Revered punk-poet-musician Patti Smith released her first volume of memoir, Just Kids, in 2010. Focusing on her relationship with photographer Robert Mapplethorpe as the pair traversed the art world of 1970s New York City, the book was warmly received even outside of Smith’s expected fanbase, winning the National Book Award for non-fiction and placing on many best of 2010 lists. Now, Smith has announced a second volume, M Train, to be published in October of this year by Knopf.
Social Bite is, as the name suggests, a social enterprise: a chain of cafes selling soups and sandwiches, whose profits are given entirely to charitable causes. With two outlets apiece in Glasgow and Edinburgh, the business currently invests in Shelter Scotland, the Vision Eye Care Hospital in Bangladesh, the MicroLoan Foundation in Malawi and Zambia, and the STV Appeal. One in four of its staff are from homeless backgrounds and customers can ‘suspend’ coffee and food – pay for a meal that can later be given to a homeless person.
Next week’s London Book Fair is, for the first time, incorporating poetry, with its Poetry Pavilion space giving publishers of poetry a place to exhibit. To mark the occasion, the Fair and Inpress have joined forces to bestow the inaugural Poetry Pavilion Prize. The prize is open to anyone either attending the event, connected in any way with exhibitors or otherwise working in the international book trade.
The shortlist has been unveiled for the 2015 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize for Comic Fiction, pitting three debuting novelists (all of them women, incidentally) against three long-established authors (all of them men, incidentally). Competing for the prize this year are: Losing It by Helen Lederer; Fatty O’Leary’s Dinner Party by Alexander McCall Smith; How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran; The Dog by Joseph O’Neill; Men at the Helm by Nina Stibbe; and A Decent Ride by Irvine Welsh.
The Walter Scott Prize for Historical Fiction – which, just over a month ago, made its longlist public for the first time – has unveiled the shortlist for its 2015 award. Those initial fifteen titles have been cut back to seven: The Zone of Interest by Martin Amis; The Lie by Helen Dunmore; Viper Wine by Hermione Eyre; In the Wolf’s Mouth by Adam Foulds; Arctic Summer by Damon Galgut; A God in Every Stone by Kamila Shamsie; and The Ten Thousand Things by John Spurling.
Penguin has revealed that, on 13 October, it will publish a memoir by Elvis Costello (through its Blue Rider Press imprint) with the very Costellonian title of Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink. So far those details are only up on the publisher’s American site, meaning there is still time to shift it to Penguin Classics for its UK release.
This year’s Folio Prize has been awarded to Akhil Sharma for his novel Family Life. It’s a case of seconds for both prize and author – the second year that the Folio has run (following George Saunders’ inaugural victory in 2014 for his short story collection Tenth of December) and only Sharma’s second novel, one on which he worked for 13 years prior to publication.
When Terry Pratchett died last week at the age of 66, he left behind a body of work that includes 40 novels set in his beloved Discworld, alongside a couple dozen further titles. It is a substantial bibliography by any standard, and one that his fans will no doubt take great comfort and pleasure in revisiting over the coming months. Those fans, however, can take further solace in the knowledge that the day when they have no more Pratchett left to read hasn’t arrived just yet: the author completed two final novels that are both likely to see publication this year.
It’s already been a big year for feminist musical icons in publishing, what with Kim Gordon’s recently released memoir Girl in a Band, Chrissie Hynde’s recently announced, as-yet-untitled memoir, and PJ Harvey’s forthcoming book of poetry. Now there’s one more to add to the list, with the news that Sleater-Kinney guitarist and vocalist Carrie Brownstein will also release a memoir – entitled Hunger Makes Me A Modern Girl – on 27 October through Penguin.
Getting a first job in publishing is extremely competitive, which means that employers are often able to offer internships as completely unpaid positions. Taking an unpaid internship can cost an individual £926 a month in London or £804 in Manchester, and as a result internships can be unfair as only the wealthy can afford to take them.
A new scheme launched by David Hicks, CEO of the Book Trade Charity (BTBS) at the Publishing Scotland Conference last month will cover those in “low paid” internships who need extra support to afford these opportunities offered within the Book Trade, with travel, accommodation and living costs. The grant will be paid for a maximum of six months, and there are certain entry requirements which need to be met.
David Hicks said: “This particular programme recognises that it is difficult for young people to get a foot on the ladder in today’s rapidly-changing industry and we will be delighted if our assistance can help overcome some basis obstacles.”
If you are applying for internships within the UK Book Trade, and are under 30 then this scheme is for you. Click here to find and more and register.