I am often invited to give readings or to talk about my work at literature festivals, universities, conferences, spoken word gigs and music festivals, in book shops, galleries, arts centres, pubs, libraries, museums, nightclubs and performance art venues across the UK and around the world: from California to Croatia, Soho to Sydney. From the National Portrait Gallery to the Scottish Highlands to the Gothic masterpiece that is St Mary Redcliffe, Bristol. I enjoy giving live readings. It is an important part of my work as a writer, and I would love to welcome you to forthcoming events.
I am always happy to hear from anyone about a reading or a talk. See below for a word about bookings.
2015 dates include:
December 5 2015: London. More info to come.
November 21 2015: More info to come.
October 16 2015: London. More info to come.
September 19 2015: I’ll be giving a reading of my short story ‘Essex Indexicals’ at the opening of Chris Dorley-Brown’s Fifteen Seconds Part 3. Firstsite, Lewis Gardens, High Street, Colchester, Essex CO1 1JH, 5-7pm (exhibition runs from 5-27 September 2015). Ticketing info TBC.
July 30 2015: audio of my short story ‘High-Lands’ is part of Remote Centres: Performances from Outlandia, with works by Bram Thomas Arnold, Ruth Barker, Ed Baxter and Resonance Radio Orchestra with Tam Dean Burn, Johnny Brown with Band of Holy Joy, Clair Chinnery, Alec Finlay and Ken Coburn, Kirsteen Davidson-Kelly, Benedict Drew, Goodiepal, Sarah Kenchington, Lisa O’Brien, Lee Patterson, Michael Pedersen and Ziggy Campbell, Geoff Sample, Mark Vernon/Jo Joelson & Bruce Gilchrist, and Tracey Warr. Until 30 August. Edinburgh College of Art: Tent Gallery, Evolution House, 78 Westport, EH1 2LE. Mon-Fri, 12-5pm (or by appointment)
July 10 2015: Launch of “Shklovsky’s Zoo” by Joanna Walsh, the 29th title from Tony White’s Piece of Paper Press. “Shklovsky’s Zoo” is published in a limited, numbered edition of 150 copies, and numbers 51-150 will be given away at a launch event at bookartbookshop, 17 Pitfield Street, London N1 6HB, 6.30—8.30pm. No reservations. Strictly one copy per person, while stocks last. Read the press release (opens as PDF).
June 25 2015: New Dawn—Beaconsfield’s 20th Birthday Party. ‘A rare chance for all of us to take cultural ownership of a pioneering art venture that deserves to survive – join our Friends, Best Friends and Patrons! #SupportBeaconsfield – safeguard Beaconsfield’s future.’ Guest performers include David Ball (Soft Cell) & Dave Chambers, Shiva Feshareki & Jack Jelfs, Lucky PDF, Boo Saville, Simon Tyszko, Tony White. 7pm to midnight. RSVP essential—strictly guestlist.
June 1 2015: I’m reading at the celebrated Brixton Book Jam. Full line-up: Alex Wheatle, Tamim Sadikali, Jean Smith, Graham Buchan, Valdemar Alsop, Kirstin Innes, John Cullen, Joanna Biggs, Zelda Rhiando, Monique Roffey, David McGrath, and me ;) Venue: Hootananny, 95 Effra Road, Brixton, London SW2 1DF. Trains: Brixton, Victoria Line/Brixton Overground. Buses: 2, 3, 432, 37, 415. Doors: 7:30pm, and it is FREE.
May 1 to July 26 2015: Include Me Out of the Partisans Manifesto (Alan Phelan, 2012)—a short film based on my short story ‘Include Me Out’, is included in the exhibition IMMA Collection: Fragments, Irish Museum of Modern Art, Royal Hospital, Kilmainham, Dublin 8, Ireland. Read more here.
May 9 2015: London Radical Bookfair 2015: The Tanner St Takeover. I’ll be reading short story The Holborn Cenotaph as part of the speakers’ corner programme at 1:30pm, where I will also give away the last few copies of the edition that was produced for the recent event at The MAC, Belfast. Read more about this.
April 20 2015: Cabaret Futura. I’ll be reading The Holborn Cenotaph at the latest of Richard Strange’s legendary evenings of ‘uncategorisable entertainments’. The Paradise, 19 Kilburn Lane, Kensal Rise, London W10 4AE. Tickets £10.00.
