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August 2017

Events Round-up: Salons, (Not) Darwin & More

The fact that I'm online in a hotel bar perched above a staggeringly beautiful gorge in North Mexico is not something I'm typing just to make you jealous. I've squeezed in a few days away (photography, poetry, walking, trains ... my usual stuff) while I'm really here for work. But it's made me realise that it's been a while since I posted about what I'm up to in the next few months, so here goes. I don't know how many readers of This Itch of Writing live in or around Mexico City - although it never ceases to astonish me... Read more →


What a writer can learn from the HWA Debut Crown Shortlist

I've just had the very great pleasure of chairing the judges for the Historical Writers' Association Debut Crown Prize. Along with former winner Ben Fergusson, book bloggers Ayo Onatade and Susan Heads, and novelist and journalist Sunny Singh, we had the task of reading something like 36 debut historical novels. And as we wrangled our way from a longlist to a shortlist, I was reminded of how historical fiction presents any writer with some of the biggest writerly challenges of all. So it's genuinely remarkable how the best of what we'd read - all debuts, after all - met those... Read more →