42 episodes

Ali Millar and Penny Wincer are not too busy to write. Except of course, sometimes they’re too busy to write as much as they would like. Join Ali and Penny as they navigate the world of writing, publishing and creativity whilst juggling the demands of motherhood, caring and other paid work, without losing themselves in the process. They’ll be discussing the challenges that often get in the way of sitting down to write, interviewing fellow authors and discussing their latest reads. They'll also be spurring each other on and reminding each other that they are not too busy to write.

Ali Millar is the author of The Last Days (Ebury, 2022), a mother of 4, chair of many literary events and a Scot, newly relocated to London. She is currently working on a TV treatment, her next non-fiction proposal, and the last edits of The Last Days, which is out early 2022.

Penny Wincer is the author of Tender: The Imperfect Art of Caring (Hodder, June 2020), is a single parent to two kids, one of whom is disabled, occasional journalist, professional photographer and an Australian and long-term resident of London. She’s currently writing a proposal for book number 2 and working on her first novel.

Not Too Busy To Write Penny Wincer

    • Arts
    • 5.0 • 3 Ratings

Ali Millar and Penny Wincer are not too busy to write. Except of course, sometimes they’re too busy to write as much as they would like. Join Ali and Penny as they navigate the world of writing, publishing and creativity whilst juggling the demands of motherhood, caring and other paid work, without losing themselves in the process. They’ll be discussing the challenges that often get in the way of sitting down to write, interviewing fellow authors and discussing their latest reads. They'll also be spurring each other on and reminding each other that they are not too busy to write.

Ali Millar is the author of The Last Days (Ebury, 2022), a mother of 4, chair of many literary events and a Scot, newly relocated to London. She is currently working on a TV treatment, her next non-fiction proposal, and the last edits of The Last Days, which is out early 2022.

Penny Wincer is the author of Tender: The Imperfect Art of Caring (Hodder, June 2020), is a single parent to two kids, one of whom is disabled, occasional journalist, professional photographer and an Australian and long-term resident of London. She’s currently writing a proposal for book number 2 and working on her first novel.

    Sophie Howarth - on writing about art and the joy being an amateur

    Sophie Howarth - on writing about art and the joy being an amateur

    Sophie Howarth has a varied and unique career spanning art, entrepreneurship, teaching, activism and writing. She has been Curator of Public Programs at Tate Modern, co-founded The School Of Life and Department Store for The Mind, has written several books on photography. Her latest book The Mindful Photographer is about slowing down and paying attention to what we see. Sophie is a big believer in the joy of being an amateur and the book is for anyone, regardless of equipment or expertise, to find a fresh way of paying attention in the world.
    We talk about 'beginning in the middle' - how in middle age, with our awareness of impermanence, we are somehow freed from constraints by being more aware of death. We also talk about the process of writing a photography book, of approaching the artists she wanted to use to illustrate the ideas in the book and the range of work including diversity of gender, race and genre.
    Our conversation spans so many areas - inspiration (and too much inspiration/input), work freedom, following joy and the idea of practise as a way of living.
    Links
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780500545539 (The Mindful Photographer - Sophie Howarth)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780500289075 (Street Photography Now - Sophie Howarth)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780500544532 (Family Photography Now - Sophie Howarth)
    https://www.sophiehowarth.com/ (sophiehowarth.com)

    • 40 min
    Sian Meades-Williams on freelancing writing, making money and newsletter love

    Sian Meades-Williams on freelancing writing, making money and newsletter love

    Sian Meades-Williams is the brains (and muscle) behind the hugely popular Freelance Writing Jobs newsletter and co-founder of the award winning lifestyle newsletter Tigers Are Better Looking (formerly Domestic Sluttery). In today's episode we discuss Sian's new book The Pyjama Myth: The Freelance Writer's Survival Guide - an indispensable guide for writers from pitching to getting paid. Sian is full of fantastic advice for earning a living from the craft of writing, including pitching. We also do a deep dive into newsletters and the freedom and joy they bring to her work. A must listen for anyone experiencing the highs and lows of freelance writing life.
    Links
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781800180963 (The Pyjama Myth - Sian Meades-Williams)
    https://mailchi.mp/69d207801f23/freelancewritingjobs (Freelance Writing Jobs Newsletter Sign up)
    https://www.tigersarebetterlooking.com/ (Tigers Are better looking Newsletter Sign Up)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781788703567 (The Feminist Quiz Book - Sian Meades-Williams and Laura Brown)


    You can find Sian on Twitter https://twitter.com/SianySianySiany (@SianySianySiany) and https://www.sianmeadeswilliams.com/ (sianmeadeswilliams.com)

    • 58 min
    Maggie Gee on Empathy, language, and the non-human in fiction.

