26 noticeboard

News and announcements from this parish, including revisiting our first project: 26 letters, Throwaway Lines the Second, 26 Miles putting on its slippers and Norwich editors chomping at the bit (cf Black Beauty)

tessa-ross26 presents Tessa Ross

Join us at The Free Word Centre, Farringdon, London on Wednesday 5 June at 6:15pm to hear from Tessa Ross, controller of Film Four. Tessa Ross is a behind-the-screens legend. In her role as Controller of Film Four, Tessa is the driving force behind gems such as Slumdog Millionaire, Billy Elliott, The Last King of Scotland, In Bruges, and Seven Psychopaths.

In February 2013, she was identified as one of the 100 most powerful women in the UK by Woman’s Hour on BBC Radio 4. She is also a director of the Royal National Theatre and a governor of the National Film and Television School.

Fresh from winning a BAFTA for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema, Tessa will be talking about her career in film, and how she works with screenwriters. Tessa will also be taking questions from the audience.

Doors at 6.15 pm. Talk starts at 7pm. Buy tickets here. With thanks to Quietroom for sponsoring the event.
Andy Hayes


ecstasySoon we’ll be ten

Way back in 2003, seven of us who’d been meeting regularly to discuss what more we could do as business writers to help other writers, decided to set up a members’ group. We decided to call it 26 after the number of letters in the alphabet.

Now look at us, ten years on, still numerically challenged, 26 has grown from 7 to 400, with more projects behind us than we can remember, let alone count. Something to celebrate. And how better to celebrate than with a new project that echoes our very first one?

Our first project was 26 Letters, an exhibition and book based on the letters of the alphabet. 26 writers teamed up with 26 typographers to create works (posters, banners, installations) at the British Library. Now we’re planning to rerun that project, with a twist. We’ve teamed up with The Letter Exchange, a wonderful organisation that brings together leading typographers, calligraphers and professionals in the lettering arts.

This time we’re pairing writers with artists and giving each pair a randomly chosen word to represent each letter of the alphabet. The aim will be to create a work for exhibition (venue being worked on) and a book. We’ll be kicking off the project at the Betsey Trotwood in London soon with our 26 writers and their typographic partners.

Thanks to all those who applied – we were oversubscribed many times so that means a large number of disappointed people. Those we had to turn down for this project will be at the front of the queue for the next project, so I hope that makes up a bit. But there are only so many writers you can get into a 26 project….We might have to rename ourselves 52.

John Simmons


What a load of rubbish!

It’s time for another round of Throwaway Lines.

We’ve had stories featuring an explosively murderous husband, reunited parents and a magical mystery tour among other delights. Each one inspired by a tantalising, random hand-written scrap found on the streets of London.

If you’re unfamiliar with the idea, have a look at www.throwawaylines.org

We’ll match scraps with writers and writers with editors mid-April, aiming to publish the next batch of stories in June.

e-mail malcolmblythe@mac.com with RUBBISH in the subject line if you want to know more or to get involved.


Illustration by Daire O’Herlihy daire.oh@me.com

And they’re off!

After more than six months of planning, the 26 Miles London Marathon website has gone live.

Each working day until the April 21st event, 26miles.org.uk will celebrate a different mile of the Marathon route. In the first week alone, a 15th century Cornish uprising, the friendship between an autistic boy and a solitary pensioner, and scenes from a ‘60s film set were among the varied themes explored.

The website brings the 26 mile, 385 yard course alive in pictures as well as words, with 26 members’ stories complemented by their creative partners’ illustrations, photography, film and recordings.

Rebecca Dowman


26 Miles – from the street to the sofa

On May 8th, we’ll be taking off our trainers and putting on our slippers to talk about 26 Miles, in a cosy living room just off the Old Street roundabout.

This is part of Universettee, a series of lectures that happen in people’s homes with a variety of speakers from different walks of life. Entry is free but you’re asked to bring some food or drink to share. Our lecture will be approximately 45 minutes followed by time for questions and discussion. If you want to attend you’ll need to book a place in advance, as spaces are very limited.


26 Writers Norwich latest

by Elise Valmorbida

It’s fast approaching: 1st April, the deadline for submissions! The 26 Writers Norwich project editors John Simmons, Sara Sheridan and Elise Valmorbida are champing at the bit (cf Black Beauty) for your stories of medieval bishops, mystic muses, dissenting preachers and culture collectors. In the months ahead, an interactive literary map will appear, with Norwich heritage hotspots that lead straight through to your creative works. And the launch fandango is now a date to ink in your diary. Norwich needs YOU on Monday evening, 17th June. More details to follow…


Remember the message board?

If you love the word, folks, then now is the time to put it out there — on the 26 Message Board says Shano Cotechini

A user tells a message board, “I never forget an interface. But in your case, I’ll make an exception.”

A message board walks into a bar with a paving slab under one arm. “A beer please. And one for the road.”

A message board with dyslexia walks into a bra . . .

This is what can happen to a forum when it becomes a joke. Which is why this is an important appeal to all members of 26 . . .

Let’s call it an amnesty on silence. On acquiescence. On lethargy. On being otherwise employed. Gainfully, painfully or neitherly.

This is your chance to hand in that word- and work-related tittle-tattle, gossip, banter or debate that you have been hoarding and keeping to yourself (tut!).

If you’ve been itching to break a lance over a subject or just looking to build bridges with others, get it up on the Board.

If you haven’t already contributed, try it — introduce yourself to the community at large for the first time.

If you made your debut ages ago, try again. While you’re at it, remind us of what you’ve been up to, what you’re planning to work on or even what you’d like to do in an ideal wor(l)d.

If you’re a freelancer or a contractor, post your availability. If you’re a recruiter or anyone who has in the inside track on an upcoming job or project, don’t be shy.

If you’ve got stories to tell, gripes to air or anything to exult, the Message Board awaits.

Whatever you do, keep the ideas flowing and the talk lively. (And be polite.)

Happy posting!*

Oh, be sure you have set up your page in the Member’s Pages area. Include a photo if you can, to help put posts to faces.

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