Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Talk: Stephen Booth

June 29th, Bulwell Riverside Library 2.30pm – 4.30pm

Talk: Stephen Booth.

Nottingham crime writer Stephen Booth will be talking about his work and his latest novel Dead and Buried. Stephen is the award winning author of the Cooper and Fry novels, and Dead and Buried is the 12th in the series. All the books are set in the atmospheric Derbyshire Peak District.

Free event. Tickets from Bulwell Riverside Library, Main Street, Bulwell, NG6 8QJ

Non-sync, tabs and cream soda

Nottingham Central Library. 2pm, Tuesday 24th July

'Non-sync, tabs and cream soda':

Author Phil Rosen gives an illustrated talk on the ups and downs of his life as a cinema projectionist in the 1950s.

Please ask for a free ticket at the Central Library Helpdesk: Tel 0115 9152825

Desert Island Reads

July 18th,  Sherwood Library 7pm

Desert Island Reads

Start the summer with an evening of upbeat readings designed to get you in the holiday mood whatever the weather.

Suitable refreshments will be served.

Tickets cost £1.50 and are available from Sherwood Library.

Telephone 0115 9151155

Plotting A Crime

July 14th, Kimberley Library 11am

Talk: Plotting A Crime.

Nottingham crime thriller writer John Baird will be talking about the role of plot in a crime novel. The talk will focus on the history of crime fiction as well as advice for would-be crime writers.

No tickets required, just turn up.

Dickens 2012: Michael Eaton

July 4th, Central Library 7pm

Dickens 2012: Michael Eaton

The adaptable Dickens: 200 years of great storytelling

Just how do you adapt the classics for a modern audience? Michael Eaton is uniquely qualified to let you in on the secrets of successfully adapting Dickens for radio, TV and film.

The Nottingham-based dramatist has adapted short stories for radio, as well as The Pickwick Papers, and he has written a number of related original works, most recently for the Radio 4 series Dickens in London.

Tickets cost £2.50/ £1.50 concessions. Please ask for a ticket at the Central Library Helpdesk.

Essentials for Writers with Alex Davis


Sneinton Library, 6pm-7:30pm

Wednesday June 27th

This talk will cover many of the key areas for writers today, including the essentials of plot, the key principles to strong description and advice on good editing. The session will also cover the foundations of how to get your work published, including selling your short stories to magazines as well as how to approach a literary agent.

The ideal evening for those looking to start out on writing, or for those with previous experience.

This event also includes a Q+A session, plus handouts for all attendees.

It’s a free event but pre-booking is essential. Ask for a ticket at Sneinton Library.

Murder Mystery Events

Would you like to be a suspect in a murder mystery?

Two libraries are holding murder mystery events; St Anns Library (Tuesday 17th July at 2pm) and Clifton Library (Thursday 2nd August at 10.30am). The libraries are looking for volunteers who would be willing to take on the role of a suspect. You don't have to learn the part (you just read from a statement), you may also have to answer some audience questions, but you will be told what you can say in answer to any possible questions, and the writer will be on hand to help. The suspects don't know whodunnit until the end of the session so you can still take part in solving the mystery, even if you suspect yourself. If you are interested, or would like to find out more, please email jane.brierley@nottinghamcity.gov.uk

Calling Crime Fiction Fans

This Saturday, June 30th, is national reading group day. To celebrate, Nottingham’s Central Library is hosting a special reading group for crime readers. Come along and talk about any crime books that you have read and enjoyed recently and hear other people's recommendations. It’s an opportunity for a friendly chat about the crime fiction you enjoy, accompanied by a drink and a biscuit.

Taking place in the Cecil Roberts Room, Nottingham Central Library.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Writing Competition for Nottinghamshire Children and Young Adults

Sillitoe: Then and Now - Location One: Old Market Sqaure

“Market Square lights danced around him. Each pavement threw back the sound of his shoes walking. Draughts of beer and smoke-smells came out of pub doors...Full clouds drifting like an aerial continent of milk-white mountains above the summit of Castle Rock, a crowned brownstone shaggy lion-head slouching its big snout out of the city, poised as if to gobble up uncouth suburbs hemmed in by an elbow of the turgid Trent.”
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958)

The Sillitoe Tour, Then and Now, will take visitors to five key locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.  Location One is the old market square. Its theme is Don’t let the bastards grind you down.

James Walker:
The first location on our virtual tour through Alan Sillitoe’s Nottingham is Cecil Hewitt’s grandiose, Neo-Baroque show-piece Council House and its attendant Old Market Square. This space is where folk from Nottingham regularly meet up by either the left or the right lion. It has also been the site of mass demonstrations over the centuries.

Our first commissioned writer is Derrick Buttress, a contemporary of Alan Sillitoe, who will lead us through the decades leading up to 1958 through five essays exploring: Processions and parades; WWII and the arrival of G.I.s; VE Day; Childhood memories and the local characters who have populated this civic space.

Derrick Buttress was born in New Basford in 1932 and grew up learning about life on the terraced streets of Radford, Hyson Green and Broxtowe Estate. He would recollect these tough but enjoyable times in two memoirs, and three poetry collections published by Shoestring Press and various plays broadcast on radio and television. At the grand age of eighty he has just had his first short story collection published, Sing to Me.

