I've kicked around the publishing game for a while. In the past decade I've had two books published by traditional publishers, and four by digital publishers. On the flip side, I've collected more rejections than I can count. I've experienced the high's and the low's, and now I'm going to share with you some of what I've learned...
The Nordic Light is a collection of poetry accompanied by photography, a seldom used combination, but a very impactful and much needed one. All of the poems in this book are contributions from historic or prominent Norwegian poets, with the exception of one Danish and one Finnish poet.
David Bailey is one of the world's most distinguished and distinctive photographers and this exciting exhibition at the National Portrait Gallery, the largest exhibition ever of Bailey's work, reflects the diversity of his extraordinary career as well as putting on show his most defining images.
The Mistress Contract at the Royal Court is such a missed opportunity. The source material, a true story of a couple in the USA who've engaged in a sex services contract for the past 40 years, is fascinating but this stage adaptation is a disappointment.
Teenage uses archive footage alongside narrated stories of real young people of the time, the film explores the birth of the modern teenager as well as early subcultures like the Bright Young Things and the Swing movement in the United States. The film also explores what life was like for teenagers under the Nazis.
How pathetic was I to feel so excited by seeing a young black man, whom I don't even know, on a high brow news programme? How depressing that in 2014 it's still a big deal; that we take to twitter to scream "there's a black person on", something our parents were doing 30 or 40 years ago. Why are we still doing it today?
Kureishi's novel The Last Word shows that if you run the vernacular flotsam and jetsam of human experience on top of a structure of abstract philosophical thought, you may still effect change in society, by literary means.
My first published fiction work - sixteen compiled short stories - will begin its dust collection in February 2014. As the writer, I cannot stress enough the personal significance of the work being printed as a real, heavy, tactile book.
What did Anne Boleyn look like? According to the distinguished historian Eric Ives, the Anne depicted on the reconstructed commemorative medal pictured below is "as close to the real Anne Boleyn as we shall ever be able to get."...
You'd think from popular portrayals of India's rise as a global outsourcing power on the basis of its citizens' English-speaking abilities, that the language would be a common denominator in uniting a country of over 1.2 billion people.
It is not the self-portrait that's the problem it's the intention behind it. When we are little we make funny faces in front of the camera and are uninhibited in every way. Hormones hit and we feel the crushing weight of spots, braces, bad hair and glasses, not to mention all the stuff that's going on inside. It is not surprising that they have to fake it to feel pretty enough.
The idea that a British Government Minister should think it necessary to make a speech about the importance of culture must astonish Germans. For them, culture is as natural as breathing. The British have also made an exceptional contribution to culture and continue to do so but our reputation for philistinism in high places continues.
The author is the only real authority on the imaginary world that they have created and by doing a public 180 on one of the key parts of the storyline leaves the reader and future readers wondering what on earth is going on and wondering about the integrity and the solidity of the story.
The marginalisation that occurs due to this amplified culture plays on the mind of men. Even if they're usually confident individuals, this subculture will cause them to deliberate over their own identity, to question their own masculinity. The fact that these lads parade as a group and promote themselves as 'real men' gives a reason for young men to think they aren't men at all.
A lot of writers don't only earn less than the national average wage, they earn far less than the minimum wage. I'm not talking about writers who are unpublished or indeed, failed by any measure - I'm talking about people whose books have been taken on by bona fide publishers and whose work is building a steady, if not bestselling following.
Supper Clubs have revolutionised London's dining scene: rather than cooking in a restaurant, enterprising chefs host in their homes, where, without the risks and overheads of a restaurant, they tend toward the experimental, with food that you'd be hard-pressed to find elsewhere.