10 episodes

Welcome to The Words! Every month we ask our favourite authors to discuss the themes and ideas that inspire their writing. Subscribe for episodes on sexism, creativity, mental health, rebellion, leadership and more.

The Words The Words

    • Books

Welcome to The Words! Every month we ask our favourite authors to discuss the themes and ideas that inspire their writing. Subscribe for episodes on sexism, creativity, mental health, rebellion, leadership and more.

    The Words 2018 Highlights

    The Words 2018 Highlights

    THE WORDS celebrates its first year.

    In January 2018 Simon & Schuster UK launched its monthly literary podcast, dedicated to the world of books, authors, culture and society.

    In our first year we have covered some of the key issues and themes of the day and interviewed some of the book world’s most influential and entertaining writers, from Hollywood Star Sally Field to prizewinning poet Benjamin Zephaniah.

    In our December episode, our presenter Rosie Goldsmith takes us back over the past year to hear some of the highlights from 32 wonderful guests and lively debates on topics ranging from Sexism, Mental Health, Crime, Poetry to Epic Journeys.

    This programme is your opportunity to listen again to the best of The Words and - if you are joining us for the first time – welcome!

    • 29 min
    The Words on War Heroes

    The Words on War Heroes

    In our latest episode of The Words Podcast we celebrate the lives of the often unsung individuals who displayed remarkable courage in adversity and whose experiences on the battle field, in the air, on the home front and behind enemy lines, have made the pages of the books we discuss today.

    As we commemorated the end of World War One and the centenary of the Armistice, war still rages across the globe.

    Today we still rely daily on the bravery and sacrifice of military forces, the journalists who bring these stories to our attention, the paramedics and humanitarian organisations who fight to save life on the ground and the civilians who risk everything to help others in times of conflict.

    Joining our panel discussion are; John Nichol, ex Royal Air Force Navigator, Flight Lieutenant, Gulf war veteran and author of Spitfire, talks about the iconic fighter planes and those who flew them. Rick Stroud, author of Lonely Courage, shares portraits of the incrdible women in the Special Operations Executive established by Churchill to fight alonside the French resistance and Duncan Barrett, historian and authority on second world war Britain, explains Channel Island life, and rebelion, under Nazi rule as depicted in his new book Hitler’s British Isles.

    In a special interview we speak to Warrant Officer Kim Hughes GC who was awarded the George Cross by The Queen after his first tour of duty in Afghanistan, when he defused a record 119 IEDs saving hundereds of lives including many women and children. His frank and page-turning memoir, Painting The Sand, details his numerous encounters with the Taliban and about the dark truths of life in bomb disposal.

    To conclude Duncan Barrett has written an exclusive essay about Bob Le Sueur, one of Jersey’s most notorious residents who was awarded an MBE for his efforts in assisting escaped Russian prisoners, in Jersey. In his fascinating reading, Barrett details how Le Sueur was able to move about due to his work as an insurance agent and how he acted as relay in a network of people sheltering escapees, forging documents and resisting at every civilian level the Nazi occupaton.

    Inspiring, shocking and deeply moving, this is an episode not to be missed.

    • 44 min
    The Words on Sally Field

    The Words on Sally Field

    This week's episode of The Words Podcast is dedicated to the Hollywood legend, Sally Field.

    For over five decades Sally has captivated television and film audiences. Her shelves are laden with awards, among them two Oscars, three Emmys and two Golden Globes. She is successful, popular and immensely talented.

    Sally has been directed by many of the world’s greatest film-makers including Steven Spielberg, Martin Ritt and Chris Columbus. She has played alongside acting legends such as Kirk Douglas, Robert Mitchum, Daniel Day-Lewis, Shirley MacLaine, Tom Hanks and Robin Williams.

    But her life has also been challenging. In her memoir, In Pieces, Sally opens up for the first time about her difficult and lonely childhood, how she found her voice through acting and the strength and inspiration to take on her other leading roles – as daughter, mother and grandmother.

    In the episode, Sally discusses her life and career, starting out in TV sitcoms and fighting her way, tooth and nail, into film. She speaks about her loves, her family and her losses, and touches upon new theatre projects and her advocacy of women's rights.

    It is a fascinating and revealing interview which celebrates an incredible life and an outstanding book.

    • 23 min
    The Words on Epic Journeys

    The Words on Epic Journeys

    Chris Bonington, Robin Knox-Johnston, Alice Morrison and Jonathan Gornall join us to discuss their tales of adventure, courage and death-defying endurance.

    We’re devoting this programme to Epic Journeys. And we don’t use the word ‘epic’ lightly: you’ll hear about Mount Everest and Timbuktu, cycling, sailing, running and climbing at the lowest - and highest - temperatures on Earth.

    This week's guests are some of the world’s greatest living, breathing, true-life adventurers and travel writers.

    Chris Bonington has conquered Everest four times, and is Britain’s best-known, best-loved mountaineer, TV presenter and prolific author.

    He's joined by the world’s greatest living sailor, Robin Knox-Johnston, who is celebrating the 50th anniversary of his epic solo, non-stop navigation around the world.

