Sound and vision blog

28 March 2011

The Writing Life: Authors Speak

Elspeth Millar, Oral History Archive Assistant, writes:

The Writing Life: Authors Speak is a new British Library publication compiled using extracts from the Authors’ Lives oral history collection. Authors’ Lives started in 2007 and is an on-going project run by National Life Stories at the British Library. Through in-depth life story interviews the project provides a panoramic view of the literary landscape as it exists today and within interviewees’ living memory, whilst capturing on record accounts of individual authors’ experiences of the writing life. The archive contains recordings with biographers, literary and popular novelists, poets and children’s writers.

The Writing Life: Authors Speak is now available for sale from the British Library ( but support from Arts Council England is enabling us to distribute 2,000 free copies of the CD to people in schools and universities involved in fostering writing skills.

An event to celebrate the Authors’ Lives project and the publication of The Writing Life is being held tonight (28th March 2011) at the British Library.  Writers Michael Frayn, Philip Hensher and Hilary Spurling will join in a discussion, chaired by Deborah Moggach, to offer insights into their own creative practices and reflect on the changes they’ve witnessed to modern-day authorship.  The event will be recorded and we hope to provide a link to the podcast within the coming weeks.


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