7 December, 2012 0 Comments
Congratulations to Brit Writers Awards Unpublished team and their sponsors for an engaging and entertaining Awards evening on 1 December in London. It was a remarkable celebration of literary and cultural diversity as Brit Writers expands its global footprint to support writers and foster readership engagement. The excitement was tangible in a room well represented by the industry. There were international representatives from America Writers Awards, Greece Writers Awards and Brazil Writers Awards all of whom were given the floor in front of 400 guests. I was very pleased to be invited by Brit Writers to introduce the Arab Writers Awards.
The Arab World enjoys a rich tradition of story telling. As a founder of a pioneering literary festival in Dubai that celebrates Arab writers and Arab writing among international authors, I witnessed an enormous appetite cross culturally for Arab literature. It is this engagement that confirms such strong foundations for these Awards. The Arab Writers Awards will build upon various regional innovations, literary and translation initiatives to celebrate and recognise Arab literary talent on an international scale.
This is an amazing opportunity to create an innovative, social engagement model that connects Arab writers with Arab readers, worldwide. Our key objective is to boost literacy as well as raise published output in original Arabic literature and publishing standards. We believe in creating an environment that embraces writing, readership, fosters knowledge transfer and promotes cultural awareness.
We are looking for strategic partnerships to help establish the Arab Writers’ Awards. While there may be challenges, the opportunities are far greater. We are open for business and I look forward to sharing our progress in the year ahead.
Please contact me at email@example.com
photo credit : www.rklphotography.co.uk
21 September, 2012 0 Comments
This year’s London Book Fair mooted that the traditional publishing model is broken (I tweeted on this at the time). How eye-catching that two UK-based literary award organisations that appear to be in competition should now complement and endorse each other. Not quite the Houses of Montague and Capulet but clearly both Founders of the Brit Writers Awards and The People’s Book Prize are aligned and share the same vision. Is this then the first step of a smart partnership that promotes inclusivity? Embracing the spirit of democracy, let writers and readers decide. It has my vote.
Exclusive Interview with Imran Akram, Founder of Britwriters Awards
Exclusive Interview with Tatiana Wilson, Founder of The People’s Book Prize
30 March, 2012 0 Comments
Re-invigorating the UK high street remains the key deliverable of the Mary Portas’ report released in December 2011. So what needs to be done? There is much talk about the timing and impact of parking tariffs when disposable income is under increasing pressure and fuel prices are at a record high. Inflation may be falling but not enough to achieve a positive impact on the high street according to the latest Consumer Pricing Index figures released this month. It has to be about working in partnership to stimulate growth on the high street for a new retail landscape that has to be better than the homogenous, anodyne offer currently.
In parallels that can be drawn with my experience in Dubai, one Mall operator experimented by imposing a parking tariff at peak shopping times (evenings and weekends) that drove footfall away (to other Malls where parking was free). Whether this imposition was to stop business and residents using it a free car park is not in question. What was more concerning was the loss of trade for its loyal tenants at a time of economic collapse. The solution offered by the Mall management was to encourage customers to spend a minimum value to claim back the parking tariff. Minimum spend for such a high end luxury Mall was greater than Magrudy’s, the only bookseller’s, typical average transaction value. This was remedied by reducing the minimum spend at Magrudy’s but the damage was already done.
28 March, 2012 0 Comments
Fit out for a bookseller is an exact science and a labour of love. It was when reading an article recently about an ill-fated Canadian bookseller that reminded me just how hard it is for a bookseller to move to new premises and quickly. It also served as a reminder how important location and landlord can be.
Typically a bookseller will fit measured shelving unique to the space it occupies not only to leverage a maximum return per square foot but also to create an environment for repeat and loyal custom. With hundreds of suppliers, booksellers are curators, the beating heart of the community they serve. So when a landlord raises its rates with scant regard for community bookselling, and more importantly consideration of tight operating margins, closure is inevitable.