the cure for sleep: stories from (& beyond) the book

The Cure for Sleep (Weidenfeld & Nicolson) is the story of my lives before and after sudden near-death at thirty-three. It is also a memoir full of many other threshold moments - in my life, and the lives of others: those times when we are brought to a sudden need to choose, or we experience something which changes forever our perspective of life and how to live it.

“A sublimely written account of refusing to be defined by social constructs and embracing life-enhancing change, The Cure for Sleep is a poignant and inspiring slice of literary memoir” A Waterstones Non-Fiction Book for 2022

join the book’s story-sharing community

As a former hospice scribe and writer who works now in public places to encourage others to take creative risks, I want to offer readers of my book a safe story-sharing space here on Substack.

how it works

Each monthly newsletter takes a story from the book, inviting you to tell me one in return on that theme from your own life - using the comments field to share a story of up to 300 words. Importantly, all themes stay open for your story submissions - this helps the project remain accessible to those with health, caring or other time constraints.

All true tales that respect the contributor guidelines are then curated over on

Each issue also includes extras such as my recommended texts for building and sustaining a creative life, or links to any podcasts or events I’m taking part in that relate to this endeavour.

I hope you will join me here and I look forward to reading your words.

“If you’re writing away by yourself and anxious about showing your work to others, here’s a lovely opportunity to share in a kind, supportive space. Have a look. Take the leap. I’m so glad I did” Sheila de Courcy, contributor

story archive

In the year before the book’s January 2022 publication day, subscribers received once-monthly advance extracts. I wanted to start building a story-sharing community that made room for people to enter even if they weren’t able to buy my book (yet/ever).

Many of my early subscribers saw their writing published for the first time through this project. And for those who were already used to seeing their work online, it has become a place to discuss and deepen their commitment to the craft & practice of life-writing.

Read the Season One stories contributed by readers: bedtime stories | memory games | bonding | choosing | promises | size & shape | time | desire | regret | faith | rebirth

Read the Season Two stories: play | hands

about tanya

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