These are the questions that drive my work: What happens when we realise that we must change our life? How can we find more small ways to step out from our circles of safe belonging? To show and share what we know?

This section shares links to podcasts, films, interviews, essays and projects in which I explore those core concerns - and offer suggestions for how we can grow our creative confidence & social connectedness.

Podcasts & radio

  • For Sharon Blackie’s This Mythic Life podcast: Tanya Shadrick is the first guest in a series of special weekly episodes of This Mythic Life, dedicated to Sharon’s new book Hagitude. Sharon will be in conversation with a selection of remarkable women, speaking about their experiences of the gifts and challenges faced in the second half of life.

  • For The Wintering Sessions with Katherine May: Tanya talks about how facing death made her bolder. From sudden clarity, to life-changing impulses, to being of service and of course her own writing studies (including the mile-long journal), it’s an intimate and ultimately uplifting and inspiring journey.

  • For BBC Radio 4 Pursuit of Beauty: Slow Art – Tanya is interviewed in 2018 alongside her mentor sculptor David Nash, discussing his Ash Dome at 40 and her two-year Wild Patience mile of writing, in a programme which also features durational sculpture and music.

  • For Postcards From Midlife: Hosts Lorraine Candy and Trish Halpin speak to Tanya Shadrick, the author of a new critically acclaimed midlife memoir that recounts how a near death experience became a wake up call for living the life she truly wanted. Tanya also explains why we need to step through life’s thresholds.

  • For the Virginia Woolf Podcast: Tanya Shadrick talks to Karina Jakubowicz about Woolf, writing, motherhood, and Tanya’s book, The Cure for Sleep. Tanya has been writer-in-residence in the garden of Monks House, the former home of Virginia and Leonard Woolf, and a key chapter of her memoir is set there.

  • For Love the Words with Peter Spafford: Tanya talks about her memoir The Cure For Sleep and about late-waking, renewal, and staying alive.

  • For My Unlived Life: Host Miriam Robinson sits down to chat with Tanya Shadrick about what her life would have been like if, at the age of 13, she’d felt confident enough to attend a pool party being thrown by a very intriguing, very bohemian new boy at her school. Along the way they discuss what opening up to others can teach you about yourself, the importance of methodical movement in a world that values speed and the economics of changing your life.

  • For Not Too Busy To Write with Ali Millar: Ali asks Tanya about The Cure For Sleep, and then the two memoir writers discuss transformative experiences, class and finding a literary form for these.


  • Online Launch of The Cure for Sleep: With introduction by W&N Publishing Director Lettice Franklin (Tanya’s editor) and questions from host, the NYT-bestselling author Kathryn Aalto, this is Tanya sharing a long conversation with a live audience on the arts of living – and writing.

  • Reclaiming the Wild: For Ilkley Literature Festival, west country authors Natasha Carthew and Tanya Shadrick discuss the potential barriers working-class writers may face and how to overcome them.

  • For PechaKucha Wild Writer – Tanya Shadrick explains how her response to an act of vandalism set her on a journey of career change and creativity. Recorded live in 2018 using the global PechaKucha format of 20 slides x 20 seconds of talk per image.

  • The Art of Authentic Living: For the UK publication of her book on Simone de Beauvoir and the art of authentic living, author Skye Cleary shares a conversation with Tanya Shadrick, author of The Cure for Sleep.

  • For Pages Of Hackney: Body Work / The Cure for Sleep: Melissa Febos and Tanya Shadrick share a conversation the Radical Power of Personal Narrative to celebrate the UK publication of Febos’ brilliant and emboldening essay collection [talk starts fully at 4 minutes in].

  • For BBC South East BBC Arts Correspondent Robin Gibson makes a return visit to Tanya at her poolside mile of writing, following the 2017 announcement of her award from the Jan Michalski Foundation for Writing and Literature in Switzerland.

  • For the Canal and River Trust The Unexpected Fisher – Narrator and subject of this short 2017 film by the Canal and River Trust.

  • For BBC South East Today Profile of Tanya at work beside Pells Pool in 2016, having embarked on her Wild Patience Mile of Writing.

Interviews & features

  • For Ernest Journal: Tanya answers questions on her Concentrates of Place practice of tins filled with souvenirs of place & people, a rest-of-life response to her sudden near-death at thirty-three, begun on its ten-year anniversary.

  • In the Irish Examiner: ‘Begin by making a list of what you love…’: Feature on Tanya and her memoir The Cure for Sleep by Arts & Culture correspondent Marjorie Brennan.

  • For Wealden Literary Festival As 2019 Writer-in-Residence for the Festival, Tanya recommends essential texts and other tips for aspiring writers.

  • For Life. Death. Whatever. Tanya talks about her sudden near-death and subsequent work as a hospice scribe for the Five Things I’ve Learned series.

  • For A Simple Path (Linen Beauty). Tanya speaks about how her life and work embodies the values of simplicity and slow living.

Essays & articles


  • Birds of Firle (2020-2030): A single book of rook images being sent by Selkie Press founder Tanya Shadrick to 100 people across a decade, inviting responses on ‘grief and hope as the things with feathers’ – as featured by Little Toller’s The Clearing.

  • Concentrates of Place (2016 to end of life): Tins of place and people begun on the tenth anniversary of a sudden near-death – as featured in Ernest Journal, The Simple Things and National Geographic Education.

  • Wild Patience: A Mile of Writing (2016-17): 100,000 words of pen on paper, created in public at England’s oldest outdoor pool and completed at the Jan Michalski Foundation, Switzerland – as funded by the Jan Michalski Foundation and featured by Radio 4, The Outdoor Swimming Society and Oh Comely.

  • One Minutes (2016 to end of life): One minute sound recordings of place begun on the tenth anniversary of a sudden near-death – archived on Soundcloud.

Media reviews

  • In the iPaper: ‘Tender…ferocious…This luminous debut charts how the author pledged to radically change her life after nearly dying following the birth of her first child….To awaken, to see the world with such freshness, to “become an explorer of the everyday and break new ground in it” – we could all do with a bit more of that.’ Review of The Cure for Sleep by Marianne Levy.

  • In the Times Literary Supplement: ‘Absorbing…robust, declarative even, but there is also something disquieting in this memoir… for Shadrick, to be a woman, an artist and a mother still seems something not quite of this world: a fairy tale that puzzles her even though – or perhaps because – it came true.’ Review of The Cure for Sleep by Sheena Joughin.

  • In the Telegraph: ‘Shadrick is a thoughtful, poetically articulate interviewee. Her vantage point is one that she tells expressively in her debut book…it’s ambitious in its scope.’

  • In the iPaper: ‘Shadrick wrote The Cure for Sleep to chart her reinvention from shy, small-town outsider to someone stamping their presence on artistic and literary life…and she wants to help others follow in her footsteps.’ Feature on Tanya and her outsider art by Susie Mesure.