Tag Archives: writing

By and about

There was a piece featuring me and the sale of BiNS on the BBC News site last week. As ever with ‘news’ I felt the interesting stuff didn’t make it to the actual article and in fact I’m sure I didn’t say anything about gaps quite like that. I thought what I said was a bit more like this tweet:

But that’s the way it goes.

There’s also two writing projects that I’ve contibuted to over the last few days. One is 280 stops—a sort of Internet piece of collaborative fiction. I’ll let Jon Hickman explain:

“This is a tribute to two wonderful things: the 11 bus route which runs through Birmingham (oh, and bits of Solihull and Sandwell), and Geoff Ryman’s novel/website 253.”

The other is not fictional at all. An idea by Jez Collins and Craig Hamilton‘101 Things Birmingham Gave the World’ is a tumblr that celebrates Birmingham’s impact on World Culture.

Fused – Special edition

Fused magazine, which (as well as sister publication Area) I’ve done stuff for in the past, has just released a very special edition. It’s thick, beautiful and perfect bound and it’s the first volume of what they’re calling the second volume of the mag. It’s got some fantastic photography and illustrations and rather wonderfully for me three of the best interviews I’ve ever done. Read what happened when I talked to bass-god Peter Hook, Barney out of noisecore legends Napalm Death and David Shrigley who’s one of may favourite artists.

 

Buy it for a fiver, here.

You can read it online too, here.

Spreading the word about the mayoral referendum

I’ve been supporting the Yes campaign for an elected mayor in Birmingham, and one of the big issues is awareness that the referendum is even happening (one poll said less than 40% knew) and especially when you think of younger voters. So it was really cool of local culture guide Area magazine to let me write an article for the April issue. I tried to keep it funny, neutral and relevant. Did I succeed? Have a read here:

 

NewsJack — writing comedy quickly

I like to think I’m an amusing writer, and that I can think quickly. Doing a radio show for a couple of years I think demonstrated that, and I’ve tried my hand at stand-up comedy. But until recently, apart from the odd Twitter witticism  I’d not really tried writing topical comedy. BBC Radio Four Extra’s NewsJack is one of the few radio shows that has an open submissions policy, meaning that anyone can send in jokes and sketches and maybe get on and then get paid for them. I’ve had a few near misses that made it to the recording but not the edit, as they’re topical they’re disposable really so I wouldn’t share them. But this one from this week has a little bit of longevity so I thought I’d pop it up here. Hope it makes you chuckle.

NewsJack the Jung Ones

Buy, or get free, some ebooks I’ve written

I’ve been experimenting with ebook publishing, once the sheer hellish pain of writing something you’re happy with is over the format, upload and sales part is fairly easy. Well, when I say sales I mean ‘putting on sale’ rather than getting people to buy them… that’s a whole other story.

I’ve got two ‘books’ available at the moment:


Poorly Collected Works 2010-11

A collection of writing from various sources. 20,000 odd words from the last year or so, culled from blogs, papers, mags and Dirty Bristow (the literary magazine I founded and edit).

“Exclusively contains all the grammatical errors and jokes edited out by original publishers. It’s a chance to pay money to read what you can for free if you search it all out individually.”

Concrete and Cocktails: a journey to Birmingham’s glitter-stained independent heart.

Can you drink in all of Birmingham city centre’s independent hostelries in one day? Yes of course, although it might not be sensible.

An unchained psychogeographic adventure from the editors of Dirty Bristow: Concrete and Cocktails: a journey to Birmingham’s glitter-stained independent heart.

Concrete and Cocktails free on iTunes. And free on other formats too.

Pier Review review

I’m currently knee deep in postcards, books about the seaside and still have sand in my good pumps. It’s nearly six months since I spent two weeks traveling around all of England and Wales’s surviving seaside pleasure piers and we’re about halfway through writing the book. It’s hard going, but fun. Here’s the picture side of every postcard we sent (one of each) to each of our funders—the trip was paid for by around thirty people, all of whom are awaiting publication with anticipation I hope.

But what was it about? Well, we were lucky enough to get the chance to talk to the great Andrew Collins and Josie Long on 6 Music, and that’s as good an introduction as any is likely to be.

Listen to Pier Review on 6 Music 

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And we followed it up a week later with another slot: 

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And we’ve also made our secret blog open to all, you can read some behind-the-scenes stuff now.

And if you promise to find our more and sign up at Pier Review dot co dot uk I’ll let you into the secret that you can read a very early draft of the first chapter.

Fiction

I don’t write fiction much, haven’t for years, but I decided to see if I could knock something out for Tindal Street Press‘s Roads Ahead compilation. The brief was simply a “substantial short story”, which I took it on myself to write overnight — as tight to the deadline for submission as possible.

Turns out, I made the longlist, but not the actual book — so here it is for anyone who might want to have a read: Get The Bus.

Danny Smith on when comedy is “just a bit shit”

“Wehn is a German fella that’s looks like a cross between a scrotal sack and a sock puppet made by an abusive uncle, and his entire act rests on his nationality, and our own racist perceptions of it. Now some of you are thinking “Wow, his act must be a post-modern critique of nationalist perceptions, he must be subverting racial stereotypes by cleverly pointing out the flaws”, well… no he’s just a bit shit.”
Who’s Laughing Now? » Blog Archive » Review: Jongleurs 19th Feb