Scottish Poetry Library reopens
Edinburgh’s Scottish Poetry Library reopened on Thursday 29th October after an ‘extensive’ £380,000 renovation.
The cabinet secretary for Europe, culture and external affairs, Fiona Hyslop, officially opened the library alongside the National Poet of Scotland, Liz Lochhead, on Wednesday 28th October.
The organisers said: “At a time when libraries are seen to be under threat, the Scottish Poetry Library has taken the characteristically bold step of expanding its space and facilities.”
The renovation cost £380,000, pooled from funding from Creative Scotland, charities and donations from the public. The new-look building will provide more space for books to cater for the 45,000 items stocked at the library. It will also feature a new, soundproofed space so that “sound and silence can co-exist in the library”, a recording space, more places to read and work and a ‘Sound Lounge’, for listening to recorded poetry.
Read more about the reopening here.
Amina Shah appointed as Scottish Book Trust’s new director of programme
SLIC c.e.o Amina Shah was appointed as Scottish Book Trust’s new director of programme on Thursday 29th October.
The director of programme is a key post at the national charity promoting literacy and a diverse reading and writing community in Scotland. Working with the c.e.o. as part of the senior management team, Shah will help to shape the strategic direction of Scottish Book Trust as a whole, as well as leading on the development of all Scottish Book Trust’s programmes.
Read more about Shah and the SBT here.
Blloon confirms closure but considers ‘complete pivot’
Blloon has confirmed that following a series of talks on Friday (30th October) the subscription service will close.
However, the platform’s founder Thomas Leliveld told The Bookseller the company was currently evaluating the “different strategic options we have at our disposal” and said as a consequence the company will not shut down.
He said: “After several talks today (30th October), it has been concluded that the service as is (ie the unlimited subscription service) will be discontinued for our users. However it was also decided to further evaluate the different strategic options we have at our disposal and as consequence the company will not shut down.”
He added: “These options include a sale, partnership or complete pivot.”
Lelivled said the Blloon website intended to communicate this message to its users soon.
A post on the platform’s website said the company was reviewing its options of how to make Blloon “rise again”.
Read more here.
Spooks are my bag
Publishers and booksellers were treating customers to a range of tricky competitions and ghoulishly-themed promotions for Halloween.
Waterstones has said Halloween is an “integral” part of its half-term offering and publisher Faber is running a 25%-off promotion on selected titles from its website to mark the spooky day.
Go to The Bookseller to find out what HarperCollins, Orion, Penguin Random House, Sceptre & and more were doing for Halloween promotion.
Colin MacIntyre wins 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival First Book Award
Scottish author Colin MacIntyre was today announced as the winner of the 2015 Edinburgh International Book Festival’s First Book Award with his debut novel The Letters of Ivor Punch, published by Weidenfeld & Nicolson. MacIntyre, who is no stranger to storytelling having risen to fame as the singer and musician who performs as Mull Historical Society, drew on his childhood roots setting his first published novel, which is a beguiling tale of secrets and sadness with a keen sense of place, on a remote Hebridean island.
Read more about the winner and award here.
Audiobooks from Canongate Faber, Hachette, HarperCollins, Pan Macmillan, Whole Story Audiobooks, Penguin Random House, Naxos, and Audible Studios have been shortlisted for the inaugural FutureBook Audiobook Awards, to be presented at the end of The Bookseller’s FutureBook Conference (4th December).
Penguin Random House and Audible Studios have the most number of entries, with PRH’s The Girl on the Train, Go Set a Watchman, and More Fool Me shortlisted alongside Audible’s new dramatisation of The Jungle Book: The Mowgli Stories, So You’ve Been Publicly Shamed, and The Collectors.
Canongate Faber has two titles shortlisted, The Spire and The Bell Jar (the latter narrated by actor Maggie Gyllenhaal), along with Hachette, which has Tipping the Velvet selected as well as The Churchill Factor. Pan Macmillan also has two titles listed, Poldark, Book 1, and Yes Please (written and narrated by Amy Poehler). Awful Auntie (published by HarperCollins), and winner of a National Book Awards Audiobook of the Year, is also shortlisted.
See more info about the award here.
Neil Gaiman short stories to be adapted for UK TV
A collection of Neil Gaiman’s short stories are being adapted for a four-part television series which will air on U.K. satellite channel Sky Arts.
Sid Gentle Films, an independent production company founded by Sally Woodward Gentle in 2013, is producing the series which will be called Likely Stories.
More info here.
1,300 readers needed for 60 hour live read through of War and Peace
Sputnik News announced that readers worldwide will have the opportunity to participate in Russia’s “unparalleled project” of a live reading of Count Leo Tolstoy’s epic masterpieceWar and Peace.
The All-Russia State Television and Radio Broadcasting Company (VGTRK) hopes to enlist 1,300 readers from 30 cities from around the world in celebration of what Russian President Vladimir Putin declared Russia’s “Year of Literature.”
According to the Russkiy Mir Foundation, the novel will be read by well-known Russian actors as well as staff from Russian TV and radio networks. Celebrities from the worlds of charity, sports, and science will also be asked to participate.
Read more about the read through here.