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Below are latest job vacancies. Earliest Closing Dates First
for general arts field

For last month's news stories click here

New Publishing jobs in Birmingham? – It must be fiction . . .

Well, actually it is – but Tindal Street Press, the nationally acclaimed small press based at the Custard Factory in Birmingham is looking for enthusiastic, energetic and committed volunteers to help us keep this show on the road. Specialists in fiction – novels and short stories – we are planning 6 new titles for 2002, all of which will build on our excellent reputation for quality and innovation in contemporary fiction. Want to be involved with the freshest fiction house in England? We need:

         General office assistance: everything from stuffing envelopes to writing copy for marketing purposes.

        Database development: our extensive contacts base is all on scraps of paper and scattered documents – efficiency demands that we rationalize soon!

        Website development: our website at was designed by a volunteer but we desperately need help to update and extend the scope of this vital communication tool.

        Organization of writer events, library promotions, design of flyers, posters, research, reading manuscripts – the list is (almost) endless.

You don’t need to have wide experience – one of our most successful volunteers was a 15-year-old girl on work experience – but an interest in books and arts promotion would make it more fun for you. We are an open, approachable organization and welcome new contacts in the community. And it’s up to you how much time you are able to give – anything from one afternoon or morning a week would be extremely helpful.

Interested? Please contact Emma Hargrave or Jackie Gay on 0121 773 8157/58 or email We look forward to hearing from you.

West Midlands Arts & The Libraries Partnership – West Midlands

 “Caring with Books”in the West Midlands

As part of DCMS/Wolfson Reader Development Programme, this initiative is exciting and strategically important, opening up opportunities for 7,000 children in public care institutions or foster families across the West Midlands. We need a full-time Project Co-ordinator and various Supporting Consultancies to help promote reading for pleasure as a route to personal learning and fulfilment. The key role of this team will be to work with 50 library service points to initiate pro-active reader-centred activity.

Project Co-ordinator        Supporting Consultancies

12 month secondment (salary around            Parcels of work (at least 90 days in total)

 22K) or consultancy (total fee around        @ up to 250 per day

27K) Applications by 21st Sept 2001          Expressions of interest by 31st Oct. 2001

For application pack and forms please telephone 0121 303 4253 (24 hour answerphone) or 0121 303 6739 (for minicom users only) and quote 21/118

“Caring with Books” is an Equal Opportunities Employer
click here for more bumpf

Manchester Poetry Festival are looking for visually and hearing impaired performers for this year's Festival 4 -13 October.  If you are interested or know of someone who may be interested we would love to hear from you/them.  Please contact 0161 907 0031 or e-mail


WMA holding Consultation Meeting
2pm Tuesday 11th September at the Birmingham Repertory Theatre
if you wish to attend please contact Sue Elwell, West Midlands Arts 82 Granville Street, Birmingham B1 2LH

Are the days of West Midlands Arts really numbered? Still Not yet!

This Spring WMA and seven other RABs declined the Arts Council's invite to abolish themselves

Arts Council Prospectus MK II Working Together for the Arts is now out
- click for copy,
or e-mail Francis Anderson for braille version

for West Midlands Arts response click

never mind The Champions' League,
click here for earlier lit-net coverage of AC England vs Real Artsboard

see artsnetonline noticeboard
and contact for anything to do with literature

‘The Arts Council has piddled about in the cultural life of Great Britain for half a century’
page 1, Artist Unknown, An alternative history of the Arts Council, Richard Witts, Little, Brown 1998

Adam Puskin from Cheltenham Literature Festival e-mailed me to say:-

Recently-appointed Minister for the Arts Tessa Blackstone will be appearing at the Town Hall in Cheltenham, as part of the 2001 Cheltenham Festival of Literature. During a forty-five minute presentation, she will be discussing potential artistic and cultural challenges, including the future for the arts in this country, whether there is a significant place for Britain in the cultural life of the 21st century, and whether art truly has the power to influence society.

This discussion is taking place on Friday October 19th at 2.30pm and is free. So why not take this opportunity to enter into debate with the Minister?

Tired of it all - click for a singalong version & see The new Centre for Political Song at Glasgow Calendonian University - from The Red Flag to Billy Bragg

Letting Cats out of Bags, Great Moments in History

Libraries in the West Midlands to share 124,761 to promote children’s reading.

 The Department of Culture, Media and Sport, in conjunction with Wolfson Libraries Challenge Fund,on 31st July announced that 10 libraries in the West Midlands are to share an award of 124, 761 over the next 12 months. The funds called ‘Caring with Books’ are to promote reading and enable work with children in public care and foster families.

 West Midlands Arts and The Library Partnership – West Midlands, worked as a partnership to enable work to take place with young people across the region, specifically in areas where exposure to books and reading would make a real cultural and educational difference to young people’s lives.

 ‘Caring with Books’ is a consortium initiative between 10 public library authorities in the West Midlands, West Midlands Arts Board and The Libraries Partnership – West Midlands and intends to target foster carers, public carers and children in public care ( aged 0-18) across the region. It aims to develop networks amongst foster carers, librarians, Social Services and public care home managers.

