93 episodes

Always Take Notes is a fortnightly podcast from London for and about writers and writing. Hosts Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd speak to a diverse range of people in the industry on a variety of topics, from the mysteries of slush piles and per-word rates, to how data are changing the ways newspapers do business and how to pitch a book. patreon.com/alwaystakenotes

Always Take Notes Always Take Notes

    • Arts
    • 4.6 • 72 Ratings

Always Take Notes is a fortnightly podcast from London for and about writers and writing. Hosts Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd speak to a diverse range of people in the industry on a variety of topics, from the mysteries of slush piles and per-word rates, to how data are changing the ways newspapers do business and how to pitch a book. patreon.com/alwaystakenotes

    #93: Phoebe Hurst, managing editor, Vice UK

    #93: Phoebe Hurst, managing editor, Vice UK

    Simon and Rachel speak with Phoebe Hurst. As the managing editor of Vice UK, Phoebe is responsible for commissioning and editing stories with a youth-focused lens; she has also written about topics as varied as mental health, plastic waste, and the rise of Pret A Manger. Before that, she was the editor of Munchies, Vice's food channel, and has freelanced for publications including Wired, the Guardian and Dazed. We spoke to Phoebe about getting started in journalism, the joys of a good editor and the fabled “Vice Voice”.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 54 min
    #92: Alexander McCall Smith, novelist

    #92: Alexander McCall Smith, novelist

    Rachel and Simon speak with prolific novelist Alexander McCall Smith. Alexander was a professor of Medical Law, before turning his hand to writing fiction. His first book, “The White Hippo”, a children’s title, was published in 1980. But it wasn’t until the appearance of the highly successful “The No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency” series that Alexander became a household name. The series has now sold over twenty million copies in English alone. Alexander’s various series of books have been translated into forty-six languages. Others include the “44 Scotland Street” novels and the Isabel Dalhousie books. Recently, he launched the Ulf Varg series of ‘Scandi blanc’ novels set in Sweden. Alexander talked to us about his rapid writing pace, the moral questions of detective novels and the idea of cultural appropriation.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 55 min
    #91: Linda Grant, writer and novelist

    #91: Linda Grant, writer and novelist

    Simon speaks with the writer and novelist Linda Grant. She began her career as a journalist, writing for the Guardian and the Independent on Sunday, before publishing “The Cast Iron Shore”, her first novel, in 1996. Her subsequent books include “Remind Me Who I Am, Again” (1998), “When I Lived in Modern Times” (2000), “Still Here” (2000), “The People on the Street” (2005) and “The Clothes on their Backs” (2008). Her work has variously won or been nominated for a clutch of prizes, including the Orange Prize for Fiction, the Man Booker Prize and the Letter Ulysses Prize for Literary Reportage. Linda talked about literary touchstones, writing great dialogue and “A Stranger City”, her latest novel.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Katy Lee, who also handles our social media. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 49 min
    #90: Geoff Dyer, author

    #90: Geoff Dyer, author

    Rachel and Simon speak with the prolific and genre-bending author Geoff Dyer. Geoff’s many books include the novel “Jeff in Venice, Death in Varanasi,” “But Beautiful” (about jazz), “Yoga For People Who Can’t Be Bothered To Do It,” “Zona” (about Andrei Tarkovsky’s film “Stalker”) and, most recently, “Broadsword Calling Danny Boy” (on the film “Where Eagles Dare”). His books have been translated into twenty-four languages and he currently lives in Los Angeles where he is Writer in Residence at the University of Southern California. We spoke with Geoff about his early life and his entry into writing, fiction versus non-fiction, and the economics of his writing life.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 55 min
    #89: Amanda Craig, novelist

    #89: Amanda Craig, novelist

    Rachel and Simon speak with the novelist Amanda Craig. After a brief spell in advertising and PR, Amanda became a journalist—writing for the Sunday Times, the Observer, the Telegraph and the Independent—and went on to win the Young Journalist of the Year and the Catherine Pakenham Award. Amanda is now a full-time novelist and her latest book, “The Golden Rule”, was published in June. We talked to Amanda about writing interconnected stories, the economics of the publishing industry and her experience of libel law.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar. The photo credit for Amanda's photograph is Charlie Hopkinson.

    • 53 min
    #88: Toby Young, journalist and author

    #88: Toby Young, journalist and author

    Simon and Rachel speak with journalist and author Toby Young. He has written for the Times, the Sun on Sunday, the Daily Mail, the Daily Telegraph and has been a columnist at the Spectator since 1998. His book, “How to Lose Friends & Alienate People”, about his stint at Vanity Fair, became a bestseller and was adapted into a film starring Simon Pegg. Toby co-founded the West London Free School and is the chief executive of the Free Speech Union. We talked to Toby about his entry into journalism, his contrarian instincts and whether there is a “business of outrage”.

    You can find us online at alwaystakenotes.com, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at facebook.com/alwaystakenotes. Our crowdfunding page is patreon.com/alwaystakenotes. Always Take Notes is presented by Simon Akam and Rachel Lloyd, and produced by Nicola Kean. Our social media is run by Katy Lee. Our music is by Jessica Dannheisser and our logo was designed by James Edgar.

    • 1 hr 1 min

Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5
72 Ratings

72 Ratings

Rvdrnaut ,

Great view into a hidden world

Gets into the details of publishing including the touchy subject of money. Insightful. Ian Rankin episode my favourite.

PrincessJen70 ,

Really informative

Am making my way through the back catalogue and am learning a lot. The interviews are great. Only downsides are that I had to turn one of them off because the person was SO negative about the world of writing I started to feel a bit depressed about ever getting published, and most people are so terribly posh it would be nice to have a few more working class people on there!

Londonfitnesskitchen ,

Incredible guests but wish hosts would let them speak

A brilliant idea & fantastic guests. However, the hosts butting in with their own anecdotes is beyond frustrating. They could do their own episodes instead of trying to hijack interviews with their experiences. Happens every episode

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