Writing Hour Roundup: 25 January 2022


Shutterstock / 13_Phunkod © writing hour

We had two bestselling authors reply to our writers in the Writing Hour this week. Very exciting!

Read on to catch up on the hijinks from this week’s hour . . .

What do you have planned this week?

In between reading and writing and drafting and editing, there’s all sorts going on as usual.

Babysitting, haircuts, taking part in the RSPB’s Big Garden Birdwatch, trips to the cinema, gardening . . .

How do you find the time!?

Out of all the characters you’ve created in your writing, do you have a favourite?

Beth Watson said, “I actually developed a bit of a crush on lovely Cyrus in Follow My Lead, my current @TheFriendMag serial.”

I think it’s safe to say that some of the Fiction team have a wee crush on him, too!

What about your least favourite?

Christina Hollis says, “That’s one of the great things about being a writer—any character who becomes too annoying can be Dealt With in a suitable manner . . . mwahaha!”

Ominous, but true!

We’re going to give you three words and we’d like you to come up with a brief synopsis for a story. Your words are ship, necklace and telegram.

We had some fantastic synopses! Here are just a few . . .

Jill Barry – “Eleanor receives a telegram offering her a job as lady’s companion on a ship sailing to America. All goes well until her employer’s diamond necklace goes missing. A ship’s officer believes Eleanor who says she’s innocent but she and he must find the necklace.”

Cat Lumb – “When Dominic inherits an old ship from his estranged grandfather, communicated only via telegram, he discovers an exquisite necklace on board that was once stolen. Now he has to get it back to the rightful owner and figure out who his grandfather really was!”

David Balmer – “Amateur detective Lady Haltenbury sails to New York onboard the Queen Mary. A valuable necklace goes missing. The radio officer receives a telegram revealing that a notorious diamond thief is onboard. Lady Haltenbury identifies the thief, her old adversary Charlie Tucker.”

What book is everyone reading at the moment and would you recommend it?

Glenda Young is re-reading “Alias Grace” by Margaret Atwood. She said, “She can stop me in her tracks with the beauty of her prose.”

Christina Hollis recommends “The Organised Writer” by Anthony Johnston and her review will be published on her blog on Saturday.

Check out our latest book reviews to see what we’ve been enjoying recently.

Which author would you most like to have coffee with?

There were so many great answers to this question! Authors Anthony Horowitz and Gillian McAllister even got involved in the thread!

I asked the Fiction team who they’d like to meet, too.

Tracey chose Stephen King. I don’t think this needs an explanation!

Alan can’t decide between C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien or Ernest Hemingway. However, of living writers, he’d choose Guillermo del Toro.

I would pick children’s author Jacqueline Wilson – I’ve already had the honour of meeting her when I worked on our children’s magazines, and I would meet her again in a heartbeat!


Come and join us for our next Writing Hour on Twitter — 11 a.m. on Tuesday 1 February, 2022.

Or click here for our previous roundups.

Abigail Phillips

Abbie is the newest member of the fiction team at the "Friend." She loves how varied the role is - every day is different and there is always a new story to read. She is keen to work closely with established writers and discover new writers, too.