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Arts Week: Getting Published in the Digital Era

Birkbeck Arts Week 2013 will take place on 18 - 24 May. This annual showcase of the varied enterprises of Birkbeck academics in the School of Arts includes lectures, readings, concerts, film screenings, taster courses, performances and panel discussions. The programme of events reflects the liveliness of the teaching and research of Birkbeck’s School of Arts, whose internationally renowned academics address some of the most important issues that affect our society today.


Writers’ Hub Presents: Getting Published in the Digital Era

Date: Wednesday 22 May

Time: 6 - 7:30pm

Venue: Room B04, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square

Free Entry


As a writer it was difficult enough to get the attention of the publishing industry in the good old days of publishing, but the rise of the eReader and the switch to digital has changed the game. What implications does this new digital era have for writers? Self-publishing has become a viable option for many authors but what of those who still want the security and the credibility that traditional publishing offers? Julia Bell chairs of panel of industry experts including: Isobel Dixon - Director at Blake Friedmann Literary Agency, Ted Hodgkinson - Online Editor at Granta, and Rebecca Swift – Director of The Literary Consultancy (TLC), as they discuss the future of publishing in the digital era.


Isobel Dixon is a director of the Blake Friedmann Literary Agency where she represents writers from around the world. Her clients have won all the major South African literary awards, and authors on her list have, among others, won the Caine Prize, Commonwealth and PEN Awards, the Barry Award and been shortlisted for the Man Asian Literary Prize, the Ondaatje Prize, the Author's Club First Book Award, and the Booker Prize.  Isobel was born and educated in South Africa, and in Edinburgh where she completed Masters degrees in English Literature and Applied Linguistics.  She has translated novels from the Afrikaans and her debut poetry collection Weather Eye (Carapace, 2001) won the Sanlam and the Olive Schreiner Prizes in South Africa. Her second collection A Fold in the Map is published by Salt in the UK and Jacana in South Africa, with her new collection The Tempest Prognosticator published by Salt in the UK and Random Umuzi in South Africa. She is a Frankfurt Book Fair Fellow and often gives workshops on creative writing and agenting and speaks on panels at literary events, to students and to writers' groups.


Ted Hodgkinson is online editor at Granta. He was one of the judges for the 2012 Costa Book Awards for Poetry. He managed the Santa Maddalena Foundation in Tuscany, the affiliated Gregor Von Rezzori Literary Prize and still serves as an advisor. His stories have appeared in Notes from the Underground and The May Anthology. He has a MA in English from Oxford and an MFA from Columbia.


Rebecca Swift worked at Virago Press where she first conceived of the idea for TLC which she co-founded with Hannah Griffiths in 1996. She has appeared at numerous literary festivals representing TLC and exploring the relationship between writers and the publishing industry. In addition she has taught poetry and life writing. Her own poetry has been published in Virago New Poets, Vintage New Writing 6, and Driftwood; and she has written an opera libretto for Spirit Child, composed by Jenni Roditi, commissioned by the Lontano Ensemble and Arts Council. She has written and reviewed for the Independent and Guardian as well as edited Letters from Margaret, a volume of letters between Bernard Shaw and Margaret Wheeler and Imagining Characters, a book of conversations between A.S.Byatt and Ignês Sodré, both for Chatto & Windus. Her biography of Emily Dickinson, Dickinson: Poetic Lives, was published 2011 with Hesperus Press.


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