March 29 2015: IN YER EAR #10 — In Yer Ear are putting on a Sunday afternoon away gig at Longwave in South London. I’ll be reading on a bill with The Conformists, Iphgenia Baal, Gary Lowe, Julia Bell, Dave McGowan, Becky Fury and Marianne Hyatt. Longwave Bar, Elephant & Castle, 4pm. Read more about this.
March 27 2015: Zara Lyness gives a spontaneous performance/reading of The Holborn Cenotaph to an audience of students and staff at Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster. Read more about this.
March 26 2015: The MAC, Belfast. The Cenotaph Project and the public sphere. ‘This event will include presentations from the artists Stuart Brisley and Maya Balcioglu, writer and academic Dr Sanja Perovic, and Belfast-based artist and writer Dr Colin Darke, followed by an open discussion amongst the speakers and audience. The evening will conclude with a reading by London-based author Tony White of his satirical short story The Holborn Cenotaph, written in response to Brisley and Balcioglu’s project, in the tradition of Jonathan Swift’s A Modest Proposal…’ Info and bookings.
March 26 2015: Belfast School of Art, University of Ulster. (View the slides for this talk on Speakerdeck.)
March 24 2015: CreativeWorks London Information Event. I’ll be giving a short presentation about work undertaken during my residency at King’s College London — which was funded by CreativeWorks London — and the loose research collaboration with artists Stuart Brisley and Maya Balciouglu, and Dr Sanja Perovic of King’s that the residency enabled. The event is being held to announce the final round of CreativeWorks London’s Creative Entrepreneurs-in-Residence Scheme. (View the slides for this talk on Speakerdeck.)
March 17 2015: Goethe Institute, London. Free Word presents Weather Stations: Climate Change – The Stories We Tell. A panel discussion with Mirko Bonné, Chris Rapley and Tony White. 6.30pm doors open, 7pm Event starts. Admission free. Listen to audio archive of this event on Free Word’s SoundCloud.
March 17 2015: How are digital developments disrupting traditional publishing and what new opportunities exist for writers in this sphere? New Writing North/Northumbria University. (View the slides for this talk on Speakerdeck)
February 20 2015: I’m speaking and reading at ‘The Contemporary Small Press: A Symposium’. Seeking to address the role and status of the small press in the UK, to facilitate productive dialogue between the diverse publishers working with contemporary innovative writers and poets, to explore the history of the small press, literary politics and the relationship between the small press and the mainstream. The Boardroom, 309 Regent Street, University of Westminster, London w1 10:00-17:00 Free but booking essential.
February 5 2015: Tony White and Tom McCarthy, MA Critical Writing in Art and Design at the Royal College of Art, London. (Sorry, this is not a public event).
January 17 2015: ‘Minutes To Go, Years Apart’, October Gallery London. Readings and conversation with Liliane Lijn and Tony White. Including ‘A Porky Prime Cut’ performed with a specially composed live musical accompaniment by UK acid house pioneer and former Psychic TV collaborator Richard Norris. October Gallery, London: Saturday 17 January 2015. This event was recorded for broadcast, date TBC. Find out more.
2014 event archive:
December 20 2014: 3am Christmas Bash. CANCELLED BY THE ORGANISERS.
October 28 2014: By way of tribute to the late Jack Bruce, a special broadcast of Tony White’s short story first broadcast as part of Remote Performances in August 2014. ‘Stormbringer’ was inspired by talk of a period in Jack Bruce’s life when it seems he was entitled to be formally addressed as The Much Honoured Laird of Sanda. Voice: Tony White. Guitar: Peter Lanceley. Resonance 104.4fm, 4:00pm. More info and audio archive.
October 24 2014: ‘The Cenotaph Project and the Public Sphere’, panel discussion and reading with Stuart Brisley, Maya Balcioglu, Sanja Perovic and Tony White. Presented as part of the Arts & Humanities Festival 2014: Underground, in the George Gilbert Scott-designed Chapel, King’s College, London. BOOKING NOW OPEN ON THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE.
October 20 2014: ‘TCCE in partnership with the British Academy presents “Artists in the Academy”’ — Inside Out Festival. The British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London SW1Y 5AH, 6.00pm – 7.30pm. ‘At a time when universities are exploring new ways to maximise the impact of their research and connect themselves to the wider world in increasingly dynamic and unexpected ways, it appears that universities are also signalling a desire to bring the work of arts practitioners into the academy …’ READ MORE. Chair: Deborah Bull, Director, Cultural Partnerships, King’s College London. Participants to include: Tony White, Novelist; Jasmin Vardimon, Choreographer; Di Mainstone, Visual artist; Professor Philip Crang, Royal Holloway University of London; Dr Dominic Johnson Queen Mary, University of London. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL.
