Please help me welcome the talented writer and blogger, Bee Halton. Bee is the mastermind and driving force behind a new blogging initiative called Literary City Underground, and I am honoured to help her spread the word. Here is what Bee would like to tell you:
Thank you, Maureen, for letting me be part of your wonderfully inspiring blog.
In January, 2016, my new project, Literary City Underground, will go live.
I live close to Norwich, UK, an accredited UNESCO Literary City. When I investigated its Literature program, I was surprised to learn that one important part of literary life was missing: private blogs! They say: “If you can’t find what you want to read, write it yourself!” I decided to follow that advice. I’m “writing” (creating) a new blogging project that will start in January 2016: Literary City Underground.
I need your help!
In order to set up Literary City Underground, I need to learn about bloggers from various UNESCO Literary Cities, also to venture “virtually” into those cities and their programs. The cities accredited by the UNESCO for the program so far are Reykjavik, Melbourne, Iowa, Heidelberg, Dublin, Granada, Edinburgh, Krakow, Dunedin, Prague and Norwich. A pretty impressive list already!
So here’s where you can help. If you know of any book, poetry, or writing blog in these cities please let them know about Literary City Underground. Also please inform me about those blogs so I can reach out to those bloggers. You can reach me via Twitter (@Morgaine620), my Facebook page (The Bee Writes…), and email (firstname.lastname@example.org). Please add the subject Literary City Underground. Thanks a lot!
How exactly will Literary City Underground start?
In January 2016, we will each start by introducing ourselves on our blogs. We will discuss how to do this in the Google Group, Literary City Underground, which I have created in order to organise and discuss the project. The next step will be for each participant to introduce their literary city and the programs it hosts to promote its literature. Next, the project will open up to brainstorming about the programs, the cities, and about how much blogging should be considered part of it. At this point, the project may expand into any area the group of bloggers decides. That’s the intriguing part.
To keep the content balanced I will take a maximum of two private bloggers from each Literary City. That would already involve up to 22 bloggers, and the numbers will grow as more UNESCO Literary Cities are accredited by the United Nations. Now that should be a great network and adventure!
A little bit about Norwich
The organisation that pushes many of the UNESCO Literary City programs in Norwich is the Writer’s Centre Norwich. It has, for example, a brilliant reading program, Brave New Reads, that introduces new and exciting authors. For example, Brave New Reads sponsors “Meet the Author’ events where authors and readers come together, either at Norwich or neighbouring cities. That makes it exciting as you can learn more about the authors, including their work and writing “philosophy.” Events like this bring books to life through meeting the authors, hearing them read, and discovering the stories behind the titles. Readers also have the chance to put questions to the writers, get books signed, and meet fellow book lovers.
Norwich was accredited as a UNESCO Literary City in 2012. When I started my research a few weeks ago, I was astonished at how many more have been accredited since then. However, I had trouble finding a single private blog associated with any UNESCO Literary City program. Consequently, I started to wonder how much value this network currently holds for bloggers, and whether blogging is considered part of the creative culture. My personal belief is that blogging is increasing, especially for promoting books.
And to give this important activity higher visibility, both readers and bloggers will have the ability to interact with one another in Literary City Underground!
Dear Maureen, thank you again for having me on your inspiring blog.