We’re tackling the B word. Brexit.
We’ve assembled a cross-industry panel to look at what effects on the publishing industry we’ve already witnessed since the UK voted to leave the EU in June, tracking some of the current consequences and look to consider the future possibilities yet to raise their head. It often seems like doom and gloom, but we’re also hoping to encourage positive thinking and find some opportunity in this unsettling and uncertain predicament.
We’ll look at how the publishing industry can examine some of the causes behind the vote and how it can work to bring voices of unity and not separation to the public.
Alby Grainger – Little Shop of Heroes
After 20 years of retail management in the entertainment retail sector, Alby opened his independent, family-controlled comic store with the aim of promoting reading to all ages. Little Shop of Heroes actively supports the comic industry’s Raise a Reader campaign and strives to break down gender stereotypes. Alby also organises Dunfermline Comic Con, a not-for-profit venture to promote comics, the writers, artists and all of the creatives involved in their production.
Derek Kenney – Bell & Bain
Derek has worked in the printing industry virtually all his working life barring a brief spell in the military. He has held various senior sales, technical and executive positions including Graphic Enterprise Scotland and 17 years at solutions provider Heidelberg. Now Director Designate at UK’s leading dedicated book & journal printer Bell & Bain for the last 3 years with the aim to make them the “best of the best”, he is passionate about print and books in particular! “Anything that gets people reading is a good thing” is his motto.
Gráinne Clear – Little Island
Gráinne Clear works as Publishing Manager and Art Director for Little Island Books, an independent children’s publisher based in Dublin. She is responsible for editorial, design and publicity, as well as the many other things that keep a small publisher ticking over. After completing an MPhil in Children’s Literature in Trinity College Dublin, she wrote and presented two children’s literature series for RTE Radio, became president of IBBY Ireland and a board member of Publishing Ireland. Gráinne also works as a freelance storyteller for children and adults.
Janet Archer – Creative Scotland
Janet took up her post at Creative Scotland in July 2013. Since that time she has appointed a new senior leadership team and produced a long term plan for the arts, screen and creative industries in Scotland ‘Unlocking Potential, Embracing Ambition’. Alongside this she has simplified Creative Scotland’s approach to funding and begun implementing a new People Strategy for the organisation.
Prior to joining Creative Scotland, Janet spent 6 years at Arts Council England as Director, Dance, working as part of the national arts strategy team, and spent 16 years with the Newcastle-based National Dance Agency, Dance City as Chief Executive and Artistic Director.
Janet’s work in Scotland includes chairing the artist-led organisation The Work Room based in Glasgow, supporting the British Council in programming their showcases in Edinburgh and as a former dancer, choreographer, founder and Artistic Director of the Nexus Dance, touring into Scotland as well as attending the Scottish Youth Dance Festivals held in Stirling in the 1980s. She is an award winning performer who won the first Cosmopolitan Dancer of the Year Award in 1981.
Timothy Wright – Edinburgh University Press
Timothy Wright has been Chief Executive of Edinburgh University Press since 1998 having spent twelve years in a variety of sales and marketing roles with the Longman Publishing Group, formerly a division of Pearson PLC, owners of the Financial Times. He moved to Edinburgh in 1994 as Sales Director of Churchill Livingstone medical publishers – a division of the Longman Group – where he was responsible for worldwide sales for both the UK and the US Companies. Following the sale of Churchill Livingstone to Harcourt in 1998 he faced a choice of returning to corporate life or remaining in Scotland and taking on the challenge of running a small business – hence his decision to join Edinburgh University Press, a wholly owned subsidiary of Edinburgh University.
Timothy has served as Chairman of the Europe Working Party of the UK Publishers Association and from 2000 until 2003 was Chairman of the Scottish Publishers Association (now Publishing Scotland). A former board member of the Independent Publishers Guild he was Chairman from 2006 until 2008. He was a member of Council of the UK Publishers Association from 2008-2010 and until this year was a board member of their Academic and Professional Division. He was vice chairman of The Book Trade Charity (BTBS) from 2009-2016. He was elected to the Publishing Scotland board this year for a second three-year term.