Free Word's network of associates includes individuals, groups and organisations working across the fields of literature, culture, politics, free expression, and the arts. If you'd like to learn more about the scheme, please contact email@example.com, or click 'become an associate' below.
- The Alliance of Independent Authors
- Amphora Arts
- The Asian Word
- The British Centre for Literary Translation
- The Curved House
- Firefly International
- Free Speech Bureau
- Give a Book
- if:book uk
- Kobo Writing Life
- Literature Wales
- Literature Across Frontiers
- London Slam Central
- The Manifesto Club
- Poetry Translation Centre
- Pop Up Projects CIC
- Prison Reading Groups (PRG)
- Readers International
- Spread the Word
- The National Academy of Writing
- Word Factory
- Writers’ Centre Norwich
- The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
- Writing West Midlands
All our associates are listed on the left. Click on their names to find out more.
26 is here to raise the profile and value of words in business and in everyday life. Our members include writers of all kinds: business writers, poets, novelists, copywriters, screenwriters, anyone with a love of words.
Our projects include 26 Exchanges with International PEN, From Here to Here with London Underground, 26 Treasures with the V&A, The Bard & Co with Shakespeare’s Globe, Common Ground funded by the Arts Council, and Wordstock - a festival of words held each year at the Free Word Centre.
The Alliance of Independent Authors
The Alliance of Independent Authors (ALLi) is a non-profit, professional association for indie writers. Our global team of advisors and industry professionals encourage ethics and excellence in self-publishing. We advocate and campaign for indie authors, forging relationships with industry figures to bring about the democratisation of publishing through community, partnership and author empowerment.
Amphora Arts is a production company specialising in literature and the arts, with a track record of producing quality events with a fresh cultural focus. We’re passionate about projects which bring literature and the arts to new audiences - whether via live events, online or through digital, and into diverse communities: to teach, inspire, and to offer a new approach. Our work has been seen at many iconic and artistic venues across London including the British Library, Shakespeare's Globe, Bush Theatre, British Museum, Stationers' Hall and Kings Place and in dozens of the capital’s schools through our educational outreach programme. The company also has a growing involvement in branding and web development.
The Asian Word
The Asian Word curates and produces live events, series and festivals with a focus on writing about Asia, from the Eastern Mediterranean to the Pacific and from the developing world.
We bring the genre of world literature to the British public to promote discussion of key issues, foster the understanding of international communities in Britain and introduce new, world writing to the UK audience.
With a solid background in marketing and audience development, we structure our programmes to provide the greatest audience impact and participation.
The Asian Word founded and directs the Festival of Asian Literature, held annually at Asia House. FAL is the only festival in the UK dedicated to writing from or about the broad expanse of the Asian continent. In conjunction with that festival, we produce outreach programmes in libraries, schools and colleges, mentoring young writers and journalists.
The Asian Word also creates events for museums, galleries, theatre groups entertainment venues and other literature festivals and programmes.
Booktrust is an independent reading and writing charity that makes a nationwide impact on individuals, families and communities, and culture in the UK. They make a significant positive contribution to the educational outcomes of children from the earliest age. They work to empower people of all ages and abilities by giving them confidence and choices about reading. And they want individuals of all backgrounds to benefit from the wellbeing that a rich and positive engagement in reading and writing can bring.
The British Centre for Literary Translation
The British Centre for Literary Translation (BCLT) is Britain's leading centre for the development, promotion and support of literary translation.
Working closely with regional, national and international partners (including the Translators Association and English PEN), BCLT offers support and continuing professional development to literary translators at all stages of their career; provides information and advice; stimulates public awareness and interest in literary translation, develops new audiences through events and publications; and generates and encourages academic debate.
Founded in 1989 by the late W G 'Max' Sebald, BCLT is based at the University of East Anglia and supported by Arts Council England.
Culture+Conflict is an ambitious new venture – independent, interdisciplinary, international and intercultural – to explore and amplify the distinctive role of culture in conflict and post-conflict contexts.
The aim is to support artists, writers and cultural practitioners working in these contexts by promoting and amplifying their work to international audiences, including policy-makers, politicians and diplomats. They act as a broker to connect people and build networks, and run a programme that includes events, research, workshops and projects.
The Curved House
Described by The Bookseller as “the ultimate hybrid company”, The Curved House is both a publisher and a production house, working across print and digital. Our core business is to design and produce books, websites and videos for publishers, literary organisations and individual authors but we also publish our own books that focus on improving literacy and reversing the decline in reading for pleasure.
The Curved House is a multi-faceted business but every aspect of our work is driven by a commitment to the same four things:
Good design: we believe poor design, particularly of books and text, diminishes our experience of reading and contributes to lower levels of reading for pleasure. We champion good design all the way.
