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Bristol Festival of Literature Appearance 22nd Oct

12 Sep

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I’ll be discussing my new travelogue of the contemporary Philippines, Realm of the Punisher, at the Bristol Festival of Literature on 22nd October. My good friend Mike Manson will be present too, riffing on his new novel Down in Demerara. Click here for tickets and further details.

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Publishing Weekend @ Portsmouth Bookfest

30 Jan

Portsmouth Bookfest, Star & Crescent and the Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth present:

Publishing Weekend @ Portsmouth Bookfest

Saturday 17th February – Sunday 18th February 2018

10am – 4pm

White Swan Building, New Theatre Royal

£20 per day (includes tea/coffee and a light lunch) or two day Saturday and Sunday combined ticket offer £30

BUY TICKETS HERE 

This event will be useful to anyone looking to research and edit their writing, publish their work and build their author brand. Whether you are thinking of self-publishing or going down the traditional route, understanding the process is essential. Our range of experienced experts will be sharing their wealth of knowledge on all aspects of the publishing journey and there will be plenty of opportunities to ask questions.

Saturday: Working towards Publication: The focus on Saturday is working towards getting ready for publication with talks and practical workshops on researching, editing and pitching your ideas to publishers.

Sunday: Publication and being a published author: On Sunday we focus on the publishing process and how to build your author brand through book cover design, book reviews and the use of social media.

You can book for either day or attend both days at a discounted price! Your ticket price includes a light networking lunch and tea and coffee.

Programme:

Saturday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Editing tips and traps with Helen Garvey and Tom Sykes

Writing a book is easy, right? Perhaps, but how about producing something you can be confident is of top publishable quality? Join professional freelance editor Helen Garvey as she discusses the process of taking your first draft through to publication, sharing her tips and highlighting the traps she wishes she had known about when she started writing.

Tom Sykes will explore the processes behind line-editing nonfiction books, making large structural adjustments to narratives, and compiling anthologies of short stories and articles.

11.45am: Coffee break

12noon: Pitching your idea/work with Wendy Metcalfe and Tom Sykes

Wendy will talk about submitting fiction short stories and novels.  She will cover preparing your story, submission guidelines, and keeping your motivation up when the rejections roll in.

Wendy has been submitting short stories and novels for over twenty years.  She will share stories from her own struggle to scale the slush pile.

Tom will examine proposing non-fiction works and journalistic articles to a range of professional markets, drawing on real-life contracts, pitch letters and editorial suggestions.

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Do your research with Suzie Wilde

Rudyard Kipling writes …

“I KEEP six honest serving-men
 (They taught me all I knew);
Their names are What and Why and When
 And How and Where and Who.”

… which is a good mantra for researchers, too. But the first question is, what kind of researcher are you? Suzie will help you decide.

3.30pm: Bookshop and Q and A

Sunday:

10am: Introduction

10.15am: Thinking of self -publishing? With Chindi

CHINDI authors have self-published novels and non-fiction books in various formats over the last five years. They’ve made audio books, e-books and printed books that have sold to thousands of readers. They’ve also made a lot of mistakes along the way. Christopher Joyce will lead a discussion of how to publish your book, where to go and what not to do using experiences from the group of 22 authors. www.chindi-authors.co.uk

11.15am: Coffee break

11.30am: Judging a book by its cover – your book as a product with Christine Hammacott

In traditional publishing producing a book is all about creating a saleable product. Whether you are aiming to be traditionally published or are self-publishing the marketing and selling process starts with the cover. This workshop is designed to give an understanding of book cover design and formatting, and why getting to grips with genre is so important by publication stage. It will also cover positioning your book in the marketplace, and the all important considerations when producing your ‘product’.

12.45pm: How to build an author platform from scratch with Jo Mallory

Jo’s workshop will cover: Where to start 101; your Website; let’s talk platforms and your social media, with the opportunity for questions.

1.30pm: Networking lunch

2.30pm: Writing book reviews to establish yourself as a writer with Carol Westron

“Many of the exciting opportunities I’ve received in the past few years have stemmed from my first reviews for Mystery People. I’ve made some wonderful friends, raised my profile as a writer and honed my reading and writing skills. In this talk I will discuss the benefits of reviewing and how to write a review that shows you at your best”.

3pm: Organic marketing with social media with Jo Mallory

In this workshop Jo will cover: Knowing your audience and where to find them; mailing lists; growing your audience organically Vs paid advertising; a fun tips session; the writer trap; don’t be afraid to cull and don’t feed the trolls.

