evaristo, Lucy Caldwell and Sara Maitland contribute to a wide ranging discussion involving identity, trends, social media, impostor syndrome and the state of the publishing industry.The first International Literature Showcase of 2019 is a collaboration between the National Centre for Writing and British Council.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/To read more about the International Literature Showcase and Elif's selection, visit https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/ils/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Mar 28 2019

37mins

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Rank #11: Writing non-linear narratives with Outer Wilds' Kelsey Beachum

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Indie game Outer Wilds has been rapturously received and we were very excited to talk with Kelsey Beachum, writer on the project. We discuss writing non-linear stories, how to handle player agency and interactions, mixing game mechanics with storytelling and how to inject characterful dialogue into exposition.Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna.Find out more at https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.ukMusic by Bennet Maples.

Jul 05 2019

58mins

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Rank #12: Voices from Japan: Episode Two - Aoko Matsuda

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Episode two in a series of podcasts exploring the world of Japanese literature. Hosted by translator Polly Barton in partnership with Writers' Centre Norwich.This is the first of a two-part conversation with Aoko Matsuda, one of Japan's most promising young writers. Aoko has published four collections of stories; English translations of her work include “Photographs Are Images” and “Love Isn’t Easy When You Are The National Anthem” (trans. Jeffrey Angles) in Monkey Business, “Smartening Up” (trans. Polly Barton) in Granta, and “Planting” published as part of the Waseda Bungaku Japan Earthquake Charity Literature project (trans. Angus Turvill).Aoko visited Norwich UNESCO City of Literature in August 2017 for a month-long writing residency, alongside Polly Barton. Here, Aoko and Polly are joined in conversation by Motoyuki Shibata, editor of the English-language literary journal Monkey Business, as well as of the Japanese-language journal Monkey.

Nov 17 2017

57mins

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Rank #13: Making a living as a literary translator with Ekaterina Petrova

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On the pod today we have literary translator and non-fiction writer Ekaterina Petrova. Ekaterina is from Bulgaria, and was our visiting resident for 10 days thanks to support from the Elizabeth Kostova Foundation.A big part of the conversation is about the challenge of making a living from being a literary translator - which, as you can imagine, is even harder than making a living from being a writer.Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna.Find out more about our work: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.ukRead a translated extract by Ekaterina: http://www.eurolitnetwork.com/from-traveling-in-the-direction-of-the-shadow-by-iana-boukova-translated-by-ekaterina-petrova/Don't miss Ekaterina's contribution to the Walking Norwich collection: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/walking-norwich/stranger-on-a-walk/Music by Bennet Maples.

Dec 05 2019

39mins

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Rank #14: Introducing the National Centre for Writing

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The National Centre for Writing launched at Dragon Hall in Norwich this month. To celebrate and explore what that means, we talk with Chief Executive Chris Gribble and Programme Director Peggy Hughes about the ambitions and aims of organisation and what it means for writers around the UK.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/introducing-the-national-centre-for-writing/Mentioned events:Dragon Hall Salon: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/dragon-hall-salon/ Translating Comics: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/comics-its-not-just-in-the-bubble/Family Drop-in Day: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/open-house/Noirwich: https://noirwich.co.uk/Useful links:Tilted Axis ‘Translating Feminisms’ Kickstarter: https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/71029616/translating-feminisms-poetry-chapbooks-from-acrossAll about the Worlds 2018 symposium: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/worlds/Peggy’s Indie Bookshop Tour: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/article/norfolk-bookshops/Poetry Translation Centre: http://www.poetrytranslation.org/English PEN:https://www.englishpen.org/Free Word Centre: https://www.freewordcentre.com/University of East Anglia: https://www.uea.ac.uk/Music by Bennet Maples: http://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Jun 28 2018

24mins

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Rank #15: #40 Elif Shafak, Patience Agbabi, Charlotte Higgins & Evie Wyld