October 14 2014: Westminster University, London. I’ll be talking about my fiction and digital projects such as Missorts to MA creative writing students on Westminster University’s new ‘Digital London’ course, which focuses on contemporary digital practise in literature. I have shared my Digital London slides on Speakerdeck.
October 9 2014: ‘Drift: Collective Reading & Forensics.’ Whitechapel Art Gallery poet in residence Caroline Bergvall invites a great rosta of poets, writers, performers and activists to read with her from her current interdisciplinary and collaborative project Drift: Holly Pester, Sophie Mayer, Shezea Quraishi, Carol Watts, Jonathan Skinner, Mikhail Karikis, Cherry Smyth, Chris McCabe, Joelle Taylor, Tony White, Marj McDaid, Rod Mengham, Olumide Popoola, Hester Reeve, Susan Johanknecht and Amaara Raheem will raise the words. Thursday 9 October, 7pm – 9pm. Booking essential. £8.50/£6.50 concession (£4.25 Whitechapel Gallery Members). *Proof of concessions and membership to be shown on the door.
September 11 2014: Artists and Climate Change, Dana Centre, London. I’ll be discussing my novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South alongside other artists featured in the Science Museum’s Climate Changing programme, and a range of experts who bring different perspectives to the challenge of engaging audiences with climate change. Chaired by journalist and broadcaster Quentin Cooper. Dana Studio, Queensgate, London SW7, 14:00—17:30. FREE but booking essential.
August 4-10 2014: Remote Performances, broadcasting live from Outlandia in Glen Nevis, Scotland on Resonance 104.4fm. Works included a live reading of the specially commissioned new short story ‘High-Lands’ with soundscape by Johny Brown of Band of Holy Joy (Weds 6 August, 1:45pm); and ‘Stormbringer’ with live accompaniment from Peter Lanceley of the Resonance Radio Orchestra (recorded at sunset in Roshven, Tuesday 5 August, broadcast Thursday 7 August, 1:30pm). See also blogpost about ‘High-Lands’ here, and find out more about Remote Performances here. Listen to ‘High-Lands’ on the Resonance 104.4fm Soundcloud page.
July 12 2014: Record launch — A Puppet Show (Nothing Moments, 2014) by Steven Hull, featuring music by Tanya Haden, Petra Haden, Gibby Haynes, Anna Huff, Steven Hull, and the short story ‘A Fragment from the Lives of the Conquistadors’ by Tony White. Part of the Steven Hull-curated exhibition ‘My Little Boat of Sorrow’ (opens as PDF), at Rosamund Felsen Gallery, 2525 Michigan Ave. B4, Santa Monica, CA 90404, USA — exhibition reception and record launch 5:00-7:00pm. (Exhibition continues to August 9 2014. Gallery Hours: Tue–Sat, 10:00AM–5:30PM)
June 23 2014: I’ll be reading a short extract from my Science Museum novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South during Weatherfronts: climate change and the stories we tell, the latest workshop from TippingPointUK. Free Word Centre, London. EVENT SOLD OUT
June 11 2014: special broadcast of Shackleton’s Man Goes South over the vintage Denman Horn, as part of the Resonance 104.4fm residency at the Science Museum’s Virgin Media Space. 3:00pm at the Science Museum, or on Resonance 104.4fm across central London. This broadcast is now archived for listen-again.
May 2-5 2014: Bristol Art Weekender. Missorts, my permanent soundwork for Bristol, is part of the programme for the inaugural Bristol Art Weekender. ‘For the first time in Bristol art organisations and artists have come together to stage a weekend celebration of art across the city.’ Follow #BAW2014
March 1 2014: Out of Site. PEER in partnership with Animate Projects has commissioned four new moving image works to be back-projected through their gallery windows and viewed from Hoxton Street. My new short story ‘Animate Me’ is published to accompany the commissions, and I’m chairing a panel discussion with the artists Savinder Bual, Karolina Glusiec and Margaret Salmon, at the gallery. This event is free but booking is essential. Click here to reserve a place.
January 15 2014: ‘Animate Me’. Publication of a new short story commissioned to accompany the PEER and Animate Projects’ Out of Site commissions 2014, comprising four new moving image works to be back-projected through the gallery windows and viewed from Hoxton Street. ‘Animate Me’ is available as an A5 pamphlet designed by Joe Ewart of Society, free from PEER, 97 & 99 Hoxton Street, London N1 6QL.
