Welcome to Free Word. Interested in exploring the political and cultural power of words? Join us at an upcoming event or read about the themes we explore.


Past Event

The past winter has brought home to us yet again that we are living through extraordinary weather. As the most recent IPCC report on the science reiterates, we can expect more extremes as our climate continues to change – floods, droughts, coastal erosion, the impacts on communities, essential infrastructure and wildlife. Climate change is not just a question of science – it is a question of living. The greatest challenges are cultural; our society has barely begun to understand the scale of the changes in prospect. We are in need of deep insights, creativity and imagination.

This special event – presented by TippingPoint in association with Free Word – is a unique opportunity to explore the nature and future of our changing climate, exchange ideas and stimulate new creative work. Participants will include novelists, poets, graphic artists and experts in the physical, natural and social science aspects of climate change.

TippingPoint events offer more talking and interacting – in a variety of plenary and group formats – than listening to formal presentations, though there will also be some of that. Weatherfronts will mark the launch of new TippingPoint commissions for novelists, short story writers, essayists, poets and graphic writers, and opportunities for climate researchers to link with creative networks and work. The event will draw on essays in a new book, Climate Change: Narratives, to be launched by the Open University’s Mediating Change Group immediately after this event, also at Free Word Centre. Participants will receive a free copy in advance and are invited to the launch.

Download the event flyer here for more information.


The event is supported by the Arts Council of England, Free Word, Spread the Word, the Ashden Trust and the Open University. This enables us to significantly reduce the costs to participants.

The full cost for researchers is £100, and for writers is £50. Some bursaries are available – please apply, stating your reasons.

These costs cover participation on both days and catering and refreshments during the event, including Monday evening. Participants will need to make their own arrangements for accommodation.

Taking part:

If you would like to take part (or wish to recommend someone else we should contact), please respond with full contact details to Weatherfronts project manager, Mark Goldthorpe, at mark@tippingpoint.org.uk by 16th April at the latest. Please include a sentence or two on why you would like to take part, and please also give your reasons if you wish to apply for a partial or full bursary for the fee.


Weatherfronts has now taken place, but you can listen to highlights from the day with the podcasts below:







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