I’ve started a newsletter called … Kate’s Newsletter. Spent ages debating which platform to go for but a combination of factors plus general incompetence led me to Substack. Here I plan to write about writing, reading, publishing and technology. Please read and subscribe!
After a number of years of supervising PhD students, Kate has returned to 1-1 mentoring of writers via Gold Dust, the writers’ mentoring service set up by novelist Jill Dawson. Kate is currently mentoring two writers via Gold Dust, and has room in her schedule for one more. To work with Kate, apply via Gold Dust.
Here’s what one of Kate’s previous mentees, Paul Emsley, had to say about his experience of working with Kate:
From idea to outline to draft, Kate has given me confidence in my writing. Incisive in her analysis and insights, and with absolute mastery of the craft, she’s helped me construct character and narrative and shown me how to write with clarity and impact. As Kate’s mentee, I feel I’ve had the extraordinary privilege of seeing my work receive the complete attention of a truly gifted reader and writer.
It’s one thing to be able spot potential in a piece of writing, another thing entirely to show someone how to draw out that potential for themselves. Somehow, in our mentoring sessions, Kate always manages that with humour and with generosity. If you want to enjoy the experience of writing a novel, ask Kate Pullinger to be your mentor.
Part of the AHRC’s Being Human festival, hosted by Palgrave MacMillan:
The enduring power of storytelling is undeniable and the printed book has proved resilient, even in the face of digitisation and the global pandemic. So what does the future have in store for reading, storytelling and the ‘text’ in a world where visual media is increasingly dominant? How does this influence our understanding and construction of the past? How are the ways we read and experience texts changing? Come along to this discussion to hear our panellists explore these and other questions.
Join Dr Shafquat Towheed (the Open University), Professor Kate Pullinger (Bath Spa University) and Professor Roger Sabin (Central St Martins, University of the Arts London), with a video essay from Jason Steinhauer, (Wilson Center, USA) for this discussion about the past, present and future of our cultural heritage and production.
This is an in-person event! A Q&A and drinks reception will follow. Book tickets here.
This event is part of Palgrave Macmillan’s ‘Campaign for the Humanities’.
In May 2021, Kate was awarded the Marjorie C. Luesebrink Career Achievement Award by the Electronic Literature Organisation (ELO). This award recognises Kate’s work in bridging the worlds of print and digital across multiple forms of expression. According to the judges:
Kate Pullinger’s fictional explorations of digital media for expressive purposes challenges the rhetoric of transparency in favor of a storytelling practice that brings together enjoyment and reflection. Her continued combination of poetic imagination and digital media education has achieved a broad public engagement with the constraints and affordances of electronic literature.
Read the full article here.
The ELO is a pioneering organisation that has been at the forefront of scholarly and practice-based research in the field of elit for more than two decades. Kate is honoured that the ELO has seen fit to recognise her work in this manner.
This text was written for a talk on leadership, given at Bath Spa Uni, 11 May, 2021.
When I was interviewed for my first academic job – a 0.5 Readership in Creative Writing and New Media – in 2005, I was asked by the Dean of the School where I saw myself in five years’ time. I replied, ‘Doing your job,’ which was my idea of a joke given how far I was from a) understanding how universities work and b) being interested in academic leadership or management of any kind. The Dean was not amused. But I did get the job.
And, for the record, I still have zero interest in becoming a Dean.
So how did I get there, to that Readership? Well, I’ll back track and give you a little personal history.
My first book, a book of short stories called Tiny Lies, came out in 1989 when I was a mere sprite. [Read more…]
Amplified Publishing Lunchtime Talk: Creators, Consumers, Content: how to find what you didn’t know you were looking for
In an age of content proliferation across multiple platforms we still somehow end up feeling like there’s nothing to read, nothing to watch, nothing to listen to, nothing to play. Algorithmic recommendation engines do not work well, especially when sometimes invisible paid promotional tools enable one book or song or show to appear more often than another. The serendipity of browsing in an actual shop and the power of word of mouth is incredibly difficult to replicate online. How can audiences find content they’d never normally look for? How can creators find their audiences? The panel, chaired by Kate Pullinger, with panel members James Binns from Network N, Jasmine Richards from StoryMix, and Louise Brailey from Crack Magazine, will explore these issues and more.
Book your free ticket here.
Image credit: alexwilliamson.co.uk
This post first appeared on the B+B Creative R+D website.
After more than a year in the making, we are ready to embark on the first phase of Amplified Publishing, a four-month research deep dive into the future of content creation and delivery.
Way back in early March 2020 we hosted an event in Bath for potential industry partners that we hoped would participate in a Bristol+Bath Creative R+D project to examine the potential, challenges, and opportunities of publishing. People from magazines, games, music, video, books – all manner of content and platform creators and distributors – gathered around a long table. A terrific conversation ensued, as well as much excitement for working and thinking together.
