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