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It’s a Big Big World

March 23rd, 2015

C'wealth-blogY’know, it’s a splendid job, blogging for the Writers Bureau. As well as the completely self indulgent necessity to write about writing, it’s introduced me to loads of new stuff. Some of my favourite blogs: Writers In The Storm; Grammarphobia; Grammarly, the works of great writers like Ngũgĩ wa Thiong’o and Jhumpa Lahiri, not forgetting Leonard Lopate’s  fabulous WNYC talk show … all brilliant. And now, there’s another one for the list: Commonwealth Writers.

Commonwealth Writers is an initiative of the Commonwealth Foundation, an association of 53 countries with a collective population of 2 billion citizens spread across Africa, the Americas, Asia, Europe and the Pacific. Their website is like a Sunday Newspaper just for writers, with top quality articles, interviews and announcements of all sorts of great writing opportunities.

At the moment, in the wake of International Womens’ Day, they’re running a special feature on feminism, with a dozen pieces by writers from all over the world (embarrassingly, most of them are new to me, but they’re all FABULOUS.) There’s also a fascinating collection of podcast interviews by the BBC’s Rosie Goldsmith with writers from ten different Commonwealth countries: Kenya’s Binyavanga Wainaina, India’s Jahnavi Barua and Canada’s Margaret Atwood, amongst others.

The general aim of the association is to ‘inspire and connect writers and storytellers across the world.’ To do this they promote various progammes, including an annual Short Story Prize from which five writers (one from each of the five Commonwealth regions) share total winnings of £15,000. Sadly, this year’s entries are already closed, but they’ll open up again in 2016. In the meantime, the website’s Opportunities page is a goldmine of fee-paying residencies and other, lucrative challenges.

So, go and have a look, subscribe if you like, get inspired and, above all …

Keep on writing!phil-blog-sig

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