January 9 2014: Republic of the Moon, London. I’ll be reading my short story ‘Occupy the Moon’, commissioned by The Arts Catalyst and first published in 2011, now available in print for the first time as part of Manifesto for a Republic of the Moon, to accompany the exhibition. £3.00 from exhibition shop at Bargehouse, Oxo Tower Wharf, South Bank, London SE1 9PH. More info here.
2013 event archive:
December 10 2013: I’ll be giving a short reading from the new paperback edition of my novella Missorts Volume II at the Milk Thistle, Bristol, 6:30-9:00 pm.
December 5 2013: I’ll be reading from the new paperback edition of my novella Missorts Volume IIon a bill with my fellow-Faber author Michael Smith and Adam Foulds for the Winter Shuffle Festival, London. The Living Room, St Clement’s hospital, Mile End, London 6:30 pm – 11:00 pm (readings 8-9pm). Tickets: £7/£5 (booking fees may apply).
December 4 2013: I’m speaking at ‘Press to Print’, an event for UCL postgraduates at The Slade School of Art. Other speakers include Jane Rolo of Book Works and UCL Art Librarian Liz Lawes.
October 24 2013: Shackleton’s Man Goes South. The Literary Platform Field Trip to Science Museum. “Join The Literary Platform team on the second of its TLP Field Trips – a chance to get out and see project work talked through by the project makers themselves. Tony White, and Sarah Harvey of the Science Museum will be able to talk about the novel and the project and walk us through the accompanying exhibition in this exclusive one-off tour for The Literary Platform readers.” Registration price of £15.00 includes a signed copy of the limited edition paperback of Shackleton’s Man Goes South. 14:00-16:00 Booking and more info here.
October 19 2013: Ilkley Literature Festival. Joining me at Ilkley Playhouse for readings from Shackleton’s Man Goes South and discussion about imagining climate change futures will be climate scientist Professor Andy Challinor and chair Sian Ede. Booking now open, buy tickets here. Download the ebook FREE here.
October 15 2013: Manchester Literature Festival. I’ll be reading from my novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South and discussing it with Gregory Norminton (editor of the excellent climate change-inspired short story collection Beacons: stories for our not so distant future). This event reviewed here.
October 9 2013: King’s College London. ‘Shackleton’s Man Goes South: climate crisis and Oulipan strategies.’ Introductory talk to Tony White’s residency at King’s College, London. “White will discuss his work, in particular the 2013 novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South — the first novel ever published by the Science Museum — and Dicky Star and the Garden Rule, a novella that was specially commissioned to reflect upon the twenty-fifth anniversary of the Chernobyl disaster. Both books deploy literary strategies associated with the Ouvroir de littérature potentielle. He will also briefly introduce the collaboration with KCL’s Dr Sanja Perovic and the artist Stuart Brisley that is the subject of his residency.”
September 28 2013: I’m delighted to be collaborating with artist Steven Hull for his event at the Glow all-nighter, Santa Monica, Ca. ‘Glow is an all-night cultural experience featuring original commissions by artists that re-imagine Santa Monica Beach as a playground for thoughtful and participatory temporary artworks.’ Click here for more info about planning your visit to Glow.
July 20 2013: ‘Asian East Enders: Celebrating British Asian culture in the East End — a fusion of traditional and local influences.’ I’ll be reading from and discussing my novel Foxy-T on the 10th anniversary of its publication, in this event for the Cockney Heritage Festival. Introduced by Rushanara Ali, MP for Bethnal Green and Bow, and featuring music from Spex MC, King Sour Da MC and Checkered Faces. The reading will be followed by a panel discussion hosted by the Swadhinata Trust with speakers Benjamin Zeitlyn, Sean Carey and Delwar Hussein, chaired by Julie Begum. Idea Store Whitechapel, 4th Floor 321 Whitechapel Road, London E1 1BU. 1:00 to 4:00pm. An edited version of the talk I gave at this event is now posted on the Faber and Faber blog.
June 19 2013: Climate Commons: literature, climate change and activism. Readings by Tony White, Hayley Newman & James Marriot. Wednesday 19th June 2013 at Proboscis Studio 6pm to 8pm. FREE but booking on the Proboscis eventbrite page is essential.
