Brighton Festival Hot Seat… Storytelling Army

Stef O’Driscoll, the Artistic Director of nabokov Theatre Company talks to Brighton Festival about working with Kate Tempest, making the arts social and the formation of the Storytelling Army

How and where will the work be staged?

The Storytelling Army are a collective of diverse voices, of people from all walks of life that will pop up all over Brighton during the Festival – be it in the local supermarket, the pub or on the top deck of a bus – and tell their stories which celebrate the theme of Everyday Epic. Everyday Epic looks at us as human beings, at what we do on a daily basis and celebrates those little achievements – whether it is that today I am sober, or I have managed to take my kids to school and I suffer from depression, or whether it’s my first day of paid work – whatever that everyday epic is, it’s the chance to celebrate that and tell that story.

Where did the idea and inspiration come from?

The idea really came from looking at Kate Tempest’s philosophy of making the arts less exclusive and more social. Kate is an absolute mastermind and I’ve been very fortunate to work with her over the years in terms of directing some of her plays. A couple of years ago, we started to think about other ways that we could work with each other and we could engage new audiences in theatre and storytelling. We started talking about what happens if you have someone just walk in to a pub and start telling a story, but you don’t realise they’re actually telling a story. How would that even function? How would that even work? Could you do that? Could you just be sat at the bar with someone and then they start delivering a poem or telling a story? So, that was the birth of the idea and then when Kate became a Guest Director of the Festival we started to rethink about that idea and whether this would be the right platform to do that. Hence the army of storytellers was born!

How did you begin to research and develop the project?

We started to have a conversation about the different groups that we’d like to work to champion people’s stories. In Brighton, there’s lots of issues in terms of drug use and addition, there’s lots of homelessness and vulnerably-housed people and so we started to identify different organizations and charities that we’d want to work with in partnership to create that army of storytellers.

Why do you think it’s important that these voices are heard?

I think it’s really important that we champion diverse voices in regards to storytelling so that people have stories that they can relate to. Within our theatrical landscape there’s a lot of communities and a lot of voices that are not championed and are not heard. There’s a really important exchange that happens when you see a story where you understand that world, or you identify with that character – you as an audience member are able to understand what your role is within the world. For example, Kate Tempest’s novel, The Bricks that Built the Houses talks about a South London that I know, that I’m a part of. It deals with subcultures that were very much a part of my experience of growing up. There’s a beauty and magic that happens from reading a book that exists for me championing my world, that speaks in a language that I understand. So, we have to champion diverse voices from all walks of life to be able to give that experience to wider communities, for people to actually engage in the arts – people that wouldn’t normally. Otherwise it’s going to remain an elitist thing, which can’t happen.

What sort of person is going to love this show?

The main hope is to engage new audiences in to accessing the arts by breaking down those barriers. So, for someone who wouldn’t normally expect to experience the arts, to just stumble across it. They could be doing their shopping and they come away with a story, with identifying with something or just in part be entertained. It becomes a joyful experience that you haven’t had to pay for.

What’s going to surprise people about this show?

The beauty of this project is that it is pop up – almost like flash mob-esque. So, as an audience member you could be on your morning commute on your way to work, and you’re on the top deck of a bus and you experience an epic, beautiful poem, or this story that you weren’t really expecting. So, what will they expect? I think the unexpected.

Article reproduced from Brightonfestival.org. Click here to access the Brighton Festival web page.

Brighton Festival, nabokov and Lulu.com spotlight on Everyday Epic writing competition judges: Beth Burgess and Rob Jones of Brighton Festival

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Beth Burgess is the executive producer for the Brighton Festival. As a producer she is responsible for overseeing the programming and overall coordination of all events. Beth has been a stage manager and producer for about 30 years and has worked with artists such as Peter Sellers, Julie Taymore, Bill T Jones and many other wonderful theatre and dance companies. She was one of the original stage managers for the Broadway production of the Lion King and has had the pleasure of working all over the globe.

head shotRob Jones is an emerging producer with extensive experience of working in performing arts production across genre with a particular focus in festivals, large scale cross art form performance and community engagement. Originally from London he has worked for the Roundhouse , World stages London, BAC, the Albany and now currently lives in Brighton and is an Assistant Producer with Brighton Dome and Festival.

