Let’s Go Long in November

Beer books on a shelf.

On Saturday 30 November, we’re going to post something longer than usual.

When we did this back in September, quite a few people were kind enough to keep us company, and it would be excellent if anyone felt like doing the same this time round.

When we say ‘longer than usual’, we mean 1,500 words minimum, but we’re aiming for 2,000+ this time.

As before, pro-writers might want to consider using this as an opportunity to give an airing to something from their back catalogue, or publish a piece that’s never found a home.

Our fellow bloggers might want to give their writing muscles a workout, perhaps by conducting research or interviews, and telling a bigger story than they would usually attempt. (That’s how we’re approaching it.)

Or, screw that — just have some fun with a stream of consciousness, personal memoir, a list — whatever.

Last time, we avoided suggesting a Twitter hashtag because, ugh, hashtags, but several innocent bystanders did suggest they’d have welcomed an easy way to find people’s contributions. With that in mind, how do people feel about #beerylongreads?

Now, with astounding arrogance, we present some tips and ideas…

  1. If you pick a big subject, you’ll sail to 1,500 words.
  2. Alternatively, pick a small subject, but go into ludicrous detail —  perhaps tell the story of a single grain of malt.
  3. Or go high concept: present a review of a single beer as a round table discussion between ten historical figures.
  4. Go to the library and skim a few books or old newspapers. You’re bound to find a story worth telling.
  5. Michael ‘Beer Hunter’Jackson’s first writing gig was a column called This is Your Pub in a local paper in Yorkshire — why not paint a portrait of your local pub, its history, regulars, and the publicans?
  6. Struggling to make 1,500 words? Drop in one or two 100-word quotes. This is how Norman Davies gets his books up to the requisite fatness.

Long Posts from around the Blogoshire

Illustration of a pub c.1955.

Several bloggers (and writers with blogs) have posted something a little longer than usual today –longreads, if you like.

We’ll try to keep this list updated throughout the day.

Stan Hieronymus has suggested that we do this again next month, while Alan McLeod proposes a quarterly schedule. We’ll give it some thought and name a date.

Let’s Go Long in September

1950 pub scene

On Monday 2 September, we’re going to post something a bit longer than usual — at the very least 1,500 words — and we’d love it if you, fellow bloggers and writers, did the same.

This isn’t one of those ‘Days’ (Beer Blogging & Writing Longer than Usual Post Day 2013! Woo!) and, whatever it is, we’re not in charge of it, so there’s no need to use a logo, or Twitter hashtag, or to link to us when you post. If you let us know about your post, though, and we enjoy reading it, we’ll link to you in a round-up piece later that same week. (It’ll be something like this.)

We don’t know exactly what we’re going to write yet, but it might be that piece on women in British brewing since 1963 we’ve had in mind for a while, or a history of the Blue Anchor pub and Spingo brewery at Helston, Cornwall.

If you feel like joining in, you might consider:

  • something about a pub or brewery in your area
  • a personal memoir
  • a revised and/or expanded version of something you’ve already published
  • something meandering and philosophical
  • or silly and funny.

(More inspiration here and here.)

Adrian Tierney-Jones has agreed to dig out something from his vast back catalogue and re-release it, perhaps remastered and with bonus tracks; and Leigh Linley has got in mind something about northern footballers and the pubs they owned, which we’re really looking forward to reading.

We’ll post a reminder about this towards the end of August but promise not to nag otherwise.

Yours with faint embarrassment,

Boak & Bailey