Introducing The Alchemy

The News section will be home to news from Alchemists far and wide, but for now, here's a bit of information on the book that started it all…

The Alchemy

by Anna Vaught
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The Alchemy is a robust, frank and loving guide to an often opaque industry. As well as offering tips on working in gentle increments and re-imagining what productivity and the work of writing look like, there is advice on sending out work and navigating the industry, looking after your mental health as you go.

Full of practical advice, strategies, comfort and the occasional entertaining essay, The Alchemy is about writing a book when you thought you could not. It is for all writers, but with a particular eye on those who are tired and lacking in confidence, and those who face significant challenges – perhaps you are chronically ill or care for a loved one. It is a book for beginners, but it is also for those of you who are stuck in your habits and practice – perhaps you just need a pal to guide you through the day to day with the book you wanted to write. That’s what The Alchemy is. Let’s do this together.


'I was completely blown away by The Alchemy. Anna Vaught will liberate you from the trappings of perfection and teach you how to create incredible things from every single piece of you, including all those bits you believed were always holding you back. This is not just for writers: I think everyone should read this book.' — Kat Ashton, Head of Courses, Jericho Writers

'The Alchemy is the writing guide we all need: wise, funny, deeply compassionate, it meets us where we are and gently suggests that’s a place where wonderful things can happen. Do not despair – read this instead.' — Shelley Harris, author, lecturer in English Literature and Director of MA Creative Writing Programme, University of Reading

'This beautiful and empathetic book seeks to recover for writers the immense value of what Wordsworth calls ‘wise passiveness’ that ‘can feed this mind of ours’. It reminds us that not-writing is sometimes a kind of writing, and of the importance of downtime, productive failure and bubble baths. Anna Vaught’s unique writing guide is, above all, an act of kindness to authors everywhere.' — Jonathan Taylor, author and Professor of Creative Writing, University of Leicester

'LOVED The Alchemy: it’s what every writer and would-be writer needs; a friend who is at the same time knowledgeable, but also kind, funny, compassionate and wise; who knows what it’s like to feel insecure, but who has been through every kind of fire, and has come out indestructible.' — Joanne Harris