Presented in association with Dublin UNESCO City of Literature, supported by Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht
Does it really matter who publishes the books we read? Is the dominance of the multinational failing to meet the real needs of readers and writers? Does corporate culture stifle creativity and diversity of opinion? And if so can a vibrant and innovative independent publishing scene better deliver our reading fix?
This groundbreaking all-day seminar brings together key players in international independent publishing for a series of enlightening discussions and events. Alongside leading Irish and UK independents, The Indie Scene welcomes major players from Melbourne, Australia, a city that, with its wealth of small presses, specialist houses and international indies, has become a model of how publishing could and perhaps should be in the 21st century.
Together with their Irish and UK counterparts they examine the current and future state of play, and ask whether, in an age of creeping globalisation and chain culture, an independent streak is an ever more valued asset.
10 – 11am: Small is Beautiful – A Talk with Zoë Dattner:
Zoe Dattner is co-founder and Creative Director of Melbourne small press Sleepers Publishing, which has been operating since 2003. She has worked in the area of publishing, both large and small, for more than ten years, and in 2009 Zoe became the General Manager of the Small Press Underground Networking Community, a peak organisation that represents, advocates, and promotes more than 70 small publishers around Australia.
11 – 11.45: Steve Grimwade & Maureen Kennelly discuss the Festival Circuit
What relationship do book and writers festivals have with independent publishers? Is it their responsibility to support the independents or should they simply programme the writers they want regardless of who publishes them? Steve Grimwade is the Artistic Director of the Melbourne Writers Festival and Maureen Kennelly is the former Programme Director of Cúirt and recently programmed DublinSwell, the celebration of Dublin’s designation as UNESCO City of Literature.
11.45 – 12.30pm: Brendan Barrington, Rebecca O’Connor, Declan Meade & Mark Richard discuss Keeping Afloat
How do lit magazine and journals continue to thrive in such a tough marketplace and what role do they play in today’s publishing world? Four editors offer their thoughts: Brendan Barrington (The Dublin Review), Rebecca O’Connor (The Moth), Declan Meade (The Stinging Fly) and Mark Richard (Fourth Estate).
12.30 – 1.30pm: Lunch
1.30 – 2.30pm: Sophy Williams on Black Inc.
Sophy Williams is the CEO, Rights Director of Black Inc., a large independent, Australian publisher. As well as book publishing, they also produce The Monthly, a national magazine on politics, society and the arts, The Quarterly Essay , Australia’s leading journal of politic, culture and debate, and Slow TV, a free internet channel delivering interviews, debates and public lecftures about the key questions in Australian life.
2.30 – 3.15pm: Pete Ayrton & Antony Farrell discuss The Independent Spirit
Pete Ayrton and Antony Farrell, founders of Serpent’s Tail and Lilliput Press respectively, explore the future for independent publishing in the face of conglomerates, globilisation and new technology.
3.15 – 4pm: The Love of a Good Agent: Where would writers be without their agents? Faith O’Grady & Hannah Westland:
Faith O’Grady, literary editor at the Lisa Richards Agency, and Hannah Westland, an agent for the UK firm Rogers, Coleridge and White, discusses an agent’s relationship with both writers and publishers. Are there instances where an independent publisher might better suit a writer or will the financial clout of the conglomerates always outdo the particular qualities that a smaller publisher as to offer?
4.00 – 4.45pm: Open Forum: an opportunity for participants and audience to explore some of the issues raised during the day
In association with Melbourne Writers Festival and Melbourne: UNESCO City of Literature