The Freeword Centre

I’ve been receiving comment spam on this blog from dubious far flung companies. My apologies  if you’ve had to read any. What’s been bamboozling  about the comment spam,   something I haven’t seen before,  is it’s specific references to the post.  From what I read online spam comment posters, real people from “far flung”  are employed to send out the comment spam.  

Nice phrase “ far flung.”  I was feeling slightly far flung  tonight when  taking part as panellist  in  a  debate “what value literature”  alongside  three   distinguished panellists:  Arts Council Director of Literature Srategy  Antonia Byatt , Chairman and chief Executiveof Penguin Group  John Makinson,  Poet In The City Chief executive Graham Henderson and  chaired by the Director for English PEN Jonathan Heawood . 

The event  took place in front of a packed audience  in  The Freeword Centre at 60 Farringdon road.  It’s a compliment to  Freeword   that the audience was at least asinteresting and qualified as the panel  proffering  stimulating comments and questions throughout.

Encouraging news from Makinson  announced tonight .  Penguin is re-establishing   the African writers  series once made famous by Heinemann.  It’s an exciting development for African writing and  will be used to publish African writers in Africa. The series also  republishes much of the previous  Heinemann list but the new writing will be edited by Chinua Achebe.   Please correct me if I have misintepreted.

We debated value in  literature  and enjoyed  the audiences participation arriving at the inevitable discussion  about The internet.  This developed into a discussion about the entirely new way of accessing audience, of quality control. In fact each  department of publishing -  the writer,  the product, the copyright,   the market -     is brought into question by the internet age.  This place - the freeword centre - amazing.

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