May 17 2013: ODI “Friday lunchtime lectures: A story of polar archives and climate change.’ 13:00 to 13:45. The Open Data Institute, 65 Clifton Street, London, EC2A 4JE. FREE BUT BOOKING ESSENTIAL. Join Tony White for a short reading from Shackleton’s Man Goes South, and to hear how he used contemporary climate data and old polar archives to tell a new kind of climate change story. Friday lunchtime lectures at the Open Data Institute. You bring your lunch, we provide tea & coffee, an interesting talk, and enough time to get back to your desk.Twitter: #odifridays
May 9 2013: I’ll be talking about Dicky Star and the Garden Rule and Shackleton’s Man Goes South at Words/Worlds, The Nuffield Theatre, Lancaster University: Centre for Performance and Practice. 1:30-5:30. FREE. Convened to mark the appointment of Tim Etchells as Professor of Performance at Lancaster Institute for the Contemporary Arts (LICA), Words/Worlds is an afternoon symposium focused on approaches to writing in an interdisciplinary context. With Tim Etchells, visual artists Martin John Callanan and Penny McCarthy, curator Mathieu Copeland, performance maker and scholar Andrew Quick and Tony White.
May 4 2013: Newcastle Writing Conference. As part of this day-long event I’ll be joining fellow authors Lisa Gee and Ewan Morrisson and Sophie Rochester of The Literary Platform between 3.30 and 4.30 to discuss Digital Writing. Newcastle Writing Conference, Great Hall, Sutherland Building, Northumbria University, Newcastle upon Tyne: Saturday 4 May, 9.30am-5.30pm. Full details and booking information is available at http://nclwritingconference.eventbrite.co.uk. Tickets (includes lunch and refreshments): £99 / £50 (students) / £20 (Cuckoo Young Writers)
April 26 2013: I’ll be giving a remote lecture about the development of my Missorts soundwork/app to CLAN — the Cornwall Locative/ Interactive Arts Network.
April 24 2013: Science Museum, London. Shackleton’s Man Goes South — book launch and gallery opening. My new display for the Science Museum launches as part of a climate change-themed Science Museum Lates. The display accompanies my new novel Shackleton’s Man Goes South, the Museum’s Atmosphere commission 2013. Atmosphere gallery, admission free. Panel discussion: Is everything going south? Chair Siân Ede introduces Tony White, Simon Ings (novelist and editor of New Scientist’s digital quarterly Arc) and Dr Emma Tompkins (specialist in climate change adaptation and adviser to the UK Climate Impacts Programme) to discuss how science and literature are imagining climate change futures. I’m sorry that due to overwhelming demand the RSVP list for this event has been closed.
April 12 2013: ‘Missorts: Literature Reinvented’ — I’ve been invited to discuss Missorts, my new, permanent public artwork for Bristol inspired by the city’s radical literary heritage, and talk about writing for new digital platforms. I’ll be in conversation with Claire Doherty of Situations. The event is part of the fascinating-sounding exhibition Writing Britain: Bristol Writing. The event is free: book a place at any Bristol library or ring the Central Library on 0117 903 7250. Bristol Central Library. 7pm to 8.15pm
January 4 2013: ‘Include me out of the partisans manifesto’, screening of the new short film by Irish artist Alan Phelan that is based on my short story ‘Include Me Out’. Kevin Kavanagh Gallery, Chancery Lane, Dublin. Friday 4 January 19:00 pm to Saturday 5 January 19:00. Admission free.
2012 event archive:
November 22 2012: University of Essex, Centre for Creative Writing. Colchester. Talking about and reading from my work, particularly my novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule. Part of the Writers at Essex programme. Venue: The Art Exchange, Wivenhoe Park, Colchester, 6.00 pm, admission free.
November 20 2012: Missorts, launch of new, free, immersive soundwork app and novella. Live readings from me, while Psychedelic drum pop band Beaty Heart will perform a live remix of Missorts. St Mary Redcliffe, Redcliffe Way, Bristol, BS1 6RA. 6.30 pm.The event is free and open to all, but booking essential. www.missorts.com
November 5 2012: Faber Social Presents DISSENT. ‘Celebrating the anniversary of Guy Fawkes’ failed plot, the Faber Social is proud to present an evening promoting the dissenting tradition.’ I’m a late addition to the bill, so not listed yet but delighted to be appearing with Stewart Home, James Kelman, Ali Smith. Also Dorian Lynskey (who I interviewed on stage at Glastonbury last year) will be DJ. 7:00 p.m. The Social, 5 Little Portland Street, London W1W 7JD.