 

 

Spotlight on Authoright – helping Lulu authors making their book-shaped dreams come true with new marketing and publicity services

Writing a book is true labour of love and an amazing achievement for anyone. It can be a very solitary experience however, and often, once the writing part has been completed, authors really want to talk about the process and to ask the all important question: what’s next for me and my book? Authoright began so that writers could do exactly that; ask questions and have a chat with like-minded publishing insiders who understood the business of books and could give them the right advice to help them publish and promote their books successfully. Authoright are passionate about supporting new writers who are indie-publishing. We’re a small team of hardworking book lovers, and we can help writers to complete the all-important steps to publishing and promoting their books that go far beyond the writing part. Cover design, editing services, website creation, multi-media services, publicity and marketing; we can help new writers to really find their voices and to connect with their audiences.

GarethAuthoright was founded in the early days of indie-publishing by a lawyer-turned author who was going through all the challenges of publishing and launching his debut novel. In 2004, Gareth Howard was trying to sell his first novel but soon discovered that traditional publishing was something of a closed shop; you couldn’t simply call or email a literary agent or a publisher to ask their advice. The process of securing the services of an agent, who then in turn had to sell the work to a publisher, was slow and frustrating and publishing houses were more inclined to work with celebrities rather than new talent. After lots of rejection. Gareth knew he had to try and figure out how to bring his book to market, on his own terms. So he decided to take a proactive step and turned to self publishing. This meant learning on the job, and having to quickly fine-tune the skills required to produce and publish a book professionally. Gareth effectively had to become his own agent, publisher, designer and publicist overnight.

With a bit of creativity and a lot of hard graft, Gareth produced a good-looking book and secured extensive media coverage – both for the book and for him as a writer and his experiences of self publishing at a time when it was almost unheard of – managing the publishing and PR process on a shoestring budget. Over a six month period, managing the production and launch of his book had become a full-time job! But Gareth’s efforts soon paid off and his novel became one of the earliest indie-publishing success stories, earning positive reviews and being featured in the national media in the UK, the USA and even Australia. Readers contacted him through his website to tell him how much they were enjoying his book and were sharing it with others (and this was at a time when social media barely even existed).

Gareth had learned first-hand how to produce and publicise a book on a budget and he wanted to share his experiences with other writers by creating a company that offered the kind of services he had found to be so important to the success of his own novel. And so Authoright was born, sharing advice, tips and tricks of the book trade, as well as providing effective and affordable editing, design, marketing and publicity services to unknown, first-time and self publishing authors. From how to write an elevator pitch, to media training ahead of a big interview, to creating an author brand; Authoright helps authors to make their books the best they can be without breaking the bank. Every author will make an investment in their writing if they want it to be a success, but finessing the book and supporting it with the right kind of services is important, rather than spending as much money as possible. Together we still speak to around 1,500 writers a year, listening to their questions and concerns about publishing, and helping them to find the best route for them to becoming a bestseller of the future.

Every author deserves a team of cheerleaders to help them bring their book to market. To supplement their writing abilities with expertise in cover design, editing, online marketing and publicity. Every author wants their book to be a success and Authoright can help authors find the right way for them to tell their own, labour of love story.

We’re thrilled to be able to work with Lulu,com and their help their awesome authors make their book-shaped dreams come true.

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Brighton Festival, nabokov and Lulu.com spotlight on Everyday Epic writing competition judges: Gareth Howard of Authoright

GarethGareth is a former lawyer – turned writer and CEO and founder of Authoright (www.authoright.com), the leading provider of editing, design, marketing and promotional services for authors, based in London and New York.