3.45pm: Conclusion, questions and feedback

Press and Social Media Masterclass for Writers

22 May

Join S&C editors Tom Sykes and Sarah Cheverton to learn how to:

  • Get your fiction and journalism published in the press (and get paid for it!)
  • Maximise your research by using it across different media platforms
  • Find new audiences & readers for your books by building followers through engagement with shorter pieces
  • Build your writer’s profile online
  • Use social media to boost your writing career
  • Understand which platforms are best for you
  • Avoid time drains and other pitfalls

Sunday 25th June 2017
9.30am-4.00pm
Eldon Building foyer, Winston Churchill Avenue, Portsmouth University, Portsmouth PO1 2ST

Booking and more information here.

Sarah Cheverton is Editor-in-Chief of local news and commentary site Star
& Crescent. She is also Writer-in-Residence for the voluntary sector
organisation Aurora New Dawn, as well as a writer, lover of Portsmouth and
blogging contributor for Huffington Post UK.

Tom Sykes is a widely published writer, Portsmouth University senior
lecturer and Co-editor of Star & Crescent. He has 12 years of professional writing experience including publications in The Telegraph, New Statesman, The Scotsman, Private Eye and New Internationalist.

Brought to you in association with New Writing South, Portsmouth Writers’ Hub, Star & Crescent and the School of Media and Performing Arts, Faculty of Creative and Cultural Industries, University of Portsmouth.

Island Cities, Coasts of Teeth Event

17 Oct
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6pm-7.30pm

Blackwell’s in Portsmouth, Cambridge Road, Portsmouth, PO1 2EF

A heady gala of both travel writing about Portsmouth and Portsmouth-based travel writers who have gone elsewhere in search of inspiration. As part of the event, Tom Sykes and Alexander Sebley will be doing a local launch of their new book Ivory Coast: The Bradt Guide. Expect tales of animist rituals, Rastafarian communes, disabled artisans’ cooperatives and risky expeditions with Ghanaian migrant fishermen.

Other performers include Sarah Cheverton (Star & Crescent, Huffington Post) and Gareth Rees (reading from his latest book Read Rees). More TBA.

Facebook group here.

Book launch for Ivory Coast: The Bradt Guide

11 Jul

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When: 11th August 2016, 6.30pm-8pm

Where: Stanfords, 12-14 Long Acre, WC2E9, London, UK

Hosted by: author Tom Sykes (New Statesman, The Scotsman, Private Eye) and photographer Alexander Sebley (VICE, BBC).

You’re cordially invited to the launch of the very first full-length English language guidebook to Ivory Coast. The country is a stunner, from the cream-hued beaches of Assinie in the southeast to the crimson savannahs of the north to the awe-inspiring mountains of the west and a wealth of wildlife-rich national parks (500 bird species, chimps, crocs, hippos and even lions and elephants can be glimpsed). At weekends the nightspots of the largest city, Abidjan, boom with the sounds of home-grown musical genres like coupé-decalé and zouglou alongside US hip-hop, French free-form jazz and Latin American soca. If Ivory Coast’s music is the envy of Africa, its traditional art and craft scene is the envy of the world. In the north, jewellers, blacksmiths, weavers, potters and wood-carvers use ancient techniques to create unique artefacts. Aside from the usual practical information, the book includes reportage, interviews and political, historical and cultural analysis.

 

Travel Writing: Thrills, Spills, Risks and Rewards 15/02/2016

26 Jan

What makes for good travel writing? How do you get into the profession? What practical, ethical and political challenges come with the job? Who are the great travel writers and what can we learn from them? Can an outsider ever fairly and accurately represent a given place, society or culture?

University of Portsmouth lecturer, travel book author, foreign affairs journalist and Star & Crescent Co-Editor-in-Chief Tom Sykes and writer-photographer Alexander Sebley will explore these questions and more in their event taking place on the 15th February in Eldon Building, University of Portsmouth at 6pm.

The talk will reference their travels across four continents and their recent collaboration on the upcoming Bradt Guidebook to Ivory Coast. They also offer practical advice on the craft and explore the various sub-genres of travel writing from guidebooks to service articles to narrative travelogues.

Tom Sykes’s travelogues and foreign affairs features have appeared in The Telegraph, New Statesman, Scotsman, New Internationalist, London Magazine, Red Pepper and New African. He is the co-editor of the successful No Such Thing As a Free Ride? series of travel anthologies, the first of which was named the Observer‘s Travel Book of the Month. He is the author of the Bradt Guide to Ivory Coast and is working on a travel-inflected novel entitled Blood is Not Thicker in Manila. Tom teaches travel writing, amongst other genres, in his capacity as Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Portsmouth.

