Members’ news

Bristling with superpowers – looking at life through a 26 project

One sunny afternoon in late June, I spent a happy half an hour squelching around Hayling Island’s Langstone Harbour nature reserve with Louise MacCallum, the local environment officer. Our mission was to inspect a seagrass meadow revealed daily at low tide.

Two months ago I knew nothing about seagrass. Now, focusing on the aquatic plant through the 26 Habitats project, I know it’s up there with rainforests, peat bogs and mangrove swamps in its potential to save us from climate catastrophe. Seeing it up close was like meeting Clark Kent – modest looking, but bristling with superpowers.

Seagrass is the latest thing that I’ve learnt about – and become fascinated by – through my work with 26. It follows smooth snakes (26 Wild), willows (26 Trees) conscientious objection (26 Armistice) and 19th century erotica collectors and royal pretenders (Bloomsbury Festival). Quite a jamboree bag of topics.

So, thanks 26. You really enrich my life.

– Rebecca Dowman


I’m excited to be launching Open to Inspiration: a year-long programme inviting a small group of fellow scribblers to go deeper into their own creativity, overcome blocks and find their genius, all while having fun playing around with words.

With monthly interactive Zoom sessions, bite-sized self-study materials and a private group on Mighty Networks, I’ll be encouraging participants to find a way to embed greater creativity into their lives in a gentler, more sustainable way than a shorter, more intensive course allows.

Together we’ll explore topics such as muses, intentions, creative daemons, inner critics, procrastination and play. The idea is to free up what I like to call “authentic creativity”, so we can do what I believe all of us secretly long to do: to put more of our selves into our writing, and share more depth, beauty, hilarity, originality, truth with the world.

It’s a pilot programme, so there’s a big discount on pricing for anyone who’s happy to be my guinea pig for the year! And there’s a referral scheme, too.

More details here.

– Rowena Roberts


I have two bits of news:

* _East Anglia bylines_ launches on 22 July, including a contribution by me.

* A neighbourhood campaign against the building of a distribution hub, likely to involve large warehouses and increased traffic in a residential area, has adopted my song for it.

– Aidan Baker

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