07 February 2013
Posted in Books and Poetry
John Morrison presents his guide to book festival etiquette (with apologies to Emily Post)
Let’s call her Arabella. She is young, well-spoken, has an upper second in English from a leading university, and works in the publicity department of Fudgwick and Brittle, once a leading independent London publisher, now part of a giant international conglomerate.
You are an underpaid author, whose new biography of the famous 18th century courtesan twins, Sally and Polly Tickler, has just had a warm review in the Telegraph. Your phone rings.
‘Hi. It’s Arabella Toplofty from Fudgwick and Brittle. We’ve had a bid from a book festival in Lower Sneezing. Are you free to do a Tickler twins event in the first week of October? You are? That’s brilliant. Don’t worry about a thing – I’ll make all the arrangements.’
I’ll make all the arrangements. It’s the kind of thing J K Rowling hears from her publisher every day. You’re flattered. You can relax. Everything will be taken care of. Arabella…what a lovely name…
You have just made a terrible mistake.
The First Rule – A Danger To Be Avoided
The first rule of book festival etiquette is to bypass Arabella Toplofty. If you are an author, insist on making all arrangements directly with your hosts in Lower Sneezing.
A chaperone from the publishers’ PR department, however well-intentioned, will probably muddle up the dates and times, put you on the wrong train, or fail to forward your emails. Leave Arabella to file her nails.
The same principle applies if you are running a book festival and inviting authors. Send a booking form for the author (not Arabella) to fill in and return by email. Write in the exact date and time of the event, the fee (if any), the contact details of the person who will meet the author and host the event, and how to claim travel expenses. Ask the author to provide his or her postal address, home and mobile telephone numbers, and a list of technical requirements.
08 February 2013
Posted in Radio
Revised submission deadline: Wednesday 10 July 2013. Revised transmission period: 31 July 2012 until 31 October 2013
The Imison Award - £1,500
We would like to offer our congratulations to the 2012 winner Do You Like Banana, Comrade? by Csaba Székely, produced by Marion Nancarrow, Radio Drama London for Radio 4. Listen again on Radio 4, 2.15pm on Wednesday 20th February. Read more about the 2012 Imsion. Read more about the BBC Audio Awards.
The Imison Award encourages new talent by rewarding the best original radio drama script by a writer new to radio. The work must have been broadcast in the UK from 31 July 2012 until 31 October 2013 and be the first dramatic work by the writer(s) that has been broadcast. When submitting 15-minute episodes from a series or serial we will require consecutive episodes (including the first episode) to make up at least 45 minutes. An adaptation for radio of a piece originally written for another medium will not be eligible. There is no entry-fee and submissions are accepted from any nominating party. Submissions must consist of:
- A completed nomination form;
- Three copies of the writer's original script and a CD of the broadcast (further copies may be requested)
- Aupporting statement, synopsis and author biography (no more than 250 words each - please email to Jo)
The prize is judged by the Broadcasting Committee of the Society of Authors. We are grateful to the Peggy Ramsay Foundation for donating the prize money. Read Alison Joseph’s views on the judging process.