How WordPlay Began Life

WordPlay was founded in 2010 by two writers who were disillusioned and disheartened by the state of the writing and publishing industry. They predicted a massive change coming, with electronic book sales gathering pace and self publishers beginning to lead the way in reader satisfaction.

WordPlay began life as a way to combat what the traditional publishing industry had become: no more than an introvert industry pampering to the desires of celebrities and already known authors. It began with the ambition of being intelligent, interesting, informative, and inspirational, and the aim of encouraging writers to write and then getting them read. To date it has met all of those ambitions and aims, and sees its membership continue to grow.

Our Founders

Ian Govan began life as foetus, emerging as a child within less than a year. He learnt stuff like that at school, which duly followed. A bachelors degree, a ‘Desmond’ (2.2), came next and he remained a bachelor for some further years, working as a teacher. And, yes, the holidays were great! Marriage (no longer) and two children – the full set, one of each – came along, as did disillusionment with teaching. Excess government intervention actually made teaching, real teaching, impossible. After a spell in corporate life – a company car, bliss, and a Masters degree obtained the hard way, at home, before and after work – he moved for a short time to what was then, The Institute of Management. Before he became institutionalised he set up his own Business and Management Consultancy (1993). Alexander Consultants Europe SL (Global and Intergalactic seemed a tad over the top!), has been the longest he has ever spent doing the same thing. After five and a half decades on the planet, he is still a child at heart. His passions are his children (now adults in their own right) and writing, particularly comedy. His greatest achievement in life is remaining a Birmingham City supporter through a lifetime of ‘thin and thinner’. He has hair which reflects this.

Sadly, and way before time, Ian passed away in August 2012. But his spirit lives on through WordPlay.

Michael Barton is an identical twin, so from an early age became used to being called something other than his given name. This ability, he has discovered, is a useful attribute within married life. He left school at 18 after achieving mediocre A Levels (probably easily good enough to gain entry to a top University now), and started his working life as a self employed chilled foods salesman (aka Ice Cream Man). A couple of years passed, and he decided to try his hand at something different. So his City career began, which spanned nearly two decades and gave him the opportunity to learn a whole range of skill-sets and many ways to churn and burn clients (more positively known as catering to clients’ needs!). After his third redundancy (it’s not all fat cat salaries and eye bulging bonuses) and having spent six months supporting his best friend to the end of his life, Michael moved into the world of personal financial advice. But he soon became disillusioned with work, with Britain, and with life in general – and for health and lifestyle reasons – Michael moved to Spain with his wife in late 2008. Michael now writes for a living, and is now one of the top ranked writers on a worldwide freelancing platform.


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