Room 101: Writers’ Revenge

ROOM 101

Despite studying George Orwell for A-level, many (many) moons ago, whenever I hear the phrase ‘Room 101’ I tend to think of the BBC comedy series rather than the torture chamber in Nineteen Eighty-Four.  (Yep.  All about the literary culture and class, that’s me…)

The television show has gone through a number of presenters and formats since its first airing, way back in 1994, but the general premise remains the same: celebrity guests must, by the persuasiveness of their argument, convince the host to consign their chosen pet hate to the titular Room 101.

Celebrity or otherwise, I’m sure everyone can think of something they’d like to see the back of…


… but I thought it might be fun to try a writers’ version of the game.  What writing-specific bugbear would you merrily consign to the annals of history?

Here’s a few ideas to start you off…

  • computer updates… computer crashes… computers in general…
  • rejections (say no more)
  • typos that definitely, definitely weren’t there when you pressed ‘Send’
  • spotting your breathtakingly original idea for a novel (the one that’s going to make you a household literary name) in book form, in Waterstones…
  • one star Amazon reviews  
  • waiting.  Oh the endless waiting…

I’ve gone a bit old school with my own choice, mainly because I’m sitting here looking at one of the culprits right now, my blood pressure rising at the very sight of it…

…Yes, it’s pencil rubbers THAT DON’T RUB OUT!!  You know the kind I mean, those hard shiny ones that leave black smears all over your lovely new notebook *grinds teeth* without getting rid of a single mistake.  They’re the mistake, if you ask me.


Why go to all the trouble of adding an eraser to a pencil if it doesn’t actually erase anything?  Why, oh why, oh why?  It’s probably a perfectly good pencil in every other respect – writing and sharpening like a good ‘un – but if it’s got an evil smudger for a rubber then it’s straight into Room 101 with it, as far as I’m concerned.  Harsh but fair, I’m sure you’ll agree…

Any other writerly suggestions out there to keep the poor feller company?

(Update – 28th March: If you’re feeling the Room 101 love (or hate) I’ve just spotted this competition from Brentwood Writers’ Circle who are looking for Room 101 entries of exactly 101 words, closing 30th April.)



Brexit Night and a Hidden Pig Bring Czech & Slovak Writing Prizes

I was lucky enough to win the annual British Czech & Slovak Association writing competition at the end of last year and was invited to the annual dinner in London to collect my prize.  Delicious food, great company and a warm welcoming atmosphere made for a truly memorable night and a perfect way to round off an exciting writing year before sinking into a sea of wrapping paper and Christmas chaos!



A Czech student’s evocative account of a party in London on the night of the EU referendum and what it might mean for her future has won the British Czech & Slovak Association’s most recent writing competition. The first prize of £300 was awarded for Ms Bernhardt’s Brexit, by Jennifer Moore.

Jennifer is a freelance writer whose work has appeared in numerous publications, including The Guardian and Mslexia. She read English Literature at Cambridge University and is a previous winner of the Commonwealth Short Story Competition. She lives in Devon.

The second prize, worth £100, went to The Pig, the Cupboard and the Reichsprotektor, by Jack Mullin.  It’s a comic tale, based on a true incident that took place in Bohemia in 1942, in which an clever Czech householder goes to great lengths to prevent his pig being requisitioned by the occupying Germans.

Jack has lived most of his life…

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