Today, I’ve got a special treat for writers, would-be writers, and people who enjoy reading.
THREE treats, actually. One worth £300, and two worth £50.
The person you will want to thank is Cathy:
She was my editor on The Sunday Times Magazine for a few years.
In fact, Cathy is the editor who first laughed when I told her about the horrors of peak oil – see this – but nevertheless allowed me to write about it…
…which led to all kinds of other stories I wrote about saving the planet, including making all my own clothes, right down to the underpants I constructed out of nettles – which led to my book, Sew Your Own.
(That last sentence might contain a surprise for some people. In which case I should add: they don’t sting once you’ve extracted the fibre from the plant. Mercifully.)
Mind you, it wasn’t always easy working with Cathy.
She has very high standards, and I still flinch to remember how she put me through the wringer writing this. (If you click through, I hope you will think it was worthwhile.)
But as you can see from the photo above, taken quite recently, I got over it.
Because I appreciate her high standards. Every writer needs a great editor.
Which brings me to what happened next.
Cathy left The Sunday Times, determined to champion great writing, and the writers who create it…
…found allies, started putting on events, and generally created a movement.
Now the thing she set up, The Word Factory, is supported by The Arts Council and counts some fantastic writers among its supporters:
“Cathy Galvin has created a remarkable community of writers around the Word Factory,” says the multi-award winner AL Kennedy. “Events and workshops are always worthwhile, well-organised and inspiring.”
Patrons include AS Byatt and Alexei Sayle, and not surprisingly would-be writers flock to The Word Factory to learn how great writers operate.
“I’ve been given a level of insight into great authors’ writing processes that has renewed my inspiration and energised my own writing,” says Penny McLeod, who invested in the £300 annual fellowship programme.
“As a Fellow, there’s also the benefit of feedback on one of my short stories. That’s what I call an investment that pays dividends.”
But why am I telling you this?
Because Cathy is launching her most ambitious event yet, and I’ve persuaded her to share something exclusive with my lovely community.
The event is a three-day festival in London, Friday 10 to Sunday 12 November, focussed on literature relevant to the issues of our times, bringing together a range of writers including:
You can buy tickets for individual events (hurrah!). Or you can buy a pass giving you access to all of them, here, saving £70 (double hurrah).
Not bad eh. But there’s more.
Because I’ve had a word with Cathy.
Called in a favour, done a bit of haggling, wrestling – whatever you want to call it.
And she’s agreed to offer ONE free annual fellowship (worth £300), and TWO free friend packages (worth £50 each), to the first people who buy the full-access pass.
You can compare the benefits of being a friend or a fellow, here.
I’m pretty sure I could hear Cathy groaning as she parted with this.
Costs her £400 after all…
Think of it as cosmic payback for that wringing she put me through.
To be clear: it’s ONLY available to you, as a member of my lovely gang. Nobody else. (Shhh! Don’t tell anyone!)
It’s first-come, first-served. And it’s only available for ONE WEEK.
To find out more about the event, check out the details here.
WHAT TO DO
To take advantage of Cathy’s generous offer, here’s what you have to do:
Buy the full-access pass, here.
Send ME your receipt.
First one gets the Annual Fellowship (worth £300).
Second gets the Annual Friends Package (worth £50).
Third gets the Annual Friends Package (worth £50).
In each case, the package kicks in from January.
Off you go!
JP “Nettle Pants” Flintoff