I’ve been a member of 26 since 2004 or 2005 (the actual date is lost in a London pea souper), participated in many 26 projects, and am happy to be 26’s official chronicler. In 2013, to celebrate 26’s 10-year anniversary, my pitch was picked as ‘The Perfect Pitch’ by competition. The prize was the commission to write 26’s history. A Short History of 26: from ambition to zaffre is the result. It’s an entertaining A-Z of 26ery (if I say so myself) and you’ll learn what the word ‘xylotypographic’ means. Do have a ganders.
As for me, I started out as a poet and short story writer and have enjoyed a 20-year journey back to my beginning. Along the way I became (and often still am):
– a journalist (in-house on the Guardian Arts and Features desks, Time Out, and Times Educational Supplement; freelance for many others)
– a newspaper commissioning editor (the Guardian, the Daily Express)
– cultural commentator (BBC Radio 4 and World Service)
– a web commissioning and launch editor (British Council, Freeserve, various think tanks, research organisations and charities)
– press officer and communications person (Association of Colleges and further education sector)
– writing trainer (government press officers)
I’ve had a couple of books published – a couple more nestle shyly under the bed – and have won or been short-listed for some prizes, such as the Ian St James international short story award and the Poetry School national pamphlet competition. I love reading my writing aloud to audiences, and live on a narrowboat built in 1873.
These days I do three main things:
- 1. edit, write and provide editorial analysis for clients
- 2. run an online writing club to support individual writers working to finish a big project
- 3. write my own poetry, short stories, novels and creative non-fiction
You can find out more about me and the things I do at www.justinahart.com.