Living in London, Alexander Sebley is a writer, photographer and label manager who has worked for VICE, the BBC, Bradt Travel Guides, London Fashion Week Magazine and many other publications and organisations.

Read Rees London Book Launch

24 Jun
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The time: 24th July 7 pm-12 am
The place: The Haggerston Pub, 438 Kingsland Road, London E8 4AA
‘Forty years of wanderlust and menial labour rolled up into a joint of mindful rebellion’.
Come along to the London launch of Read Rees, an introduction to the writings of Gareth Rees. Feast on five fantastic stories of war, theology, blackberry crumble and the oppression of cleaning staff.

There will be readings plus a Q&A session with the author. Copies of the book will be on sale priced at £6. Those who pre-bought the book and/or invested in the project can pick up their copies at the event (or wait to receive them in the post).

Fine pizzas and other refreshments will be available.

 

The Business of Writing Appearance

23 Oct

The Business of Writing
Aspex, Gunwharf Quays, Portsmouth
November 18th, 6.00pm-9.00pm

Digital technology has changed the landscape of writing considerably in recent years. From the rise of the e-book to self publishing, to blogging and digital journalism, this new landscape presents a wide range of challenges and opportunities to established and aspiring writers alike.

The Business of Writing brings together three writers to explore new ways of developing paid work and creating your own opportunities in this new and shifting landscape. Our speakers work across a variety of mediums, including:

Script Writing
Blogging
Travel Writing
Fiction

Sean Tyler, an award winning Hampshire-based playwright, who has had multiple plays performed in New York and in the UK. Sean will address overseas and UK commissions and how he has generated interest in his work. http://www.seantyler.org/4436.html

Tom Sykes, Tom teaches at University of Portsmouth, in addition to being a prolific and award winning travel writer (Observer Book of the Month). Tom will be speaking about his experiences of travel journalism and creative nonfiction and talking about online publishing opportunities. https://tomgsykes.wordpress.com/tag/travel-writing/

‘Crunchy, punchy, surreal, occasionally severe and always on the button. As with all great language, forget what you’ve heard before and escape with what’s coming at you NOW. Brilliant.’ John Mayfield, audiobookradio.net

Southsea-based Helen Wallen is a professional copywriter and recent Mum whose humour filled new blog site has been nominated for several awards. http://www.justanormalmummy.blogspot.co.uk/

Sarah Cheverton,freelance writer and researcher, who also runs Portsmouth Writers Hub will be keeping this diverse range of talents in order!

There will be opportunities to put questions to our speakers as well as to network over refreshments.
Welcome drink: 6.00pm
Speaker session starts: 6.30pm
Finish: 9.00pm

Venue: Aspex Gallery, The Vulcan Building near Loch Fyne, Gunwharf Quays.
Car Park: Gunwharf Quays
Rail: Portsmouth Harbour Station (10 minutes walk)

Price: £10 advance, £8 Concessions, £12 on the night
Tickets: https://gewports-art-of-business-writing.eventbrite.co.uk
More info: Sarah Mayell-Thomas: sarahmayell@yahoo.co.uk

The Business of Writing is one of 4 events which are part of The Art of Business.
Other events in the series are: “Where’s the Money”, “Created by Technology” and “Standing from the crowd”.
For more information about these events see http://www.entrepreneursunite.co.uk

The 4 days are part of a Global initiative, Global Entrepreneurs Week, 18th-24th November which takes place in 115 countries since its inception in 2004.

Portsmouth has responded by hosting the first ever ”Entrepreneurs Unite” week. Solent Innovation supported by Portsmouth City Council, Shaping the Future, University of Portsmouth, Parity Trust and UK Business Angels are all partners.

There are a wide number of events confirmed for the week with a Business Awards event, Start Up event, Silicon Island Business Angels Conference, Raspberry Pi sponsored event, Pitch and Win and Schools and Colleges throughout the Region are putting on a whole series of events during the week. http://www.entrepreneursunite.co.uk

Bristol Festival of Literature Appearance

2 Oct

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Just an extra reminder that I will be appearing alongside Mike Manson and Tom Phillips at Stanford’s book shop on 24th October as part of the splendid Bristol Festival of Literature:

http://unputdownable.org/events#Oct19

Missive #22: Bristol Festival of Literature Appearance

28 Aug

Truly thrilled and tickled to announce that the slow-moving ‘On the Road, Off the Page’ roadshow will, after an interval of seven months, be resuming at the Bristol Festival of Literature on October 24th. Listen to me talking about developing world megacities and the history of hitchhiking, and to Tom Phillips and Mike Manson about their wondrous work. Full details this a-way:

http://unputdownable.org/event/on-the-road-off-the-page