In the creative industries we rarely have to think about war games, strategy and international diplomacy, but the not-so-roaring twenties have been an unpleasant surprise on many fronts.

In the face of the Ukraine crisis escalating into full-on invasion, I’m sure you feel as helpless and hopeless as I do – what can we do from all the way over here, as writers, as publishers, not soldiers or leaders? I’ve been speaking with Simon Mundy of PEN International’s Writers for Peace Committee about the international response that PEN International and friends have been co-ordinating, and the pen does, in this case, wield power.

It seems clear that Putin’s playbook isn’t wildly different from that of the Nazi party, in many ways – not least in his demonisation of certain peoples and those whose existence he objects to the most – and as a publisher whose raison d’être is providing a platform to many of those Putin seeks to subjugate, to celebrate difference and diversity while he seeks to destroy it, we think it’s important to extend our platform to add our voices to those shouting ‘I object!’

As our pal George Orwell says, ‘Writers are persecuted in Russia… any attack on intellectual liberty, and on the concept of objective truth, threatens in the long run every department of thought.’

This is why we have set up this blog page, dedicated to writerly solidarity in the face of these threatening authoritarian forces. While Renard is a business, and many businesses like to remain apolitical, we feel that some things are just too important.

If you have comments or questions, or, indeed, if you’re a writer and would like to contribute, please contact us.