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Cardiff gets horrifically horrible with Scardiff
October 20, 2014 | 3:34 pm

The Welsh capital received an horrific visitation last weekend in the shape of Scardiff, " the first Cardiff horror expo," and a celebration of "all things horror: books, comics, movies, cosplay, the works." And according to attendees, Cardiff Masonic Hall was overrun by a zombie-like horde of attendees, foaming with rabid enthusiasm for the events and attractions. The program at Scardiff included "horror-themed cosplay comps with prizes and custom-made trophies," an SFX scareoff, tabletop gaming, a low-budget filmmaking workshop, and - last but not least for budding horror writers - "a live pitching session for budding novelists, led by Scott Harrison...

British Fantasy Society wants to make your Hallowe’en
October 7, 2014 | 12:40 pm

The British Fantasy Society, in conjunction with renowned London-headquartered science fiction, fantasy, and horror emporium Forbidden Planet, is bringing together a pumpkinfest of feted horror authors for the Mass Hallowe’en Signing & BFS Open Day Social on Saturday October 25th, at Forbidden Planet's original 179 Shaftesbury Avenue chamber of horrors, kicking off at 10.00 am. Afterwards, there'll be a sociable get-together at The Bloomsbury pub on Shaftesbury Avenue for book and horror talk, with free entry to both events. Modestly titled "The Greatest Hallowe'en Signing of All Time," the event assembles the following writers, illustrators, and editors, according to Forbidden Planet's...

The Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014: Some concluding images
August 28, 2014 | 3:30 pm

IMG_20140825_184414Here is a montage of shots from the Edinburgh International Book Festival 2014 - just to give you all a taste. And here's to next year - in another country, perhaps ? ...

Just arrived for Edinburgh International Book Festival!
August 19, 2014 | 7:15 pm

IMG_20140819_171154I made it to Edinburgh once again this year for the 2014 Edinburgh International Book Festival, and will be reporting from now on until its end in a week's time. And just in case anyone still needs reminding, this is a critical month in a critical year for Scottish nationhood, cultural and otherwise, with the referendum on Scottish independence less than four weeks away. And yes, I missed George R.R. Martin, but there's a real-life game of thrones happening right here right now - though with far more ink spilt than blood. So far it's as buzzy and lively as you'd...

Reporting on the Creatures, Crime and Creativity Conference
September 16, 2013 | 5:00 pm

You may have noticed that I haven't been around much for the last few days. I was getting ready for and then attending the Creatures, Crime and Creativity Conference that was held last weekend in Baltimore. [caption id="attachment_96795" align="alignleft" width="135"] Jeffery Deaver keynote[/caption] While I've attended numerous conferences, this was my first writer's conference, and I admit I'm now spoiled for anything else. I've never had the chance to network and chat with so many writers, and I'm hungry to do it again. I had a chance to interview several authors, including Brian Keene, John Gilstrap, D.B Corey and Jeffery Deaver. Look for...

Poetry gets serious support in Scotland as Edwin Morgan Poetry Award launched
August 21, 2013 | 9:48 am

Scotland is a nation that takes poetry seriously—its national day, after all, honors Robert Burns. How seriously? Take the new Edwin Morgan Poetry Award, launched this weekend at the Edinburgh International Book Festival and worth £20,000 ($31,300). The new award, as the official release makes clear, "is the result of a bequest by the late Scottish Makar, Edwin Morgan (1920-2010), and a Trust has been established in his name to administer the award and further promote poetry in Scotland." The first modern Scots Makar (Scotland's Poet Laureate), Morgan inherited substantial investments from his parents, which grew still further in the hands of his retained advisors. One...

Scotland’s mystery book sculptor delivers whole flock to Edinburgh International Book Festival
August 21, 2013 | 9:39 am

The mystery paper sculptor who has been crafting sculptures in celebration of reading and literature across Scotland outdid herself this weekend with a delivery of an entire flock of sculpted birds to the Edinburgh International Book Festival. Presented in a surprise delivery of blue bags to the Festival Book Shop, the birds, including "a heron, an egret and a crow to celebrate Iain Banks’ 'The Crow Road,'" arrived in thirty cages with instructions on how to set them free, " ranging from somewhere far away, to a writer of beautiful things," according to the Festival's press release. The birds gifted to the...

TeleRead live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival
August 19, 2013 | 10:42 am

Yes, it's true: TeleRead is officially reporting live from the Edinburgh International Book Festival ... which, by the way, is crazy: Huge crowds, long queues, yurts for journalists, authors mobbed at signings, special literary deckchairs. You name it, it's here. Below, a few shots from day one. Entrance to the Festival: The press yurts: Commemorative deckchair: More to come in the days ahead—stay tuned....

Are literary festivals little more than money-grubbing scams?
July 16, 2013 | 11:57 am

literary festivalsBritish author and historian Guy Walters (pictured at left) just ran a piece in the UK Literary Review about his less than totally positive experience at the Hay Festival. After a triumphant reading in front of an estimated 800 people, he recounts, he asked for expenses to cover his trip to and from the Festival—and was refused. "As I drove home, I did some maths," Walters states. "Those eight hundred people had each paid £7 [$10.57], earning Hay a tidy £5,600 [$8,455]. Compared to Hay's turnover of £4 million [$6 million] and gross profit of £1 million [$1.5 million], that's not a...

CSI meets Law & Order at the Killer Nashville writers’ conference this August
June 30, 2013 | 1:41 pm

Killer Nashville[Press Release] On August 22, 2013, crime scene tape will go up at Nashville’s Five-Star Hutton Hotel, and hundreds of crime fiction readers and writers will converge to learn from—and sometimes match wits with—forensic anthropologists, psychologists, attorneys and law enforcement professionals. The occasion is Killer Nashville, a conference for fans and writers of thrillers, mysteries and other crime literature. In addition to a reader/fan track and three tracks of panels and presentations on the business and craft of writing, the conference offers an extensive forensics track certain to appeal to "CSI" fans or anyone with an interest in investigative techniques. One of Killer...

Edinburgh International Book Festival 2013 kicks off program of e-book-related events
June 24, 2013 | 6:55 pm

Edinburgh International Book FestivalPreparations have begun in Scotland for the Edinburgh International Book Festival, which is the literary component of the Edinburgh Festival, the UK’s biggest annual cultural jamboree, and which this year runs from August 10th to 26th, and showcases 800 authors in over 700 events. Many of the discussions and appearances this year will be either dealing with issues raised by the digital disruption of publishing and book production, or presenting authors in the context of their e-books and digital media work. “It’s our 30th birthday this year and we celebrate with a programme of events looking back over three astonishing decades...

Book Expo: Final Numbers
June 12, 2013 | 6:45 pm

Book ExpoBEA director Steve Rosato shared some attendance numbers earlier this week. With the caveat that these are raw numbers yet to verified by their third party audit, the figures represent very slight changes from 2012, as follows: • Total Industry Professionals 2013 = 19,615 = -.004% • Total Industry Professionals 2012 = 19,694 • Total Attendance 2013 = 11,101 - +7% • Total Attendance 2012 = 10,417 Rosato also mentions other successful aspects of the show: “The Author Stages and other author events were a giant success.  In particular, the Neil Gaiman, Jim Gaffigan & the Wally Lamb/Elizabeth Gilbert appearances were terrific highlights. The improved logistics for lines in Autographing...