Tag Archives: creative cardiff

Jannat’s Lucent Dreaming – a new Cardiff-based creative writing magazine

In today’s profile, we meet Jannat Ahmed, founder and editor-in-chief of Lucent Dreaming – a new creative writing magazine coming straight out of Cardiff!

I’m Jannat, founder and editor-in-chief at Lucent Dreaming. The LD team and I have officially just launched our debut issue from Rabble Studio. I’m a 22-year-old MA English Literature graduate from Cardiff University, born and bred in South Wales and ever since I could read, I’ve wanted to write. Enid Blyton, Roald Dahl and J.K. Rowling have been the cornerstones of my imaginative life since I started school and they continue to inform what I do today. I dabbled, about 11-ish years ago when I was in my final year of primary school with a little thing called J Club. It was a club I made up where I asked for the email addresses of anyone who visited our house and sent them a ‘magazine’, i.e. a word document that comprised exclusively of wordart, clipart and rhyming poetry about flowers written by me.

At 10 or 11 years of age I had a club that sent a magazine every month (for only about two months), that also sold stationery I’d bought from Woolworths, and even had its own paperclip collection bought by my dad. Looking back, I think I was ridiculous but onto something. Just over a decade later and it seems I’m kind of doing the same thing but better (I hope!)

Lucent Dreaming is my childhood dream come true: it’s a new independent creative writing magazine publishing beautiful, strange and surreal short stories, poetry and artwork from emerging authors and artists worldwide. Our first issue even has poetry about flowers! This is the story of how it started.

It was during my MA, this time last year, that I happened to be working on a parody creative writing magazine for one of my modules. After having too much fun making parody adverts for Cardiff University’s new revolving doors and Arriva Trains Wales’ delayed transport, I thought it would be a great idea to make a real creative writing magazine. I was talking to my friend Jess—now also one of Lucent Dreaming’s editors—about her experience of trying to get a job in publishing. She told me she’d exhausted her savings going to publishing internships and still didn’t have enough experience to get a job. It was then I asked if she’d be willing to donate her time to my as-yet-unnamed ‘real’ creative writing magazine and she said yes! Jo and Jonas—my two other editors—also, surprisingly, said yes. And so it began.

The idea was put on hold over the summer while I was working on my dissertation but come September it was back on. We had a name and a logo and we launched our website for submissions on Halloween last year. We planned on being an online-only creative writing magazine but that soon changed.

In November last year I applied for the pilot Ymlaen placement and got it! The placement is for six months and gives me desk space and business mentoring at Rabble Studio as a collaboration between Creative Cardiff, Cardiff University’s Enterprise and Start-up Team and Rabble Studio. Since January I’ve been working from Rabble, a coworking space for freelancers, small businesses and remote workers, and it’s been fantastic. I’ve been around freelance writers and designers and a bunch of other wonderful humans who have set up businesses before, worked with printers before and know what it’s like to work in creative industries. Everyone is so friendly, helpful and incredible at what they do; it’s been invaluable to me to be around them.

Working at Rabble has morphed Lucent Dreaming from an online-only to an also-print magazine. Last Saturday saw the launch of our debut issue and we’re so proud of how far it has come in such a short space of time. We sold half our magazine print run as well as our hand-designed notebooks and we can’t wait for issue 2! (We’re currently accepting short story and poetry submissions by the way!)

As far as the future is concerned, we hope to continue LD in print. Our aim is to encourage creativity and to help writers reach publication. However, we’re not just a publisher, we see ourselves as a springboard. We offer feedback on all qualifying submissions so that writers aren’t left in the dark about why their work might be rejected. We give our writers feedback so they have constructive ways to improve for their next submission. And, for everyday creatives, writers and doodlers, we’ve also set up a notebook subscription because we know that creativity rarely concludes with publication in day-to-day life (and it’s the other half of my childhood dream to sell stationery!). Whether or not you’re interested in publishing your work, we want to encourage you to be creative. A haiku, a doodle, a list of important memories—they are all produced from a feeling that cannot always be pinned down, but it’s that beautiful, strange, surreal feeling that we want to inspire both through our magazine and everything else we may create in the future. I hope we never lose sight of that dream!

Visit the Lucent Dreaming site – they’re currently open for submissions and preorders of Issue 2.

Jannat Ahmed is a recent English Literature graduate and expert project-starter. She enjoys anything she is capable of envying and secretly compares LD to Lovegood’s The Quibbler with confessedly more fiction. She is editor-in-chief at Lucent Dreaming.


Happy birthday Creative Cardiff!

