After a week of counting votes and sending emails, we’ve finally been able to turn our attention from shortlists to programme details. We received many applications from people who wanted to be a part of our Birmingham event this year. It was very encouraging to have such an enthusiastic response to our festival call-out, so a big thank you to everyone who took the time to get in touch.
After careful consideration, we decided to bring back a blend of old and new to make up a day of workshops and panels. So for the daytime event, which will take place at Impact Hub Birmingham on May 18th, the events will run as follows:
10:00-11:00am Starting a small press, a workshop run by Daniel Davis Wood.
This workshop is aimed at participants who are interested in the details of starting an independent publishing initiative, whether as a single-person venture or a small co-operative enterprise. It is an open workshop with no prerequisites, although attendees should have some idea of what they would like to publish and also an idea of how much spare time is available to them after they have met their existing commitments (work, family time, etc.).
11:15am-12:45pm Writing short stories for magazines and beyond, a panel run by Charlie Hill and Ruby Cowling.
This session is not about the craft of writing itself, but the practical next steps: how to decide where to send your work, how to put together submissions and keep track of them, dealing with rejection, and working towards a collection. With the number and variety of magazines and journals looking to publish short stories today, there has never been a better time to send out your work. Ruby Cowling and Charlie Hill – who between them have published more than 60 stories and 2 collections and seen and heard their work in settings such as art galleries, national embassies and pubs – will guide you through the dos and don’ts.
1:00-2:00pm The Poetry of Trees, a workshop run by Jade Cuttle.
Did you know that if you stethoscope a tree, you can hear the hum of its heartbeat shivering down each sinewy spine? In this immersive woodland inspired workshop, attendees will create work inspired by the fascinating links between trees and humans. We investigate everything from the sinewy ropes of the silk-cotton tree, to the living root bridge that can survive for centuries, cupping puddles in its palm. My writing prompts are used in parallel to an interactive video presentation with virtual walks through woodland to enhance inspiration during the individual writing time, and forge our connection to nature further.
2:30-3:30pm Poetry Film: The Power of Collaboration, a panel run by Lucy English, Helen Dewberry, and Sarah Tremlett.
This panel investigates the rapidly growing genre of poetry film, and how it is expanding through social media sharing and poetry film making workshops. Spoken word poet Lucy English, and film makers Helen Dewbery and Sarah Tremett, discuss the collaborative process in the creation ofThe Book of Hours and share some of the challenges and benefits of cross genre art forms. .
The Book of Hours was created by spoken word poet, Lucy English and 27 collaborators from Europe, America and Australia. The Book of Hours is a re-imagining of a medieval book of hours and contains 48 poetry films. The project has been twice longlisted for the Sabotage Awards and was shortlisted for the New Media Writing Prize. Individual films have been screened at a variety of international short film festivals.
4:00-5:00pm Independent publishing elsewhere, a panel run by the Northern Fiction Alliance.
This panel discusses the publishing opportunities available outside of London. Made up of three editors from the Northern Fiction Alliance, all of whom are currently working and publishing in the North of England, this panel aims to open up a discuss about the realities of publishing outside of the capital.
The Northern Fiction Alliance is made up of eleven different publishers, including the likes of Dead Ink, And Other Stories, Tilted Axis, and more. This panel follows their 8-point letter that was delivered at the last London Book Fair – an address that was covered by BBC News, as well as other outlets – and it will look at London-centric publishing in an honest new light.
This day of literary excitement will be followed by the official Saboteur Awards ceremony in the evening, which will take place at Fazeley Studios. An expected running order for the awards themselves will follow shortly.
If you would like to purchase tickets for the daytime, evening, or both sets of events, you can find ticketing information now on our Eventbrite page.
If anyone has any questions about the events or the ticketing for any events, please contact Charley by emailing [email protected].