Wordstock Deconstructed

After five glorious years of Wordstock, our annual one-day word-loving festival, we’ve decided to deconstruct its events and scatter them throughout the year and around the UK. There’s a smorgasbord of wordy delights in the making: talks on things close to our hearts, pop-up writing challenges, project launches and more.

Here’s what’s in the diary so far. We’d love to hear your ideas for other events, whether you’re in Cornwall or the Highlands or somewhere in between. Please let us know what you’re thinking at admin@26.org.uk.


Wordstock is heading to Bloomsbury Festival. Our event will be hosted by Radio 4’s Alan Dein (speaker on oral histories at Wordstock 2016) and will feature the results of a soon-to-be announced project called 26 Memory Maps.

The event will be on Wednesday 18th October, 7-8.30pm at Goodenough College Common Room (one of Bloomsbury’s hidden treasures). Tickets available here.



Spanish Crossings is an epic tale of love, politics and conflict, with the yearning but elusive possibility of redemption. A woman’s life has been cast in shadow by her connection to the Spanish civil war – we meet her in London 1937 as she falls in love with a member of the International Brigades. Her life unfolds over the next decade, much influenced by a young Spanish boy who had been a refugee from Bilbao. We follow them through the second world war and its post-war rebuilding, as they build their lives in north London with a magnetic pull of Spain.

The author will talk and answer questions. For those wishing to accompany him he will lead a walk to some of the nearby Bloomsbury locations featured in the novel and give readings about those places in those places. It could be magical. It will be October so be prepared for the weather. Book your place here.



1st November 2017 – 26 are teaming up with The Other Box, and Wonderbly, to put on an evening of inspiring talks, by people from minority backgrounds, who have refused to accept the status quo. These are people who once felt invisible, even actively silenced by the mainstream, but who have used their experience and creativity to change the narrative. They’ve written themselves into the story, so that future (and current) generations of marginalised people can feel empowered to tell their own stories too.

So come along to the Wonderbly offices, take a seat, and learn more about how we can improve diversity in copywriting and beyond!

About ‘The Other Box’
As a working class, state-educated woman of colour, 26 member Roshni Goyate felt stifled by the lack of visibility and opportunity for people of colour in the creative industries. Something had to change. So she teamed up with Leyya Sattar to co-found The Other Box, a platform for creating better inclusion and diversity in the advertising, design and marketing industries.’

Tickets available here.



No matter how brilliant a writer you are, getting published the conventional way is a notoriously difficult thing to do. Tolkein, Steinbeck, and Faulkner were all politely rejected at first. J.K Rowling too.

There’s no need to lose hope though.

As part of Wordstock Deconstructed, 26 have organised an event which might just give you the upper hand.

‘Getting Published’ will take place on the 28th November, downstairs at The Betsey Trotwood pub, and our panel of published authors will explore all the conventional and unconventional routes to publication.

Our panel includes Elise Valmorbida (author of Matilde Waltzing, The TV President and soon to be published by Faber ‘Madonna of the Mountains’), John Simmons (Author of Spanish Crossings, collective novel ‘Keeping Mum’, and the Dark Angels Trilogy) and poet Rishi Dastidar (author of Tickertape). They will all be on hand to give you invaluable tips and answer your questions.

Tickets available here.



Can consumers trust what they’re seeing, reading, hearing and clicking on? In an increasingly fragmented and fractured media environment, can advertisers trust the data on which they’re making multi-million pound investment decisions? In this talk, Richard looks at advertising from both the consumer’s and the advertiser’s perspective, and seeks to uncover what’s true and what’s false, what’s useful and what’s useless, on both sides of the equation.

This event will take place at King’s College London in January 2018 (Date TBC).

About Richard

Richard began his career at Saatchi & Saatchi, spending eleven years working with clients such as BA, BP, Cadbury Schweppes and Sainsbury’s. He then moved to the fledgling world of multi-channel television, initially as Head of Ad Sales for The Discovery Channel and subsequently as Head of Marketing for UK TV. While Head of 4Creative, Channel 4’s in-house ad agency, he worked on shows such as Lost, Desperate Housewives, Shameless and Jamie’s School Dinners as well as the launches of More4 and Film4.

He is currently MD of Horse & Country TV, a channel that has brought over fifty new advertisers on to TV and was one of five nominees for Best Factual Channel in the recent Broadcast awards.

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