Gareth published his own first novel Single White Failure back in 2005 when indie-publishing was in its infancy, becoming one of the first indie success stories. An early supported of indie-publishing and embracing new routes to market, he played a significant role in helping to democratise the publishing industry, by making professional, fair, and affordable production and publicity services available to all authors. Gareth still speaks to over 1,000 authors individually each year, as well as at publishing conferences in the UK and USA. He designed the author space at London Book Fair, founded the London Author Fair in 2014 and has previously been an ambassador for Frankfurt Book Fair.

Single whiteGareth is working on two new novels which will be published this year.

Authoright has kindly donated the cover design service and will be providing publicity services for the final published Every Day Epic anthology of short stories.

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Brighton Festival, nabokov and Lulu.com are coming together to launch an exclusive short story writing competition based on the Brighton Festival 2017 theme of ‘Everyday Epic’.

BF2a-200h_k (3)Lulu are proud sponsors of Brighton Festival’s world premier the Storytelling Army and in celebration of this exciting event, Lulu and Brighton Festival are thrilled to be able to launch this competition with the prize offered for your story to be published into a short story anthology with four additional stories from members of the Storytelling Army and produced as a paperback book.

Everyday Epic looks at us as human beings, at what we do on a daily basis and celebrates those little achievements – whether it is that today I am sober, or I have managed to take my kids to school and I suffer from depression, or whether it’s my first day of paid work – whatever that Everyday Epic is, it’s the chance to celebrate that and tell that story.

Prize

Four winning entries will be combined into a short story anthology with four additional stories from members of the Storytelling Army and produced as a paperback book and published.

The 4 winners will be announced on Wednesday the 24th of May 2017. If the submission rate is high the judges reserve the right to announce the winners after the close of festival.

Submission Opening and Closing Date

The competition opens on Friday 31st March 2017 and all entries must be received electronically by midnight GMT 24th MAY 2017.

Terms and Conditions

  • Entry is free.
  • The competition is open to writers who are Sussex residents.
  • There is no obligation to purchase any Lulu.com product to enter this competition.
  • The theme of entries should be ‘Everyday Epic’.
  • Your entry must be no more than 4,000 words, no minimum word count.
  • The title does not count as part of the word count.
  • Only one entry per person is permitted.
  • Your entry must be previously unpublished.
  • You must be 18 years or over to participate.
  • By entering the competition you agree to be published if you are selected as a winner.
  • All entries must be typed and supplied electronically.  No hand-written entries will be accepted.
  • Your entry must be submitted electronically as a word or pdf document and the document must contain: your name, your address, your age, your e mail contact details, the title of your submission, the word count, your twitter handle (if relevant).
  • It is preferred that all entries are written in English, however we will accept a non-English entry providing an English translation is also submitted with it.
  • Once an entry has been submitted it cannot be withdrawn.
  • This prize is not transferable.
  • Entries cannot be returned so please keep a copy.
  • Late entries will not be considered.
  • It is not possible to confirm receipt of entry by phone or email.
  • We will only contact the entrants who have won.
  • Winners and extracts of their stories will be communicated via our website and social media pages.
  • If you do not hear from us your submission has been unsuccessful.
  • If you are successful, in entering the competition you agree to our publishing terms and conditions which can be viewed at www.lulu.com/about/legal
  • Copies of the anthology will be published and made available for sale. Lulu pays 80% net royalties (net is the amount left after retailer discount) which is the highest in the industry. As this is an anthology royalties are to be shared 50% to the Storytelling Army and 30% shared between the 4 non-Storytelling Army winners.
  • Final cover design is to be decided by Brighton Festival and nabokov.

Address for entries: 

  • All entries should be electronic and emailed to social_uk@lulu.com
  • Entries will only be accepted if submitted as an electronic version to the entry address provided.
  • If you are unable to email your entry then you can copy it onto a CD and post to the address below on condition that they are received by the closing date and only CD’s are sent. No CD’s can be returned and we take no responsibility for any lost in the post.
  • Address for CD submission: Lulu.com, Workshops 1 &2, Park Farm, Paulerspury, Towcester, Northants, NN12 7NG

Judging

The judges decision is final, judges are unable to comment on individual entries, judging is fair and unbiased and experienced readers assist in helping the judges select the winners. Profiles of the judges will be posted on this blog.

