This bank holiday weekend, we were out looking for inspiration in the City. London has always been a place synonymous with success, business, writing and writers. From the famous Baker Street to King's Cross St Pancras, there a lots of places linked with the literature we know and love. Additionally, given the political change affecting London and the rest of the UK, the Houses of Parliament and Elizabeth Tower are striking and remind us of our first book to be published, 2051.
As we are all aware, most publishing companies have either began or are currently based in London, a hub of creativity and a place where dreams have come true.
But what about elsewhere? There are a number of non-fiction publishers based outside of London, namely academic publishers linked with an institution. The practicalities of publishers all being in London is that the competition is close, plus the benefit of having events nearby with easy access, as well as a number of working professionals for jobs and potential authors. The City is home to the biggest transport networks in the country, with Heathrow and Gatwick a stone's throw away, Euston Station and the Underground network, there is never no way to get inside.
We visited the British Library, the place where every copy of every edition or every book must be sent to record the history of publication in the UK. This had to be the most inspiring place we visited, seeing early copies of the Bible and Koran and the history of the Magna Carta. It is a place we would recommend that every writer visits as it offers insight into the past of literature, music, science and the written word as well as information on bookbinding and the journey of the printed book.
From the quiet Cotswold town of Stroud, the journey is just less than two hours, pleasant and manageable, and yet such a difference. Where here there are cows, hundreds of acres of common land and small country pubs, the city boasts the financial district, suburbia on the outskirts, parks and rail lines and planes above. Not exactly quiet. However, there is something about it which draws the attention. The constant bustling and movement, action and reaction. Even on a weekend, the city seemed to be packed to the rim and thriving off the many visitors, tourists and locals. Westminster, as usual, is full of photograph takers, taxis, buses and extra security from police officers since the tragic attack that occurred a few weeks ago. People love the City and wished to pay their respects despite potential danger. A protester stood with a board stating 'Social change not climate change.' It is clear that one thing can affect the other and there is no better place than the biggest city in England to try to find your voice.
Books can affect people's lives by getting good reading material out there. Thousands of people have been influenced by William Wordsworth, Mark Twain, J. K. Rowling, J. R. R. Tolkien, Monica Ali and the Brontë sisters. And thousands more to come will be inspired by those who write, wherever it is they come from and wherever it is they choose to publish. We hope to help as many new authors find a voice and use the things that inspire them to affect change by being bold, brave and honest.We hope to help as many new authors find a voice and use the things that inspire them to affect change by being bold, brave and honest.