PODCAST: Research for writing with Megan Bradbury

Novelist Megan Bradbury describes how immersive research can help writers build people, places and plots.

Novelist Megan Bradbury and Sam Ruddock from Story Machine Productions discuss the role of research in writing.

Megan describes how she went to New York to research the geniuses who lived there, to bring her novel to life. She also talks about working with Professor Pete Wilde on NCW’s Translating Science project. 

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, while making worlds feel rich and authentic. She describes some of the more immersive and unusual methods that help her get inspired, build characters and develop the creative process. 

This is part of our Early Career Writers’ Resources pack on Research, exploring a range of research methods from desk research to more immersive and unusual ways of gathering insights and ideas. Our Resources packs are generously supported by Arts Council England. Discover more here →

Want to learn more from Megan? Carry on your writing journey with the Develop Your Fiction 18-week online course.


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This episode forms a part of our latest resource pack for early career writers, which is on the theme of ‘Research’. Head to the National Centre for Writing website and click ‘Resources’ to explore and download our full range of writer interviews, think pieces, top tips and writing exercises – all for free!

“In this episode, our friend Sam Ruddock from Story Machine Productions, speaks to novelist Megan Bradbury about the role of research in writing. As Megan and Sam discuss, research for novels and other writing projects can go further than just reading, watching documentaries and doing Google searches. And Megan describes some of the more immersive and unusual methods that help her get inspired, build characters and develop the creative process. 

“Megan was born in the US but grew up in the UK. She studied at our very own University of East Anglia and graduated with an MA in Creative Writing in 2005. In 2012 she was awarded the Charles Pick Fellowship at UEA, and, in 2013 she won an Escalator Literature Award and a ‘Grant for the Arts’ to help fund the completion of her first novel, Everyone is Watching. The novel tells the story of New York City through the geniuses that have inhabited it – and you’ll hear Megan talk about that later. Megan also took part in our Translating Science project which paired writers with scientists and Megan describes that project as well.

“A quick note about Story Machine – who not only publish books, but create immersive experiences that bring books to life including events at our own home here at Dragon Hall. And you can find out more on their website storymachines.co.uk.”