News from 26

Going freelance, getting published, being exhibited, writing, writing, writing. It’s a busy start to 2013 for 26ers. This is what we’re up to and what’s coming up.

Poetry by Heart

I am part of the team developing the new national poetry recitation competition for 14-to-18-year-olds called ‘Poetry by Heart’. Over 300 schools have signed up to take part. Students choose a couple of poems from a collection of 130, and the hope is that they will take some of them “to heart”. I had the fascinating job in November and December of writing the contextual material for the website. So, my challenge was to write a maximum of 200 words about each poem and 200 words about each poet. Find out more at Mike Dixon


Mind your language

I’ve started writing about language in business and everyday life for ‘Mind your language’, the blog outlet of the Guardian Style Guide. Anyone who has read the Style Guide, or follows it on Twitter, will be familiar with its cutting, no-nonsense approach to modern language use. I feel quite at home. Maddie York


Flying the agency nest

For two years I’ve worked as a copywriter for a digital agency – a really nice one with beanbags and free breakfast. But comfort never made anyone a better writer, so, at the end of this month I’m hurling myself out of the agency nest as a freelance copywriter. My writer’s resolution is to fly. Lizzy Tinley

How Can We Sell More Business Books?

The UK Business Book Festival is returning for a one day-conference in London on 14 March. The event is aimed at those who are interested in business books as readers and authors, or as a means to promote a product or service. Speakers include John Purkiss, author of Brand You. Book tickets here and put 26 in the promotion code box to get a discount of £26. Brian Jenner

Outside book covers

I have poems in an exhibition on woods, together with the acclaimed textile artist Anne Kelly and photographer John Morrison, at Crowborough Community Centre, until 6 February. This is a new thing for me – presenting my writing outside book covers. It’s my new year’s resolution to do more of that. I am also really pleased that my website,, was nominated as a finalist in the Garden Media Guild Awards (‘the Oscars of garden writing’). Sarah Salway

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