Join us for some summer reading!

In this week’s episode of The Writing Life podcast we reveal the identity of our next book for the virtual NCW Book Club: Attica Locke’s powerful, award-winning crime novel set in Texas, Bluebird, Bluebird. Esi Edugyan described it for the Guardian as: ‘Mesmerising … original … exhilarating … Locke is building a compelling body of work. In this age of enduring and renewed racial tensions, we need her voice more than ever.’

We were joined on the episode by NCW Programme Officer Flo Reynolds to introduce the book. Make sure to subscribe to The Writing Life Podcast as we’ll be going into a more in-depth discussion in later episodes!


National Centre for Writing · #101 Book Club: Bluebird, Bluebird by Attica Locke

Bluebird, Bluebird can be purchased from many of your favourite independent bookshops. It is also available in eBook and Audiobook formats.

New to the Virtual Book Club? In addition to checking out the podcast there are plenty of ways for you to get involved from home:

Join our new online community

We’ve launched a new community space on Discord to help readers and writers connect in these unusual times. Book Club members were the first to be invited, so come and join the discussion! Click here to claim your free spot.

Take part in a virtual book club discussion via Zoom

If you’re looking for something a little more interactive, you can join us for a virtual book club discussion by video! Just sign-up for free and we will send you instructions ahead of time.

NCW Virtual Book Club discussion: Thursday 10 September, 12.30 – 1.30pm (condensed lunch session) – fully booked!

NCW Virtual Book Club discussion: Thursday 10 September, 5 – 6.30pm – fully booked!

Spaces are limited so we recommend booking your place in advance

Further resources

Check out our list of questions that you might like to consider or discuss with friends and family after reading the novel. Click here.

Try these simple exercises inspired by the book, which explore place and character in your writing. Click here

If you enjoyed ‘Bluebird, Bluebird’, we think you’ll love these books too. Click here

Send us your thoughts via social media or email

We’d love to hear what you thought of the book. You can email us any time at or contact us via TwitterFacebook or Instagram to share your comments – and if you’re happy for us to do so, we can read them aloud on the Writing Life podcast.


Elsewhere on episode 101 of The Writing Life, Steph and Simon are similarly excited about the winner announcement for the 2020 Desmond Elliott Prize,  which takes place this evening at 6.30pm UK time – tune in live here:

Hosted by Simon Jones and Steph McKenna.
Music by Bennet Maples.