    Our next guest, Alice Morrison, is a marathon runner and cyclist, journalist and TV presenter - who has ‘conquered Morocco’ by setting up home there and running ultimate marathons across the Sahara and the Atlas.

    Sailor, journalist and Middle East expert Jonathan Gornall completes our adventurous panel. He has attempted to row across the Atlantic in a small open-top boat and recently completed his novel, How To Build A Boat.

    So why are these explorers prepared to risk life, love and limb to undertake their epic journeys?

    All will be revealed in this week's episode of The Words.

    • 41 min
    The Words on Art and Literature

    The Words on Art and Literature

    Melvyn Bragg, Elizabeth Day, Stephen Fry, Simon Oldfield and Eliza Bonham Carter feature in an episode dedicated to art and literature.

    In this programme, we explore how the interaction between art and literature both enhances and reflects our lives.

    We’ve told stories and created art since human civilisation began. Art and literature can touch us deeply, galvanise us into action, elicit big ideas and, sometimes, horrific acts.

    Our studio guests in this programme are very special: they have made the creative partnership of art and literature their lives and professions.

    Melvyn Bragg is an author, broadcaster and champion of the arts. He is joined by Eliza Bonham Carter from the Royal Academy of Arts. Completing our panel are the co-founders of Pin Drop, former gallery owner Simon Oldfield and acclaimed author Elizabeth Day.

    The programme also features Stephen Fry reading Bethan Roberts' short story, Ms. Featherstone and The Beast, winner of the Pin Drop Short Story Award in collaboration with the Royal Academy of Arts.

    Listen to Melvyn Bragg,  Eliza Bonham Carter, Simon Oldfield and Elizabeth Day discuss art and literature


    Elizabeth Day reads an extract from her short story, On Heat


    Broadcasting legend Melvyn Bragg discusses In Our Time


    Welcome to The Words.

    • 41 min
    The Words on Audiobooks

    The Words on Audiobooks

    Downton Abbey star Catherine Steadman joins us for a special episode on the power of Audiobooks as the nation celebrates Love Audio Week.

    The actor and author talks us through the process of writing and narrating her spectacular new thriller, Something in the Water. Meanwhile, audio expert and publisher Fionnuala Barrett joins us to discuss the medium, the genres, what works and what doesn't when it comes to the spoken word.

    And if you're still deciding what Audiobook to listen to next, we've got some breathtaking extracts read by the world's best storytellers.

    Click below to listen to more extracts from this summer's hottest Audiobooks.


    You by Caroline Kepnes

    You is the riveting and hypnotic story of Joe Goldberg, an obsessive yet brilliant New York bookseller, who exploits today’s technology to win the heart of Beck amid the growing suspicions of her best friend Peach.

    Joe transforms himself from stalker to boyfriend while doing whatever it takes to eliminate all obstacles standing in his way — even if it means murder. Set in today’s 24/7 hyper-connected world, YOU explores how vulnerable we all are to stalking and manipulation online and in real life.

    This best-selling novel published in 2014 to rave reviews including Stephen King, will this autumn be a Netflix Original series starring Penn Badgley, Elizabeth Lail, Luca Padovan, Zach Cherry and Shay Mitchell.



    No Nonsense by Joey Barton

    So, you think you know Joey Barton. Think again. No Nonsense is a game-changing autobiography which will redefine the most fascinating figure in British football. It is the raw yet redemptive story of a man shaped by rejection and the consequences of his mistakes. He has represented England, and been a pivotal player for Manchester City, Newcastle United, Queens Park Rangers, Marseille, Burnley and Glasgow Rangers, but his career has featured recurring controversy. The low point of being sent to prison for assault in 2008 proved to be the catalyst for the re-evaluation of his life.   

    No Nonsense reflects Barton’s character – it is candid, challenging, entertaining and intelligent. He does not spare himself, in revealing the formative influences of a tough upbringing in Liverpool, and gives a survivor’s insight into a game which, to use his phrase, 'eats people alive'. The book is emotionally driven, and explains how he has redirected his energies since the birth of his children. In addition to dealing with his past, he expands on his plans for the future.




    The Outcasts of Time by Ian Mortimer

    From the author of the bestselling The Time Traveller's Guide to Restoration Britain, this is a stunningly high-concept historical novel that is both as daring as it is gripping.

    December 1348: With the country in the grip of the Black Death, brothers John and William fear that they will shortly die and go to Hell. But as the end draws near, they are given an unexpected choice: either to go home and spend their last six days in their familiar world, or to search for salvation across the forthcoming centuries – living each one of their remaining days ninety-nine years after the last.

    John and William choose the future and find themselves in 1447, ignorant of almost everything going on around them. The year 1546 brings no more comfort, and 1645 challenges them still further. It is not just that technology is changing: things they have taken for granted all their lives prove to be short-lived.

    As they find themselves in stranger and stranger times, the reader travels with them, seeing the world through their eyes as it shifts...

    • 38 min

Customer Reviews

SF Bay Mama ,

Great perspectives

I’ve heard the Sexism episode and the wonderful interview with Sally Field so far. I loved them both. Well researched and clever interviews with bright thinkers and influential writers: these episodes are a welcome respite of truth in our world of vacuousness and negativity. Cheers to Simon & Schuster and West End Media!

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