Creative Cardiff is marking its first year of connecting and celebrating the creative community throughout the city. Hooray!

Earlier this year, we worked with Creative Cardiff and I Loves The Diff to put together a Guide to Creative Cardiff (which you should definitely go and check out, it is D O P E).

Cardiff Bay harbour view

The membership network connects people working in any creative organisation, business or job across Cardiff and the city region and by encouraging people to work together, aspires to make Cardiff a capital of creativity. There’s a great selection of job opportunities for the creative sectors  on there.

Over the last 12 months, hundreds of creatives have joined the network and worked with Creative Cardiff to produce a programme of #52Things – features which enthuse, inspire, inform and engage. Resulting events and activities have enabled members to connect, discover new ideas, build their audience and promote their work as well as find new opportunities.

Working with founding members Wales Millennium Centre, BBC Cymru Wales and Cardiff Council and with the support of the Creative Economy team at Cardiff University, Creative Cardiff aims to amplify the creative economy community and encourage research and innovation.

Chair of Digital Economy at Cardiff University, Professor Ian Hargreaves said: “In its first year, Creative Cardiff has validated all four of our initial goals.

“We set out to increase quality and momentum between creative economy people in the Cardiff city region. The proof of that is in our growth in membership and on social media, but also in countless personal stories of individuals and organisations who tell us how they have found their way round Cardiff’s creative economy by chancing upon Creative Cardiff, online or in some other way.

“We’ve also continued to build out our research network, collaborating with partners like SŵnFestival.

“In our third objective, we set out to explore the case for investment in a creative hub in Cardiff and what we’ve found is that whilst we have been asking for feedback and conducting pilots, a small wave of hubs has simply emerged. Now we are concentrating on helping them to connect.

“Our fourth objective is to find a way of helping Cardiff to articulate a compelling vision for its creative ambition. Any one of the tens of thousands of people who gathered for the City of the Unexpected Roald Dahl Festival will have sensed the scale of ambition and energy that’s out there. We hope to have new ideas to announce shortly about further steps towards this objective.”

To become a member of Creative Cardiff, visit www.creativecardiff.org.uk/join.


A guide to creative Cardiff

Are you looking for a guide to creative Cardiff? Look no further! We teamed up with the Creative Cardiff team at Cardiff Uni and I Loves the ‘Diff to produce a rather natty guide to Creative Cardiff.

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You can read the whole thing, or jump straight to one of the sections:

Helia wrote these ones:

Spaces to work : The city is overflowing with lovely places to hang out. Recently Cardiff has enjoyed something of a coffee revolution, with an array of new, independent coffee shops with free wifi scattered across the city. Nomadic workers armed with Macbooks and seeking caffeine to fuel their big novels, screenplays, or start up proposals can be found around every corner.

Cardiff’s creative spaces : The architecture in Cardiff is a glorious mish-mash of everything from Roman to brutal modernist, so Cardiff doesn’t really have an adopted architectural ‘style’. Instead, the city piles different influences on top of each other, throwing up cream and glass luxury apartments next to listed, stone buildings.

There’s also these articles in the series (the European one gives some good background info on the city):

If you haven’t seen the Creative Cardiff project, here’s what they say about themselves:

Creative Cardiff is a new network which connects people working in any creative organisation, business or job in the Cardiff region. By encouraging people to work together we believe that we can make Cardiff the most creative place it can be.

Pretty good, eh? Find our more about Creative Cardiff here.


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Creative Cardiff introduces Show and Tell: Monday 19 October


You are invited to Creative Cardiff’s first Show and Tell party, at Porter’s on 19 October!

Creative Cardiff is delighted to welcome the following speakers:

Sarah Cole, a production and site manager who is working on the Roald Dahl centenary celebrations next year in a co-production between Wales Millennium Centre and National Theatre Wales.

Hilary Wagstaff, a dolls’ dressmaker for Blythe dolls.

Peter Rogers, a graphic novelist and creative producer at the award winning Bait Studio.

Creative Cardiff’s ‘Show and Tell’ is a quarterly event that gives a platform to some of the exciting range of creative people and projects in the city. It will bring together Cardiff’s creative community, from emerging talent to old hand, to hear about their current projects and ambitions.

What is Creative Cardiff?:

Creative Cardiff is a new city-wide network which connects people working in any creative organisation, business or job. By encouraging people to work together we believe that we can make Cardiff the most creative place it can be.

Event Details: Creative Cardiff:  Show & Tell #1

Monday 19 October
Porter’s, Bute Street,
Cardiff, CF10 2FE