Early Career Writers’ Resources

Writing can be a solitary activity but that doesn’t mean you’re on your own! Our free resource packs provide a wealth of advice, techniques and tips for writers at the beginning of their journey.

Our articles, podcasts and videos are delivered by established writers such as Jenny Offill, Geoff Dyer, Eimear McBride, Sarah Perry, Okechukwu Nzelu, Michel Faber and more.

Make sure you bookmark this page as we add new items every month.


Supported by Arts Council England.


Writing a novel requires stamina, resilience and an external eye. Getting started can be hard. It’s a little easier with advice from Laura Stimson, Julia Crouch and Sam Hacking.

How to begin — Laura Stimson

Laura Stimson shares her thoughts on getting started and talks with authors and agents about taking those first steps.

Anyone can be a writer — Julia Crouch

The Queen of Domestic Noir discusses her twisty-turny career and how becoming a writer doesn’t always happen in the most obvious of ways.

13 writing prompts to get you started

If you’re struggling to get started on a project, need a break or find yourself bashing against writer’s block, these prompts will help kickstart your creativity.

Unusual beginnings — Sam Hacking

Artist and writer Sam Hacking shares how she began her writing journey and her advice for anyone who is just getting starting out.


Discover the methods of Eimear McBride, Jenny Offill, Motoyuki Shibata, Bregje Hofstede and Simon K Jones.

‘I follow the compass of my interests’ — Jenny Offill

Jenny Offill reveals some of the inspiration behind the creation of her novel, Weather.

Writing methods with Eimear McBride

The winner of the Goldsmiths Prize and Baileys Women’s Prize for Fiction talks about her method and how she approaches her writing.

What is your method?

Bregje Hofstede, Motoyuki Shibata and Simon K Jones talk about their techniques and approaches to work.

11 digital essentials for creative writing — Simon K Jones

Digital creative writing tips including: plotting/structure software, hardware, comfort, time management and online presence.


How can you bring your characters to life on the page? Sarah Perry, Michael Donkor and Joe Dunthorne share their tips.

How Sarah Perry develops characters

CEO Chris Gribble talks to Sarah Perry about her techniques for creating and developing characters.

Creating and developing characters with Michael Donkor

Michael Donkor, author of Hold, guests on the podcast to talk about creating and developing characters.

Finding character through voice — Joe Dunthorne

The award-winning poet, journalist and novelist shares his techniques for developing characters and tackles the semi-mystical concept of character ‘writing themselves’.

Free character templates

Including backstory, description and personality aids.


Nicola Upson, Okechukwu Nzelu, Inua Ellams and Simon K Jones share techniques for designing and wrangling plots.

Nicola Upson on designing a good plot

Nicola tells us how her process has adjusted over time and discusses the unique requirements of the crime genre.

Examining the plot of The Private Joys of Nnenna Maloney

Okechukwu Nzelu explains his process for crafting the plot for his debut novel.

An Atheist Goes for a Walk in the Woods — Inua Ellams

Poet, playwright and performer Inua Ellams examines the connection between plot and style.

Balancing plot, theme and character

Simon K Jones examines the relationship between plot, character and theme.

World building

Discover how to create your own unique worlds with Kieron Gillen, Abi Daré, Farhana Shaikh and Ian Nettleton.

‘All of writing is a magic trick’ — Kieron Gillen

Multi-award-winning comics writer Kieron Gillen joins us on the podcast to discuss his methods for world building.

Abi Daré on world building in The Girl With The Louding Voice

Abi explains how she uses voice and tone to explore and reveal the world of her story.

World building in short stories — Farhana Shaikh

Writer and publisher Farhana Shaikh shares her advice for world building in short stories, where word count is at a premium and efficiency is essential.

Writing Science Fiction: World Building — a free online self-paced course

Sign up for a free, self-paced online course hosted by Ian Nettleton.


How do you write engaging, convincing dialogue? Find out with Chris Beckett, Femi Kayode, Carys Davies, Hannah Berry and Taylor Beidler.