Empowering authors: This increasingly complex world presents many new opportunities for writers online, but it can also be intimidating. We run regular trainings with partners like The Literary Consultancy and the Society of Authors to ensure writers reach their digital potential.
Collaboration: Visual Verse, our non-profit anthology of art and words, is a hommage to the power of democratic collaboration and is open to writers at all stages. We welcome your words.
Improving literacy levels: More needs to be done to improve literacy levels and encourage children to read for pleasure. Our children’s book imprint, Curved House Kids, publishes books that children can either write or illustrate themselves, allowing them to use their own ingenuity to develop core reading skills and improve their visual literacy.
Firefly International works to overcome boundaries worldwide through friendship, education and the arts. Our projects include Svitac, a youth centre offering arts and cultural activities for all young people in the isolated town of Brcko, Bosnia, and Reel Festivals. Reel Festivals have been held in the UK and around the world since 2008. The project is based on the idea tha art and culture are the best way to break down barriers and increase communication between people. Previous events have focused on Syria, Lebanon, Iraq and Afghanistan, with poetry, music and film events.
Free Speech Bureau
The Free Speech Bureau is not-for-profit company limited by guarantee that will promote freedom of expression through partnership with existing freedom of expression and human rights organisations. The Bureau believes its role is to support other organisations develop their advocacy and campaigning to develop and enhance freedom of expression both in the UK and abroad.
Give a Book
Give a Book is a charity that gives books to a wide range of people at a time when they really need one: the books go to disadvantaged children through certain schools and other charities, to prison reading groups, the isolated elderly and people affected by cancer. Every £5.00 donation gives a book.
if:book uk is a think and do tank exploring the future of the book, founded in 2007 linked to Institute for the Future of the Book in New York, if:book Australia and if:lire, Paris. Projects include curating the book How Power Corrupts by Ricardo Blaug at the Free Word; setting up The Unlibrary Cafe, a hub for community digital publishing; creating innovative resources for schools; research with publishers Winged Chariot, developing the Young Poets Network, and co-ordinating the ifsoflo network promoting digital possibilities for literature organisations.
Director Chris Meade speaks at conferences and events around the UK and the world.
Inpress is the UK’s specialist in selling books produced by independent publishers. We support innovative, literary publishers across the UK and Ireland, delivering their fiction, poetry and non-fiction to book lovers worldwide. Inpress brings beautiful, painstakingly-created, innovative and outside-of-the-mainstream books together in one place, selling to the book trade and direct to customers through www.inpressbooks.co.uk. We currently work in partnership with over 40 publishers, providing sales and distribution alongside complementary publisher services such as social media marketing, professional development and events.
Kobo Writing Life
Kobo Writing Life is Kobo’s self-publishing platform launched in the summer of 2012. Kobo Writing Life allows authors to publish in over 60 languages across more than 140 countries and has grown to the point of constituting between 10 and 18% of Kobo’s unit sales every week.
KWL users are allowed to directly upload their e-books to the Kobo global platform. This way they can enter multiple markets, significantly increasing the visibility of their works and the odds of gaining new readers. The KWL platform has been localized to the following languages: English, French, Italian, German, Spanish and Dutch.
Kobo Writing Life distinguishes itself by being free, open and collaborative. Offering an extremely user friendly experience and free file conversion to epub, Kobo Writing Life aims to help independent authors to engage with fans on a global scale through a top class e-reading service, and puts all aspects of publishing (editing, formatting, sales reports, marketing and distribution) in the hands of the writers helping them maximize sales.
Literature Wales / Llenyddiaeth Cymru is the national company for the development of literature in Wales. Literature Wales’ Business Plan outlines a new vision and a set of strategic priorities for the organisation. These are: Audience and Reach; Writer Development; and International Representation and Promotion.
Its many projects and activities include Wales Book of the Year, Dinefwr Literature Festival, the National Poet of Wales, Young People’s Laureate for Wales, Bardd Plant Cymru, funding for events and an annual Literary Tourism programme, plus, the Developing Dylan education project, organised by Literature Wales and supported by the Department for Education and Skills, as part of the Dylan Thomas 100 Festival.
Literature Wales represents the interests of Welsh writers in all genres and languages, both inside Wales and internationally. It offers advice, support, bursaries, mentoring and networking opportunities for writers.
Literature Wales is one of six national arts companies in Wales, each representing different art-form genres. Literature Wales works with the support of the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Government.
Literature Across Frontiers
Literature Across Frontiers (LAF) fosters cross-cultural dialogue and international literary exchange, and operates in partnership with a network of organisations with the aim to encourage greater diversity in literary publishing and programming; develop audiences for translated literature; and to act as a catalyst for international collaborations and interdisciplinary projects that create opportunities for writers, translators, publishers and literary organizations, bring literature into interaction with other art forms and explore the social and political role of writing.