Marketing

  • Copyright of each entry remains with the author but in entering the competition the author agrees that Lulu.com, Brighton Festival and nabokov will have the unrestricted right to publish the winning pieces (including any shortlisted entries) in relevant promotional material in print or online.
  • Submission of an entry implies the winners give agreement to be photographed and will take part in any marketing and publicity opportunities (print, social, or as otherwise required in the promotion of the event and the anthology) connected with this competition carried about by Lulu.com, Brighton Festival or nabokov.
  • Lulu.com will hold your contact address in our systems to contact you with regard to any future writing competitions we feel may be of interest to you unless you contact us to opt out. If you do not wish us to contact you for future events and competitions please make this clear on your competition submission.

Submission of your entry implies acceptance of these competition terms and conditions.

Lulu.com upholds the Data Protection Act 1998.

 

 

 

Lulu.com sponsors Brighton Festival’s Storytelling Army with short story competition on theme of Everyday Epic

BF2a-200h_k (3)Lulu.com are delighted to be launching their sponsorship of the Storytelling Army, a unique commission for this year’s Brighton Festival (6th to 28th May), by hosting a 4,000 word adult short story writing competition to celebrate the rich tradition of storytelling.

Brighton Festival are working with nabokov theatre company and Guest Director Kate Tempest to assemble and mobilise the Storytelling Army: a dynamic collective of people from all walks of life – including those who are homeless and vulnerably housed – who will perform in unexpected locations throughout Brighton over the last weekend of this year’s Festival.

http://brightonfestival.org/event/10966/storytelling_army

‘Since time began, we as a species have passed down our teachings from generation to generation through the medium of story telling. From the camp fire to the soap box, from dusty books to the internet, story telling is how we evolve, it is essential to our existence and vital to the fabric of our communities”, Nigel Lee, CEO Lulu.com

The competition is open to Sussex residents and you must be 18 or over to enter. The theme of the writing submission must be the ‘Everyday Epic’. Each one of us has a story to tell: extraordinary moments amongst the ordinary, the little victories against the odds.

Four lucky competition winners will be announced during the last week of the festival. The winning stories will be combined into an anthology, alongside stories from the Storytelling Army, and published as a paperback book. UK based marketing and PR partner Authoright will also be supporting the book with a publicity campaign once it is published; ensuring the Everyday Epic stories reach as many readers as possible after the competition ends.

“Everyone has a story to tell. Lulu.com has amassed our own story telling army of over a million authors in 226 countries. To get on the ground and be part of real-life story telling in Brighton and to publish a selection of those winning stories is a fantastic opportunity for Lulu to further its heart felt cause, freedom of expression and the right to share. The whole initiative speaks to our own ethos, share your story, without profit censorship, without manipulation from profiteers, without judgement”. Nigel Lee, CEO Lulu.com

 About Brighton Festival

The largest and most established annual curated multi-arts festival in England, Brighton Festival is a celebration of music, theatre, dance, circus, art, film, literature, debate, outdoor and family events – taking place in venues both familiar and unusual across Brighton & Hove for three weeks every May. Since 2009 Brighton Festival has attracted inspiring and internationally significant Guest Directors who bring cohesion to the artistic programme including visual artist Anish Kapoor (2009), musician Brian Eno (2010), poet, author and former Children’s Laureate Michael Rosen (2013), and pioneering artist and musician Laurie Anderson (2016). This year’s Guest Director is the acclaimed recording artist, poet, playwright and novelist Kate Tempest.

The competition is officially open on 31 March 2017. Details on how to enter will be posted on this blog together with, entry terms and conditions, profiles of the judges and extracts of some of the short listed stories. Alternatively you can email social_uk@lulu.com for the competition entry rules.

Follow us on our social media channels for updates on the competition:

Twitter @LuludotcomUK

Facebook Lulu.comUK

Blog https://lulu-uk.blog

 

 

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