Run a marathon, take up guitar lessons, switch to skimmed milk…if you’ve logged onto Instagram this week, you’ll likely have been bombarded with motivational quotes and resounding resolutions for the year ahead.
Here are 5 of the Hallmark Editorial Team’s literary ambitions for 2018. Happy New Year, happy reading and happy writing!
Join The David Bowie Book Club
Duncan Jones – film director and son of David Bowie – has created a monthly book club in honour of his late father’s favourite novels. To no-one’s surprise, the iconic musician had an eclectic taste in fiction; his selected authors include George Orwell, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Angela Carter. You can peruse The Thin White Duke’s top 100 books here and join the discussions via Jones’ Twitter feed. Peter Ackroyd’s ‘Hawksmoor’ is first on the list – just don’t post any spoilers before the 1st February!
Enter a Writing Competition
A great way to conquer writer’s block is to set a target date for your literary project. Or better yet, enter a writing competition with a fixed deadline. Handily, Creative Writing Ink has compiled an extensive list of writing challenges. There’s a competition for every genre – from children’s poetry to Gothic fiction to screen writing. And if the personal challenge isn’t motivation enough, some of the competitions have seriously impressive prizes – the BBC National Short Story Award is offering £15,000 for their winning entry (!).
Bookkeep in Scotland
Snuggled up in a cosy apartment, surrounded by classic literature and beautiful Scottish countryside…if this sounds like heaven, you’re in luck. For £36 per night, you can rent a charming bookshop and apartment in the heart of Wigtown. Established by The Wigtown Festival Company, The Open Book’s aim is to celebrate books, independent bookshops and to welcome people from around the world to Scotland’s National Book Town. You can even host your own workshops for local residents. The only downside? As the experience has proven so popular, the apartment is fully booked until March 2020. At least you’ll have plenty of time to daydream about organising your perfect literary event.
Visit a Literature Festival
On the topic of book-based events, The World Travels has collated the dates of key literary festivals in the UK. Travel across Britain to converse with crime fiction experts in Harrogate and network with publishing professionals in Brighton. Soon enough, your weekends will be booked up…with books.
Marvel at Beautiful Libraries
(Above: Rio’s Biblioteca Real Gabinete Portugues de Leitura)
Inspired by our previous blog on China’s stunning Sculptured Library, we’re on a mission to visit the world’s most beautiful libraries. For extra literary kudos, Oxford’s Bodleian Library is featured in the first Harry Potter film. Channel your inner Hermione and immerse yourself in these wordy wonderlands.