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Isabel Costello

Writer (novels: Paris Mon Amour 2017; Scent 2021).Host of the Literary Sofa blog. Co-founder of Resilience for Writers with Voula Tsoflias. Perfume lover and Francophile.
Isabel Costello has written 426 posts for The Literary Sofa

Writers on Location – Peter Papathanasiou on the Australian Outback

The last couple of months seem to have raced by. As usual I’m juggling several projects including a new mentoring role on the Retreat West novel course, which I am really enjoying, and gearing up to start writing my own. Today’s guest post by Pete Papathanasiou may be the first in a long time but … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight 2021

Following last week’s Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years, it’s exciting to be doing something new today: hosting my first spotlight on pitches for not-yet-published books by unagented writers. I’m also delighted that industry expert Andrew Wille accepted my invitation to share a few thoughts on what makes a good book … Continue reading

Ten of my favourite novels of the last ten years

There was a lovely response to last week’s post looking back on ten years of the Literary Sofa and since book selections have always been a big part of what I do here, I hope you’ll enjoy this post with the carefully worded title. Why is that? Well, as I read around 80 books per … Continue reading

10 Years of the Literary Sofa

This week is the 10th anniversary of the Literary Sofa and this is my third attempt to write something coherent about running the blog. It’s brought on an attack of the feels that I wasn’t expecting. The reason? Because it turns out to be impossible to separate my blogging life from my writing life from … Continue reading

French Fiction Special Edition

In a normal year about a quarter of my reading is in French but due to the toxic combination of Covid and Brexit, I didn’t read a single French novel in 2020 and really missed it, along with everything else I love about France.  That changed when I read All Men Want to Know by … Continue reading

Book Pitch Spotlight – Call for Entries

As part of the Literary Sofa’s fast approaching 10th anniversary celebrations, in early October I’m hoping to dedicate a post to 50-word book pitches* from unagented writers, featuring the 10 best ones in my opinion – and it is only my opinion! They will be chosen on the strength of the pitch, not my personal … Continue reading

Autumn 2021 on the Sofa

It’s great to be back in circulation after a long break from blogging and social media and even better to have got my usual September fired-up feeling back after it went completely AWOL last year. In huge contrast to summer 2020 I’ve been extremely lucky over the last few months, spending a lot of time … Continue reading

Writers on Location – Anne Goodwin on the long-stay psychiatric hospital

Welcome to the final post of the Summer Reads guest programme – if you missed it (or have already read all the books on the original selection – some people do!), Summer Reads Extras was released earlier this week with another five novels that really impressed me.  There seem to be even more great books … Continue reading

Summer Reads Extras 2021

There’s a heatwave on, I’ve got my reading mojo back and it’s time to share the follow-up to my main Summer Reads selection which met with a great response last month. Here are five more novels worth shouting about before the blog goes quiet for August: 1.Transcendent Kingdom by Yaa Gyasi (Penguin) As a child … Continue reading

Guest Author – Rosie Wilby on Love (and Creativity) in London

We’re on a roll with this year’s Summer Reads guest line-up. Last week’s post on Older Love by Catherine McNamara has been resonating loudly with readers for its rare affirmation of what later life can hold for women.  Today I’m excited to welcome comedian and author Rosie Wilby to share her unique perspective on matters … Continue reading