Members’ news and recommendations: December 2023

26 Board Member Sana Iqbal interviewed the global designers behind the Gaza ceasefire posters promoting marches by Palestinian and Jewish movements. The designers (including Nadina Ali, whose poster, pictured left, was featured in the article) explain the symbolism behind them and what’s driving them to support Palestinians in their struggle for freedom. You can read the article in Creative Review.

Sana says: ‘Please hear the cries of the people, UN and humanitarian organisations and write to your MP to support an immediate ceasefire now.’ 

Rob Self-Pierson and I met for a walk along Regent’s canal and talked all things walking, writing and moon shaped – and we shared our walk in an interview on The Writer’s Walk

Rob also gave me three signed copies of his book, Moonwalking, to give to three lucky people whose names we draw out of a hat. If any 26ers would like the chance to get a copy, all they need to do is check out our interview, then tell us in the comments who they’d like to take a moonwalk with, where and why.

– Sarah Farley

1. Book I’ve read and loved

Tomorrow and Tomorrow and Tomorrow

Gorgeous characters whose lives you get to really inhabit. 

2. Thing I’ve been doing

Working for charity and research body, Anthony Nolan to develop a new tone of voice and tailor it to target specific audiences groups in order to get more ethnic minority groups to be on the stem cell register.

– Kendra Futcher

I’ve launched the next in my series of Writing the Occult events; join us virtually on 27 January.

The outsider arrives in an isolated community, and is confronted by strange details: dancing around a wicker man, chanting at a cliff edge, maypoles and sin eaters and masks and costumes. This is the world of the ritual in fiction, and it’s the next topic for discussion at Writing the Occult. 

Join us to hear about how to make a ritual, how to ensure it’s culturally-appropriate, and how ritual can drive your plot. We’ll talk about folk horror and faith horror and death and burial. We’ll also hear from some of the world’s best indie writers as they describe the part ritual plays in their inspiration and their stories. Speakers are Tracy Fahey, LMK Sheppard, Dr Helen Frisby, Dr Adam Scovell, Eden Royce, Lee Murray, Stephanie Ellis, Robert P Ottone, Kev Harrison, and Lindsey Trout Hughes.

As usual, we’re timing the schedule for the European afternoon and East Coast morning, and will record the sessions for those who can’t make it all live (so you’ll be safe to practise your rituals knowing you won’t miss out on anything).

Early bird tickets are £35 until 14 January 2024, or £40 from 15 January. Sales end on 26 January.  Head here for speaker bios and ticket links.

Join our ritual, won’t you? Antlers optional.

– Lauren McMenemy

What I’ve been up to:

Having a little poetry published in Theatre Deli’s Delicious Zine – and you could be too! Come along to their Poetry Open Mics to hear from some of us writers…

What I’m getting up to (please do come along – contact me if cost is an issue):

  • 28th December: my solo show Doomscrolling at Camden Comedy Club
  • 9th January: MC’ing my monthly mixed-bill night, Good News / Bad News at Aces and Eights in Tufnell Park
  • 25th January: trying out some characters in a double bill with my friend, brilliant comedian and clown Posey Mehta, at VFDalston

– Suchandrika Chakrabarti

I really enjoyed Bradford lad JB Priestley’s ‘When We Are Married’ at Bingley Little Theatre this month. Played with verve, gusto and proper Bratfurd accents (makes all the difference) by BLT’s in-house drama group, it had the audience laughing, guffawing and sniggering at Priestley’s authentic representation of married couples’ sniping. One of the best presentations I’ve seen in a long while. An by ek, in’t reet soart o’Tyke talk an all…

Looking forward to taking Louise Whitfield. Andrew Carnegie’s wife, for a visit to his birthplace in Dunfermilne in 2024. Louise married the richest man in the world – but only after his mother died, as she wouldn’t allow it. Back in 2019, I performed as Louise at Keighley Library (1st Carnegie Library in England) for IWW. Delighted that Dunfermilne (1st Carnegie in the world) has invited me to retell Louise’s story.

– Irene Lofthouse

My news is of another campaign song, this time for Buy Nothing Day (a lefty adaptation of Black Friday) and directed at the online retail giant Amazon. How my accomplices and I used it is detailed here. The day’s activities took a massive toll on my feet.

– Aidan Baker

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