If Obama can, so can we


Finally, after months and years of waiting, the public have got what they have been crying out for (in well-mannered, almost whispered tones): a look at exiting-President Barack Obama’s 5-strong summer reading list. (He’s even had time to put together a chart-topping Spotify Playlist – he’s really doing no work at all anymore is he?) Continue reading If Obama can, so can we

Supercharge your writing with 52 Dates for Writers

From 23 August, The Pigeonhole is serialising an innovative creative-writing handbook by literary consultant Claire Wingfield. Here Claire tells us about how the book came about. And read on to find out about some fabulous prizes for subscribers!

Cover_noText52 Dates for Writers began as a series of exercises and examples to help the novelists I worked with overcome common obstacles so they could push through to new developments. The dates are designed to get you away from your desk and offer a welcome spark of something fresh and unexpected when revising a second or third draft of a familiar manuscript. They also help unstick writers who have lost confidence and encourage those just beginning a project to carve out some time for playful exploration.

Continue reading Supercharge your writing with 52 Dates for Writers

Meet the New Pigeon: Charlotte

Charlotte Heather is our newest team member, taking the role of Community Manager. She explains what drew her to The Pigeonhole.


Because a novel is the only place in the world where two strangers can meet on terms of absolute intimacy. The reader and the writer make the book together.’

– Paul Auster, The Paris Review


I have always felt like my relationships with certain books and authors were mine and mine alone. In a way they are, but of course, I am not the only one to form such tight relationships with an author who shows me the world in a whole new light, or reflects something I already knew. Continue reading Meet the New Pigeon: Charlotte

How I Write by Chris Brosnahan

Stave VII imageA lot of the time, I don’t. That’s been the truth for a little while and it’s something I’ve finally turned around recently, having tried and failed with a few projects since I finished Deadlines in 2014. In fact, 2015 was a year of frustration with regards to longer projects. The only satisfactory writing project that I did was a story that was published in a True Detective anthology called ‘Walk Hand In Hand Into Extinction’, featuring preachers and child murder in the Deep South. Continue reading How I Write by Chris Brosnahan

Who are the Redlegs?

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I know exactly how many years it took to write Redlegs. It was conceived a little after my daughter was, and it was published when she was 21.

I mean, I wasn’t sitting all day every day tussling with it. That would be about a paragraph a week. During that time, I wrote something like three stage plays, 70-odd hours of television (including Taggart, and documentaries like An Anarchist’s Story), about twice as many radio dramas and documentaries, a book of short stories (Poor Angels), and another novel (Ascension Day). As well as doing my bit bringing up Emma and her wee brother. Continue reading Who are the Redlegs?


By Niki Barbery Bleyleben

Photo on 08-07-2012 at 11.10 #3 - Version 2Niki Barbery Bleyleben is a Bolivian-American social scientist and artist living in London.

I just returned home.

Flew into London on a Bolivian tailwind in time to witness the extraordinary turn of events that have forever changed the course of history.

For the past year, I have become increasingly preoccupied with the concept of HOME; the way in which we define our borders: our continents, our countries, our communities, our families. It’s hard not to be, given the fact that there are more displaced people living in the world today than ever before in recorded history. The most recent stats coming out of the UN suggest that the number of people forcibly displaced due to war or persecution exceeds 65 million (more that the entire population of Great Britain). Continue reading HOME

“The Complexity of Simple Things”

A piece by The Pigeonhole Founder Jacob Cockcroft for the Bristol University TEDx Conference.



“Perfection is achieved not when there is nothing more to add, but when there is nothing left to take away.”

– Antoine de Saint-Exupery

A start up is essentially a distillation process inside an hourglass. Will you extract the essential product before time runs out?

The wonderful thing about starting a new enterprise is the limitless possibilities of your ideas, of what you can build, of what problems you can solve. Your universe is constrained by nothing more then your imagination. But this same potential, is also your biggest weakness. You cannot sit on the fence forever and nor can you be all things to all men, you must work out the one simple thing you can do, and do it beautifully. Continue reading “The Complexity of Simple Things”

Where Free Books and Chocolate Meet

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‘An ingenious and atmospheric first novel, inspired by the discovery of a mysterious library lost deep in the English countryside, and vibrating with the literary and musical echoes of late Romanticism.’
Richard Holmes, author of Coleridge and The Age of Wonder

Few things go together as well as a good book and good chocolate. That’s why we’re giving away a Cocoa Runners gift box to the first 10 people to read and review The Sacred Combe, an exceptional debut by Thomas Maloney centred around the ancient library and troubled family history of an isolated manor house. Full of secondhand tomes and literary resonances, this novel is a book-lover’s dream. Continue reading Where Free Books and Chocolate Meet

A Guide to Literary Consultants

What is a literary consultant, should you use one and how can you find the right one for you?


After years of hard work, you’ve finally finished what you hope is the last draft of your book. You’ve polished your cover letter and synopsis, spent hours poring over the Writers’ and Artists’ Yearbook and come up with a list of agents and publishers to send it to. Various friends you trust have looked at bits and pieces of the book and say they like it, but no one’s actually read the whole thing. And it might be months before they do. Is there any harm in sending it out now to test the waters?

Probably not, and you might be lucky enough to get a deal. On the other hand, you may have a bit of editing energy left. And you want to give your book the best possible chance when it hits the desks or inboxes of your top pick of agents and publishers. But you can’t rely on those friends to get back to you with detailed, impartial advice. Continue reading A Guide to Literary Consultants