Wanted – writers for our new London Project iPad/digital/Kindle magazine


Anorak Publishing has just set a very exciting new magazine in motion. The London Project is a collection of stories, images and videos that reflect the World’s greatest city on the cusp of a momentous year in its history.

It will look back at the past, take the pulse of the city as it is now and make a few predictions about its future. It will be available in a whole load of digital formats and in print too.

And we want you to help.

Got a really good story about the capital? Maybe the bloke at the end of your road was best mates with The Krays? Or someone you know used to be a waitress in the restaurant in Telecom Tower? Maybe you were involved in one of the key events that shaped the recent development of the city? Or you have a special place in the capital that up until now you haven’t wanted to share.

We are looking for 10-15 stories about London and Londoners that have to be between 500-1000 words and accompanied by a picture. We will pay £100 for each story.

Got a good idea? Then email me ashley@anorak.co.uk as soon as you can.

We would also consider photo essays or interesting videos.

My little charity book project – and why I need your help


The PopJunkie Kindle/iPad book project –

If you are seeing this via Facebook chances are that at some point you and I have talked about, or more likely had a huge row about, music.

So I wonder then if you fancy being involved in a little project that will be fun, won’t take much of your time and will hopefully make some dosh for children’s charity (Great Ormond Street Hopsital).

Along with Sean Hannam I ran a blog a while ago called PopJunkie – which was basically our lop sided, some might jaded, but hopefully quite amusing reviews of the most under-rated albums of all time. We argued why Nancy was the real talent in the Sinatra household, why Gene made better albums than The Smiths, why Genevieve Waite should have been bigger than Madonna and who lot more.

The other day I thought it would be good to put those 30 or so reviews into a digital book using Kindle/Lulu/iBooks/ because it is a process that seems to be becoming easier

Then I had a better idea. So it wasn’t dominated by endless 60s psych bands and BritPop also-rans I thought about opening it out to a select few people and trying to make a bit of money for GOSH.

The idea is that we compile a book of the 50 most under-rated albums of all time. Each review is a passionate defence of an album that has been ignored, misunderstood or basically just demands a much wider audience.

It can be from a major act – so for example you could put the case that one of Prince’s recent albums are more fun than his 80s peak or that Led Zeppelin never improved on their debut.

Or it can be something that is by a lesser known artists that deserves a much wider audience.

The plan is to get 50 reviews, maybe more if this goes viral.

So here’s what I need.

1 You to get back to me saying you are up for it and nominating the album(s) you are going to do.

2 I’ll then reply and you have 3 weeks to write. After that I will endlessly chase you for it.

3 You write at least 400 words on a passionate defence/reappraisal of whatever is your chosen album. You can write as much as you want – but I think anything less than 400 words is a bit short. Feel free to make it as controversial as you like/slag off as many other artists as you want.

4 You add a mini bio of yourself – who you are, anything you want to plug, etc.

The idea is that the book will be in Amazon store by the end of November.

I am going to charge around £3 for the digital version of the book – more for the paperback version (via Lulu) – and the money we raise (bar a few quid for a designer to knock it into shape) will go to Great Ormond Street Children’s Hospital. As some of you know that place has become my 2nd home this year and I wanted to do something to say thank you and this seems a lot more fun than a sponsored walk.

When the book is done we will Facebook/tweet the hell out of it and hopefully watch those sales rack up.

I am happy for you to do more than one review if you are so inclined. Also feel free to ask anyone else who you think might enjoy/want to be involved in this little exercise.

Thanking you in advance for your help. Now what’s it to be. Gorky’s debut or Madonna’s Erotica? Over to you…
Contact me via Facebook or email shinyashley@gmail.com

Charlton Lido on course for Summer 2012 opening with heated pool (hurrah)


Some good Lido news. Greenwich Council’s refurb of Charlton Lido is going well and the pool should open again next year.

The best bit is that they seem to have borrowed the template for the wildly successful London Fields Lido (the two were built at around the same time and have many similarities) in that the 50 metre pool will now be heated and will hopefully be open way beyond just the summer.

The budget for the refurb is around 2.5 million quid – which if it is anywhere near as popular as London Field is money well spent.