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  • Writer's pictureThe Publishing Post

Opening Doors: How Can the Publishing Industry Make Its Events More Accessible?

Given that “1 in 5 people in the UK” are disabled, the organisation Celebrating Disability have stressed the importance to event organisers that “whether you are hosting an event for the general public or for industry professionals, it is important that you make your event as inclusive to disabled people as possible.” The publishing industry is no exception. As an events team, we are committed to continuing to find events that are as inclusive as possible and sharing them with the readers of The Publishing Post. Following advice from Celebrating Disability, we would be particularly keen to see more events featuring disabled speakers as well as more publishing events taking further steps. It can be as simple as stating that the event will be inclusive and accessible in their event description or considering the difficulties for those who rely on screen readers when signing up for a virtual event using an online system, like Eventbrite.

Whilst it is great to see that virtual events have increased greatly since lockdown, meaning that some of the physical barriers disabled people may face in attending an event have been removed, it is without a doubt that the industry could do more. We hope that publishers will continue to put on online events beyond COVID-19, as well as considering in greater depth how to make their events accessible. For now, we will leave you with our usual events round-up. However, if you or someone you know is hosting an event that is accessible and/or features a diverse line-up of speakers, we would love to hear about it via our social media accounts so that we can spread the word.

You can find more information on running an accessible event here.

Events to Celebrate the Booker Prize Shortlist

When? Thursday 29th October – Thursday 26th November

Where? Facebook (free)

In celebration of the Booker Prize Shortlist, the Booker Prize have organised a whole host of literary events via Facebook to celebrate the shortlisted authors in the run-up to the announcement of the Booker Prize winner on Thursday 19th November. Highlights include shortlist watch parties, Instagram Lives, an open mic night and an exclusive winner event, hosted virtually from the Southbank Centre.

Full details for all of the events can be found via the events section of the Facebook page @TheBookerPrizes.

SYP London Autumn Virtual Conference 2020

When? Monday 9th – Friday 13th November

Where? Online (max £35, register here)

Join SYP London for their annual conference where they will be reflecting on the turbulent year, which has been 2020 and examining the changes the publishing industry needs to make going forward.

Spanning five days, there will be something for everyone with the exciting range of lunchtime events, guest blogs, evening panels and inspiring keynote and closing speeches. View the full schedule here.

Tickets cost £15 for SYP members, £20 for non-members or you can buy a membership in conjunction with your ticket for the conference for £35.

Bridget Collins in Conversation

When? Wednesday 11th November 

Where? Online (max £18, register here)

Bridget Collins, bestselling author of The Binding, will be online to discuss her new novel, The Betrayals, and offer signed copies. The Betrayals opens the doors to an ancient, exclusive institution, hidden away in the mountains and dedicated to the study of a strange, clandestine game.

BookMachine Unplugged: Talking Design

When? Wednesday 11th November

Where? Zoom (max £5, register here)

Spend an evening talking about all things design with experts in the field. Join the panel for a discussion between an illustrator, artist agent, photographer and in-house Head of Design. They will be giving insight into how they collaborate and show why creative assets matter. 

Hood Feminism – Brixton Radical Reads book group special

When? Friday 13th November 

Where? Online (Free, register here)

The Brixton Radical reading group is going online to discuss Hood Feminism: Notes from the Women that White Feminists Forgot by Mikki Kendall. This book explores the issue that many feminists fail to see how race, class and disability intersect with gender and how we’ll move forward inclusively.   

Independent Publisher Awards

When? Wednesday 18th November, 4:30 p.m.

Where? Online (Free, register here)

Virtually attend this year’s Independent Publisher Awards and join in a celebration of all the successes in the independent publishing world over the past 12 months. Check out the shortlist ahead of the award ceremony here.

New Writing North: Introduction to Book Publishing

When? Sessions on Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th November

Where? Zoom, (Free, register here)

An unmissable event for publishing hopefuls offering two packed afternoons of webinars featuring industry professionals discussing working in publishing, publishing roles and departments and how to make that all-important break into the industry.



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