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‘Byways of a Green and Pleasant Character’ by Nigel Jarrett

...there are worse literary sins than using seven words when four will do.

‘The Nitty Gritty’ by Mike Smith

...we don’t learn the vehemence of words from our dictionaries, but from the contexts in which we encounter them.

‘A Yoke and a Gift: Life without a Mother Tongue’ by Anita Patel

After six decades of a love affair with words in both my languages, it’s time to confess that I have never actually had a mother tongue.

‘Clichés’ by Laura Grace Weldon

It's lazy writing, I tell him. As an editor I excise clichés with a fierce pen. (Although we editors no longer edit with pens.)

‘Jumping In Puddles’ by Jennifer Watts

Now she’s falling, falling through to some black hole beyond. I imagine she feels like she’s drowning. Sometimes I feel I am too.

‘My Write Life’ by Margaret Randall

Now that I am retired, I feel I am in the best creative period of my life...Age can be hard on the body but freeing for the mind.

‘The City Distracts As You Enjoy Its Freedom’ by Deborah Singerman

Urbane, metropolitan, cosmopolitan, at their best beguiling, unpredictable, open to difference, welcoming others, not pinned down to what they are but awaiting what they might become.

‘December 8th, 1980’ by Kieran Devaney

Everyone with the River Mersey flowing through their veins remembers where they were on the morning of Monday, December 8th, 1980

‘Absurdism Today’ by Ada Wofford

If you're satisfied with your life, if you believe your life has purpose and meaning, all of this Absurdism stuff will sound silly. But there is another way of interacting with the Absurd.

‘Woods and Wassail’ by Ysella Sims

The lanes that lead there are rooted with oak and beech, its woodland ancient. In the spring it smells of childhood; purpled with bluebells and drifted with the pinks and whites of cow parsley and shepherd’s purse.

‘The Hunger Games’ by Gráinne Daly

'It wasn’t the turf that would be torn up, but the predictions of every expert the length and breadth of the country'

‘The New Language of Intolerance’ by Dave Kavanagh

But, here's a confession. I wasn't one bit outraged. In fact I would go as far as to say John Banville is as 'Woke' as the 'Wokest' man or woman among us.

‘Joy to the World? Yes, Please!’ by Mary Oishi

This is the needed time. Repeat the sounding joy.

‘Bear Watch’ by Ann S. Epstein

To kids for whom going to Connecticut held the excitement of a trans-Atlantic voyage, and journeying to Pennsylvania was as exotic as visiting the Orient, this was quite an adventure.

‘A Glorious Kind Of Madness’ by Brendan Landers

We wordmongers can be an odd assortment of nutjobs. Who of us in our right minds, if we ever found ourselves to be in right minds, would choose this writing life?

‘Pear Blossom In October’ by Lani O’ Hanlon

How vulnerable it is to be human. I worry for all young creatures and the earth they are being born into.

‘A Typewriter, Six Books & A View of the Sea’ by Michael Paul Hogan

Like Truman Capote, I am always drawn back to places I have lived; although in my case it is more in the sense of memory, of imaginary travel to places real (or at least, once real)...

‘Rum, Sodomy and the Lash’ by Kieran Devaney

And they never knew what went on in the hallowed halls of one of Liverpool oldest Catholic schools. They also never knew of our struggle to get out.

‘For the Helpers’ by Annie K. Nuzum

We hear explosions and weapons firing nearby which shatter some of the glass in our apartment. Frighteningly, this becomes normal.

‘Basil, the Bold and the Beautiful’ by Jennifer Watts

He was terrifying and glorious, loving and moody, a personality I took turns at loving and loathing