Our anniversary year is almost over, and it’s been marked by many good things – not least the installation of a new kitchen area in the office by our very efficient and cheerful builder Pzremek. Now that the leaves are turning in the square and the air is getting chilly, it’s a big bonus at lunchtime to have an oven that actually works!
As usual we’ve been out and about, and it seems no time at all since we were driving through summer countryside to another ‘Tea with Slightly Foxed ’, this time organized by Cogito Books in Hexham. For Anna and Olivia, who, among many other things, deal with your subscriptions, Northumberland is home, and it was largely through this personal connection that we spent a convivial time discussing Slightly Foxed and meeting some of our northern subscribers. Cogito Books is one of those independent bookshops that really gives one heart in this age of Amazon – welcoming, intelligent and clearly loved by its local community and beyond – a ‘mouse that roared’.
We’re also happy to announce that for this and the next two years Slightly Foxed will be sponsoring the Best First Biography Prize, run by the Biographers’ Club. Feelings over literary prizes run high, and dramas at the Booker Prize presentation dinner and spats between judges are legendary. One writer who has never won it, though there are many who feel he should have, is the novelist Edward St Aubyn, who has recently hit back with a satire on the awarding of prizes, Lost for Words. The winner of the first Slightly Foxed Prize, worth £3,500, will be announced in November, and the judges are Lucy Hughes Hallett, Jane Ridley and Anthony Sattin, the latter two both contributors to Slightly Foxed. We don’t anticipate any dramas . . .
Another of our anniversary projects, Slightly Famous Foxes, is doing well, raising money to buy books to read for pleasure for children in the Hospital School at Great Ormond Street. To raise more money for the school we’re planning an online auction of the original fox drawings, donated by such distinguished friends of Slightly Foxed as Quentin Blake, Posy Simmonds and Alexander McCall Smith. There’ll be more information about this in our e-mail newsletter, but if you have not signed up for it do get in touch with Jennie ([email protected]).
Finally, several of you have told us that you enjoy the look and feel of the Slightly Foxed Editions almost as much as what’s inside them, and suggested we might use the format for a notebook. So, experimentally, we’ve done just that. The elegant Slightly Foxed Notebook is now available in two sizes and four colours – a repository for Great Thoughts, vital lists, recipes and all the other ingredients of life, and an excellent small present. You’ll find more details in the enclosed leaflet or on our website: www.foxedquarterly.com.