A word about Wordstock

Elise Valmorbida offers a sneak preview of this year’s unmissable 26 event.

It all started in 2011. Compulsive wordstormer Tom Lynham, with the support of a festival-loving team, dreamed up and launched a bold new event that was very…26.

Our first-ever Wordstock happened on a Saturday, in autumn, at the leaf-strewn Free Word Centre. There was a golden girl who played the harp to string stories together. A crocodile walk for ambulant writers. A bloke who talked a lot of rubbish—the start of Throwaway Lines, a collaborative writing project that continues to turn litter into litterature. And there were power-talks by inspiring writers Gillian Slovo and Nicola Morgan. Workshops on tweeting, songwriting, creating, making metaphors. And food, glorious food, courtesy of Marco the Italian chef who grows organic salad on his roof.

We had fun. We networked. We fine-dined. And it was good for our writing selves. No surprise that we got a little bit fond of this Wordstock idea. So we thought we’d try our hand at it again. Not a repeat exactly—that would be too prosaic. Same place, same season, but a new interpretation.

David BodanisIn these last few months, we’ve been doing deals and lining up talent. Our keynote speaker is David Bodanis — futurist, historian, scientist, business advisor and prize-winning author of international bestsellers such as e=mc2.

Before and after him, you get to pick and mix workshops about…

  • getting published (Acacia Avenue’s Martin Lee with a panel of industry aficionados)
  • arts and business (The Guardian’s Culture Professionals Network editor, Nancy Groves)
  • PR for authors (multiple bestselling author, Sara Sheridan)
  • songwriting and business writing (The Quiet Room’s creative director, Rhys Williams)
  • kickstarting fiction (Saint Martins and Arvon author-teacher, Elise Valmorbida)
  • speech-writing (Brian Jenner, founder of the UK Speechwriters’ Guild)
  • legal advice for writers (Frances Anderson, creative business specialist and partner of Cobbetts)
  • taking ownership of a room (Sharon Duce, actor and speech trainer)
  • and more (choices, choices…!)

It’s happening. Saturday, 13th October 2012, at The Free Word Centre, Farringdon Road, London EC1. At £62 for the whole day, including mouth-watering food, not to mention all that food for thought… this is yet another bargainous wonder brought to you by 26. Put the date in your diary and get your ticket here before they sell out. Go Wordstock!

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