Ink Pellet is 100  

January 1998: the month when bars in California became smoke free, the month Monica Lewinsky signed an affidavit denying she had an affair with Bill Clinton, and the month that heralded Issue No 1 of Ink Pellet with its Private Eye cartoon on the cover ‘Cuts, cuts, cuts – where will it all end Miss Benson?’ Plus ça change and all that….

In her Letter from the Editor, Julie Simpson, who created Ink Pellet, writes: ‘…cheer yourself up with the first edition of Ink Pellet – the fastest way to reach teachers.’  That friendly, conversational tone has remained, and so has the way we distribute.

By issue three, Julie had asked the brilliant educationist Rex Gibson to write; and so he did, in a long-running series of pieces covering all aspects of Shakespeare’s work. In issue 6 Ink Pellet published the first column by Keith Gaines, whose hilarious, wry and perceptive musings kept readers amused for years. Both these brilliant contributors are now in the great library in the sky…

At two years old, the magazine became national – as it is today. Adverts were more sophisticated – and there is even an article on how writing on the internet can give you ‘real credibility with Year 9’. January 2001 saw a new editor in the chair – Caroline Plaisted who served the magazine so well until 2008.  We note one Peter King writing for us in 2002 – he still is an avid reader and contributor.

By issue 52, the magazine looks really familiar, taking the shape in which you see it today. I joined as editor in 2008 – and my first edition had the most beautiful cover, showing artwork from the Lyric’s Christmas production of Cinderella.

Over the years we have featured such greats as Simon Russell Beale (now one of our celebrated actors), Imogen Stubbs and the late, great Donald Sinden. While authors who have graced our pages include Anthony Horowitz, Geraldine McCaughrean and Nina Bawden. Wow!

Now to the most important part of the Ink Pellet jigsaw puzzle – you, the reader and advertiser. In a commercial landscape unrecognisable to readers of 1998, we still can count hundreds of loyal advertisers who continue to support us, and with the beautifully-designed adverts and artwork, add colour and information to the magazine.

Our teacher-reviewers play their part too; adding to our unique offer. You read for us and see plays for us; taking time out of your busy days to become part of our story. I enjoy the email conversations and always love to open the Word document with a knowledgeable, beautifully written review.

Thank you for reading. Here’s to the next 100 issues!