200 episodes

We're a weekly podcast for anyone who writes. 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!

The Writing Life is produced by the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall in Norwich.

The Writing Life National Centre for Writing

    • Arts
    • 4.7 • 9 Ratings

We're a weekly podcast for anyone who writes. 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!

The Writing Life is produced by the National Centre for Writing at Dragon Hall in Norwich.

    Writing About Love - A Conversation With Maddie Mortimer

    Writing About Love - A Conversation With Maddie Mortimer

    How to write about love in its various forms with Maddie Mortimer. 

    Maddie is the author of Maps Of Our Spectacular Bodies which won her a 2022 Desmond Elliott Prize. 

    The first part of our conversation was about her Desmond Elliott Prize win, but we soon started talking about the novel, writing craft and writing love. This episode features the section of the conversation about writing love, from the intimate and tender to the physical and visceral, from the romantic to the familial. 

    As part of the Early Career Awards, we regularly publish our free EC Packs - bundles of advice, interviews, audio and video to help writers tackle particular areas of writing. We have packs on Editing, Beginnings, Structure, Plot, World Building and lots more. Access them for free on our website. This podcast forms a part of our new Early Career Pack - on the subject of love. It includes exercises, articles and indeed, this episode of the Writing Life.

    • 35 min
    Partners in crime: Yelena Moskovich in conversation with Julia Crouch

    Partners in crime: Yelena Moskovich in conversation with Julia Crouch

    This episode is a Writing Life special to celebrate Noirwich, the 2022 Norwich Crime Writing Festival here in our fine city. The festival featured Ukrainian-born American and French artist and writer, Yelena Moskovich.

    Yelena has written for Vogue, The Times Literary Supplement, Paris Review and many more. She has also just released her third novel, A Door Behind a Door, an exploration of the post-Soviet diaspora.

    We invited our friend, creative writing tutor and the godmother of domestic noir, Julia Crouch whose 7th novel The Daughters came out earlier this year, to interview Yelena. Strap in for a lively discussion about routes to becoming a writer, identity as a writer, ownership of your art, reading, what is crime writing, ideas of Hell and much much more.

    Image copyright Beth Moseley

    • 57 min
    Revision: rewriting and redrafting with Lynne Bryan

    Revision: rewriting and redrafting with Lynne Bryan

    This month, we discuss revision. To help us understand how, when and why writers should revise, rewrite and redraft our work, we speak to writer and NCW course tutor, Lynne Bryan. We discuss the importance of revising one’s work, how revision is different for different types writer, when to do what kind of revision, and the role of third-party feedback.

    This is a great discussion for anyone doing creative writing.

    Lynne received her MA in Creative Writing in 1985. Her first book - Envy At The Cheese Handout - was a collection of short stories back in 1995. Two novels, Gorgeous and Like Rabbits followed in 1999 and 2002.  She’s co-edited six anthologies of short prose, her work has been broadcast on Radio 4 and her story – ‘A Regular Thing’ – was made into an award-winning short film in Denmark. Needless to say, Lynne knows her stuff, so this is an invaluable discussion for anyone who writes.

    • 47 min
    Mohsin Hamid discusses The Last White Man

    Mohsin Hamid discusses The Last White Man

    We talk to internationally bestselling writer Mohsin Hamid about his new book, The Last White Man. The conversation covers the key themes of his new novel: race, transformation, freedom, loss - as well as his journey into writing fiction, and, how a story is only ever half-told, until it finds a reader…

    • 46 min
    How To Balance Story And Plot

    How To Balance Story And Plot

    In this episode, we speak to novelist, teacher and doctor of letters, Ashley Hickson-Lovence to explore story and plot. Ashley is the author of The 392 and the prize-nominated novel Your Show (which he talks a little about in our chat). We also discuss the difference between story and plot, key plot devices and how you can ensure your story has a plot that keeps people turning pages. 

    Ashley is also the tutor for our Start Writing Fiction course. We also have courses on fiction, crime, memoir, historical fiction creative non-fiction and poetry. You can read more about the modules and see which course would help you in your writing.

    • 48 min
    How To Structure A Novel

    How To Structure A Novel

    Novelist and creative writing lecturer Ian Nettleton explains how to structure a novel - the devices and structural elements that can keep readers engaged, and how to ensure your story becomes a page-turner. 

    The episode covers characters’ wants and needs, conflict, obstacles, narrative tension and building a compelling story scene by scene, chapter by chapter. We also discuss quests, commitments, reversals and resolutions.

    Ian has been shortlisted for a number of prestigious awards including those for his novels The Last Migration and Out of Nowhere. He is also an associate lecturer in creative writing courses at the Open University and works with the National Centre For Writing on a number of our own creative writing courses.

    • 31 min

Customer Reviews

4.7 out of 5
9 Ratings

9 Ratings

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