Article in Mslexia

An article by Emma Claire Sweeney and me appears in the new issue of Mslexia. Its theme is rivalry between female author friends – a subject that we became interested in through our wider research into writing friendships.

We’d touched on issues of friction within writers’ relationships in the talk we gave at the NAWE conference last year and also in a piece we wrote for The Times. But we felt it was an issue that could be explored in more detail, which was why we approached Mslexia with our idea for the feature.

Although rivalry is often regarded as only a detrimental force within a friendship, Emma Claire and I know from our own relationship that the competition between us has been good for us as writers, and good for our friendship too – since it’s encouraged greater honesty between us.

We wanted to find out whether other authors felt the same way. As well as investigating the historical friendship between rivals Katherine Mansfield and Virginia Woolf, we sought the opinions of several modern-day writers to get their views on the subject too.

Many thanks to Polly Coles, Amanda Craig, Jill Dawson, Louise Doughty, Liz Jensen and Madeline Miller for your insights.

Mslexia Issue 57 is out now.

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