Friday, 20 December 2013

2013 nearly over - annual update

BELOW is an update on what if:book UK has been up to over the past year. Thanks for your interest and support.

IN 2013…

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.





nearly 2014

It’s Nearly 2014 and a good time to tell friends and associates of if:book UK and IFSOFLO about my plans for the year ahead. 

It's Nearly 2014 so a good time to tell you what's happening next.

I’m writing digital fiction on a practice based PhD at Bath Spa University in NEARLYWRITING & NEARLYOLOGY. As I compose and research this, I’ll be running NEARLY TIMES at venues around the country, and if you or a library/festival/café/gallery/venue you know of would like to book one, or an element of it, or be involved in the project in any way, please email me.

What’s a NEARLY TIME?

On a Nearly Day I sit in a public place – like a café, pop up gallery, library, festival - with a sign up inviting people to tell me their nearly stories and write them on cards which I display, put on thewww.nearlyology.com website and some of which will be included in my novel What Didn’t Quite. I bring a display of Nearly Art, ‘I nearly’ badges, copies of The Nearly Times newspaper etc.

During the day I write and chat, can give a talk, run a workshop and/or offer one to one advice on nearlywriting and digital possibilities for literature.

Later I run a Nearly Night where I tell the story of the Nearlyology, sing nearly songs, then invite audience members and invited guests to stand up and tell their nearlies. The events we’ve done so far have been fascinating, funny, moving and entertaining.

So far we’ve run nearly days in Bristol with the artists collective Alldaybreakfast, and as part of the Crouch End Festival, and are keen to do more.

Please contact me if you'd like to book a Nearly Day or elements of it for your venue, festival, workplace, library… Fee negotiable and concept adaptable to your needs.

Additional elements can include: music from The Ifso Band, a five piece combo; a Nearlydancing workshop with choreographer Jia-Yu Corti; bigger collaborative writing projects etc designed to suit the host’s requirements etc.