We feel Derrick Buttress is an inspiration to all writers out there, not only in that he has been able to carve out a career by drawing on his own personal circumstances, and therefore validating the voice of his community, but in starting his writing career in his forties. The Space is a new multimedia platform that promises to transform the media and arts for the 21st century. What better way, then, to embrace this philosophy, than ensuring an eighty year-old writer is there to usher in this new and exciting digital era.

Don’t let the literati grind you down
Each location on our trail has a particular theme inspired by Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. Arthur Seaton, the defiant anti-hero at the heart of the novel, is suspicious of all forms of authority and is determined to live his life on his terms. He lives by the personal credo of ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’. James Walker, who is editing together the Sillitoe Space project, has adapted this theme to see how Alan Sillitoe and their first commissioned writer, Derrick Buttress have challenged the literary establishment through their representations of working class people. Indeed, such was the shock at the success of Sillitoe’s debut novel that his former classmates from a Radford elementary school were convinced it must have been written by Alan’s wife, who, apparently, had been to a university…

Don’t let the bastards grind you down
Our second commissioned writer for this first event is Christy Fearn, a local historical fiction writer and Byron expert. Christy is currently writing a novel about the Stocking-knitters’ demonstration of 1811/2. Saturday night is significant in her novel as this is when the demonstrators make banners to be shown in Market Square the following Sunday Morning.  

The most recent protesters to Market Square were the Occupy Movement. Christy went out and spoke to them to see if she could find a correlation between their cause, that of the Stocking-Knitters, and Arthur Seaton’s mistrust of all forms of authority. We would like to continue this debate with you via Facebook as well as sharing your Market Square memories with us via Flickr. Selected content from this will be published at the end of October in a physical book with a digital heart. 

Sillitoe: Then and Now is part of a series of projects put together by the Alan Sillitoe Committee, a voluntary organisation raising funds to have a statue of the writer commemorated in his home city. Please support us by spreading the word however you can and by joining us on The Space.

Editor: James Walker

Technical Editor: Paul Fillingham

For contact details of commissioned writers, please contact James.

Sillitoe Trail: Then and Now

Sillitoe Trail: Then and now


“For it was Saturday night, the best and bingiest glad-time of the week, one of the fifty-two holidays in the slow-turning Big Wheel of the year, a violent preamble to a prostrate Sabbath. Piled-up passions were exploded on Saturday night, and the effect of a week’s monotonous graft in the factory was swilled out of your system in a burst of goodwill.”
Saturday Night and Sunday Morning (1958).

The Alan Sillitoe Committee is one of fifty-three organisations selected to produce content for The Space, an experimental digital arts platform funded by Arts Council England in collaboration with the BBC. We are the only literature organisation outside of London and stand proudly next to the London Review of Books and Faber and Faber.

Other contributors to The Space include Shakespeare Globe, Sadlers Wells, The Tate Gallery and The John Peel Foundation for Creative Arts.

From 1 May to 31 October we will be developing a virtual tour of Sillitoe’s seminal novel Saturday Night and Sunday Morning which follows the adventures of Arthur Seaton, a hard-grafting Raleigh factory worker out for a good time. Our objective is to re-imagine Sillitoe’s novel in as many forms as possible so that it can reach newer audiences. We believe the themes raised in the novel are as relevant now as they were then. We have commissioned several leading contemporary writers to produce work based on the themes expressed in Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

Highlights from the Sillitoe Trail will be featured on The Space website and made accessible on PC, tablet, smartphone, and connected TV (HD Freeview Channel 117).

We will be encouraging the public to get involved at www.sillitoetrail.com and via our social media channels on Facebook, and Twitter. Pictures can be submitted to the sillitoetrail group via the photo-sharing site Flickr.

We will also be including rare photographs from the BFI, Nottinghamshire County Archives, Picture-the-Past and other archive sources.

The Sillitoe Trail will feature illustrations produced by students from New College Nottingham as part of their Foundation in Design coursework and podcasts of commissioned writers recorded by sound technology students at Confetti studios.

Alan Sillitoe loved maps and creating a GPS-based mobile trail seems a most fitting way to pay tribute to a writer who firmly established Nottingham within the literary landscape.

This year also sees the 125th anniversary of the Raleigh Cycle company which forms the backdrop to Saturday Night and Sunday Morning. We will be challenging local cycling groups to see who can develop the best route for the Sillitoe Trail with the idea of establishing a regular cycling event.

The mobile trail will explore key locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning and users will be able to navigate either from the perspective of the two 'Swaddies' chasing Arthur Seaton around the city or that of a modern day Seaton in 2012.

We plan to release a free downloadable iPhone App at a Sillitoe Day to be held on 27th October at Nottingham Contemporary. The iPhone App will provide rich-media content for visitors and local storytellers and will be integrated with social media feeds and the sillitoetrail.com website to continue what we hope will form a lasting legacy.

