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Writing magazine by Barking and Dagenham residents getting ready for issue two

PUBLISHED: 12:30 10 August 2019 | UPDATED: 09:24 12 August 2019

The second issue of Write On, a writing magazine produced by and for residents is getting ready for launch. The publication is the product of Pen to Print, a project funded by Barking and Dagenham Council and the Arts Council. Picture: Pen to Print.

The second issue of Write On, a writing magazine produced by and for residents is getting ready for launch. The publication is the product of Pen to Print, a project funded by Barking and Dagenham Council and the Arts Council. Picture: Pen to Print.

Pen to Print

A project promoting the borough's writing talent is printing the second issue of its magazine.

Funded by Barking and Dagenham Council and the Arts Council, Write On's goal is to connect the area's writing community with the publishing industry by showcasing work.

Breaking boundaries in and with storytelling is the theme of issue two of the quarterly magazine and features an interview with Penguin bestselling crime author Howard Linskey.

It is produced by a volunteer editorial team at the project Pen to Print. Around 30,000 readers flip through the publication via the 10,000 copies distributed through libraries and other community spaces in Barking and Dagenham as well as Newham, Redbridge and Southend.

The objective of Pen to Print is to grow east London's writing community and the community at large.

It's hoped diversity in those communities is reflected in the writing. Councillor Saima Ashraf is chairwoman of Pen to Print's advisory panel as well as deputy leader of the council and member for community leadership and engagement.

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She said: "We believe that Write On provides a unique meeting point, propelling writers from working class and minority backgrounds with something to say into publication.

"An authentic storytelling platform inspires readers, writers and commercial entities to come together in new and innovative ways; building positive social change by helping our borough record who we are now, while creating a blueprint for who we want to be in the future."

Farzana Hakim lives in Barking and Dagenham and wrote the novel Sweethearts of Ilford Lane.

"Writing lets you break boundaries because you can go anywhere you wish," she said.

"The voice in my stories is sometimes authentic, sometimes foreign. Sometimes it is old. Sometimes it is new.

"Sometimes my writing is Muslim, other times it is Sikh and many times it is no one's religion because as long as I am telling the story, I am in control. I am whoever I want to be."

Write On issue 2 will be out on September 27. More information can be found at pentoprint.org.

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