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In Writing with Hattie Crisell

Arts • Tv-and-film

Journalist Hattie Crisell visits the studies of writers of all kinds – novelists, screenwriters, poets, journalists and more – to find out how they write, why they write, and what they can teach us about doing it better.

Popular episodes

S4 Ep38: Craig Taylor, oral historian

Nov 12 • 47:41
Today's interview is with the writer and editor Craig Taylor, who dials in from an island shack off the coast of western Canada. Once a Guardian contributor, with his column One Million Tiny Plays About Britain (which became a book and a play), Craig has since become known for oral histories including 2006's Return to Akenfield and 2011's Londoners. For his latest book New...

S4 Ep37: Meg Mason, novelist

Nov 5 • 51:15
It's wonderful to have novelist Meg Mason on the podcast this week. On holiday in June, I got more hooked on her novel Sorrow and Bliss than I have been on perhaps any other book of this year. 


Speaking to me from Sydney in August, Meg talked about her complicated feelings about the memoir she published in 2012 and the unpublished novel she completed just before Sorrow and...

GUEST EPISODE: The Offcuts Drawer with Laura Shavin

Nov 2 • 49:21
Not a normal In Writing episode today, but a wholehearted recommendation for something new. This is a guest episode of the excellent podcast The Offcuts Drawer with Laura Shavin, on which successful writers share the contents of their bottom drawer – the bits of writing they never finished, had rejected or just like to hold on to for nostalgic reasons. Actors perform these...

36: John Crace, journalist

Oct 29 • 47:05
This week's guest is The Guardian's John Crace, writer of satirical parliamentary sketches, as well as a personal diary column. For a long time John also wrote the paper's Digested Read, in which each week, he summed up a new book in a few funny paragraphs. He's published several books himself, on topics as varied as football, cricket and Shakespeare, as well as collection...

35: Christine Rose, joke writer

Oct 22 • 50:55
This week I sit down with Christine Rose at her home in London, to find out all about a job that most people aren't aware exists. Christine works behind the scenes in comedy and entertainment, writing jokes for shows including Have I Got News for You and 8 out of 10 Cats; chat-show monologues for the likes of Graham Norton and Alan Carr; and funny host scripts for awards c...

34: Amer Anwar, crime writer

Oct 15 • 01:07:41
This week, armed with tea and Jaffa cakes, I speak to the writer Amer Anwar at his home in west London. Amer is the author of Brothers in Blood and Stone Cold Trouble – crime thrillers set in Southall, populated by British Asian gangsters, and peppered with punch-ups, Punjabi swear words, and cunning plans. 


Before Amer had even finished a draft of his first book, it won th...

33: Elif Shafak, novelist

Oct 8 • 47:27
I'm thrilled to be back for a fourth series, and to be kicking it off with such an interesting guest. Elif Shafak is a British-Turkish novelist who has published 19 books including 10 Minutes 38 Seconds in This Strange World, The Forty Rules of Love and Three Daughters of Eve. Her most recent book is The Island of Missing Trees, which is a twisty tale of love and war, told...

32: Graham Norton, novelist

May 14 • 51:57
This is a bonus episode with a writer who, in a way, has carved out a bonus career: Graham Norton. Long-established as a hugely successful presenter and comedian in the UK, he published his first novel, Holding, in 2016, and has followed that with 2018's A Keeper, and most recently last year's Home Stretch. They are well-plotted, sensitively written novels that turn the sp...

31: Maggie O'Farrell, novelist

Apr 2 • 44:33
In the final episode of the third series (thank you for listening!), Maggie O'Farrell joins me from her home in Edinburgh. Maggie is the author of eight novels, including After You'd Gone, This Must Be The Place and Hamnet, which last year won the Women's Prize for Fiction. She also wrote the unsettling 2017 memoir I Am I Am I Am: Seventeen Brushes with Death. She describe...

30: James Acaster, stand-up comic

Mar 26 • 01:12:01
James Acaster joins me this week to talk about writing stand-up comedy. James has filmed five stand-up specials – the first four make up the series Repertoire, available on Netflix, while the most recent, Cold Lasagne Hate Myself 1999, arrived on Vimeo earlier this month. He was also nominated a record-breaking five years in a row for Best Comedy Show at the Edinburgh Frin...

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