Brian Lavery

On being a journalist: Brian Lavery interview

Brian Lavery is a writer and has also been working in journalism for 25 years. Here Stephanie Cox interviews him about his career spanning  journalism, writing for radio, creative non-fiction and short fiction.

1. Please introduce yourself and tell us about your background and your career.

My name is Brian Lavery and I am a writer, journalist and late-comer to academia. When I write creative nonfiction I am Brian W. Lavery, so as not to be confused with another Scot with the same name as me, who also happens to be a world authority on maritime history. So, just my luck that the first book I get published has a maritime theme. Perhaps that is why the phrase “lucky as a Brian” does not exist.

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Reading mobile devices

Reading on mobile devices: Jim Hinks interview

This is a guest interview with Jim Hinks. Jim is an editor at Comma Press, the Manchester-based independent publisher specialising in short fiction. He is also speaker at BookMachine Brighton on Wednesday 10th June.

1 Do you read books on mobile devices?

Yes, a lot. I’m particularly partial to listening to literature, be that audiobooks, radio, or podcasts (like the New Yorker Fiction Podcast). Like most people, I have a regular commute, so that’s almost 2 hours per day. Before I had a smartphone, I listened to audiobooks on an iPod. Before that, a mini-disk player. Before that, tapes (!). I had a tape of Simon Armitage reading ‘Wild Blue Yonder’ (selected poems) that I pretty much wore out on an Aiwa personal cassette player. I love the feeling of being read to; the immediacy and intimacy.

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Freelancing

Freelancing and time management

This is a guest post from Chris Brown. Chris is a freelance publishing professional with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. Chris has worked on a variety of print and digital products at all stages of the publishing process from commissioning through to development editorial and production. He is also an Associate of Just Content.

If you’ve been a publishing freelancer you’ll identify with the tumbleweed times where nobody is calling or emailing, and the hectic busy times when three project deadlines converge at the same time and force you to work evenings and weekends until the work is done. Neither of these situations is ideal!

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Man Booker International goes to László Krasznahorkai

The biennial Man Booker International Prize, awarded to living authors of any nationality for a body of work readily available (either in its native tongue or in translation) in English, has this year been presented to Hungarian author László Krasznahorkai. It is the first time the award has been given to an author whose work was not originally published in English since the inaugural prize in 2005, when it was presented to the Albanian Ismail Kadare. It is also the first time a non-North American author has won the award since its sophomore prize in 2007 went to Chinua Achebe.

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freelance author

5 top tips for surviving as a freelance author

This is a guest post from Cath Senker, who has 25 years’ experience in publishing and has written more than 130 books for children of all ages. She specialises in history, global and social issues, world religions, human geography and environmental topics. Cath also undertakes all kinds of editorial work for publishers and academic institutions and teaches writing skills and English.

Quick quiz

Are you a freelance writer? How much did you make from your writing last year?
A Under £11,000
B About £11,000
C Over £11,000

If you answered A or B, you’re one of the majority of authors! Professional writers in the UK typically earn just £11,000 a year (ALCS, 2015). So how can you survive as a freelance author nowadays?

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2015 Orwell Prize for Books goes to James Meek

The Orwell Prize, given annually to the best in British political writing, has this year awarded its prize for books to novelist James Meek, for his non-fictional examination of the privatisation of UK public services, Private Island. The book is a collection of essays largely drawn from the pages of the London Review of Books, to which Meek is a contributing editor. Though Meek has previously worked as a journalist, and remained on staff at The Guardian until 2005 having been the newspaper’s Moscow bureau chief throughout the 1990s, he is best known as a novelist, finding his widest success with the Booker-longlisted The People’s Act of Love that same year.

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Some early bird tickets: BookMachine London, Oxford, Brighton

By now you will be in the loop about BookMachine Week. A whole week of talking about the rise of reading on mobiles and short stories.

Expert speakers will be sharing their experiences and the discussion will lead to thinking about whether we need to review our publishing models.

Everywhere we look people are pulling out their mobile devices. How can the publishing industry respond to this? Do we need to?

Early Bird tickets are on sale until tomorrow (Friday 22nd May) for BookMachine London, Oxford and Brighton.

Get tickets

Limited tickets also available here for BookMachine Cambridge and Barcelona.

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Publicity in Publishing

Publicity: the most creative department in Publishing

Ana McLaughlin has worked in Publicity at Random House, Kyle Books and Michael O’Mara Books and is now working in arts and books PR at Sarah Harrison PR (@Anabooks / @SarahHarrisonPR / www.sarahharrisonpr.com )

I gave this piece a deliberately controversial title, and one I think many in the industry will disagree with. (Let’s talk about it – after all, publicists love to talk!) Book PRs get a fairly terrible press – ironically. Roger Lewis’s Anthony Burgess talks about ‘those flotillas of 24-year-old publicity handmaidens who laugh at your jokes but whom you’ll never in a million years get to fuck because they have fiancés in marine reinsurance or coffee futures in the City who all look like Jeremy Northam’. (Drat, I must have been so busy honing my showcard-making skills that I managed to miss the wealthy spouse queue…) It’s a line that beautifully conveys the fallacious ideas about publicists still cherished by certain sections of the industry and the wider world: that we are all young, female, a bit posh, slightly dim and more ornament than use.

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A very short story: Pretty in Pink

In the run up to BookMachine Week: The rise of reading on mobiles, short stories and bite-size content – here is a great short story for you to read.

“You’re nuts. I can’t walk that far. No way!” I was mad at my girlfriend. Some guy she met at seniors had invited her to a “mall-walkers” group.

“I won’t go alone. Please, please… pretty please” It bugs me when she’s sucky. I can never say no. “I’ve been so lonely since Walter died…” Low blow. That forlorn widow’s lament always gets me.

Get tickets

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martin-whiteley

Sports writing: Martin Whiteley interview

Martin Whiteley writes for The News Hub, as a sports writer. Here Stephanie Cox interviews him about his interest in sport, the industry and being a sports writer.

1. Please give us an introduction to yourself and your previous work.

I have always been a lover of writing, ever since I was in school, and have always been passionate about sports. I first started writing to make some extra money while working as an assistant to the golf professional at Springhead Park golf course in Hull. Since then, I’ve contributed to golf magazines and have written for Beyond the Benches, Exclusive Sports Media, IRL Media, and others. My latest project has been writing sports articles for The News Hub.
There is a rapidly increasing number of online platforms for news writing and reporting, and this is especially true of sports writing.

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