Libraries lose a quarter of staff as hundreds close
‘Almost 8,000 jobs in UK libraries have disappeared in six years, about a quarter of the overall total, an investigation by the BBC has revealed.
Over the same period, some 15,500 volunteers have been recruited and 343 libraries have closed, leading to fears over the future of the profession.
Children’s author Alan Gibbons said the public library service faced the “greatest crisis in its history”. The government said it funded the roll-out of wi-fi to help libraries adapt. The BBC has compiled data from 207 authorities responsible for running libraries through the Freedom of Information Act.’
Read more about the closures here.
Chris Brookmyre takes on Caledonian Challenge
‘Novelist Chris Brookmyre and three fellow crime writers are to embark on a 24-mile hike to raise money for charity as part of this year’s Caledonian Challenge.
The Caledonian Challenge is a charity event raising funds for Foundation Scotland, and this year is its 20th anniversary.
The author of novels including Quite Ugly One Morning, Dead Girl Walking and Black Widow (all published by Abacus), will be part of the team representing Bloody Scotland, the international crime writing festival which takes place every September in Stirling.
The Bloody Scotland Team will take on “The 24”, described as a “tough but achievable” 24-mile hike from Fort William to Glencoe, to mark the announcement of the 2016 programme. The team members will also include fellow crime writers Craig Robertson, Matt Bendoris and Doug Johnstone. The route will need to be completed in 24 hours.’
Read more about the walk here.
Bryson, Ness and Donaldson vie for IBW Book Award
Kate Atkinson, Bill Bryson and Mary Beard are among the authors competing in the adult category for the 10th IBW Book Award.
The longlists for the adult, children and picture book categories for the prize, voted for by independent booksellers ahead of Independent Bookseller Week (18th-25th June 2016), have been released today.
In the adult category, Kate Atkinson’s A God in Ruins, published by Black Swan, will go head-to-head with Bill Bryson’s The Road to Little Dribbling, also published by Black Swan. Anne Tyler’s A Spool of Blue Thread (Vintage) is also up for the prize, along with The Shepherd’s Life: A Tale of the Lake District by James Rebanks (Penguin), The Green Road by Anne Enright (Vintage), Mary Beard’s SPQR: A History of Ancient Rome (Profile Books) and The Man Who Made Things Out of Trees by Robert Penn (Penguin). Completing the adult contenders are The Invention of Nature: The Adventures of Alexander von Humboldt, the Lost Hero of Science by Andrea Wulf (John Murray), Costa-nominated The Loney by Andrew Michael Hurley (John Murray) and a A Place Called Winter by Patrick Gale (Tinder Press).
Read more about the longlist here.
Picture Hooks conference, April 23rd
‘Get the hang of illustrating Children’s Books. Leading children’s publishing experts and agents, together with award-winning illustrator Joel Stewart, offer insiders’ view of the industry.
Now in its third year, the Picture Hooks Conference gives illustrators the opportunity to hear from leading experts from the world of children’s publishing. Speakers include Andrea MacDonald, Executive Editor for Picture Books from Penguin Random House, and Tessa Strickland, co-founder and Editor-in-Chief at Barefoot Books.’
Read more and buy tickets for the conference here.
B&W’s Maskame up for Young Scot award
‘Black & White Publishing’s teenaged author Estelle Maskame is a finalist in the Sunday Mail Young Scot Awards 2016, in the arts category.
The Young Scot Awards, which launched in 2006, celebrates the “inspirational contributions of thousands of young Scots who have made a real difference to communities across Scotland”.
The winners will be announced at a VIP ceremony in Edinburgh on 27th April.’
Read more here.
First novels from former Blue Peter presenter, psychiatrist and blogger longlisted for Desmond Elliott Prize
‘The debut novel from former Blue Peter presenter Janet Ellis is included in the longlist for the ninth Desmond Elliott Prize, announced today, Friday 1st April. The Butcher’s Hook, written after Ellis attended a writing course run by literary agency Curtis Brown, is one of ten books to be longlisted for the Prize, cited as the “most prestigious award for first-time novelists” (Telegraph). Seven of the ten books are by women, up from a fifty-fifty split in 2015.
While the majority of the longlist have contemporary settings, several authors have placed their novels in the past: from the relatively recent 1970s suburbia of psychiatrist Joanna Cannon’s The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (already optioned for a television adaptation), to 1930s Norfolk as described in performance poet Tim Clare’s lyrical and inventive The Honours; from the Victorian peep-show of political and domestic revolution of 1870s England in Gavin McCrea’s Mrs Engels, to the Georgian London of Janet Ellis’s novel. McCrea is one of three writers from Ireland on the longlist, joined by blogger Lisa McInerney (The Glorious Heresies) and Sara Baume (Spill Simmer Falter Wither).’
Read more about the longlist here.
PA plans to recruit 10,000 ‘Reading Ambassadors’
‘The Publishers Association is urging members of the public to “share their love of reading” by volunteering to become Reading Ambassadors in their local communities. The PA intents to recruit 10,000 new volunteers by 2020.
The initiative is designed to encourage volunteers to undertake a range of activities to promote more reading for pleasure, from starting a book group to volunteering in a library. The PA will be taking its recruitment drive out to all parts of the country through a series of roadshows, including a number of literary festivals.’
Read more about the scheme here.