Thursday, 11 September 2014

'Making it as an author' - industry event to reveal the path to celebrity

Lancaster author Carol Birch and her Booker shortlisted novel

Would-be writers are invited to hear authors, a publisher, a national newspaper editor, a translator and a literary festival organiser share their experiences at a Lancaster-based event.

‘Making it as an author’, an industry-led round table discussion, will take place at Lancaster House Hotel, Lancaster, on September 19 from 2.30pm to 5.30pm. This event is free and open to the public (but please pre-book).

Speakers will include Katy Guest (literary editor, The Independent on Sunday), Carol Birch (author), Jenn Ashworth (author and lecturer in creative writing), Andy Darby (former artistic director of Lancaster Litfest), Jim Hinks (editor, Comma Press), Karen Leeder (translator, poet, and Professor in German Literature).

They will also debate the nature of industry processes that lie behind the discovery and promotion of new literary talent.

Throughout the event, audience participants are encouraged to ‘have their say’ and work with the speakers to reflect on what ‘making it’ and ‘being an author’ mean in different media and institutional contexts.

Organiser Dr Rebecca Braun, a senior lecturer at Lancaster University’s Department of European Languages and Cultures said: “This is going to be an exciting and interactive event and we want people to come along, join in, and test assumptions. This is genuinely about audience participation. It reflects on different ways of being an author and making a living from writing and brings together English-language writers and writers in translation.”

The free event is part of a wider project, Authors and the World (, a research hub which includes both academics and industry. The first strand of the project, running through 2014-15 as part of Lancaster University’s 50th anniversary celebrations, looks at literary celebrity. The event on September 19 is part of a weekend conference called 'Embodying Literary Celebrity in Multiple Media'. It is the official launch of both the project and the hub.

Dr Braun added: “Throughout our first year we’re looking at the idea of fame and writing from lots of different angles: how are certain images of writers created in the media, and how well do these images travel from one culture to another – for example, when a prize-winning German or Brazilian author is translated into English, does this turn them into a ‘world author’, and at what point does it make sense to talk of an author as a global brand? 

"We’re working with local publishers, translators and writers to see what uncovering the paths of different kinds of authors through a global, multilingual creative industry can tell us about the world we live in today. If you’re interested in writers and writing, come along and get involved!”

To book your place or find out more, please contact Emily Spiers at Places are on a first come, first served basis.

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