As far as I’m concerned these two devices allow me to do exactly the same thing: write. They’re both portable, admittedly one more so than the other, yet they couldn’t be more different.

One cost me around a thousand pounds, the other fifty. One of them is less than a year old and will probably last me five or six years if I’m lucky. It kinda does the job, but I don’t particularly enjoy it, because the keyboard’s shite and it secretes my words away somewhere within its glass and metal shell, as if they are somehow its property rather than mine. The other is around 60 years old, and if used and not abused will probably last as long again. The keyboard’s fantastic, and it’s a joy to use. There’s even a bell. In return for my efforts the machine gives me sheets of paper with words printed upon them. Words I can annotate, cross out, cut up and paste if necessary. It’s always necessary.

One of them needs electricity to work, and required huge amounts of power to smelt its pretty carcass, and extract the raw materials used in its components. The other needed some energy in its production, but has since enabled years of green creativity. One I’ll leave as an heirloom; the other will have no sentimental value. One is laden with distractions and promises, the other gives out only what you put in. Warts and all.

If you asked me to choose between them, I wouldn’t even have to think about it.

The journey…




Stafford Gatehouse Theatre Residency

Over March-May I’ll be Writer in Residence at Stafford’s Gatehouse Theatre. I’ll be seeking stories to fictionalise from local people regarding the theatre itself, Stafford and the surrounding area, with the possibility of publication on the Gatehouse website.

I’ll also be offering one-to-ones to writers seeking guidance, or those who have always fancied writing but are unsure where to start. There will also be workshops from local writers William Gallagher, Fiona Joseph and Maria Whatton.

For more information visit the Gatehouse website, send an email, or tweet me.


lottery_Logo_Black RGB


I’ll be appearing at Birmingham Literature Festival on October 6th, talking about literary entrepreneurship. The panel, called Making Writing Work, will be chaired by Malachi MacIntosh, and also feature Nick Makoha and Crystal Mahey-Morgan.

We are in the midst of a literary revolution. Gone are the days when writers followed just one career path, as now we welcome the rise of the literary entrepreneur. As the boundaries of literature and literary culture become even more blurred, writers are disrupting their once traditional career paths and extending and intertwining their writing to include other artforms, environments, platforms and formats.

By harnessing creative thinking to generate more value and opportunities, is literary entrepreneurship the key to living a more fulfilled and successful life as a writer?

Our panel – poet Nick Makoha, publicist Crystal Mahey-Morgan and writer Martin Sketchley – will share their own experiences of writing and approaches to publishing, and discuss what it means to be a literary entrepreneur.

Then I’ll be at the Royal Television Society Careers Fair on October 7th, representing The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain.

Join us on Monday 7th October to get all the latest tips, tricks and practical advice to help you land that all important first job in TV.

Alongside panel sessions with production teams and talent from the biggest shows and brands, will be bootcamps, CV advice, the opportunity to learn about the different jobs and training schemes that are available and to network with some of the most influential creatives in the business.

It’s UNMISSABLE if you have ever thought about working in telly.

I’m a writer, editor, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Find out more, tweet me, or email.

Setting Headers and Footers at Compile Stage in Scrivener

It’s easy to get your writing out of Scrivener into another editor for the final polish using the Compile function. In my case, I always compile to Microsoft Word. Something I’ve wrestled with for a while, however, is getting the headers and footers in Word just how I want them. Fortunately, as with most things Scrivener, the developers have made this easy to do at the Compile stage.

  • When you’re ready, go File/Compile.
  • In Section Layouts, rest the cursor over Scene (or whichever), and an edit icon appears to the right.

Screenshot 2019-06-23 at 17.54.25

  • Click this icon, then the Edit “Scene” Layout button. The pane below will appear.

Screenshot 2019-06-23 at 17.55.07

  • Now click Page Settings, and select Header and Footer text.

Screenshot 2019-06-23 at 17.55.51

  • The three boxes indicate the positioning of the headers and footers on the page post-Compile. Insert your header/footer text here. Set font and size in the relevant boxes, but format this text using markdown tags in the header and footer panes.

Screenshot 2019-06-23 at 18.03.23

Use the handy Test button to try out your settings before actually compiling.

I hope this helps.


I’m a writer, editor, and Royal Literary Fund Fellow.
Find out more, tweet me, or email.