Really interesting shortlist for the Michael Marks awards. It’s great to see pamphlets get this attention – I’ve always liked them, ever since I started writing. You can try things out in pamphlets, warming up to a full-length collection. And the publishers’ award is a great idea. They’re in good company here, but if anyone deserves an award, Smith/Doorstop do – to keep going as long as they have, and consistently champion new writing, is a real achievement.
Recommended – First Story competition for secondary school students and teachers, winners receive a place on an Arvon course for themselves and three of their friends. Deadline: 4th December.
‘Art is everything that you don’t have to do’ – Brian Eno, John Peel Lecture.
It was great to be the guest reader last Wednesday evening at the Hurst, the John Osborne Arvon Centre in Shropshire, on the Poetry and Starting to Write course led by Peter and Ann Sansom. I was lucky enough to co-tutor a young people’s course at the Hurst a couple of weeks earlier. It’s such an amazing place – I can’t recommend the Arvon Foundation writing courses highly enough.