News

Chipping Norton festival offers profit share to authors

This is an interesting idea and one that, as the VWC Get Writing Conference organiser, I think we could perhaps consider ourselves. I'd love to hear the views of other members.
MHB

Article by Sarah Shaffi: The Bookseller.
Original article here.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival is to split its profits with authors in lieu of paying appearance fees.

The festival, which began in 2012, has previously offered to pay authors their accommodation and travel expenses, but not an additional fee. From 2015 it will continue to pay accommodation/travel but will also offer a "co-operative" profit share arrangement.

The news was announced at an event at The Club at The Ivy in London earlier this evening (7th July).

The 2014 festival had profits in excess of £10,000, festival director Clare Mackintosh (pictured) told The Bookseller. Had a profit share scheme been in operation for this year's festival, all authors would have been paid between £100 and £150 apiece.

Mackintosh said paying authors for appearances was "the ethical thing to do", with the profit-share scheme placing "authors at the heart of the festival". The arrangement means "author fees will grow in direct proportion to the success of the festival".

Mackintosh said: "The issue of author fees is both contentious and important. Ever since the festival began we have been working towards a point where we would be able to financially recognise the work authors put into their appearances, and we're delighted to have reached that stage within such a short time.

"A literary festival is far greater than the sum of its parts, and it's important to us that each and every author is rewarded for their contribution.

"We want authors to feel invested in ChipLitFest, and we love it when we see authors promoting each other's events and sharing details of the festival with their own audiences. What better way to reward them for their effort than to split our profits with them?"

Crime author Val McDermid called the profit-share model "exciting and radical, with everyone equally invested in the success of the festival".

Writer Mark Billingham called the scheme a "unique and wonderful step forward", adding:"It will be hugely welcomed by authors and should make some far bigger festivals look to their laurels."

Veronica Henry called the profit-share model "perfect" and said: "The fact that ChipLitFest is addressing the issue of writers' fees so seriously is a further indication they have their priorities exactly right."

The new arrangement will come into force from next year's festival, being held from 23rd to 26th April. Fees will be paid once expenses for 2015's festival have been accounted for.

Chipping Norton Literary Festival is run by volunteers. Mackintosh is a former police officer whose first novel will be published by Sphere this autumn, and the festival's board of trustees is chaired by Martin Neild, former chief executive of Hodder & Stoughton, and consultant to the Hachette Group.

Rowling writes story about 30-plus Harry Potter

By Caroline Carpenter.
Published in The Bookseller 8th July 2014.
Original link can be found here.

J K Rowling has written a new piece about a thirty-something Harry Potter and his friends at the final of the Quidditch World Cup 2014 for her website Pottermore.com.

The 1,500-word long piece is being posted on the site today (8th July).

The story marks the first time Rowling has portrayed the characters as adults with careers and families since the epilogue of the final book in the Harry Potter series.

Rowling has written the article from the perspective of her character Rita Skeeter, gossip journalist of the wizarding world's newspaper, the Daily Prophet, whom Harry has encountered before in the books. It concludes a series of match reports and articles about the imaginary wizarding sport's World Cup written by the author for Pottermore.

In the article, Harry, now turning 34, has "threads of silver" in his black hair, and also sports a mysterious cut over his cheekbone, which Skeeter deduces has been inflicted as part of his top-secret career as an Auror, a specialist officer trained to apprehend evil wizards.

The career of his friend Ron Weasley, whose "famous ginger hair appears to be thinning slightly", is also examined by Skeeter. Their wives Ginny and Hermione, their children, and their friends, Luna Lovegood and Neville Longbottom, are all featured in the article.

Despite the departure, Rowling's spokesperson said the author had "no plans" to write any further stories about the older Harry.

Rowling has been writing about Quidditch for Pottermore since March 2014. Her final Quidditch World Cup article for Pottermore will be published on 11th July and will be a report on the final between Brazil and Bulgaria, echoing the FIFA World Cup Final in Brazil two days later.

Ghost Stories wanted for The Ghastling

This new ghost story magazine is a modern Penny Dreadful seeking submissions of strange and macabre stories.

Ghost stories up to 3,500 words that chill, shiver, surprise and horrify are invited, as well as creepy illustrations and animations, for the multimedia magazine.

The Ghastling: Book of Ghosts and Ghouls, which is edited by Rebecca Parfitt, is looking for work in the vein of M.R. James, Charles Dickens, Edgar Allen Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Jeanette Winterson and Sarah Waters. It is not interested in Twilight-type paranormal romance and prefers psychological hauntings to gore.

Issue One is available to read online.

Submit by This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Determined to make books work somehow.....

After a career in the City, Sarah Henshaw gave up her job as a journalist in London and, in June 2009, bought a narrow boat and fitted it out as a book shop called The Book Barge.

It started well but was a victim of the recession and also from the aggressive competition from on-line retailers of books, and the business hit trouble.

But apparently determined that books were going to be her future, Sarah has now published a book about her time on Britain's canals called 'The
Bookshop That Floated Away'.
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