Sunday, 20 September 2015

Brilliant Books Benefit Night - Can You Help?

Hi gang, Wiz here.

On Friday November 13th, this winter, Brilliant Books stages a benefit in Nottingham at the Chameleon Arts Theatre.

I think we're charging a fiver. 

For that:

Two/three bands will play lots of groovy sounds.
A performance poet tests drives some radical poetry
I'm reading "King Rocker" from Brenda Perlin's terrific music anthology "LA Punk Rocker": (it's okay, anti-pirates - I wrote this story)

There will be drinking, books, art, chat, usual Friday stuff and many added extras. Several faces you will be familiar with from Twitter have said they are coming to the night too, staying in one of Nottingham's plentiful hotels.

Any profit made goes towards supporting children's literacy, book buying for schools and enabling Brilliant Books to be even better in the coming years.

What is Brilliant Books?

For those of you who don't know me and the gang, if you want a "brilliant" explanation of what Brilliant Books does, try here.

If, however, in a world of relentless information flow, you cannot be arsed, here's Brilliant Books in a hundred words. 

Essentially, Brilliant Books go into schools with successful people in tow; people who credit their success in careers etc because they read fiction as children and continue to read.

In two hours, they give an inspirational talk, then help us work with up to twenty children, in small groups, mostly reluctant readers, each writing a short story. 

Finally, after eight weeks, the stories are collected in an anthology which is presented to the kids in front of their peers, so they essentially become published authors at between 10 and 14.

The second BB anthology

You will all be aware many children no longer feel the need to read and they say this process begins about ten or eleven, particularly boys. 

Brilliant Books adopts a role modelling approach. There are many in-school literacy programmes, some delivered by writers, but this one is about WHY. That's the difference.

Why read? Why is it important? What are the advantages? 

I think we should be told.

The Great and Secret AbsentTicketBook: Be A Part Of Brilliant Books

If you would like to be part of this, as an official, credited member of the BB Support Team, there's a way you can help.

This next ten days, I am creating an AbsentTicketBook. 

What's that, you ask? Well, I reply: This folio/paperback acts as a ticket for those of you who wish to support what we do (and I know there are many of you out there), but who cannot attend the benefit. 

It will be short (<25k) and it will cost less than a fiver from the usual channels.

I'll pay the cover out of my meagre rations and I'll format and do all the boring stuff. All the surplus goes in the pot.

What I would like from potential supporters is:

Call For Submission

Can you sub,it 1k words or less on, for example:

a) Your favourite book as a child
b) A memorable reading experience as a child (on holiday etc)
c) What reading meant to you then/means to you now

Anything like this. It's really loose. Anything about you and the magic of reading. 

To supplement, I am writing a short story and we have three subs already, but I will include as many subs as I can (with sneaky, cunning, mercurial fontwork :-D)

Add your Author Page and Blog Details and a mug shot. 

I anticipate a ton of people will buy this - in advance and on the night - so it could be decent publicity too.


a) TNR 10
b) 1.5 space
c) 0.5cm first line indent
d) Three line Author profile

Piece of pee. 

Deadline is the 1st October. 

First come, first served, though, being a nice sort of chap, I'll do some juggling and squeeze as many as I can in.

It would be nice to show the kids we work with (and the new BB started last Monday), that we're part of a big community and that reading/writing DOES have a wider point than passing exams. 

So get scribbling. It's for the children




  1. I do my best to contribute, but in the meantime, I'll help spread the word. Best of luck with this project. It's such a good cause.

  2. I'll see what I can do Mark though my brain is just mush at the moment - haha! But the 1st October is weeks away yet...isn't it!?!

  3. Good wishes with this. You are doing some great things over there at Brilliant Books. Brilliant minds put together = success. I hope people can pitch in and donate to a worthy cause. Children reading is something that we are seeing less of with the computer age. Getting them to sit down with a book is a huge accomplishment. Getting them to write, that is genius.

  4. Hi Mark, just realised it's October tomorrow! When did that happen? Where do we send our submissions for your Brilliant Books? :-)