LAF is based at the Mercator Institute for Media, Languages and Culture at Aberystwyth University in Wales and is supported by the Culture Programme of the EU.
London Slam Central
London Slam Central programmes events that draw on literature and ideas – and, often, an element of advocacy in their conception. Launched in 2003, some of its best known initiatives include aromapoetry, which provided a launch platform for emerging writers such as Heather Taylor and Inua Ellams; Bringing the House Down, created for the National Theatre’s Art of Regeneration initiative, which was the first theatre-based poetry feature show in the UK; Outdooring, an event that gave novelists a space to read unpublished novels in while engaging with the public, where the likes of Hisham Matar, Chris Cleave and Ben Markovits unveiled new work; and the African Writers' Evening, which now runs at the Southbank Centre. Our most recent events are the Caribbean Literary Salon and African Book Festival, developed in partnership with the Free Word Centre.
The Manifesto Club
The Manifesto Club campaigns against the hyperregulation of everyday life. They support free movement across borders, free expression and free association. They challenge booze bans, photo bans, vetting and speech codes - all new ways in which the state regulates everyday life on the streets, in workplaces and in people’s private lives. They believe that the freedom issues of the twenty-first century cut across old political boundaries, and require new schools of political thought, and new methods of campaigning and organisation. Their rapidly growing membership hails from all political traditions and none, and from all corners of the world.
The Palestine Festival of Literature (PalFest) was established in 2008 with the aim of bringing together Palestinian and International authors in contact with Palestinian audience. Every year it takes the form of a traveling festival, crossing the military checkpoints of the Israeli occupation that restrict Palestinian movement between cities. The festival includes free public events in the evenings and educational workshops with students in the day. For the festival's fifth year, our main festival was for the first time held in Gaza. Beyond the festival dates, PalFest continues its literary education programme in co-operation with its sister organisation, the Palestine Writing Workshop and via our new bilingual website: http://palfest.org
Past participants have included Suad Amiry, Mourid Barghouti, William Dalrymple, Roddy Doyle, Geoff Dyer, Esther Freud, Khaled Al Khamissi, Taha Mohammed Ali, Michael Palin, Raja Shehadeh and Alice Walker. Ahdaf Soueif is the Founding Chair and the festival patrons are Chinua Achebe, John Berger, Seamus Heaney, Philip Pullman, Emma Thompson and the late Mahmoud Darwish and Harold Pinter.
Poetry Translation Centre
The Poetry Translation Centre was established in 2004 to translate contemporary poetry from Africa, Asia and Latin America to a high literary standard. Poetry thrives on translation: it’s impossible to imagine English poetry without it. From Chaucer, via Wyatt, Dryden and Pope, to Ezra Pound’s Cathay, translation has been its life-blood.But English poetry has yet to engage with the rich poetic traditions of the many languages now spoken in the UK; for Islamic communities in particular, poetry is a particularly significant art form. Our work aims to redress that deficiency. By making their poetry at home in English, we aim to celebrate the cultures of communities that are frequently neglected and abused in the UK, inviting them to play a vital role in British cultural life.
Pop Up Projects CIC
Pop Up Projects CIC is a not-for-profit social enterprise with an impressive track record of engaging children, schools and families through imaginative, innovative literature events which impact on enjoyment of reading and writing. At the heart of our work is the conviction that by facilitating pleasurable encounters with authors and their stories, we can ignite imaginations, inspire future storymakers, and build more literate communities. Since 2010 over 24,000 children and parents have participated in our projects, including attending our flagship Pop Up Festival. In 2014 we expect to impact on an incredible 35,000 children and parents, as we bring our brand of children’s literature experiences to new communities and unexpected places in England.
Prison Reading Groups (PRG)
Prison Reading Groups (PRG), based at the University of Roehampton, supports the spread of prison reading groups and encourages links between formal and informal education in prisons.
PRG currently supports 40 groups in a variety of prison settings: libraries, vulnerable prisoners’ units, health care wings, day centres. Each group is co-ordinated by a member of prison staff (usually the librarian) and a volunteer from outside. We provide support and training. No expert knowledge of literature is needed – just an enjoyment of books and a desire to share views with other readers.
Our watchword is choice. We aim to provide as much choice as possible for group members, prison librarians and volunteer group facilitators, including how the group should run and what it should read. Groups are tailor-made to fit their circumstances: groups run weekly or monthly, through read-aloud or open discussion; for emergent readers; as audio groups for the visually impaired; and recently during Family Days for prisoners to read with their visiting children. We aim to help each group develop the format that best suits its target readers and, whatever the group’s form, members keep the books or materials they read. The result has been a consistently high level of commitment and enthusiasm amongst volunteers, librarians and group members.