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For our 40th episode we return to the International Literature Showcase with a special conversation between Elif Shafak, Patience Agbabi, Charlotte Higgins and Evie Wyld - all writers who have been selected by Elif for her showcase of women writers working in the UK today. This event was recorded at the Free Word Centre on 25 March 2019.The International Literature Showcase is a partnership project between the National Centre for Writing and British Council.Hosted by Simon Jones and new regular voice Steph McKenna!More about the ILS: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/ils/Granta: https://granta.com/Norfolk & Norwich Festival: https://nnfestival.org.uk/Granta event at NNF: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/the-path-to-publication-40-years-of-granta-magazine/Creative Writing Online courses: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/online-courses/Music by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Apr 17 2019

47mins

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Rank #16: Keeping it in the Family: Domestic Noir with Julia Crouch, Sarah Hilary and Christobel Kent

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Three shining stars of the genre peel back the veneer of domestic bliss to reveal the dangerous underbelly of families, relationships and home lives. Domestic Noir, a term coined by Julia Crouch, has never been more popular. What makes it such a popular choice for female writers today?Part of Noirwich Crime Writing Festival 2016.

Oct 21 2016

1hr

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Rank #17: #27 Death In Paradise creator Robert Thorogood

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Season 8 of the massive BBC television crime drama Death in Paradise starts this week. Robert Thorogood was here at Dragon Hall last year for the Noirwich Crime Writing Festival, and today's episode is a recording of the conversation he had with Nina Nannar, Arts Editor for ITV News.Robert talks about everything from getting his unlikely break into prime time TV, why he set the show in the Caribbean and how Death in Paradise has impacted representation on British screens.Do note that there are some spoilers in here for earlier seasons of the showLinks:Creating Writing Online: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/online-courses/

Jan 08 2019

52mins

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Rank #18: Motoyuki Shibata talks to Chris Gribble

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Japanese translator and creator of the literature magazine Monkey Business, Motoyuki Shibata, visited Norwich in August 2016 as the Writers' Centre Norwich writer in residence.Chris Gribble sat down with Moto to discuss his career, Japanese and American culture and Monkey Business.

Sep 08 2016

37mins

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Rank #19: Prepping for NaNoWriMo with Elizabeth Haynes & Mel Brown

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We talk to Elizabeth Haynes and Melissa Brown about NaNoWriMo, how it's helped their writing careers and why the challenge is worth attempting.Join up at http://nanowrimo.org If you're in Norfolk, head to the kick-off event at the Millennium Library - 1pm 29th October.Follow Elizabeth and Mel on Twitter: http://twitter.com/elizjhaynes http://twitter.com/MrBrown_AuthorThumbnail image courtesy of National Novel Writing Month!

Oct 27 2016

24mins

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Rank #20: #30 How to be a productive writer with Tim Clare

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You'll be hard-pressed to find someone who is more passionate and driven about writing than Tim Clare. We talk about Tim's Weekly Writing Workout newsletter, his Couch to 80k Writing Bootcamp as well as his novels The Honours and forthcoming The Ice House.Plus, of course, we discuss the word count required for reaching the optimum point of neuroplasticity, what Tim learned while talking to the Institute for Procrastination Research and how the same part of your brain is used for processing fiction and reality.Hosted by Simon Jones, writer and Digital Marketing Manager at the National Centre for Writing.Find out more about the National Centre for Writing: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/Links:Tim talks to the Institute for Procrastination Research: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk/death-of-1000-cuts-season-2-episode-37-chatting-with-tim-pychyl/Couch to 80k Bootcamp: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk/couchto80kwritingbootcamp/Weekly Writing Workout: http://www.timclarepoet.co.uk/tim-clares-weekly-writing-workout/Events:Agent Insight with Eve White: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/agent-insights-with-eve-white/Dragon Hall Salon: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-on/dragon-hall-salon-3/All upcoming events: https://nationalcentreforwriting.org.uk/whats-onMusic by Bennet Maples: https://sonicfruit.co.uk/

Jan 30 2019

1hr 19mins

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