Members’ news: March 2024

Olivia Sprinkel listens to the trees

Olivia Sprinkel:

I’m happy to be able to share that my book, To Hear the Trees Speak, will be published in Spring 2025 in the UK by Bedford Square Publishers. It begins when I am living and working in New York and I decide to give up my job to listen to and learn from ten trees around the world. It is a blend of memoir, nature, and travel writing. The trees include the birch tree in Finland, the banyan tree in India, and a beech tree in Lewes, which became my lockdown tree. The picture here is of me listening to a ceiba tree in the Amazon basin in Ecuador.

I write a Substack of the same name, if you’d like to follow along on the journey (free to subscribe).

Jamie Jauncey:

Award-winning Edinburgh calligrapher and Illustrator, Susie Leiper (my partner in 26 Words), has produced a handwritten and illustrated edition of Nan Shepherd’s The Living Mountain. It’s on show at the Crafts Council Gallery in London till mid-April. Get along and see it if you can. If you’re feeling flush you can order a copy here.

Lauren McMenemy:

Lots of updates from me this month! I had a delightful chat with Kev Harrison of the All Creatives Now podcast, all about my writing journey. We covered how I got into professional writing, what I’ve done in my 30-year career, how I protect my mental health after burnout, and how I handle wearing a bunch of different hats across multiple sectors and industries. You can listen at all good podcast places, or access it here

The same week that was published, I also spoke with a class of professional writing MA students at the University of Westminster about the realities of being a jobbing writer – the highs, the lows, the lessons learned, and the general chaos that it can be. Thanks to lecturer Yen Ooi for inviting me!

Finally, my next Writing the Occult virtual event is coming up on 6 April. These popular events, delivered in partnership with Alex Davis Events, are designed for writers interested in occult topics to hear from a range of experts in that topic, bringing in the views of fiction and non-fiction writers, academia, and folklorists. This time around we’re talking about the light, the dark, and the general trouble of fairies, and it will feature no less than 14 contributors from around the world.

The featured talks are from academic Elizabeth Dearnley (fairies in literature and lore), folklorist Mark Norman (dark fairy folklore) and writer Morgan Daimler (changelings), while I’ll be in conversation with Gabriela Houston – whose novels for both adults and children are heavily influenced by Slavic folklore – about taking inspiration from folkloric creatures for your own fiction. 

Interspersed between these talks will be a mini world tour of fae creatures from across the globe, featuring Xueting Christine Ni (China), Yvette Tan (Philippines), Komal Salman (South Asia), Villimey Mist (Iceland), Yve Chairez (Mexico), Avra Margriti (Greece), Somto Ihezue (Nigeria), Tanya Akron (Ghana), Khaya Maseko (South Africa), and Chinelo Sylvia Onwualu (Nigeria).

You can get your ticket here for £40+bf, which gets you access to the live event and a recording you can go back to time and again. The recordings are only for ticket holders, and no part of the event will be shared elsewhere, so if you’re interested but can’t make it live then I recommend getting a ticket so you can watch back at your leisure!

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