Sunday, March 08, 2009

Preston goings-on

So, I used to live within spitting distance of "England's newest city." For years, nothing going on, and I mean nothing. Okay, nothing besides A Free Man in Preston, an occasional exhibition at the Harris and indie movies at UCLAN. And gaping at the bus station. But really, mehsville.

So I move. And what happens? A scant few months later, my lovely friend Ruth opens up The Continental, a gorgeous pub on the banks of the Ribble with good food and serious cultural chops. Dammit.

The Continental folks have launched themselves wholeheartedly into fostering arty goings-on with They Eat Culture, an arts development company, and they've gotten last year's best writing MBA winner (and Prestonite) Jenn Ashworth to be in charge of the writing bit of it. She's just launched the Preston Writing Network, which runs writing classes, writer's groups and live lit nights. You can keep up with them on the PWN blog. So now there's lots of good stuff happening in Preston, which is now almost completely inaccessible to me.

And in case you hadn't heard, Jenn's debut novel, A Kind of Intimacy, has just been published, and is getting lots of nice things written about it. Mazel tov, Jenn.

(Photo of Preston bus station by Flickr user Tinm@an)


Tim said...

Ha! The random letter thingy for word verification is "regret". I like that.

Anyway - I was busy with other hectic Preston stuff on Thursday but popped my head round the door of The Conti quite late to check out the open mic night there. The room was packed to bursting and there was no space even for a skinny rake like me. So full that I couldn't hear a thing - probably not helped by people standing at the back of the room talking. Grrr. How rude is that? There was plenty of room in the rest of the pub for those wanting to talk - so I buggered off home.

So. Just wanted to let you know that "writerly stuff" is taking off big style there, and every credit to the organisers. Hooray (with some reservations).

Anonymous said...

I've spent many a happy hour spitting at Preston.

Kate Feld said...

Thanks for the report, Tim - glad to hear its all going so well.

Obnoxious people talking in the back of the room also marred the blog awards last year, so much so that we're changing venues. Nothing makes me madder.

Anonymous said...

thanks for mentioning us Kate!

Tim - reservations noted. hopefully i've persuaded the open mic organisers to move into the arts space where we can seat 80 cabaret-style and also have standing room. might lose a bit in cosiness but it'll be better for the move. also - the live lit nights will be in the arts space from the off. hurrah!