Looking forward to autumn

Summer may be slipping away, but we’ve got lots to look forward to in the coming months. Here’s a roundup of all the 26 events taking place in the not-to-distant future. We’ve got panel discussions, book launches and much more.


5th September – Armistice Writers Celebration

A moment to celebrate the launch of this quite remarkable project – a note is on its way to all attending writers this weekend and a fuller invite to the broader 26 community will be in the weekly centena update on Sunday. Venue is The Three Stags, SE1 7PZ – opposite the Imperial War Museum.


 3rd October – Ian Hislop and Nick Newman in conversation: ‘Writing Together’

On the eve of the opening of their latest play – Trial by Laughter – this event gets to grips with the thorny question of how do people actually write together.

Of course, both have day jobs – Nick is a cartoonist and Ian edits Private Eye – yet they have written together for 30 years. They’ve collaborated on Spitting Image, written for Spike Milligan, numerous BBC commissions, and now their own plays. In 2013 The Wiper’s Times was shown on BBC2 and they subsequently re-wrote it for the stage where it’s been almost constantly on tour for the better part of four years.

In this one-off event, they will talk about how they write together, share the odd pearl of wisdom for budding collaborators, and provide a glimpse into their practical ways of working and daily routines. What’s the secret behind their 30 year partnership?

Along the way, we will ask them questions such as: What makes for a perfect writing partner? How much fun do you actually have? Who’s the boss? Can you be a collaborative writer when you’re an introvert? How do you find ideas? How do you settle on an idea? What’s the best idea you’ve let go of?

This event is aimed at anyone interested in writing and the process of writing. You might be a single freelance writer looking to collaborate. You might be just interested in language and are fascinated in how ideas are developed between people.

Towards the end of the evening, and for those interested, we’re going to create instant writing partnerships! Names will be drawn out of the hat and audience members will be paired up and given a subject to collaborate on. 150 words in 15 minutes. We’ll hear some of these at the end. You’ll go some way to discovering is writing collaboratively for me?



 We have three 26’s events as part of this year’s Bloomsbury Festival 

  1. 17th October – Armistice Event with Imperial War Museum

 An evening based on 26 Armistice project, focusing on some of the women who played significant roles during First World War. With experts from IWM and 26 members reading their work and discussing their subjects. 7pm, Goodenough College, Bloomsbury.



  1. 18th October – Writing and Place: Panel Discussion chaired by Martin Lee, with Elise Valmorbida, John Simmons and Gareth Dickinson (Tutor in creative writing at Oxford) 

A discussion about the role of place in writing chaired by 26 Board member Martin Lee (ex-Waterstones marketing director) with novelists from 26 Elise Valmorbida (Madonna of the Mountains) and John Simmons (Spanish Crossings and The Good Messenger) joined by Oxford University creative writing tutor Gareth Dickson. Part of the Bloomsbury Festival, 7pm, Bloomsbury Hotel, London.



  1. 21st October – John Simmons Book Launch, his new novel ‘The Good Messenger’, which centres around the first world war. John will be in conversation with Rob Williams. 

Launch of The Good Messenger novel by 26 founder John Simmons, in conversation with screenwriter Rob Williams. Rob’s new BBC series The Victim will be released in the autumn. Part of the Bloomsbury Festival, Churchill Room, Goodenough College, London at 3pm.


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