This is the place where all things 26 hail. From Tessa Ross to Wordstock to Norwich to Pecha Kucha, and a homemade meat pie on a sofa… Read on.
There was homemade meat pie, cider and culture on the couch at Universettee in early May. Five of the contributors to our 26 Miles project spoke about their mile and read a short extract from their work. Kate Baxter’s mile started where the wheelchair race met the mass race. This got her thinking about connections, which led to her story One and one. Designer Daire O’Herlihy combined expressive brush strokes with magazine cut-outs to create a collage for Malcolm Blythe’s Three scenes. Author Gordon Kerr bravely recited two of his poems from memory for the first time. And Rebecca Dowman talked about scratching beneath the surface to uncover the hidden gems lurking in the most unpromising places. In her case, Bermondsey. Finally, John Simmons wrapped things up nicely, recalling the days when the Docklands contained actual working docks. Blimey. London in all her glory indeed.
Our Tessa Ross talk on Wednesday 5th June has sold out, which is great news. If you have tickets, please bring them along on the night. There’ll be drinks from 6.15pm and the talk will start at 7pm. We’ll finish between 8pm and 8.30pm, depending on questions from the audience. There might be returns, so if you want to go on the reserve list, please email me – firstname.lastname@example.org.
We’ll also be filming the event, so you can still catch the talk if you miss it on the night. We’ll publish details of where you can see this in our June newsletter.
You’ve heard that 26 writers from 26 have been getting deep into Norfolk. Why? We’ve been working in partnership with Writer’s Centre Norwich and we are sharing in the city’s recent literary success: Norwich is now England’s UNESCO City of Literature.
In classic 26 style, we’ve collaborated with another organisation to make a project that is nothing if not… collaborative. Twenty-six 26ers were tasked with dreaming up a creative response to 26 Norwich luminaries, from medieval mystics to contemporary dons.
The pairing was random, but it became generative. Each of these pairs was coupled with a current creative writing student at UEA. That’s 26 + 26 + 26. Or is that 26 x 26 x 26?
The new creative works – poetry, fiction, journalism and drama – have been delivered and edited, along with fascinating creation tales and author stories. This literary hoard will be published on a dedicated new website, all set to take you on an irresistibly interactive literary journey. The URL is yet to be unfurled, so watch this space!
Come to this year’s second Pecha Kucha-inspired session for more high-energy slide’n’speak presentations by another amazing line-up. We’ve got Mark Noad, Roger Horberry, Susan Greenberg and Martin Lee and that’s not even the half of it!
Tuesday 2nd July, 6.30pm at the Betsey Trotwood, Farringdon Road EC1
26’ers up and down the land – and on the other side of the world, in one case – are working on another round of Throwaway Lines. New writing inspired by random scraps of handwritten litter; compelling stories that lie behind the mundane, the everyday and the overlooked.
A warm welcome to our new company secretary, Sue Wilcox, taking over from Tom Lynham. Sue has been a member of 26 for many years, although she’s been a little quiet recently thanks to a secondment in India – and a couple of kids.
We are 10
We are old. We are wise. 26 is 10 this year. We’ve put together some amazing writing projects during that time. And, we’ve grown from a few people with a passion for words, sitting round a table and trying out ideas, to a far larger organisation that spans the whole country. We don’t know yet what we’re going to do to celebrate so if you’ve any ideas, let us know. But we’re ten… and we’re just saying.
The merry May weather may be playing havoc with your hyacinths, but that’s no reason to avoid casting your mind ahead to the autumn, when 26 Wordstock will be happening – in every sense of the word – again, on Saturday 9th November.
Like last year, it will be at London’s Free Word Centre (and will doubtless spill over to the Betsey Trotwood afterwards). Also like last year, it will be packed with inspirational speaking, thinking, writing, meeting, chatting, drinking and eating.
New for this year, we are delighted to announce that Alastair Creamer is at the helm; so watch out for news about high-profile speakers, high-energy activities and high-value outcomes for writers of every ilk, stripe and kind.