Winter 2012/13

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Once again, I’ve been so busy that a whole season has escaped me. Autumn 2012 whooshed past in a blur. It was a good kind of blur, with lots of interesting stuff happening inside it, but the blur didn’t leave much time for blogging. Here’s some of what I’ve been up to since last summer:

  • I organised the first ever Blog North Awards, which were a big success. We had 543 bloggers from across the land enter and ended up with a pretty amazing bunch of winners, who were revealed at a packed event during the Manchester Literature Festival, which featured readings that ranged from funny to touching, from thought-provoking to hell-raising. Basically, the whole experience reaffirmed my love for blogging and for doing the sometimes strange work I do spreading the gospel of BLOG.
  • I ran two all-day blogging workshops for the Arts Marketing Association in London and Birmingham. I met some lovely people, and everyone seemed to get a lot out of the day’s work. I even made them write in longhand but they were very good sports. Here’s some nice things they said about the workshop:

“Great blogging workshop with Kate Feld and the AMA yesterday. Feeling inspired – watch this space!”

“Buzzing with ideas after today’s ‘Art of Blogging’. Cheers for an insightful day!”

“Huge thanks to Kate Feld and the AMA for such a stimulating & inspiring training day on ‘the art of blogging’ today. Highly recommended.”

  • In February I ran a 2-hour workshop on Creative Nonfiction in Lancaster as part of Litfest’s fascinating Castle Park Stories project, which aims to uncover some of the hidden stories of this historic place and bring them to life. It was a great session with a really diverse and enthusiastic group of writers. And I got to revisit what is probably my favourite form of writing, the much misunderstood format of Creative Nonfiction, which I previously explored in The Real Story project. It’s inspired me to go back and read one of my favourite collections of reportage (Joseph Mitchell’s Up in the Old Hotel. That’s him up there.)
  • I’ve recently moved to the post of contributing editor at Creative Tourist, as the ever-capable Susie Stubbs was ready to return to editing the site. While out of the role, she was busy overseeing a complete redesign of the site and a pretty exciting restructure of Creative Tourist generally. Once part of the Manchester Museums Consortium, it has now become an independent entity and has moved into new geographic areas, covering culture in Liverpool and Cumbria as well as Manchester. Another change is the creation of a cultural tourism consultancy firm, CT Consults, which I am now a part of along with the whole amazingly talented team behind Creative Tourist (go on, hire us!) I’m still writing a lot for the Creative Tourist site, and some of my favourite recent pieces include this review of the Jane and Louise Wilson exhibition at Whitworth Art Gallery, and this review of new Manchester restaurant Neighbourhood.

What am I working on now? Well I’m planning some more bloggy/literary events with Creative Industries Trafford and others. I’m helping sort out the next Blog North Network event (probably happening in Leeds, in April.) But now I’m mostly around talking to people about Rainy City Stories, Openstories’ Manchester-based writing project that is fixing to emerge from its long hibernation this spring. Planning and plotting; brainstorming, budgeting and grant writing.  All will be revealed soon.

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