Bookshelf catering: your chance to run your own bookstore by the sea. Photograph by Mike Dodson/Vagabond Images.
For many litterateurs and book lovers, the prospect of running your own book store may sound a little bit like a far-fetched fantasy. Yet, thanks to the disruptive influence of AirBnB and a clever marketing gimmick, those who long to while away days amongst the bookshelves of a small independent book store can now do just that.
Founded by American Jessica Fox in the small Scottish town of Wigtown, ‘the Open Book’ offers holiday makers the chance to run their own bookshop during stints of up to two weeks.
Described as Scotland’s ‘Book town’, Wigtown has a population of just 900; but is served by 16 different bookshops. The perfect location, then, for such those looking for a “bookshelf” catering retreat.
“The bookshop residency’s aim is to celebrate bookshops, encourage education in running independent bookshops and welcome people around the world to Scotland’s national book town,” says the AirBnB listing.
Guests staying at The Open Book will be expected to sell books for 40 hours a week while living in the flat above the shop. Given training in bookselling from Wigtown’s community of booksellers, they will also have the opportunity to put their “own stamp” on the store while they’re there – arranging new window displays, as well as organising book readings and events.
You can follow the adventures of The Open Book’s residents via the bookshop’s Tumblr page.
Calling all new and aspiring jazz writers, the latest Write Stuff jazz journalism initiative returns for its 13th year in November at London’s Southbank Centre with a new series of workshops and mentoring sessions held during the EFG London Jazz Festival.
Founded and organised by Jazzwise and Serious, the Write Stuff gives new jazz writers a free opportunity to work with professional journalists to improve their writing skills and develop an understanding of music criticism and the workings of the jazz and mainstream music press and the blogosphere, as well as getting to see a wealth of concerts!
The Write Stuff will include sessions on feature writing and live reviews by Jazzwise writer and BBC broadcaster Kevin Le Gendre; an insight into the history and development of the UK jazz and music press with Jazzwise editor and publisher Jon Newey; online journalism with Jazzwise’s deputy editor Mike Flynn and input from other writers and jazz industry figures.
Several Write Stuff participants have gone on to have pieces published in The Guardian, The Wire and Jazzwise as well as work within the wider jazz and broadcasting industry. This year’s participants will have their work posted on both the Jazzwise and festival’s websites and one review considered to be of particular merit will be published in a subsequent edition of Jazzwise.
How to apply
If you are interested in participating in the Write Stuff please submit by email a 300-word review of a gig/concert that you have seen recently, together with a CV and full contact details by Monday 28 September 2015 to firstname.lastname@example.org .
Applicants must be 18 years old or over and be available in London on all of the following dates:
• Friday 13 November (evening);
• Saturday 14 – Sunday 15 November,
• And Saturday 21 – Sunday 22 November.