Members’ news

Firstly, some exciting news from Lucy Beevor:

“I was chuffed to bits to be awarded the Mairtín Crawford Short Story Award 2021 for my short story ‘Landslide’.”

Congratulations, Lucy!


I’ve been busy promoting my arts magazine, Steel Jackdaw, as Edition 3 is open for submissions. Aside from that, I’m applying to do an MA in creative writing at Bath Spa University, which I hope to be accepted into for this October!

– Jason Gardner-Conway


Based in London? Join Elise Valmorbida for a Mindfulness and Creative Writing course

A four-week COVID-safe course led by Fabrizio Pesce, director of the St Peter’s Centre for Mindfulness and Spirituality and Elise Valmorbida, award-winning author and teacher of creative writing at Central Saint Martins and Arvon.

A total of four sessions, one per week 8–29 July

18:30 -20:30

During the course we will explore how to:

• practice mindfulness through different exercises

• engage your senses

• calm, focus and free the mind

• connect experience with words

• access deeper levels of creativity

• write with authenticity

Find out more, and book here


John Simmons has spotted an opportunity from a friend of 26:

Achates, is seeking a Bid Writer to join our growing team. We are looking for someone passionate about the arts who wants to develop their knowledge and experience as a trust fundraiser and who has excellent written communication skills.

The post represents a unique opportunity to work across our range of clients of all scales and art forms nationally and to hone a deep knowledge of cultural sector funders.

This is a flexible, home working role, so would suit someone looking to build their experience alongside other commitments.

For more information click here, we’d love to hear from you.


Introducing… Dwygli Cottage. I love London but belong by the sea. Which is why I’ve bought a cottage on the North Wales coast. I’ll be there whenever life allows – searching Snowdonia for inspiration, dreaming up stories, writing memoirs. When I’m back in London, perhaps 26 members would like to visit?

– Rob Self-Pierson


The ‘Knowing Bradford’ online learning resource I was commissioned to create by Historic England is now available on its website.

And I’m producing Eddie Lawler’s play with music Airey Tales for its world premiere at Saltaire Festival this September. It celebrates the return of salmon (and more) to the River Aire; rumbustious, rollicking, myths, magic and some mayhem. Great fun with audience participation (we hope!)

– Irene Lofthouse

Image – Bradford City (Town) Hall, with the monument to Titus Salt in the foreground © Historic England Archive Ref: BL00866, Taken: 1875 © Historic England Archive Ref: BL00866, Taken: 1875


This month I have been mainly restoring a Victorian altarpiece. A copy of an Italian Renaissance Madonna and Child plaster relief. It will be unveiled at the end of the month and I get to say a few words to the congregation about why I chose to use French Ultramarine blue and recycle discarded heart-shaped confetti that I found on the church floor after a wedding into rose gold stars in the heavens. Something about Yves Klein and fleeting ephemera becoming a permanent fixture.

– Ben Archer

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