3rd Successful Northern & Midlands SYP event

Posted on January 1, 2012 in Uncategorized

Despite the freezing cold weather, the disrupted trains (surprise surprise) and the myriad of Christmas related tasks on everybody’s plates at the time of year, we still enjoyed a great turn out for the Northern & Midlands SYP Christmas Extravaganza.

Once everyone had arrived, thawed their fingers and toes and braved the busy bar at The Brewery Tap for some local beer, we kicked off the evening with Meg from Radish who gave us a passionate talk on the history of the small but thriving bookshop in Chapel Allerton and the social and political motivations that bolster it. It was interesting to hear about the other revenue streams that can be explored by independent bookshops in order to keep them afloat in these tough times, and how Meg and her husband Mal managed to align keeping their business going alongside their strong social and political beliefs. Mega also talked to us about the importance of the Alliance of Radical Booksellers and the part they play in helping independent bookshops to keep up the progressive literature trade.

Once everyone had refilled their glasses and Chris (our membership secretary) had taken some lovely group pictures, we then welcomed Tim Franklin from Lancaster LitFest who came to talk about, you guessed it, literature festivals. Tim gave a very well informed talk on the way in which literature festivals are run and organised, as well as touching on the interesting subject of funding and how this has altered since the change in government.  Tim also talked about how literature festivals link up with authors and publishers, how the three groups interact and some of the challenges that can arise in the run up to the festival. It was great to hear somebody with experience in festival organisation talking so passionately about the importance these events can have in an emerging author or independent publisher’s career development.

Following these two brilliant speakers we enjoyed a lovely and substantial buffet put on by The Brewery Tap and funded by Emerald Group Publishing (thanks!) and got into the spirit of Christmas by indulging in a Secret Santa book swap. There were some interesting books in there and I think everyone got to go away with something new to read over the holidays, success!