Slightly Foxed celebrates its first birthday this month, and we send special thanks and good wishes to our original subscribers who so sportingly took us on trust a year ago. We’re absolutely delighted that so many of you have decided to re-subscribe – a good number for two years. If you know of anyone who just hasn’t got round to it yet, it’s still not too late, and our offer of a reduction on a two-year subscription still stands (if you’re feeling generous, of course, you could always give them a gift subscription). And for anyone who missed the early issues and would like to complete the set, a limited number of back issues are still available.
On page 70, the audio producer Jonathan James-Moore describes the pleasure that Talking Books have given him, and we’re pleased to be able to tell you that selections from Slightly Foxed are now available on tape or CD from National Talking Newspapers and Magazines (The National Recording Centre, Heathfield, East Sussex TN21 8DB; tel 01435 866102; e-mail [email protected]; website www.tnauk. org.uk).
Now spring is here, the season of literary festivals begins. Those of you who live in the Oxford area – and perhaps even those who don’t but fancy a break in the city of dreaming spires – might like to know that we’ll be appearing, with the novelist Penelope Lively, on 17 April at the Oxford Literary Festival to discuss the place of literary magazines and our experience of starting one. If the idea appeals, do please come along. It’s always a pleasure to meet our subscribers in person, and – since we’re new at this game – it would be soothing to our nerves to have you in the audience!
So Slightly Foxed has survived its first year, and we end it feeling optimistic. We’ve had a remarkable amount of friendly coverage in the press, from Time Out to the Financial Times, as well as on the web – an American website urges its readers to ‘strike a blow for good reading everywhere and order a sample issue’ (we already have a number of US subscribers, and if you have friends there who you feel might be interested we’d love to hear of them).
Above all, we’ve thoroughly enjoyed putting together something that seems to have given pleasure and relief to many and has brought us into contact with such an interesting group of people. We like to think of you, blocking out the horrors or boredom of planes and trains with the latest issue (‘We seem to have done lots of flying over the past year – which I don’t enjoy – and SF is just the job for sitting on a plane!’), falling asleep with it at night, wrestling it away from your spouse (‘My wife and I quarrel over who should have it first!’) or simply curling up with it in front of the fire for an indulgent half-hour – and we love the fact that you take the trouble to write or ring and tell us about it.
‘I am completely enamoured of Slightly Foxed. It’s like having a gorgeous new pet – lovable, fun and hugely intelligent,’ was one of the accolades we enjoyed most – though looking at Jennings snoring loudly on his cushion, we did wonder about it a bit. But thank you for all your support and encouragement – and more happy reading in 2005.