Coffee Chats

Whether you upload to YouTube or perform your poems, plays, music and stories live in your local pub, the World needs your creativity in its search for new directions.

Back in the 1700’s, they coined the phrase ‘Penny University’ (pun intended) for gatherings in coffee bars between wide spectrum groups of fresh thinkers and doers. Now, such groups gather in virtual “Coffee Chats” or in street “Chat Cafés”.

Join one. Join lots. Join the dots whether you’re standing at a water cooler,  waiting in a queue, grabbing a coffee break, loving an unplanned rave or smiling at someone who just sparks your interest.  Every moment needs your attention like never before.

So mix, because it’s only in the mix of creative ideas between musicians, writers; designers, engineers, MC’s, farmers , scientists, posties and programmers that the ‘new’ gets carved. Did I miss your skill at being yourself off this list? If I did, you’re on the extended list an so is whoever you meet.

Look for events. This one got publicity in the Telegraph:

“In Bishop’s Castle in the Clun Valley, the Rizla-rollers and the red-coated riders have two of the best watering holes in the county. At the bottom of a picturesque one-in-six gradient high street is the brightly painted Six Bells. The small two-room inn opposite the church has its own brewery producing Cloud Nine beer. It sells a host of fruit wines, including cowslip and dandelion, and holds “rhyme and tell” evenings and folk sessions.”  Full Story at

Explore sites:

Find ghost writers and writing partners through evolving stories on wattpad and there’s a host of illustrators, book designers, printers and publishers at jacketflap,

Find if you have written a book which is ready to go to print. If not, find a one-stop-publishing-shop. For example, I met  Bob Fowke just before Christmas at Knighton’s 2nd Literary Festival. He’s a true fountain of publishing knowledge.

Explore links:

I found a business café locally. Try a Chat Cafés with Penny Power backing – and change the social-to-business side of building communities.


Though I don’t have a link for scheduling coffee chats, I’m open to them.
If you think we have common ground to share, send me an message and let me know.

Chat Café

 What’s a ‘Chat Café’?

Any arranged informal pop-up / drop-in / logged-in event where we can chat together over a coffee.

Flyer design (above) by Grant to promote Friday drop-in *’Chat Cafés’ at the MAC Centre, Birmingham, UK. (1993 to 1996)
To view more Grant design projects, visit Projects and Ideas

Chat Café FAQ’s

How could I benefit?
By bringing your thoughts from isolation and into a Chat Café you may clarify your projects’ aims, evolve workable ideas and establish useful people-links – all over an informal cuppa.

What aspects can we discuss?
All chats must be people and project based.

What do I need to bring?
Your project questions.

What’s the principle behind Chat Café and the Penny University?
Chat Cafés promote the principles of the original Penny University and provide a setting where ideas can be shared and built upon. By getting people to think and work together, most projects bear fruit.

What does it cost?
Following on from the tradition of the Penny University of the 1700s, you can still get in for 1p

How long has it been going?
It was started in 1993 by two members of BEAF (Business, Education & Arts Forum)  during their annual meeting at the International Convention Centre, Birmingham,UK.

Are Chat Cafés now international?
They can be on Zoom or Skype – so long as you make your own coffee.