Writing Journey with Rosie Wilby

Rosie Wilby is an award-winning comedian who’s appeared many times on BBC Radio 4 programmes including Woman’s Hour and Loose Ends, and at major festivals including Latitude and Glastonbury.

Rosie’s first book Is Monogamy Dead? was shortlisted for the Diva Literary Awards 2017 and longlisted for the Polari First Book Prize 2018. It was inspired by her TEDx talk of the same name.

Rosie’s newest book, The Breakup Monologues: The Unexpected Joy of Heartbreak, is zooming up the best seller charts. Comedy is her bag, and she shared her wisdom in a one-off online workshop with the Margate Bookie.

What session are you doing at Writing Journey?
My session explored comedy writing and looked at some typical joke structures. I showed how writing for stage and page can differ, but can also inform one another.

What kind of things will you be doing?
We did a few different writing exercises, tried writing some jokes and even gave a short stand-up routine a go. I also shared my own tips on how I’ve been able to turn my live comedy shows into two books.

How can your style of writing help young people?
Humour is a great device for making tough or taboo subjects more accessible. For me, it was a way into discussing sexuality, homophobia, infidelity and heartbreak. I’ve found that it’s a great way for people to enjoy these powerful thoughts and emotions in a friendly, chatty format and then reflect on them more deeply later.

How has comedy helped you?
It’s helped me to gain confidence and find my voice. Preparing a five-minute stand-up set, whether you want to actually venture onstage to perform or not, is a great way to crystallise your ideas and edit them down to the essentials.

Do you have any general writing advice for young people?
Find your voice and stay true to it. Don’t try to write what you think other people want you to write. In comedy, it’s all about making yourself laugh first and foremost. Then you’ll see that comedy is infectious!

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Make sure you check out the Writing Journey workshops by emailing For more information, see our Writing Journey blog.

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