Debut author Jon Ransom shares his tips for avoiding writer’s block, the importance of deadlines, why he avoids using word counts to judge progress, securing an agent during Covid-19 lockdown and how the Escalator talent development programme helped him complete his first novel The Whale Tattoo, which is due to be published by Muswell Press in 2022. If you’d like to support new voices you can donate to this year’s Escalator here:

MEANWHILE! Simon and Steph are joined by Flo Reynolds to introduce the new Book Club book. Listen to find out what we’re reading and then join in the chatter on Discord at

Also under discussion are the daily writing prompts we’re publishing through February, courtesy of our amazing UNESCO writers in residence. Find out more and get involved here:

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Hosted by Steph McKenna and Simon Jones.

Music by Bennet Maples.