October 27 2012: Final Academy, The Horse Hospital, London. Put together by Joe Ambrose: ‘This event honours The Final Academy which took place in London 30 years ago this October, and which featured William Burroughs, Brion Gysin, 23 Skidoo, and Psychic TV.’ More info.
October 27 2012: Durham Book Festival. I’ll be reading from — and talking about — Dicky Star and the Garden Rule at Durham Town Hall in the Burlison Gallery at 11 am. Tickets: £6 / £4. Click here for booking info and Durham Book Festival website.
October 13 2012: I’ll be reading from — and talking about — Dicky Star and the Garden Rule as part of an After Hours event at the Whitworth Art Gallery, Manchester, to coincide with the forthcoming exhibition by Jane and Louise Wilson. The Whitworth promise ‘a fantastic evening of art, performance and live music as the gallery opens up, After Hours. The event is part of this years Manchester Weekender,’ plus a free glass of wine on arrival. More info here.
October 11 2012: Include Me Out of the Partisans Manifesto, part of Alan Phelan: Fragile Absolutes Part 3, Limerick City Art Gallery, Ireland. World premiere of a new short film by artist Alan Phelan, from my story ‘Include Me Out,’ that itself was originally commissioned to accompany Alan’s brilliant shows at Irish Museum of Modern Art, Dublin, and Chapter, Cardiff. More info soon.
September 12 2012: ‘Reinventing Fiction, with Kate Pullinger, Tony White, Tim Wright,’ Guardian Masterclass. What do the current transformations in reading, writing, and publishing, mean to us as readers, writers, and artists? Showcasing a mix of new approaches, this is an exceptional opportunity to spend an evening with writers who operate at the cutting edge of where fiction meets new technology. This event will consist of a series of three presentations and a discussion and Q&A with guest speakers Tim Wright and Tony White. Limited spaces, 6.30pm- 9.30pm, The Guardian, 90 York Way, King’s Cross, London N1 9GU. Tickets: £39 (inclusive of VAT and booking fees).
July 22 2012: Port Eliot Festival. I’ll be doing a half-hour set on the Five Dials Stage at 4.15 on Sunday 22 July, reading from my specially commissioned novella Dicky Star and the Garden Rule. More on the festival line-up here. Photos of this event posted here.
July 6 2012: Biotik Session, Eden Project. I’ll be on the Biotik stage as part of the Eden Sessions for Nowhereisland, with Salena Godden and others. We’re doing two shows, so I’m on at 3pm and again at 4.40pm. (This event now blogged here.)
July 2 2012: Experimental Writing Across Borders. Brunel University. With Matt Thorne and José Francisco Fernández of Universidad de Almería I’ll be discussing, ‘the transnational reach of the New Puritan Manifesto,’ as well as recent directions in creative experimentation today, including readings from Dicky Star and the Garden Rule.
June 8 2012: The Literary Conference: Writing in a Digital Age. I will be speaking on a panel convened by The Literary Platform. Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA. Full listing and booking information here.
April 26 2012: Dicky Star and the garden rule (Forma). Launch event for new work of fiction, including readings and discussion with writer and broadcaster Ken Hollings. 6.30 pm, Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road, London EC1R 3GA. Watch video.
I love doing live readings and consider it a central part of my work as a writer, so if you run a literary event or a talks programme and are interested in booking me to read or participate in some way then please feel free to get in touch as far in advance as possible with as much information about your event(s) as you can. I need to know where and when it will be (venue, date, time etc), what kind of event it is, as well as information about travel and accommodation, and by when you would need me to send you any blurb and press photos. It would also be useful to know more about the audience and how you plan to publicise the event; how I might be able to add to that.
My technical requirements are very simple: at the most basic these would be a microphone on a mic-stand, enough light to read by, and a small table upon which I can place a glass of water and whichever books I am reading from.
You should also, ideally, let me know what the fee is. I mention money because this is what I do for a living, and I think that writers should be paid and expenses should be covered. Too often it seems that everyone but the writer (the festival staff, the crew, the bar staff, the DJ, etc.) is being paid! FYI, the Society of Authors suggest a basic author appearance fee of £150.00 plus expenses.
However, I do know that some events, and arts projects of various kinds, can be run on less than a shoestring, and that payments are not always possible, especially if you’re trying to start something from scratch. I’ve done this myself; started things from scratch. I know that sometimes it is a kind of miracle if things come together at all. I also know that there are other kinds of value than purely financial. So, long-short, artists and writers should be paid, but it is also true that if I need the warm-up or if I’m simply into what you’re doing then I still might. Just ask.