I write this post with a heavy heart after a lot of introspection and many discussions with friends and colleagues. After three and a half years, though, twenty months of which have been spent in a pandemic, I – like many others – am making decisions that I didn’t expect to be making. Some of those decisions are about work, which subsequently means they’re also about my role at Sabotage Reviews.
At this risk of writing a resignation that challenges War and Peace, I’ll cut to it: The Saboteur Awards Festival 2022 will, if all goes to plan, be my last. After that, I hope to step down and hand the reigns over to a new Director – to add more festivals, more publications, and more diversity to the Sabotage legacy.
When I say the search begins for a new Director, a fairer assessment would be that the search is on for an Assistant Director. My hope is that recruitment will start now for someone to join Sabotage in an Assistant’s capacity, so they can work alongside me between now and the close of the 2022 festival. This will allow for many, many meetings, alongside first-hand experience of completing an ACE application, a call for festival applications, and other associated management concerns. So that when I do leave, I will be leaving the new Director – starting from June 2022 – with some useful knowledge about how the festival has been run to date, for them to add into their own intentions for the organisation.
So, what does being the Director involve?
Your main duties would be as follows:
- Planning for the future, from one-off projects to long-term ones, including through fundraising efforts
- Supporting the editors with their work
- Helping to recruit more reviewers and editors
- General website maintenance
- Staying informed of trends and projects taking place in indie literature
- Being the first port of call for enquiries
- Fundraising for the awards and managing any sponsorship and/or partner relationships, this typically includes applications for funding from awarding bodies such as Arts Council England
- Volunteer management, which includes recruitment beforehand and management on the day
- Project managing the event and delegating roles where appropriate
- Collaboration with artists and organisations
- Managing the voting system
- Corresponding with artists shortlisted or involved in the event
- Social media and marketing for each work shortlisted, with support from the Social Media Manager
- Knowledge and passion for the indie literature scene
- Basic website skills, particularly WordPress
- Project management experience
- Event management experience
- Fundraising or bid application experience
The above management would be a collaborative role between now and June 2022, to try to avoid a new Director feeling thrown in at any deep ends. It is an awful lot of work, it has to be said, but with an excellent pay-off as well which makes it very much worthwhile. I can’t underscore enough the fact that I am actually very sad to be stepping down, but there are other projects and commitments that have to take priority, and Sabotage Reviews deserves a Director (or even Directors, should the role go to two people) that can help it to bloom and grow further.
It should be noted the position(s) are entirely voluntary and work-from-home. I’m especially interested in applications from individuals from under-represented backgrounds, so please feel free to mark this in your application if that’s the case. I welcome all and any questions about this, too, for anyone who is tentatively interested in the position but seeking more information. You’re welcome to contact me at [email protected].
I’d like to take this opportunity – although I’m sure there will be more along the way – to thank everyone who I have worked with during my time at Sabotage, and to those who have supported me in this role. I do hope our paths will cross again on the next adventure, whatever it may be.