I’m Emma. Around my day job I’m a writer, illustrator, reader, reviewer and new mother. My feet live in London, my head in whatever story I’m currently reading or writing. On this blog I share thoughts about books, stories and creativity.

What do I read and review? Recently, I’m mostly reading contemporary literary fiction and speculative fiction, some historical, some memoir, some classic. I do sometimes read a little young adult and middle grade when the right book appears and I’m in the mood for it. I don’t usually go for romance novels or thrillers. I’m pushing myself to read more translated fiction, and I love discovering talented self- and indie-published authors. My review policy is below!

What do I write? Don’t worry, my longer writing projects are all hidden safe in the laptop, under the cat, with filenames like ‘ch. 3 third attempt’, ‘untitled’ and ‘a dramatic thing maybe’… and are unlikely to see the light of day any time soon. Most of what you’ll see on this blog is book related content, however I do very occasionally share shorter creative scribblings. Beware! When I have emotions, or wine, I tend to write poetry.

What else? Sometimes I draw things. You’ll find those things scattered all across the blog, and a few collected here.

Review Policy

If you would like to approach me to review a book, please bear in mind:

🖋 I prefer, in order, 1) literary fiction, 2) speculative fiction with a literary feel, which explores interesting characters and concepts, 3) true stories and memoir, 3) historical fiction. I don’t read many thrillers or romance novels.

🖋 Themes I often gravitate towards are: the human experience of war/conflict; the wonders and weirdnesses of every day modern life (a la Sally Rooney); anything that promises to say something interesting about people or the world.

🖋 At the moment I mostly reach for adult fiction (though not to say I do not enjoy YA and Middle Grade sometimes.)

🖋 I only do stand alone reviews of books I’ve enjoyed (or at least found something positive about). If I’m not enjoying a book I tend to DNF it quite quickly. I’ll let you know if this happens with a book we’ve been in contact about.

🖋 Depending on how much I have to say about the book, I may do a shorter review on Instagram, as part of a monthly Wrap Up post, or focus on one particular aspect in a Snapshot post.

Contact details:

Email me: emwithpen[at]gmail.com, tweet me: @emwithpen, or use the form below:

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