Pen To Print

Daily Posts For Unprecedented Times

Madeleine F Whiteby Madeleine White

(Twitter/Instagram: @madeleinefwhite)

Hello, I’m Madeleine and I’m the Editor of Write On! magazine, a quarterly magazine published by Pen to Print. Write On! is usually distributed directly through libraries and other pubic venues, across east London and parts of Kent, with an accessible online PDF and weekly online features and was created based on the following ideas and ideals:

‘Publishing lies at an intersection of entertainment, information and education and is the method by which we record our shifting culture.’

This March, things truly shifted; COVID-19 moving us all into completely unknown territory. For me, it meant launching my debut novel in lockdown; for others, it meant lost livelihoods, education and opportunities.  We’ve all experienced a sense of loss around the everyday freedoms we’ve always taken for granted and have been united by the vacuum that was left. All things considered, therefore, the editorial team decided on a new direction…

Write On! Extra was born in early April. This digital daily digest for unprecedented times has allowed us to engage with thousands around the issues facing us all through lockdown, while putting us at heart of words and stories flying in from across the UK and around the world. Because distribution venues, including libraries, were closed, Write On! 4 was made available digitally. As we continue to face the repercussions of lockdown, Write On! 5 will remain digital (see Media Pack for further details), celebrating some of the wonderful Write On! Extra content in a ‘special edition’.

#writeon 5Through the summer and into the autumn, Write On! Extra will continue to explore our evolving ‘new’ normal and (government restrictions permitting), we are planning a printed 32-page bumper issue 6 in September, which will include issue 5.

We have had some important pieces, but are particularly proud of our ‘Standing Together: Celebrating BAME Voices’ week, themed to coincide with Windrush Day, and reflecting prevailing public sentiment connected to the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

This is an extract from a statement of support by Chair of the Pen to Print Advisory Board and Deputy leader of LBBD Cllr Saima Ashraf:

“It is important to acknowledge the contribution made by people from BAME backgrounds. Writers and artists are in a particularly special position to record and reflect the times in which we now live, so it is important that we celebrate their contributions, thanking them for the recording of the history of this time. If we can stand together and share our experiences honestly; we can help others to understand the reality and make a change, making sure discrimination and such injustices are a thing of the past.”     Click here for her full statement.

Write On! Extra will be continuing to explore our evolving ‘new normal’ through the summer and into the autumn and include a week of celebration around LGBTQ+ voices. So, do continue to submit your creative work to pentoprint@lbbd.gov.uk; it will go towards creating a printed 32-page bumper issue 6 in September, collating issues 4 and 5 (government restrictions permitting). Our aim remains the same: bringing people together to share their experience, strength and hope, as well as having a bit of a laugh!

We are happy to accept written pieces (prose, poetry, essays, opinion), video or spoken extracts/ snapshots,  illustrations and artwork. Depending on content and theme, they will be featured in one of the following days:

Monday Memoirs – Stories and experiences from the past to inform our future.

Thoughtful Tuesdays – Thought for the day, mindfulness, inspiration, poems, quotes and spiritual ideas shared to create leadership and hope to see us through the week.

Write On! Showcase – This creative writing showcase will include poetry, short stories, flash fiction and book extracts, all reflecting the weekly theme.

Thursday Connectors – How is your country/community coping with the crisis? Everyone and everywhere has different experiences and different ways of dealing with what is happening. Here, we pull these together in one place.

Write On! Features – Essays, opinions and features. In Write On! Extra the subject matter will be extended beyond the current focus of publishing and writing to include content from different sources that are relevant to our times.

Saturday Spotlight Books are still being launched at the moment, with many publishers too committed to pull back now. Spotlight will therefore offer a roundup of releases, with social media activity being used to showcase the post, as well as inviting other launch tags.

Write On! Interviews– This section usually features writers, publishers, editors and agents. In Write On! Extra this Sunday profile opportunity will also be extended to feature people from diverse communities in a number of different occupations.

All will be aligned to a weekly topic. The themes for the coming weeks are illustrated below:

THIS WEEK’S THEME –‘Unplugged: Digital access and the lack of it’ – What it really means to individuals, families and communities.

NEXT WEEK’S THEME – WC  July 6 – ‘Writing with Pride: celebrating LGBTQ+ voices’  Stories that open hearts and minds.

WC July 13, NEW – ‘Write On! Extra – What Now?’ –  Beyond lockdown.

Submissions should be between 800 and 1000 words and, if possible, fit the weekly themes. Any contributions should include an image of the writer and any copyright free images you would like us to use ( adhering to our submission guidelines) that illustrate your work. Write On! Extra is also happy to accept video or audio content. Please include contact details and any relevant social media IDs, such as Twitter or Facebook. Submit via pentoprint@lbbd.gov.uk: adding in the relevant day in the subject line of your email. Further guidance can be found on the themed pages. All submissions are subject to Pen to Print terms and conditions. 

Our culture is shifting at the moment. The worlds we create do not, therefore, just serve us. Make a difference to your community from your own four walls and get creating and writing!

We invite local people get in touch, as well as those who have something to say from further afield. We also welcome partnership discussions with organisations wishing to contribute, so the voices of their beneficiaries and teams can be heard. Details will be published on pentoprint.org.

Through the summer and into the autumn, Write On! Extra will continue to explore our evolving ‘new normal' and government restrictions permitting), we are planning a printed 32-page bumper issue 6 in September, which will include issue 5.