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Posts tagged United Kingdom

Arvon job ad hints at new UK creative writing platform
May 18, 2015 | 10:25 am

arvon-logoAn online job ad posted by UK creative writing charity Arvon, "renowned for its residential creative writing courses for schools, groups and individuals," points to an interesting new creative writing platform in the UK. The ad is for a Digital Communications Officer "to assist in the delivery of a major new digital project for Arvon, an online resource section about the craft of writing, with premium content for members, and a new Tumblr website that highlights writing expertise across the web." The ad continues: "The principles of the programme are about opening up access to opportunities in the arts, and talent...

British Academy Literature Week gets seriously fey
May 15, 2015 | 4:25 pm

14209  The British Academy Literature Week 2015, now under way, is offering a program heavily weighted towards fairy tales, ghost stories, fantasies, folk myths, and other deliciously imaginative genres. The British Academy, "the UK's expert body that supports and speaks for the humanities and social sciences – that rich variety of disciplines that study peoples, cultures and societies, past, present and future," and "funds research across the UK and in other parts of the world, in disciplines ranging from archaeology to economics, from psychology to history, and from literature to law," has put together a schedule including "Other Worlds... after dark,"...

Spectral Press produces probably the best small press big rig EVAH…
May 9, 2015 | 10:25 am

Spectral Press truck 2 Independent UK horror and dark/weird fiction publisher Spectral Press, producers of the very wonderful Spectral Book of Horror Stories series, as well as works by Stephen Volk and other crepuscular luminaries, has obviously gone for the logistics option to match its resources - but not its ambitions. Yes, it's a 1:87th scale truck, branded with full Spectral Press livery. Simon Marshall-Jones, founding publisher and editor of Spectral Press, says he was looking for a different kind of desk ornament, and contacted Code 3 Models, who produced the bespoke rig. Personally, I'd go for one of these over a promo t-shirt any...

Comcast’s Fifty Shades of Grey shows why UK should bring back spanking
May 6, 2015 | 3:09 pm

The UK is in the midst of a widely aired but undemocratically executed crackdown on "porn" - and I quote-mark that because we're talking about things as innocuous as spanking scenes. And as the tempestuous, stormy, steamy UK election debate unfolds, bear in mind that this is a practice that some sitting UK representatives feel should be reintroduced in British schools, but banned from British screens, be they TV or PC. So, I guess, in the world-view of someone like UKIP MEP Bill Etheridge, anyone wanting to get their jollies off on spankings should head down to their local place of...

UK Green Party digs itself in deeper over copyright
April 28, 2015 | 2:25 pm

In response to the earlier outcry from writers and other creatives against the UK Green Party's apparent proposal to reduce the duration of copyright to just 14 years - with also some initial ambiguity over whether this was 14 years after the creator's death or 14 years after the work's first appearance - the Greens have released a communique on their party website that only appears to make things worse. The UK Society of Authors said in response to the original furore: Our stance is that copyright needs ‎strengthening, not weakening. Authors and other creators make their livelihood from their intellectual creations and...

UK Green Party copyright limit proposal repels authors, artists
April 27, 2015 | 10:25 am

The UK Green Party, with just two weeks to go to the General Election, appears to have screwed its support with one influential constituency, writers and artists, through an ill-founded and poorly discussed policy proposal on copyright terms. The draft commitment to press for a shorter copyright term of just 14 years - versus the current UK norm of 70 years after the death of the author - apparently caught the entire creative community by surprise, and provoked a backlash when it did break cover. First tweeted by UK author Linda Grant (see the illustration), the Green Party proposal, with "to reduce the...

Society of Authors head speaks to Teleread on ALCS author earnings report
April 24, 2015 | 8:15 am

Following my earlier coverage of the latest Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS) study on writers’ earnings and contractual terms, “The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings and Contracts,” I contacted the ALCS, the UK Publishers Association, and the Society of Authors for their reactions. Nicola Solomon, Chief Executive of the Society of Authors, was first to reply, as follows: Teleread: The ALCS numbers show author incomes in a state of continuous decline at a time when the UK publishing industry appears to be enjoying great success. Why is this? Nicola Solomon: While it has always been the case that a handful of...

New ALCS survey finds UK authors’ incomes have only gotten worse
April 22, 2015 | 10:25 am

ALCSFollowing its previous survey of the income and work prospects of UK professional authors, entitled "What Are Words Worth?", the Authors’ Licensing & Collecting Society (ALCS), Britain’s central clearing house for authors’ rights and payments, has released a fresh study based on 2014 data for writers' earnings and contractual terms, rather than 2013 data. The survey, "The Business of Being an Author: A Survey of Author’s Earnings and Contracts," found, as the BBC highlighted, that UK author incomes are "at breaking point." The survey, conducted with Queen Mary College in the University of London, which as the ALCS correctly states, "is one of...

Do bookshops, publishers cheat readers?
April 16, 2015 | 4:25 pm

Author David Nicholls's keynote speech at the London Book Fair Digital Minds Conference appears to have been garnering quite a bit of ridicule, as well as attention, for his claim that showrooming is just a “genteel form of shoplifting.” And far be it from me to hold back. So here's an equally infantile but just as provocative counter-claim: Publishers, and to a lesser extent bookshops, are in a conspiracy to systematically cheat their customers. How? By repackaging their own legitimate birthright and selling it back to them, at a level of profit dictated only by production costs and how much...

London Book Fair Excellence Awards showcase industriousness of an industrious industry
April 16, 2015 | 12:25 pm

The London Book Fair has just issued a press release detailing its London Book Fair International Excellence Awards, given in association with The Publishers Association. And despite some very worthwhile and well-deserved commemorations, there was plenty of industry-focused industrious talking up of what an industrial industry publishing is in the UK. That's In Da Dust Try, just in case the current government's ears didn't happen to catch the loud soundbites of the chief dignitaries. In fact, Jack Thomas, Director, The London Book Fair, said: “In the last few years, we have seen the rise and rise of international publishing and it...

UK publishers boast big bucks – authors scrabble for crumbs
April 2, 2015 | 11:20 am

The UK publishing industry appears to be in rude (or at least, moderately insulting) good health, according to figures from the Nielsen conference BookInsights, quoted in Publishing Perspectives and The Bookseller. The Nielsen numbers cited by Steve Bohme, UK Consumer Research Director at Nielsen Book, indicate that unit sales in the UK are pretty steady at 311 million units, with a 4 percent increase in spend per book, leading to an aggregate UK consumer book market of £2.2 billion ($3.26 billion). Bohme also said that ebook aggregate market share now stands at around 30 percent in the UK, although bricks-and-mortar bookstores...

Two cheers for World Book Day?
March 5, 2015 | 10:25 am

I shouldn't be remotely snarky about the UK World Book Day, perhaps. After all, any initiative that promotes books and reading in a country whose literacy and reading levels besmirch its cultural and economic status is welcome. "Thanks to National Book Tokens and lots of lovely book publishers and booksellers, World Book Day, in partnership with schools all over the country, will be distributing more than 14 million £1 World Book Day book tokens to children (that’s almost one for every child/young person under 18 in the UK and Ireland)," says the site. Fine, but why not books for adults? And...

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