RAW in WAR aims to support women human rights defenders working in countries in war and conflict, and to help end abuse and persecution against them, as well as to strengthen their work in areas of conflict.
Founded in 2006 by Mariana Katzarova, RAW awards the annual Anna Politkovskaya Award, given to a woman human rights defender who stands up for the victims of conflict. They also grant the Natalia Estemirova Memorial Scholarship for a woman from an area torn by conflict to study human rights journalism in London.
Founded in 1984 and active in the UK since 1986, Readers International (RI) made its name by publishing works and authors that suffered political censorship or exile in their home country. Thus in the closing years of the Cold War, of apartheid, and of military terror in Latin America's Southern Cone, RI successfully brought international acclaim for the first time to major writers like Chilean Antonio Skármeta, Argentinian Marta Traba and the Czech writers Ivan Klima and Ludvik Vaculik. With Dorothy Connell still at the helm, Readers International has achieved twenty-five years of successful small press publishing in support of the free word.
Spread the Word
Spread the Word provides support for writers of all levels - from networking events to publisher and agent talks, advice surgeries, mentoring and an online city of shared stories. They connect writers with the wider literature scene and offer a sustained relationship to talented writers for the development of their careers.
Teatime Books is a young company publishing short works of fiction and non-fiction both online and in print. We are passionate about world literature, languages, the arts and classical music. We aim to make our books accessible to a global audience by being innovative with content and format.
We love fiction that delights, entertains and informs in no particular order. Our team is a loose collection of bookworms and techies with an eye for a good story whenever and wherever it originates. We take pride in discovering new talent.
We are often surprised, compelled and moved by works of translation. Indeed, to us an apple is an apple by any other name. We love a good apple at Teatime!
The National Academy of Writing
The National Academy of Writing runs a London-based specialist course for committed writers seeking to publish a book-length work in either fiction or non-fiction. The Academy is led by practising writers and has extensive contacts in the publishing industry through the NAW Board of Directors, Patrons and Partners. NAW also provides unique writing events for literary festivals and University writing programmes.
Vivarta is a start-up digital publishing and production house for free expression rights, developing creative investigative journalism and advocacy programmes in conflicted, fragile and closed states (vivarta.org). Our interests are free expression, digital media, cultures of change and the conflict zeitgeist. We also host digital R&D programmes in online publication, issue analysis and cultural production (vivarta.net), to support our own work and that of our partners.
Word Factory champions short story writing and writers. Our salons bring together leading and emerging authors at intimate, friendly gatherings where they can read new stories to an appreciative audience. The ethos is collective support through mentoring, masterclasses and conversation at our events and online. We use the strengths of our writing and publishing community to encourage confidence and entrepreneurship and to create new publishing models for bringing good stories to readers at a viable price. Writers of the world: unite.
Writers’ Centre Norwich
Writers’ Centre Norwich is a literature development agency based in Norwich. They are interested in both the artistic and social impact of creative writing, and work with writers, readers and diverse communities. They run a wide range of ongoing and one-off projects and events including the Worlds Literature festival, a week of events, readings and discussion featuring writers from around the world; the Escalator Literature Competition; creative writing workshops; Summer Reads; the City of Refuge programme and Refugee Week.
The Writers’ Guild of Great Britain
The Writers' Guild of Great Britain is a trade union, affiliated to the TUC, and represents writers' interests in film, TV, radio, theatre, books and video games. Formed in 1958 as the Screenwriters' Guild, it gradually extended into all areas of freelance writing activity and copyright protection.
Writing West Midlands
Writing West Midlands is the literature development agency for the West Midlands. We support creative writers and creative writing in the region.
We work with aspiring, emerging and established Writers to help them sustain their creative careers by offering training sessions, advice and networking opportunities, including through our Room 204 Writer Development Programme.
We work with Young Writers & Schools through our Write On! Programme, giving children and young people the opportunity to develop their interests in creative writing. This includes working with Writers in Schools to bring professional writers into classrooms, our out-of-school creative writing groups, and our online project, Write On! Magazine.
Our Festivals & Events programme builds audiences for literature, including work by writers in our region. This includes the Birmingham Literature Festival, and also works with a network of literature and spoken word festivals across the region.
We run a programme of Workshops, both as part of the Birmingham Literature Festival and across the year. These are for aspiring, emerging and established writers and some are run in partnership with the National Association for Writers in Education.
We also work to make the West Midlands the best region in which to be involved in creative writing and literature. This includes supporting a network of Independent Publishers, working with Universities that teach creative writing, and brokering new opportunities for writers.