Displaying episodes 1 - 30 of 34 in total

#32 Talking about the writing coach with Sophie Hannah

Sophie Hannah is an international bestselling thriller writer, author coach and poet. In part 1 of this conversation about her writing life and work, we discuss writing ambitions and dealing with rejection. Sophie vividly explains how her Dream Author coaching programme can help. I guarantee that aspiring writers will want to listen.

#31 Talking about crime writing and PhDs with Luke Deckard and Alex Reeve

Luke Deckard and Alex Reeve are both crime writers studying for a PhD in creative writing. What does it take? How do you do a creative writing PhD? And does it help in the world of publishing?

#30 Talking about the habit of writing with Joanna Nadin

Jo is a multitasker. She has written for prime ministers and celebrities, published her own novels for children and adults, and teaches creative writing, first at Bath Spa and now at the Universtiy of Bristol, where she’s a senior lecturer. One of the things I wanted to talk about was the thorny old question of whether writing can be taught, and if so, what can students can reasonably expect to learn.

#29 Talking about a sense of place with Michelle Lovric

Michelle Lovric has written books for adults and children, with publishers such as Virago, Bloomsbury and Orion. As well as the setting of Venice, which she brings intensely to life, we talk about writing history, killing your darlings, about Michelle’s strong sense of environmentalism – more important now than ever – and about writing as a way of confronting trauma and bringing a community together.

#28 Talking about foreign rights with Natasha Farrant

Natasha is the recent winner of the Costa Children’s Book Award, for her middle grade novel, Voyage of the Sparrowhawk. As a longstanding book scout for foreign publishers, she describes foreign rights, and how important they can be to writers and publishers.

#27 Talking about the Carnegie medal with Anthony McGowan

In this episode we talk about libraries, writing for boys and prizes. Anthony McGowan is a children’s author and until this week the holder (although, as we’ll hear, that’s not exactly true) of the Carnegie Medal, the most prestigious prize for writing for young people in the UK.

#26 Talking about writing and marketing with Phil Earle

Phil Earle is the author of twenty books for children and young adults, including Being Billy, Bubble Wrap Boy and Demolition Dad. His latest novel is the Waterstones Children’s Book of the Month for June 2021, so if you’re listening to this episode soon after it’s released, look out for When the Sky Falls in a Waterstones near you now.

#25 Talking about acting and a sense of place with Carol Drinkwater

This episode features the actress, film maker and author Carol Drinkwater. You may know her as the original Helen in the iconic 1970s production of All Creatures Great and Small, or maybe you’re familiar with her bestselling Olive Farm series of memoirs and travel books. Recently, she has written historical novels based around the South of France. An Act of Love is set in World War 2 and is the story of refugees. Carol talks about its resonance with the contemporary world.

#24 Talking about writing and teaching with Julia Green

Have you ever wondered if you should do a creative writing course? Until recently, Julia Green was the long-running director of the MA in Writing for Young People at Bath Spa University. Now, she is an Emeritus Professor. She’s also the author of more than twenty novels and short stories for children.

Season 3 intro

After two dozen episodes of Prepublished, who's next? Sophia introduces some of her guests in the upcoming weeks and the topics they talk about, including creative writing courses. Are they worth it? What can they teach?

#23 Talking about The Windsor Knot with Caroline Green and Sophia Bennett

In this episode, Caroline Green returns to Prepublished to interview Sophia about switching genres. The sale of The Windsor Knot and its sequels in the Her Majesty the Queen Investigates series coincided with the start of the pandemic. For Sophia, alongside all the fear and uncertainty, it was also every writer's dream come true.

#22 Talking about under-represented voices with Abiola Bello and Attiya Khan

It’s no secret that the publishing industry is predominantly white and middle class, and still struggles to represent diverse voices. I talk about what needs to change with YA writer Attiya Khan, whose debut novel Ten Steps to Us is out soon, and Abiola Bello, co-founder of the publishing house Hashtag BLAK.

#21 Talking about understanding the market with Holly Tonks

In this podcast, I try to reveal as much about the publishing process as I can to new writers. Holly Tonks has seen it all. She has worked in a literary agency, edited books in large publishing houses and a small indie, and she is now a Lecturer in Publishing at Bath Spa University.

#20 Talking about rethinking your story with Sheena Wilkinson

Sheena Wilkinson has been described in the Irish Times as ‘one of our foremost writers for young people’. From her home in Belfast, she talks to me about her writing process, and how the story you end up writing is often not the one you started out with.

#19 Talking about poetry in lockdown with Fraser Grace

I talk to Fraser Grace about making plays, writing poetry, and the website he built in lockdown called The Word Cage, where he shares his own poems and those of his special guests.

#18 Talking about writing for radio with Sarah Wooley

In this episode I talk to Sarah Wooley about writing for radio. Sarah’s plays about real characters and moments in history are regulars on Radio 3 and Radio 4 on the BBC. This year she won a BBC Audio Drama award for her adaption of Black Water by Joyce Carol Oates. Her career included a stint as a staff director at the National Theatre and she has worked with Trevor Nunn, Stephen Daldry and Harold Pinter, as well as writing and directing plays of her own.

#17 Talking about writing crime with Ruth Ware

Ruth Ware is the author of several stand-alone crime novels. Her adult debut, In a Dark Dark Wood, was a Richard and Judy book club choice that went on to top the charts on both sides of the Atlantic. She's a #1 New York Times bestseller whose books sell around the world.

