Year Notes 2013

The Literary Platform Team

This year we’ve been busy as bees – January 2013 feels like two seconds ago and here we are summing up the year again already. We’ve seen the consultancy grow; we’ve taken on new clients, collaborated with new partners, brought the old intern on as a permanent fixture and learnt a lot.

As Alain de Botton tweeted this year: 

“Anyone who isn’t embarrassed of who they were last year probably isn’t learning enough.”

Time will tell how we feel next year. 

January

We devised and ran the first of our Workshops for Faber Factory; a workshop on consumer engagement for twelve independent publishers. We also ran a seminar and workshop, brainstorming ideas for a new publication, with Creative Writing MA students at Goldsmiths University. Sophie spoke about the impact of digital publishing on writers at the Inpress Publishing Festival. We also worked with developers Heuristic on the launch of the translated editions of their iconic Cyclepedia app.

February

TwpSpeaking at TOC New York, Professor Kate Pullinger, editorial director of our project The Writing Platform, used her Keynote to announce the launch of The Writing Platform site , disclose the results of our writers’ survey and launch our NALD bursary programme for partnering writers and technologists.

Laura worked with Pop Up Projects to help them develop their international Olympic Legacy project connecting children from Hackney and Brazil.

From February through to May, Alice managed a National Reading Group campaign, run in support of the Independent Foreign Fiction Prize, for The Reading Agency. This culminated with a special readers day held at the Free Word centre in London, where readers were invited to vote for a Readers Choice winner of the IFF Prize.

March

The Literary Platform was one of a number of cultural organisations invited to join a British Council Creative Economy delegation of cultural leaders to China, participating in a number of events exploring audience development and new business models in the digital age. Sophie joined the delegation, which included Tate, Royal Shakespeare Company, Roundhouse, Sage Gateshead, Culture24 and Philharmonia Orchestra, visited Beijing, Shanghai and Hong Kong.

Meanwhile in Stockholm, Joanna took part in the If Book Then Conference giving a talk on Stories at Heart.

April

As ever London Book Fair provided the perfect opportunity to connect with old friends and make new ones.

Sophie presented findings from our Writing Platform writers’ survey and took part in a panel along with Kobo and Smashwords on the Rise of Self Publishing at the London Book Fair’s Digital Minds Conference.

We also launched the TLP Collective website, a place to showcase our client projects, research and events.

May

On behalf of Goldmiths University, we brought together a wide range of stakeholders to discuss IP and Copyright in publishing for a CREATe workshop, hosted by the Guardian.

Sophie chaired a panel at New Writing North’s Newcastle Writing Conference where she introduced The Writing Platform. Fellow panellists Chris Rickaby, Lisa Gee and Tony White shared their experiences about writing in the digital age.

We announced the eight selected authors for the Fiction Uncovered 2013, with Chair Louise Doughty reminding us, “… just how varied, wide-ranging and fascinating British fiction is at the moment.”

Joanna chaired a webcast on discoverability in a digital and social world for Digital Book World.

Do StoryWe also helped launch the Do Book Company, a range of beautifully-designed concise guides to inspire Doers’ inspired by Do Lectures and brainchild of studio homie Miranda West. As part of the launch, Pixar story consultant Bobette Buster, author of Do Story, spoke at the third annual FutureBook Innovation Workshop, an event programmed and run by The Literary Platform, attended by over a hundred publishers and digital professionals.

June

We helped Australian media company, RAWR, launch the interactive app of their award-winning short film A Cautionary Tail in UK, Europe and US markets.

We chaired a panel on The Writing Economy at The Literary Consultancy’s Writing in a Digital Age Conference.

Joanna delivered the research for the Library 21 project for the Reading Agency, looking into the future of the relationship between the physical and digital in the library space.

July

We produced Fiction Uncovered FM, our annual pop up FM and digital radio station hosted by Foyles Charing Cross Road, broadcasting panel discussions and readings from Fiction Uncovered 2013 authors.

We devised and ran Making Day at the MIX conference in Bath bringing writers and technologists together to explore new modes of storytelling. Master storyteller Naomi Alderman opened the day.

We went on our very first TLP field trip to the V&A museum where we were taken on a guided tour of Hari Kunzru’s Memory Palace exhibition, by curator Laurie Britton Newell.

This month we also ran our second Faber Factory workshop for a new group of independent publishers.

August

ChinaWe launched an experimental research project with Nesta, looking into the potential of Chinese social media platforms as a way for British writers to find new audiences. As part of the project, two short stories by David Mitchell were made available for a translation contest run with arts and culture social network Douban.

September

We partnered with Frankfurt Academy to develop new ways for them to distribute their Frankfurt Academy Quarterly magazine. Joanna charted the publishing and distribution process in two blogs here and here.

We began working with the Welsh Books Council and Welsh publishers, to bring a fresh approach to the way their titles are promoted – combining traditional media relations with digital marketing.

October

Sophie chaired a panel at CONTEC, Frankfurt Book Fair on the future of bookselling with panellists from Tumblr and mvB. 

Our team also helped launch Inside the Rainbowa beautiful book on Soviet picture books from the 20’s and 30’s, placing a feature by Philip Pullman that you can read on the Guardian website here.

We published our first Literary Platform Quarterly on Zombies – for Hallowe’en and Joanna joined a panel on the Future of the Author at Scottish Book Trust‘s Digital Seminar.

Our second TLP Field Trip took us to the Science Museum

November

We held our second Writing Platform conference and fair at Rich Mix in Shoreditch, bringing together writers, publishers and start-ups.

hclub100Much to our excitement, The Literary Platform was selected as one of ten organisations in the British Council’s Creative Entrepreneurship category, part of the h.Club 100 list, compiled by the Guardian Culture Professionals Network and the Hospital Club.

We also welcomed a Korean delegation in association with British Council, giving a talk on publishing and digital in the UK.

We ran a digital marketing workshop with Welsh publishers in Swansea, and Joanna also guest-lectured for Publishing MA students at London College of Communications.

As part of the annual Port Harcourt Book Festival in Nigeria, Sophie was invited by the British Council to give a seminar on digital publishing.

December

We limped across the finish line, and celebrated the end of the year with forty friends and clients, collaborators and competitors in our annual Christmas lunch at the Groucho Club.

We’re looking forward to our 2014 projects, which so far include Fiction Uncovered 2014, a digital workshop at Bologna Children’s Book Fair, an event at Abu Dhabi Book Festival and working with Unlimited Theatre to launch a new digital project. We’ll also be ready to announce some exciting developments on The Writing Platform project, which we’ll be able to announce in the New Year.

We hope you had a good year too.

And if you’ve got the end of this we’ll buy you a coffee (or detox juice) in January.

With love from TLP.

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