 A recent initiative, ‘Right to Read’ highlighted the difference that access to books and reading can make to the quality of life to children in care, and this award will continue to enhance the quality of life of these young people.

  Solihull Library and Caring with Books partners intend to role out the initiative from September. Jo Hand, North Area Manager said “This money will help us reach young readers in many of the most socially excluded areas of the community. Book reading can make a difference. We know one young reader in public care who told us how bored he was before he became aware of Caring with Books, he told us it had opened up a new world for him and how much enjoyment he was getting from books. This money will enable us to reach much more children like this.”

“I say we print.” Katharine Graham (1917- 18th July 2001) editor of Washington Post's response to Woodward and Burnstein's investigation of Watergate

On The Beach

This weekend the Daily Telegraph Travel bit told you what to read on holidays,
(apart from the brochure's small print: "On The Beach is Australian Neville Shute's 1960s novel about the aftermath of nuclear war")

Go for:- Carry On, Jeeves by P G Wodehouse "What ho! My name is Boris Johnson and I am the Conservative MP for Henley." Prepare for breakfast, Boris, and eat more fish

Dump:- Captain Corelli's Mandolin, aka Major Bill's Banjo, and Man and Boy by Tony Parsons
"I am having such trouble being a New Man that I need to read a book telling me how to do it

talking of which -

next week - what should Jeffrey Archer read inside jug?

Crime & Punishment, Dovstoyevsky The Liar, Stephen Fry The Jeffrey Archer Omnibus

Lit-net - the literature website which is all heart.

Dr Charles Bennett, Manager of Ledbury Poetry Festival was interviewed last month in Guardian On-line by Suzi Pritchard... "Words on a screen resonate on the screen. Words on paper resonate in the mind." (why am I writing this, and you reading it - Lit-Net Ed)

Charles is also on-line poet in residence for National Library for the Blind - as well as paid up member of Radio Four Longwave TMS "Cricket is the poetry of sports," says Charles. Gimlet-eyed skipper of the Invincible Green Baggies, Steve Waugh, declines comment.

Shadow Home Secretary Ann Widdicombe slaps Peter Lillee's wrists for suggesting legalisation of cannabis. Lit-Net takes its own hard line on pharmalogically influenced literature  - see its updated Widdicombe Corner

~ Having failed 'to bomb Vietnam into the Stone Age' (General Curtis Le May) the US Military wish to bomb the hell out of Big Sur, the north Californian wilderness immortalised by Jack Keroac's The Dharma Bums.
One for the UK cult fiction website

"How beastly the bourgeois is, especially the male of the species" D H Lawrence

Awkward Customers - the Dominant Male

Last month The Guardian ran a feature about how men and women act differently in reading groups. As might be expected the men tend towards rules, critical analysis and fault-finding. Mrs Lit-Net Ed bears this out with her reading group (Mr Lit-Net Ed would not join a club which would have him as a member) where the fellas try to run things.

Perhaps it's no wonder, as The Guardian also reported last week, that more and more women are turning to the web.

Ho Hum. I remember a writing group - not in the West Midlands, where procedings were directed by Madame Chairman wielding a gavel.

The jury is out, but you can have your say on about libraries, reading groups, and links to the universe, on site based in Staffordshire Libraries inspired by their Literature Development Officer Tom Flemon

Tindal Street Scores Yet Again - 23rd April Gul Y. Davis won the J. B. Priestley Fiction Award for A Lone Walk

6th June Midlands Author Wins Sagittarius Prize

Midlands writer Michael Richardson was presented with the Sagittarius Prize 2001, awarded for a first published novel by an author over the age of sixty. He received the prize at the Society of Authors’ Annual Awards Party on Wednesday 6 June.

His winning novel, The Pig Bin, is a sprightly wartime comedy set in Birmingham and described by David Lodge as:

‘a wryly affectionate account of a diffident but artistically gifted Catholic schoolboy suffering the pains of puberty … Funny and touching by turns, it evokes that time and place with the authenticity of an old family snapshot.’

Time Out found it ‘a charming comic creation’ with ‘at least a smile on every page’.

Michael Richardson is a widely exhibited landscape artist. His poetry, short stories, essays and humorous pieces have appeared in publications including Private Eye and the Sunday Times. Since retiring as Head of Art at Lordswood Girls School, Birmingham, he has done voluntary work in a Romanian orphanage and, closer to home, campaigned to preserve the character of favourite local pubs. He is currently writing his second novel.

The judges of the Sagittarius Prize were Boyd Tonkin, Elspeth Barker and Christina Koning. Previous winners include A. Sivanandan and Brian O’Doherty (shortlisted for the Booker Prize 2000). The prize and a cheque for 2,000 were presented by Ian Hislop and Deborah Moggach.


The Pig Bin is published by Tindal Street Press, Birmingham’s only publisher of new fiction by writers from the region; its mission being to bring good contemporary fiction with a regional focus to a national readership. Three of its first four titles have now won national literary prizes.

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