Profound and unctuous apologies for the lack of Shedness lately. I've been scribbling furiously on your behalf, and I'm happy to report that the first two sections of The Gin Lane Gazette are now illustrated. My design genius, Lisa Hunter, is busy piecing together the pages from my rough designs, while Cathy Hurren, the tremendous Unbound production manager, is casting her eagle eyes over our endeavours, and we'll be tweaking and tightening things up this week. (The archaic long 's' has caused issues, it must be said. Let's not dwell on that now.)
In other news, I'm delighted to acknowledge a fabulous pledge of £1,000 towards the book from a spiffing new venture called ThoughtOut, based at UEA, where, you will remember, I gave a spiel a few months back. I can do no better than quote directly from ThoughtOut's website:-
Sponsored by the University of East Anglia, the ThoughtOut project aims to open the doors to academic research in order to share expertise in the arts and humanities with the public who have helped fund this research. Working in partnership with Editorial Intelligence, ThoughtOut is a forum for accessible discussion about expert ideas, a website where academics can blog their research, circulating and communicating ideas with the wider culture, beyond the often closed doors of academic discussion....ThoughtOut...hopes to...bridge the perceived gap between two imaginary places called 'the ivory tower' and 'the real world'...Our goal is...to promote accessible writing about research in the humanities in general; to give individuals engaged in such research the opportunity to promote and circulate their...work...;and to give readers and thinkers outside of academia the opportunity to join in the conversation and share ideas.
It all reminds me of some of those splendid clubs and salons that proliferated in 18th-century London and elsewhere, where anybody was welcome, regardless of their background, social status, or education, as long as they had something to say, and were eager to say it. Perhaps the most exciting aspect from our side of things is the possibility of collaboration with Unbound:-
Our hope is that ThoughtOut will help...academics find audiences and a platform for sharing their research: in partnership with Editorial Intelligence, trade presses and crowd-sourced publishers such as Unbound, we will be providing...thinkers with opportunities to tailor their publications to their own ambitions for their publishing careers.
We are looking forward to planning talks and events that bring Unbound and ThoughtOut together in the future, and you'll be kept up to date with what's happening. For now, I must extend my sincere thanks to Sarah Churchwell, John Charmley, and Siobhan Hoffmann Heap at UEA, all of whom have been very kind in supporting The Gin Lane Gazette via ThoughtOut and Editorial Intelligence, and I urge you to keep an eye out for this laudable project's undertakings over the next few months.
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