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Reading Inspiration: Women in Letters


It’s International Women’s Day this Sunday 8th March – a day that has been observed since in the early 1900’s. Back then, great expansion and turbulence in the industrialised world resulted in their societies turned upside down. Radical ideologies – including the exceptionally radical idea that women have a right to be heard – began to take root.

Now, International Women’s Day is held across the world. With a focus this year on “Make it Happen”, the goals of IWD are all about ensuring women get equal representation and recognition. And we always feel like all good writing deserves ongoing champions. So, inspired by the “Make it Happen” line, we’ve come up with a little side project we’ve started work on: Women in Letters.

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On the Web, On the Shelf – Our February Roundup of Design and Books


The end of our shortest month is drawing close. We thought we’d wave goodbye to February by giving you a quick round up of what we’ve been reading this month and what’s been exciting us in the world of digital design.


On the shelf: The Secret History by Donna Tartt

“After reading The Goldfinch last summer, I decided to track back and read Donna Tartt’s first novel. Unbelievably well-crafted characters and a well-paced plot, myths, secrets, ancient Greek, murders..it’s like Dostoevsky in Vermont. Read it!”

On the web: Hot Chip – Why Make Sense?

“Exciting music related design news – Hot Chip’s new album’s artwork is being produced (with Nick Relph) using an algorithm based printing technique, that makes each physical album copy unique. And Domino (their record label) have got a trippy little site to accompany it. A very clever way of nailing the covetable angle in the world of digital downloads and streaming.” Read More

society of authors design and digital jon gray318 david pearson claire mason katie Roden

All the Lovely People: Society of Authors Design and Digital Conference


On Wednesday I had the pleasure of chairing the afternoon sessions at the Society of Authors Design and Digital conference. It was such a good line-up and it’s quite possible I enjoyed the whole day more than anyone else. The morning sessions were three book designers with not only supreme skill and creativity, but total integrity: Jon Gray of Gray318, David Pearson of Type as Image who is always a favourite, and Claire Mason, text designer at Penguin. All of them presented a beautiful array of work and insights into the considerations of cover and interior book design. Katie Roden from Fixabook chaired the morning sessions and ended with some practical insights into how to make sure your cover does what it needs to do (sell books). Read More

Making and doing with Rhona Byrne

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This weekend we kicked off developing our children’s art activity book/kit with some playful experimentation. The team (Irish artist Rhona Byrne, education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Berlin-based publisher Kristen Harrison) bonded over orange plastics and frozen toes and spent three hugely productive days researching, sketching and exploring. The seeds are officially sewn for a mega exciting collaboration. Read More

mark garry artist

5 gift ideas for supporting indie artists and publishers

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Every year it’s the same old story. We try to plan our Christmas shopping – maybe even starting a list in November – and then suddenly it’s the 23rd December and we find ourselves in a corporate chain supermarket buying 5 tins of biscuits that noone will ever eat.

There is still time to do things differently, dear friends. This weekend, how about you direct your last-minute frenzy toward independent publishers and artists and give a gift that keeps on giving! Your hard-earned sponds can support real, talented people instead of faceless, multi-billion-dollar corporates. What a bonus. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 favourite indie’s with great gifts and worthwhile projects. Read More

Visual Verse at Rich Mix The Curved House

Aki Schilz wins the first ever Visual Verse writers prize

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It has now been one week since we launched Visual Verse at The Writing Platform event at Rich Mix. The response has been overwhelming and, for me, quite emotional. I never anticipated how moved I would feel by seeing the range of responses from writers. The quality of writing and the level of engagement has been truly amazing. Thank you writers, you’ve made my year! Read More

Irish Arts Council fund collaboration with Rhona Byrne

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Irish artist Rhona Byrne is one of our favourite contemporary artists. While her work spans many different mediums – from site specific installation to sculpture, audio and print publications – everything she does informs some sort of interaction or participation. And everything she does is executed beautifully. Thus, we are so very excited to now have the opportunity to work with Rhona. The Arts Council have awarded funding for us to work with Rhona and curator Katy Fitzpatrick on developing Rhona’s Bolthole installation into book form. Rhona and Katy collaborated to install Bolthole at the Tate Britain before  it moved to the Tate’s Turbine Hall (see below) earlier this year. Now we three are combining forces to find a way to present this interactive and exploratory piece to a wider audience. Next stop, our first brainstorm

Rhona Byrne Kristen Harrison

Hanging out in Rhona’s studio

Making Day for Writers at MIX 2013 Conference, 17th July, Corsham, Wiltshire

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The team at The Literary Platform are putting on yet another great event for writers. This time it’s a hands-on day for writers who are keen to explore new approaches to creativity and storytelling.

The day opens with Naomi Alderman, writer and Professor of Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, creating a massively multi-authored story with the audience.

After this writers are are invited to join one of seven workshops designed and led by practitioners whose own work blends storytelling and digital technologies in exciting ways – learn how to assign audio stories to objects, try your hand at branching narrative, be envigorated by fast-making, hone your ability to improvise your writing and much more.
For more information visit The Writing Platform, or you can book here