Our February blog focuses on our spring events programme, organised specifically for members and associates of the Society. It is written by our Communications Manager, Anna Ganley.
Coming out of the wettest January on record I think we all need something to look forward to. So I hope you feel a warm glow of anticipation when you read about the many exciting events we’ve lined up especially for our members and associates. From two very affordable one-day conferences with schedules just brimming with industry professionals, to a new series of Writers In Conversation talks featuring our Council and other stars of the profession discussing the business of writing - I hope you feel there is something for you.
Our first treat of the year was on Wednesday 5 February, when we had the opening talk in our new Writers In Conversation Series. Two grandes dames of children’s literature, Judith Kerr and Shirley Hughes, talked to a sell-out SoA crowd about their writing careers. And what a rare treat it was! If you didn’t manage to bag yourself a ticket for this event, look out for the video of the talk in the members' area of this website (coming soon), and be quick to buy your ticket, when booking opens for the rest of the series of talks throughout 2014. Just as the first talk, I imagine the rest of the series will be immensely popular.
As part of the First World War Centenary, we are joining together with the British Library on Monday 24 February to co-host a masterclass for writers wanting to use original source material relating to the Great War in their work. The historian, Saul David, and novelist, Elizabeth Speller, will be joined by our own expert in Intellectual Property, Nicola Solomon, and Library Collections expert, Jamie Andrews, Head of English and Drama at the British Library, to discuss the opportunities and challenges in using and re-using collection materials. If you're interested in the Great War, you can also read about our members' books published to commemorate the centenary of the First World War by clicking here.
We march into spring with our one-day Design and Digital Conference which is taking place on Wednesday 19 March at the Amnesty International Human Rights Action Centre in Shoreditch. It's for all writers - not just those who are tech-savvy. So, if you interested in the basics of what makes good book design or if you'd like to find out more new opportunities for writers online, then book your ticket now.
Speakers at the conference include Damian Horner from Fixabook, and designers Jon Gray (Gray318.com), Claire Mason (FlushLeft Design) and David Pearson (Pushkin Press), who will discuss the changing nature of book design in the digital age. The afternoon sessions will address the myriad possibilities offered to writers by new media in the internet age including: how writers can combine film, stories, animations, blogs, images, words and ideas to bring a whole new meaning to the concept of literature. They will explain how to find the right people to work with and how to get digital literature projects off the ground.
Kristen Harrison (who runs our popular website and social media surgeries) will talk about digital communication strategies; Kjell Eldor, one of The Bookseller's Rising Stars, will discuss digital publishing from the publisher's perspective; Sophie Rochester, co-founder of the Literary Platform and Fiction Uncovered – an ongoing programme dedicated to celebrating British fiction writers – will discuss digital opportunities for writers.
Moving on to the app market, James Huggins of Made in Me will explain how new digital technologies, mobile devices in particular, are creating exciting new possibilities for designers, illustrators and authors. And finally, Brian Baglow, director of the Scottish Games Network, will tell us about the exciting opportunities available for the 'interactive author' in this new digital age. A packed day of talks discussing all things digital – I do hope you can join us!
As the weather warms, we look towards our Marketing and Publicity Conference to be held in Bristol on Wednesday 25 June. At this second one-day conference we hope to provide inspiration and practical tips to help drive your book sales and engage your readers in an increasingly competitive market. From practical talks on giving tv and radio interviews, real life appearances and using social media to your best advantage, to talks about Amazon and publicity, the different approaches for selling fiction and non-fiction and the publicity process for the big titles, we hope to be able to equip you with the knowledge you need to sell more copies of your books. We'll notify members when the programme has been finalised, so for now, save the date in your diary.
I'll sign off by saying that these are only some of the events we've lined up for our spring programme, so I recommend you check our full events listings to see if there’s anything else for you to look forward to this winter.