Dear Fellow Writers

We writers know all about self-isolation. We’ve been working alone, usually from home, most of our lives. We’ve come to terms with a secluded existence, so this new reality we’re now confronted with is not too different to the way we usually live.

Tomorrow’s writers need to get their work to people in the publishing world. To this end, for the duration of the crisis, I’m putting aside one hour a day to read the first chapters of novels that aspiring novelists wish me to comment on.

Send your first chapter to me at writethroughthecrisis@gmail.com

I’ll read what you send on a first-come-first-served basis, up to the first fifty submissions. And I’ll tell you what I think.

These first chapters should not exceed three thousand words.

Please understand that I’m a writer, not an editor, and that my views are simply my reaction to what you send.

I won’t, unfortunately, be able to engage in correspondence beyond my commentary – everyone else’s first chapter will also need to be read and critiqued.

However, when this crisis is over, I’ll publish the three best chapters on this website. I’ll also share them with my publishers, Sandstone Press, who have very generously agreed to read them.

Last year I published a season of (free) tips about creative writing under the heading Evenings with Evelyn which cover how writers approach their work, and, most importantly, about that vital early chapter. Click here to read the advice.

Writing and literature are a great solace, and never more have they been needed. Good luck! Keep safe writethroughthecrisis!

With best wishes,

Peter Cunningham


How do I know what I think until I see what I write?’ E.M. Forster

‘I write because I don’t know what I think until I see what I say,’ Flannery O’Connor

‘I don’t know what I think until I write it down,’ Joan Didion