#16 Talking about writing for different age groups with Adele Geras

(Apologies if you downloaded an earlier version.) Adele Geras has been published since 1976. Like me, she didn’t find it easy to get a publisher at first, but she’s lost count of the number of books she’s written since then. We talk about writing for different age groups, being a planner, and the subjects that inspire us to write.

#15 Talking about self editing with Emma Darwin

Emma Darwin is the author of two historical novels and a guide to writing historical fiction. Her latest book, intriguingly, is the story of not being able to write a novel about her famous family. I got to know Emma through her blog, ‘This Itch of Writing’. She investigates the craft of writing in real depth, giving plentiful illustrations of what she means, and I usually end up pointing my students there at some point, so it was great to be able to talk to her in person for this episode.

#14 Talking about getting the first deal with James Nicol

James took various writing courses while he honed his craft, and I wanted to discuss the value of these with him. Is it worth it? Should one do it? What do you get out of it? All useful things to know. As always, it was good to talk to a fellow writer about the ups and downs of the road to publication. I loved his comment that ‘you can’t fix a blank page’. If you want to be a writer, however hard it is, you first have to write.

A Safe Space to Fail - talking about writing groups with the Masterminds

The Masterminds were a writing group formed out of a course Sophia ran with Keren David at City Lit in 2016. They have been meeting ever since, occasionally mentored by Sophia, to workshop new work and support each other through the prepublished years. It was a pleasure to get four of them together for this episode, to talk about the group and what it means to them.

Where Do You Belong? Talking about writing to be seen, with Catherine Johnson

Sophia talked to Catherine in Hastings via the Cleanfeed app. The topics ranged from Catherine's time as a screenwriting student at St Martin's art college in London, to her many award-winning YA novels and why she was inspired to write about black people in history, from enslaved people to aristocrats and adventurers. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/catherine-johnson

It Takes a Lot of Knocks - talking about first novels with Jasbinder Bilan

Jasbinder and Sophia both got their publishing break by winning the Times/Chicken House Children’s Fiction Competition. Jasbinder went on to win the Costa Children’s Book Award with 'Asha and the Spirit Bird'. Sophia talks to her about the experience of writing that book and the slow and tortuous process of getting it good enough to publish. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/jasbinder-bilan

Funny and Dark - talking about being an agent with Stephanie Thwaites

Stephanie tells Sophia what she’s looking for in children’s fiction at the moment, and why the covering letter is so important. If you’ve ever wondered who is reading that submission you slave over, and how to make it stand out, Stephanie has the answers. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/stephanie-thwaites

The Bridget Jones Method - talking about writing YA fiction with Keren David

Keren and Sophia talk about writing fiction for the first time, what you can learn about structure from writing a musical, writing for dyslexic readers with publishers Barrington Stoke, and address the ‘own voices’ debate. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/the-bridget-jones-method-talking-about-writing-ya-fiction-with-keren-david

Writing the Book Teaches You How to Write It - talking about voice with Sara Collins

'The Confessions of Frannie Langton', winner of the 2019 Costa First Novel Award is a dark gothic mysery, set in Georgian London and the plantations of Jamaica. It has a voice that leaps off the page and this is what Sophia wanted to talk to Sara about. They discuss how she undertook her research, the importance of reading Regency novels in your teens, and The Confessions’s tremendous success from the moment it was published. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/writing-the-book-teaches-you-how-to-write-it-talking-about-voice-with-sara-collins

The Role of Luck - talking about writing for boys with Robert Muchamore

Robert calls his genre ‘attainable fantasy’. He talks about how quickly he writes, how important structure is, how he tries to make each chapter work as standalone excitement, and how the series grew by word of mouth. In fact, he says ‘it almost survived through benign neglect’. His first advance was small for the times, but he has since become a millionaire through writing. His latest Robin Hood series will be out in 2020. View the show notes here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/the-role-of-luck-talking-about-series-with-robert-muchamore

There Are No Rules - talking about what publishers want with Annie Eaton

Annie Eaton disputes the label ‘legend’ – but she is one. Annie started her editorial career at Puffin in 1984. Since then she has worked as an editor and senior publisher at Transworld, Random House, PRH and Faber, and worked with authors including Jacqueline Wilson, Philip Pullman, Malorie Blackman, Siobhan Dowd and Helen Cooper. Full show notes available here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/there-are-no-rules

Allow The Magic To Disappear - talking about submitting with Candy Gourlay

Award-winning author Candy Gourlay talks about finding your place as a writer, her blog 'Notes from the Slushpile', and what it takes to get a manuscript ready to submit. We cover issues such as ‘do authors pay taxes?’, why submitting to lots of agents can be traumatic, and why you mustn’t do it as soon as you’ve finished writing the book. Show notes available here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/put-it-in-a-drawer

Start With The Beast - talking about series fiction with Karen Ball

Children's editor Karen Ball unwittingly gives Sophia the name for this podcast … and talks about her 25-year career, from launching the multi-million selling 'Beast Quest' series with Working Partners, to setting up her own consultancy with Speckled Pen. Full show notes available here: https://www.prepublished.net/episodes/start-with-the-beast

Join the Prepublished newsletter

Get reminders about new episodes and news about upcoming guests straight to your inbox

Got it. You're on the list!
© 2020 Sophia Bennett