Styles of dialogue with Chris Beckett

Author Chris Beckett explore styles of dialogue in literature and how he uses it in his novel Two Tribes.

Five essential scriptwriting tips from Femi Kayode

Those of you who write for stage or screen will find lots of useful techniques in Femi Kayode‘s essential scriptwriting tips.

The magic of dialogue — Carys Davies

The author of The Redemption of Galen Pike and The Mission House reflects on the importance of dialogue for building character and story.

Dialogue in comics with Hannah Berry

Graphic novelist and UK Comics Laureate Hannah Berry gives us an illustrated guide to the complexities of dialogue in comics.

Taylor Beidler on the dialogue feedback loop

Taylor Beidler examines the flow of dialogue and the core feedback loop that exists when people communicate with one another.


What is structure and why is it critical to the success of a story? Rob Shearman, Rebecca Watson and Chitra Ramaswamy have the answers.

Structuring a novel with Rebecca Watson

On the unique design of little scratch and how the story and its structure are inseparable.

The importance of structure — Rob Shearman

Rob Shearman argues that structure is every bit as important as the more commonly discussed aspects of a novel.

Structuring your novel in Scrivener

Simon K Jones shares his tips for wrangling large manuscripts.


Editing is critical to any successful novel. We talk to editors and writers about their process.

A writing life in four edits — Mary Paulson-Ellis

The author of  The Other Mrs Walker shares four experiences of editing and a useful exercise for your work-in-progress.

Working with editors — Hannah Chukwu

Assistant editor Hannah Chukwu from Hamish Hamilton of Penguin Random House about her work and the editing process.

Editing & translating for young readers — Ella Micheler

On the editing process and how writers can get the most out of their editors.

The basics of self-editing with Simon K Jones

Simon K Jones demonstrates how you can make real improvements to your first draft through simple self-editing techniques.


How we leave our characters is important and it can be hard to deliver a satisfying ending. Follow our guide to creating great conclusions.

Endings & re-writing — Geoff Dyer

The author of The Last Days of Roger Federer on how endings are a prelude to re-writing.

Michel Faber on the power of endings

The author of  Under the Skin on the power of endings.

Eva Verde on crafting a satisfying end

The debut novelist of Lives Like Mine shares tips for writing your ending.


Explore a range of research methods from desk research to more immersive and unusual ways of gathering insights and ideas.

Research for writing with Megan Bradbury

Megan explains how different types of research can become a regular part of your writing routine as well as helping to inspire stories and characters.

Researching a novel: moving beyond what you know

Guinevere Glasfurd explains her research methods to help you ensure your people, places and plots feel real.

Research, editing & planning novels — Stuart Turton

Stuart Turton discusses the research, editing and planning process behind The Devil and the Dark Water.


Exercises, a podcast and an article cover the broad topic of writing about love, from the passionate to the familial, old and young and even a love of God.

Writing about love with Maddie Mortimer

On writing about love, from the intimate and tender to the physical and visceral, from the romantic to the familial.

Love and character – creative writing exercises

Laura Stimson shares four short writing exercises to help you develop your skills in writing about love, sex and romance.

Writing about older lovers — Maggie Gee

Maggie Gee tackles the issue of ageism in the media and publishing and discusses how to write about love and sex between older people.

Wonderful, Ridiculous Love — Michael Pedersen

The prize-winning Scottish poet shares five great poems about love.


Discover a range of approaches to building a writing routine.

How to build your writing routine — Megan Bradbury

On removing mental, physical and even temporal blocks to get you writing.

Vida Adamczewski on the dance of the disorganised writer

Vida Adamczewski discusses the pressure to be a ‘Good Writer’.

How to embrace disorganisation in your writing

Liz Breslin’s ten-step-guide to rediscovering the spontaneity of writing.

Five good writing habits from Monique Roffey

Orange Prize shortlisted writer Monique Roffey offers her top five tips for getting the best out of your writing.

How to be an organised writer — Antony Johnston

If you struggle to carve out time for your writing, Antony is someone you need to pay attention to.

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