And now, in April 2021, we’re finally ready to launch this new pathfinder which builds on the cluster’s ever-growing strength in publishing innovation. And I’m delighted to announce our latest cohort of fellows and industry partners who’ll be joining us in our research.
Over the past year we’ve seen a sharp increase in content creation, with people making and publishing their own content on everything from TikTok to SoundCloud.
It’s become apparent that – despite our delay – the pandemic has intensified the need for R&D based on the issues and ideas raised and discussed that evening.
As the academic lead on this project, I’ll be bringing my own long history of working across both book publishing and multimedia literary experimentation to the cohort. My first book came out in 1989 – a book of short stories called Tiny Lies – and my first digital literary work – a web-based ghost story called Branded – in 2002. Since then, the sector has undergone enormous change both in terms of workflows, pricing, and distribution, while first the ebook, then the digital audiobook, increased the range of formats readers can access. As with many major traditional industries, book publishing corporations have been slow to innovate around content, lagging behind on issues around diversity as well as form. Audio is a case in point – it’s the independent sector that is seeing a dynamic culture of experimentation around binaural and/or personalised mobile and audio stories.
Personalisation of content feels like another great opportunity for serious R&D currently as audiences become increasingly accustomed to consuming what they want, where and when they want. What technologies or platforms will be our go-to places for absorbing and meaningful content in ten or twenty years?
The pandemic has forced many businesses and organisations, large and small, to focus on their digital provision while job losses across many sub-sectors of the creative industries are forcing a new wave of entrepreneurs to jostle for position. Creators are asking themselves questions about how they want to live, as well as how to make a living. The conversation about data ownership has increased in sophistication as we learn more about how tech corporations make money from what they know about us, and ideas behind the data commons and public service internet have come back into focus once again. And the climate emergency is focussing our attention on sustainable tech and responsible innovation in a manner that feels more urgent with every passing day.
There are many pressing questions for our Amplified Publishing cohort to address. What are the business models? Do audiences want super-short-form or super-long-form content, or both? What are young people interested in? Who are the new creators and where are their audiences?
We’re hoping to explore all these ideas, and more. And, as always with B+B Creative R+D projects, we’re asking questions around representation and diversity. Who is missing from this conversation? What is the next storytelling machine and whose stories will it tell? Join us to follow this conversation as we work together to imagine what the broad publishing landscape will look like in another ten years’ time.
Image Credit: alexwilliamson.co.uk
To mark the April 2021 publication of the paperback of FOREST GREEN, we created a Reading Guide to the novel for book clubs. You can read, download, and print it from this PRH webpage.
This piece appeared in the Toronto Star in advance of the paperback publication of FOREST GREEN. In it, I discuss what it has been like to be one of 15,000 people in the UK taking part in a Novavax vaccine trial. Read it here online.
CBC’s Shelagh Rogers interviewed Kate for The Next Chapter. In this 17 minute conversation, they talk about FOREST GREEN, family stories, logging, and memory.
“Forest Green is loosely based on my uncle Art, my mother’s brother. He spent most of his life, after he served his time in the army during the Second World War, as a logger in logging camps moving around the province. He was a larger-than-life character in my childhood who would only make occasional appearances. But he would always arrive with a great flurry — with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of whiskey — and a great fuss would always be made of him.”
Click here to listen to the interview in full.
Toronto International Festival of Authors – TIFA – Bearing Witness: Kate Pullinger and Helen Humphreys
22 October at 1 pm Vancouver / 4pm Toronto/ 9pm London
Canadian authors Kate Pullinger and Helen Humphreys will discuss how bearing witness, homelessness and the long-term effects of trauma translate, as demonstrated in their latest novels, both set in the mid-twentieth century. In Forrest Green, Governor General Award-winning author Pullinger presents a man on the run from himself, first as a young golden boy and then as a Word War II soldier and eventually a nomadic working man who cannot believe he deserves love. In Rabbit Foot Bill, Harbourfront Festival Prize-winner Helen Humphreys introduces us to a lonely boy in a prairie town whose friendships and understanding of the world shatter before him when he witnesses a shocking murder. Don’t miss this special Festival opening night double interview.
Sign up for Bearing Witness here
Culture Days, Kelowna Library, Kate Pullinger Author Talk
24 October at 1 pm Vancouver / 4 pm Toronto / 9 pm London
Kate Pullinger will read from and discuss her new novel FOREST GREEN
To hear Kate read, join online by finding the Zoom link here.
At TIFA, Kate will also be chairing an event with Aislinn Hunter and Sarah Leipciger on 1 November at 11:30 am Vancouver / 2:30 pm Toronto / 7:30 pm London
Kate recorded this video for EMWF in August 2020.
At the Electronic Literature Organization’s annual conference, Inanimate Alice, Episode 6: The Last Gas Station was awarded Honourable Mention for The Robert Coover Award for a Work of Electronic Literature. This was a great surprise, and much appreciated. The new episode was featured in the conference exhibition. I gave a talk on a panel during the conference.