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Posts tagged United Kingdom

Warwick Report exposes systematic divides in UK culture
February 24, 2015 | 12:25 pm

Unsurprisingly from the country that gave the world the concept of philistinism, the 2015 Report by the Warwick Commission on the Future of Cultural Value, Enriching Britain: Culture, Creativity and Growth - otherwise known as the Warwick Report - has found that "the government and the cultural and creative industries need to take a united and coherent approach that guarantees equal access for everyone to a rich cultural education and the opportunity to live a creative life. There are barriers and inequalities in Britain today that prevent this from being a universal human right. This is bad for business and...

London Book Fair to follow publishing Around The World in 8 Hours
February 20, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The London Book Fair has just issued a release to announce that it "will be holding the first ‘virtual conference’ for the world of publishing on 18 March 2015. Around The World in 8 Hours will follow the world of publishing across the globe in a day-long series of social media events, culminating with a focus on publishing in the US. These will examine the similarities and differences in the world of book publishing’s key markets, covering everything from the Chinese love of serialised fiction to India’s mania for contemporary fiction that reworks the country’s ancient epics." This event series is...

Styling your stylus? Wild & Wolf thinks you should be
February 19, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Spotted on shelves in branches of Waterstones but also found in many other locations and outlets across the UK, Wild & Wolf's new range of highly styled styluses might well be looking to inspire some on-the-hoof highly mobile travel writing - or ticket bookings - if the designs are anything to go by. Wild & Wolf is "a British, design-led gift company specialising in a range of licensed and in-house designed gift collections," and each stylus has a separate destination theme - from Venice and Paris to London and New York. "Whether you like to jot in a notebook or whip...

Britain’s disgrace – James Patterson is UK’s most borrowed author
February 18, 2015 | 10:25 am

Just when I thought the British Isles could serve up no deeper, more bitter cup of ignominy and disgrace, I have to reveal - to my undying shame - that the UK's most borrowed author from public libraries, for the eighth year running, is James Patterson. That's according to the latest data from the UK Public Lending Right scheme at least. Administered by the British Library, the PLR "gives authors the legal right to receive payment from government each time their books are loaned through the public library system" - a payment currently running at 6.66 pence (10 cents) per book. Only,...

Michael Moorcock to debut first novel in almost ten years – about Michael Moorcock
February 17, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Victor Gollancz, the renowned UK science fiction and general literature publishing imprint, has just announced the acquisition of the UK rights for The Whispering Swarm, the first novel from the pen of fantasy/weird-fiction legend Michael Moorcock in almost ten years. And its subject appears to be ... Michael Moorcock. In his first full novel in almost ten years, Michael Moorcock returns to the city of his childhood and one of his most successful recurring themes: London," states the Gollancz announcement . "The Whispering Swarm follows a young man called Michael Moorcock. Part-autobiography, part-story, in The Whispering Swarm, Moorcock mixes elements of...

Leeds Central Library hosts Hogwarts
February 17, 2015 | 10:25 am

In an event that recalls the grand relocation of Beauxbatons Academy and Durmstrang Institute; at the beginning of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, "Hogwarts comes to Central Library" in Leeds on February 17th, in time for the UK schools half term. "Experience something magical at Central Library this half term," says the announcement. "Join us for a Harry Potter themed afternoon where you will take a trip around this historical building and explore its creepy corridors. Learn to brew potions and play Quidditch with some very special guests." Leeds Central Library, with its Grade II listed building status and late...

The Spectral Book of Horror Stories Vol. 2 open – submit if you dare!
February 16, 2015 | 6:25 pm

The first Spectral Book of Horror Stories, from independent UK publisher Spectral Press, was a particularly fine compilation of the juiciest, goriest modern horror story writing, with an explicit objective from the editor, Mark Morris, "to become a watchword for genre excellence." Judging by the acclaim the first volume received, The Spectral Book of Horror Stories series looks well on course to do just that. And now the second volume is open for submission - to all comers. Mark Morris is calling an open submission window until June 30th, with no specified length (though 2000-8000 words is optimal, with payment only...

Folio Prize shortlist announced
February 11, 2015 | 2:25 pm

The UK's Folio Prize, which claims to be "the first major English language book prize open to writers from around the world," has just announced its shortlist for the 2015 prize. The eight titles on the shortlist are selected by The Folio Prize Academy, "an international group of people, primarily writers and critics, who are immersed in the world of books," which also supplies the five judges for this year's prize. "Sponsored by The Folio Society, celebrated publisher of beautiful editions of the world’s greatest books, the prize recognises the best English-language fiction from around the world, regardless of form, genre...

National Libraries Day cites decline in UK libraries
February 11, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The UK's National Libraries Day on February 7th passed off with some sad testaments to the protracted collapse of the British library sector, as well as events and statements in favor and defense of libraries from across the country. As children's author Cathy Cassidy says on the National Libraries Day blog, "sadly, many of us no longer have a local library to visit or celebrate. Over 300 libraries have closed in the UK in the last four years; hundreds more have been passed out of council control and into the hands of private ‘partners’ or community volunteers. With promises that the next...

Quick Reads finds snack-reading between meals can refresh the synapses other opiates can’t reach
February 6, 2015 | 12:25 pm

UK reading advocacy program Quick Reads - operating in partnership with Galaxy Chocolate - has shared a new research study revealing "that those who read for just 30 minutes per week are 20% more likely to be satisfied with their lives." Dr. Josie Billington at The University of Liverpool produced research to help demonstrate that "readers are 21% less likely to report feelings of depression and 10% more likely to report good self-esteem versus non-readers, equipping them with a greater ability to cope with everyday life." The research has been produced in conjunction with the release of the 2015 Galaxy® Quick Reads’...

Alan Turing legacy dug out of a loft
February 5, 2015 | 2:25 pm

Ebooks, the internet, computing, and just about everything else in modern digital technology owe their existence in anything like their current form ultimately to Alan Turing. So it's a significant event when some of his original, undiscovered documents are unearthed - even if they've been used as cavity loft insulation. This is what happened in the course of restoration of Bletchley Park, Britain's codebreaking center where Alan Turing worked during World War 2. The documents found were reportedly "Banbury sheets," a type of codebreaking key developed by Turing to help crack the Nazi Enigma code. They were found being used to stuff...

The grave of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
February 5, 2015 | 12:27 pm

IMG_20150203_154239 Ironically for one of Edinburgh's favorite sons, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle lies buried in the churchyard of All Saints' Church, Minstead, in Hampshire's New Forest - almost as far due south from Edinburgh as it's possible to be while still on the English mainland. However, Minstead does appear prominently in his writing, and there's a tale attached to his final resting place too. Minstead figures heavily in Conan Doyle's historical novel of England during the Hundred Years War, The White Company, where the hero, Alleyne Edricson, ends the tale as socman (landlord) of Minstead. Conan Doyle had discovered the place while researching...