Last month, being at the half-way point of our current funding from Arts Council England, I had to produce an Interim Report. It act’s a check on our activities and it’s something that needs to be successfully negotiated before getting the remainder of our funding.
Initially, it felt nerve -wracking, attempting to detail our progress since June 2021, but that receded once I’d compiled a list of our achievements. I want to list some of those achievement there, but not before thanking the two core associates of Out on the Page, Jo Leigh Lock and Louis Glazzard, who contribute to the huge amount of committed work that goes on in the background to support the development of LGBTQ+ writers and writing.
Feel free to applaud after every bullet point:
Developed working relationships with each of the Regional Literature Development Agencies in England. These relationships are bearing fruit; e.g. we are a partner in the Litworks SouthWest ‘WordSpace’ writer development programme, we are developing a Networking Day for Pride Month 2022 at the National Centre for Writing, Norwich.
We are being supported by The British Council to develop our International World. This led to being a partner curator for Hyderabad Literary Festival 2022. We are also exploring many more links.
With the great support of The Modernist Society, we crowdfunded and produced our first print publication, Queer Writing for a Brave New World, which went to print runs.
We showcased over 50 emerging writers including through our online literary cafes, our YouTube channel, Instagram Live as well as our print publication.
We commissioned 20 established and emerging writers as Course Tutors or Associate Facilitators; these have included established and exciting writers such as Juliet Jacques, Rosie Garland, James McDermott and Jonathan Kemp.
We continued to experiment and support queer approaches to writing, including testing out Micro-Mentorships for Poets and our Queerscapes Lab, opening up a new seam in psychogeographical writing.
We have put on 40 online activities ranging from free networking cafes to paid courses.
We safely reintroduced in-person events: book launch-networking events in London and Manchester, and, a writer led-workshop at the Working Class Writers Festival Oct 2021, Bristol.
So what does the next nine months hold for Out on the Page? Well, to some degree more of the same but watch our for the following:
6 In-person networking|writing events around the country. Whole days.
Developing closer ties with and working directly with agents and publishers to support the development of LGBTQ+ writers and writing, especially our network of writers.
A renewed focus on our network of writers, strengthening our bonds with those writers who engage with our activities (online or in-person), building on what we have achieved together so far.
I’m really looking forward to what the next nine months could bring!