BELOW is an update on what if:book UK has been up to over the past year. Thanks for your interest and support.
I appeared on BBC Radio 4’s Cultural Exchange in January, in a discussion chaired by Mark Lawson to launch this year’s cultural festival
was keynote speaker at a conference in Pitlochry organised by AmbITion Scotland;
spoke at the Heart of English event at the Royal Society of Arts and am now part of the group looking at how best to support good teaching of English in schools;
devised and performend NEARLY with dancer Jia-Yu Corti at Chisenhale Dance Space and the Live Literary Lounge at Kings Place during Jewish Book Week;
completed a successful pilot of SET POETRY FREE at Queensbridge School Birmingham;
was a judge for the second year of the Bologna Children’s Bookfair Digital Prize for children’s book apps;
took part in consultations over the ACE Envisioning Libraries report;
lectured to writing students at East London University;
ran a workshop at the British Council for visiting literary activists from around the world;
ran an if:book stand at Free Word’s open day for associates and members;
tutored Arvon Jerwood mentored writers on digital possibilities at the Totleigh Barton centre;
initiated a new IFSOFLO support group for writers and literature professionals with Luke Roberts of indie publisher Choc Lit;
spent a week at Sharjah Children’s Reading Festival in May running digital writing workshops for Children, working with performance artist Joakim Stampe;
designed and launched the IFSOPRESS.COM website as a place for collaborative reading home-cooked by if:book
ran a Collaborative Writing Weekend in Suffolk during which participants wrote this murder mystery: www.beached.pressbooks.com
co-ordinated a Collaborative Writing week with this year’s Arvon Jerwood mentored writers during which they wrote a script together.
spent time observing, drawing and writing about Gillett Square Hackney for M.A. research by Hattie Coppard into public space and play;
gave a Canon Tale at The Literary Consultancy’s annual Digital Writing Conference;
joined the board of Modern Poetry in Translation, a wonderful magazine founded in 1965 by Ted Hughes, and have been advising on its digital strategy
spoke on a panel on digital publishing at Stoke Newington Lit Fest;
as Hornsey Library’s nearlywriter in residence, ran the first Nearlywriting Nearlydancing workshop with Jia-Yu Corti;
hosted a night of Nearlyology at the Rocking Chair Café, London involving short talks and readings by people telling things that nearly happened to them,
was commissioned to write a poem set to music by local musicians and performed by dancers from Hornsey School;
appeared as Poet in the Phone Box as part of Crouch End Festival
developed the www.nearlyology.com website, writing fiction and nearlysongs with the Ifso Band.
commissioned Lisa Gee to write a piece for ifsopress.com on the New Media Writing Prize, providing links to the winning works since the prize came into existence.
spoke at the Backflow Conference this October at Spitz on the Danube in Austria, part of the annual ELIT European Literature Days.
I’m a judge of the New Media Writing Prize this winter, run by Bournemouth University, and, for the third year, of the Bologna Ragazzi Digital Prize in February
To explore the potential for an annual writing event, we ran a pilot collaborative writing weekend at the Vicarage in Hackney Central involving a movement workshop with dancer Andrew Harrington and photography by Will Jennings.
if:book has appointed Luke Roberts its first Collaborative Writer In Residence, as a pilot for future commissions to authors exploring digital possibilities for literature. Luke will be working on his novel as well as collaborative projects and co-ordinating the ifso writers group’s activities.
Work created will be published by The Ifso Press on www.ifsopress.com a site designed to offer readers and teachers some good stories and poetry to read, plus resources for schools and bookgroups, which is now the home for a team of writers who are working together to help each other develop and amplify their fiction.