The Joy of Influence

Art-History001“I went … to study art history and English at university. Aberystwyth art department was … a backstreet repository of goths and geniuses. The alchemical smell of paints, solvents and Golden Virginia was brilliant and heady.”

Sarah Hall joins fellow novelists Kazuo Ishiguro, Lavinia Greenlaw, John Lanchester, Alan Warner, and Colm Tóibín, writing about their favourite ‘other’ artforms in The Guardian. Read more >>

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The Last Typewriter in Britain

Here’s an excellent post from Mary Robinson on her Wild About Poetry blog, commemorating the last typewriter to roll off the production line at the Brother factory in Wrexham last week, plus a poem, Transcript, inspired by her mother’s work as a shorthand typist.

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Gone with ghosts of the mountain

After five series, the BBC has axed Merlin (left, looking none too happy about it). Maybe they found out that it was, historically speaking, a load of old cobblers. Maybe they’ve been reading Cumbrian blogger Esmeralda, who sets the record straight and claims him as an early Cumbrian bard.

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The Language of Footprints

Cumbrian writer Ian Hill’s submission to Lancaster Litfest for a special publication of new work inspired by Lancashire landscapes is one of three pieces that make up The Language of Footprints, the latest ebook from the festival’s Flax imprint.

‘Instar’ explores and celebrates the liminal landscape of Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay, where land and water continually change places and struggle for dominance. Read more>>

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Writing mob-handed in Wigton

Writer and (Trifolium Books) publisher Connie Jensen thought she knew a thing or two about putting a script together – but then she found herself heading up a team of writers building The Throstle’s Nest – 750 years of Wigton history condensed into a two-hour play for the town’s Theatre Club, performed at the John Peel Theatre in June.

Read her blog about the team-writing process in Sharing a Pencil>>

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Prize-winning essays – made in Cumbria

Two of the three prizes in this year’s Words by the Water/Notting Hill Editions Essay Writing Competition have been won by Cumbrian writers. Poet Mary Robinson took first prize, while third place went to poet, novelist and travel writer Angela Locke.

Read their essays here>>

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