    Maggie Gee on Empathy, language, and the non-human in fiction.

    In this episode Maggie Gee reads extracts from her stunning new novel, The Red Children (Saqi Books). Set in the near future against a backdrop of increased migration pressure, climate change and increasing isolation, The Red Children explores themes of far right extremism and the aftermath of virus.
    Ali talks to Maggie about the enduring power of fable. How characters with radically different personalities to ours can foster a deeper empathy, and how to write the non-human successfully.

    • 44 min
    Lizzie Damilola Blackburn on romantic comedies and writing the character you couldn't find

    Lizzie Damilola Blackburn on romantic comedies and writing the character you couldn't find

    Lizzie Damilola Blackburn's debut novel Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? tells the story of 31 yr old British-Nigerian Yinka, who is feeling the pressure to settle down. When she finds out her ex-boyfriend is bringing his new fiance to her cousins wedding, she decides to go on a mission to find herself a plus one for the big day. Lizzie and Penny chat about how Yinka started life in a short story and how Lizzie felt characters like Yinka were missing from mainstream women's fiction. After the story won a prize, Lizzie decided to write her into a novel. Lizzie is passionate about representation in fiction and about writing religion in a way that feels true to her. She also discusses the importance of writing about colourism and body image for dark skinned black women and creating nuance and humour these complex issues.
    Links
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780241504598 (Yinka, Where is Your Huzband? - Lizzie Damilola Blackburn)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781398702295 (Hope and Glory - Jendella Benson )
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781529054170 (The Christie Affair - Nina De Gramont)


    You can find Lizzie on twitter https://twitter.com/DamilolaLizzie (@DamilolaLizzie)

    • 34 min
    Clover Stroud - Death, life and writing memoir in real time

    Clover Stroud - Death, life and writing memoir in real time

    Clover Stroud is a Sunday Times best selling author of a number of books including The Wild Other and My Wild and Sleepless Nights. Her latest book, The Red of My Blood, is the story of her sister Nell's death and the immediate aftermath. Clover talks about how her writing benefits from the immediacy of writing in real time and how it felt natural for her to write about the extremities of grief when she was deep in its throws. We also talk about taking yourself to the edge creatively and how it makes life more vivid and putting a magnifying glass up to human experience as well as some of the positive aspects of social media. Clover also has some excellent reading advice for writers.
    Links
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780857527738 (The Red of My Blood - Clover Stroud)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781784164119 (My Wild and Sleepless Nights - Clover Stroud)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781473663947 (The Stone Mason - Andrew Zeminski)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781399601849 (Devil in a Coma - Mark Lanegan)
    https://www.waterstones.com/book/atlas-of-the-heart/brene-brown/9781785043772 (Atlas of the Heart - Brene Brown)
    You can find Clover on instagram https://www.instagram.com/clover.stroud/ (@clover.stroud)

    • 1 hr 6 min
    Doreen Cunningham on nature, climate change and motherhood

    Doreen Cunningham on nature, climate change and motherhood

    Doreen Cunningham began her a career as a climate science researcher and has spent the last 20 years as a journalist. Her memoir, Soundings: Journeys in the company of whales, is the story of her experiences follow the grey whale migration from Mexico to Alaska as a newly single parent with her very young son in tow. Woven into the book is the story of her time spent with an Inupiaq family in Northern Alaska, where she joined a traditional whale hunt and learnt about how climate change was already affecting artic communities. It's a memoir about love, wrestlessness, colonialism, motherhood and climate change. Doreen talks about the challenges and responsibility of writing about her experiences as a white person within an indigenous community, the urgent drive to write about climate change in a way that would resonate with readers and writing about science in an accessible, story driven way.
    Links
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780349014951 (Soundings: Journeys in the company of whales)
    https://www.literarykitchen.co.uk/ (Literary Kitchen)
    https://www2.societyofauthors.org/grants/grants-for-work-in-progress/ (Society of Authors - Grants for work in progress)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781408866757 (Big Magic - Elizabeth Gilbert)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9780099581888 (We Need New Names - Noviolet Bulawayo)
    https://uk.bookshop.org/a/6990/9781509863914 (Devotion - Hannah Kent)

    • 36 min

Customer Reviews

5.0 out of 5
3 Ratings

3 Ratings

waywornwanderer ,

Excellent listen for any womxn writer or aspiring writer

I’ve listened to every episode Ali Millar and Penny Wincer have out so far, and can’t wait to keep listening. It is so valuable to get a behind-the-scenes peek at how other mothers tackle the varied social, professional, and family demands placed on their shoulders while still nurturing their creativity. Not condescending in the slightest, it’s like chatting with two friends. (This is where I admit I’d like to be friends with both!) Killer book recommendations as well.

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