NAWE conference talk: The Writing Friendship

Having had such an enjoyable time at last year’s NAWE conference, I was really happy to take part in another panel discussion there this year. This time,  Emma Claire Sweeney and I  gave a presentation on the subject of friendships between writers along with two other “writing friends”, Emily Pedder and Monique Roffey.

Some people might remember that Emily and Monique were two of the writers we interviewed for our feature in The Times

Emily Midorikawa and Emma Claire Sweeney

back in May. Taking the newspaper article as a starting point, we used our session at the conference to ask Monique and Emily some questions inspired by what they’d told us the last time we met with them.

Emma and I were also able to delve a little further into the friendships of  some of the historical writers that our research for the article had centred on  – Brontë and Gaskell, Fitzgerald and Hemingway, Mansfield and Woolf to name but a few – as well as discussing practical tips with our audience of modern day writers for ways of sustaining a successful writing friendship through the good as well as the rockier times.

Having been friends with Emma for well over a decade now, I feel extremely lucky to have someone who’s been with me through my writing years. As we shared with the group at the conference, there have been ups and downs in the trajectories of our careers, disappointments as well as triumphs, but something I really do appreciate is that Emma’s been there for the whole of this period and that she’s still usually the first person I turn to if I have a difficult decision to make or a knotty plot problem that I’m struggling to untangle.

Readings event at NYU in London

I’m really looking forward to reading at the NYU Literary Club’s next event, alongside club members Brianne Baker, Danielle Bergere, Heather Harris and Eunice Pak, and the very talented Edward Hogan, author of the adult literary novels Blackmoor and The Hunger Trace, and the young adult novel Daylight Saving.

Blackmoor has been shortlisted for the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize and the Desmond Elliot Prize, and The Hunger Trace has been sold around the world. Ed is a graduate of the MA creative writing course at UEA and a recipient of the David Higham Award.

This event is being organised by Emma Claire Sweeney and will run from 7 to 8.30pm on 3 May at NYU’s London campus, 6 Bedford Square, London, WC1B 3RA. Spaces are free but will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. If you would like to come, please confirm your attendance by completing your details on-line at

I hope to see you there.