We are compiling material for an authentic, 1950s style cycle manual that details the literary trail. We’re calling it a ‘physical book with a digital heart’ as it will literally write itself as the project unfolds. The book will include content generated for The Space by commissioned writers and artists, and by members of the public through social media channels and the Sillitoetrail.com website. The book will use QR-codes to trigger playback of audio and video content on mobile devices.

We will take visitors on a virtual tour around Sillitoe’s Nottingham by focussing on five key locations from Saturday Night and Sunday Morning.

Each location will have a specific theme, and quotes taken from the novel will be explored by commissioned writers, creative practitioners and members of the public.

LOCATION 1: Old Market Square
Theme: ‘Don’t let the bastards grind you down’
Writer: Derrick Buttress, Christy Fearn

LOCATION 2: The White Horse
Theme: The loss of the British pub and community
Writer: Al Needham

LOCATION 3: Raleigh
Theme: What is the modern day lathe?
Writer: Pete Davis

LOCATION 4: Trent Embankment
Theme: Solitude: Is it possible in the digital age?
Writer: MulletProofPoet and James Walker

LOCATION 5: The Goose Fair
Theme: Reality TV: The modern day freak show?
Writer: Ann Featherstone

The main protagonist of the novel will be joining us on the Sillitoe Trail, popping up at the end of each featured location to offer his own interpretations of the writers’ work, ensuring that nobody takes themselves too seriously. This will be read by Tom Keeling, who played Arthur in the recent musical adaption of the novel. You can also Follow Arthur Seaton as he 'sounds off' on Twitter @TheSpaceLathe and on the Official Sillitoe Trail Website: www.sillitoetrail.com

Content Editor: James Walker

Digital Editor: Paul Fillingham

The Space - The Arts - live, free and on demand: www.thespace.org.uk
The Official Sillitoe Trail Website: www.sillitoetrail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/sillitoetrail
Official Twitter feed: @sillitoetrail

Arthur's Twitter feed: @thespacelathe

Thursday, 14 June 2012

Jon McGregor wins International Impac Dublin Literary Award

Notts author Jon McGregor has won the world's richest literary prize for his novel Even the Dogs.

His third novel, featured on this blog, was named winner of the €100,000 (£80,000) International Impac Dublin Literary Award on Wednesday evening. Nominations for the prize are received from libraries around the world – Even the Dogs was proposed by a Moscow library – with 147 books put forward this year, from Jennifer Egan's A Visit from the Goon Squad to Aminatta Forna's Commonwealth prize-winning novel The Memory of Love.

The international judging panel called Even the Dogs "a fearless experiment" and a "masterpiece of narrative technique". "There is something bracingly generous about Even the Dogs. It credits readers with a willingness to engage with an experiment which requires us to roll up our sleeves and take authorship of the book as we piece together the lives of its characters," said the panel, which included the British novelist Tim Parks and the Trinidadian writer Elizabeth Nunez.

Jon said, "It is a real honour to have been selected from such a huge list of fantastic works from around the world."

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Nottingham Writers' Days

From Nottingham Writers’ Studio:

To reserve your place at the writers’ days, download the booking form from the NWS Writers' Day page. link

22 Sep, Novelist Clare Brown on How to Keep Going (exercises and strategies for writer)

13 Oct, YA author Maxine Linnell on Edgy Young Adult Fiction

Nottingham Writers’ Days are one-day intensive writing workshops in a range of genres, led by experienced writers from Nottingham Writers’ Studio. Each Day typically includes workshop sessions, writing exercises and peer reviewing, plus individual discussions with the tutor about your work.

Previous workshops have included ‘From Idea to Screenplay with Michael Eaton’, ‘Planning and Developing Your Novel’ with Nicola Monaghan and ‘Cross It Out and Start Again: Editing Fiction’ with Jon McGregor.

The workshops are open to anyone with an interest in writing and you do not have to be a Studio member to participate. They accept up to 12 participants in each workshop. The Days mostly take place in the Writers' Studio in the city centre and are followed by a light dinner—a chance to unwind, chat more informally, and go over the day's activities.

Friday, 1 June 2012

Alan Sillitoe Season 2012

A programme of events commemorating the life and work of one of Notitngham's greatest authors.

Events include:

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning - Film

Working at Raleigh - The Trail

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner - Film

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning - Jazz Suite

Saturday Night & Sunday Morning - Exhibition

The Loneliness of the Long Distance Runner - Play

Alan Sillitoe Day - Celebration

All the dates and details are available on www.sillitoe.com


Twitter: www.twitter.com/alansillitoe
Facebook: www.facebook/sillitoetrail

Andrew Motion at the Playhouse

Thursday 7 June at 8pm
Auditorium - Tickets: £13 (concessions £11)
Andrew Motion, Poet Laureate (1999-09), introduces his eagerly awaited sequel to Treasure Island – Silver– featuring a cast of noble seamen, murderous pirates and tales of love, valour & terrible cruelty.
He also reads from his latest book of poems, The Cinder Path (Faber) shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry, Laurels and Donkeys on conflicts from 1914 to the war in Afghanistan, his acclaimed autobiography In The Blood – A Memoir of My Childhood and answers questions about his writing and the role of Poet Laureate. Followed by book signing