I'm currently working on a new novel that will be published by Headline next year. Keen to understand what awaits me, I tapped James Law and Jenny Blackhurst, two very talented, recently published first time thriller writers, for advice.
Audrey Hepburn: Portraits of an Icon is a major new photography exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery that truly spans the life of this enduring star, from her early years in the Netherlands, through her years in London on the West End stage and then on to the height of her fame as an actress and fashion inspiration, and her later philanthropic work.
The summer is still here (well, kind of) and it's time to take a wonderful trip down memory lane! There's something scrumptiously tangible about reading an old book, learning from other peoples past and the delicious style of descriptive writing that goes with vintage times.
As things stand, core national funding for arts and culture has already reduced by over £100million (more than a third) since 2009. On top of that, Local Authorities - historically a significant funder of arts and culture outside London - have seen 40% cuts. Local Government Association modeling predicts funding for non-statutory services (like culture) will be down by 66% by the end of the decade.
Libraries are so much more than books. They are still relevant, they are still vital. They will help the next generation of readers and writers to find their feet, the next generation of young and skint parents to give their kids a love of reading that costs nothing, the next generation of job seekers a route to apply for employment if they don't have online access of their own.
'You shouldn't read that book,' he cautioned, a tone of urgency in his voice. 'It's got some terrible reviews...'
I once wrote to the legendary poet asking for a few ideas on how to write work that would sell. His hand-written note (incidentally just a few weeks before his death in 1998) featured the words: "...if you haven't written the work, of course it will never happen. The stuff has just to be written."
Despite the reputation of "The Man", museum staff and volunteers aren't actually allowed to 'tell you off', the worst we can do is ask you not to do whatever you did again (and it has to be something bad, like climbing on artefacts or ignoring barriers).
Science is not only thriving in contemporary culture it is beginning to dominate too, if queries made by Google users are anything to go by. New insights released by Google show that the Science Museum is the most searched for museum in the world, followed by other London cultural powerhouses, the Natural History Museum and the British Museum.
Undoubtedly the stand-out piece of work comes from Jamie XX, who used the pointillist style in Theo van Rysselberghe's Coastal Scene as a launch-off point for his soundscape.
Due to the overwhelming interest in Italian art from the 50s to the 80s, we are rediscovering less-known artists from such Golden Era that played a ...
If Shakespeare smoked a bit of Elizabethan pot then fair enough. But he was also clearly a dude that must have passionately fallen in love with letters and worked at them for it's own sake and it's own buzz.
Eventually, determined to solve the mystery, I pushed a card through the man's door, explaining that I loved his signs. I asked if I could write an article about him, and gave him my contact details.
Three Days in the Country at the National Theatre is an exciting, absorbing version of Ivan Turgenev's A Month in the Country. It's smart, funny and overcomes its challenges to keep you entertained.
This breach of protocol matters because it can make it even harder for theatres to take chances; harder for new writers, new actors, new directors to come into the art form; to work outside of the mainstream. It makes it harder for established writers; actors; directors to try something new, do something new.
If you love literary fiction in translation, travelling to different times and other worlds, three must reads for late summer include One Night, Markovitch by Ayelet Gundar-Goshen, The End of Days by Jenny Erpenbeck and The Meursault Investigation by Kamel Daoud.