Reading groups are thriving in Swindon. Writing groups too, with many people keen not only to read the work of others but also to put pen to paper, or launch their laptop into creative action.
Artswords and the Swindon Festival of Literature have helped create a year-round buzz in town, an enthusiasm for reading, writing, and an interest in the whole business of books, meeting writers, exchanging old ideas and exploring new ones, but most of all, discovering good things to read.
To this end, an exciting new reading and writing project has been launched. Two local writers, Alexandra Martin and Hilda Sheehan, along with Literature Development worker Matt Holland, have come up with the idea of a new annual read for Swindon.
Hilda said, "this is a really unique and exciting venture of interest to anyone who enjoys memorable writing and a good read. Something you'd want to look at and keep on your bookshelf."
Co-editors Alexandra, Hilda, and Matt intend to compile, edit, and produce a brand new kind of publication in time to be launched at next year's fifteenth Swindon Festival of Literature. It will be called Commonhead.
"Commonhead will be something between a magazine and a book" explained Alexandra. "Like a grown-up version of the annuals we all remember from childhood, it will contain all kinds of writing and illustrations."
The editors are now inviting submissions for the first issue of Commonhead, which must be received by the end of the year. They are interested in work not only from established writers but also from new ones, in fact, from anyone who thinks their work is good and would be enjoyed by others. The key aims are to produce a good read and something pleasing to look at. The editors invite written or pictorial contributions, to be considered for publication, in the following categories.
Real-life writing or fiction, features and articles, information or opinion pieces, philosophical bites, poems, humorous tales, quizzes, comic strips and cartoons, illustrations and pictures, cover designs, word games, letters, in fact anything that will make a good read and will please the eye and brain by being either entertaining, delightful, informative, challenging, or exploratory.
"The aim is to make Commonhead an annual good read and a pleasure to look at for as many people as possible" said Matt. "It will be as much about writing from Swindon and further afield as being a good read for the town."
Commonhead will be supported by the Council's Arts Services Artswords, Lower Shaw Farm, and the Swindon Festival of Literature, and is already welcomed by swindonlink.com, Dominic Winter Book Auctions, and the town's bookshops.
It is hoped that Swindonians will welcome it too!
If you want your work to be considered for Commonhead, want to sponsor or support it, or would like to know about conditions of submission, or any further information, mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to Commonhead, c/o Lower Shaw Farm, Swindon, SN5 5PJ.