alt.fiction 2007

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Latest Author news...

Hi All,

I've decided to post today because it's very likely that I won't be in the office at all tomorrow as I'm working away at a conference- I'm looking forward to it mind, it's been really good seeing the whole thing take shape and it'll be even better to see the final product.

On to Alt.Fiction however and things have been developing- I've made agreements for the day with Steve Dean (author of Soulkeepers, pub. by Hades Gate, Tony Ballantyne, David Barnett (author of Hinterland), Freda Warrington, Graham Joyce, John Berlyne (of SFRevu), Tim Lebbon and Iain (M) Banks. It's a real pleasure to be bringing such great names to Alt.Fiction and I already think next year is shaping up to be even bigger than this year's event. The only bad news was that Brian Lumley was already booked for the date over in the US- however he got back to me very promptly and seemed to be thankful for the offer. Maybe next time around...

I'm still purusing some further big names plus making arrangements for various launches with publishers- if we're going to keep Alt.Fiction going it needs to support the trade at large and this year I'm trying to do that through making a real commitment to promoting publishers both large and small.

I'm also working on negotiating discounted hotel rates for those who want to stay overnight before/after the event so I'll make sure to keep you posted on how that develops. I'll be aiming to offer people as good a deal as possible in terms of keeping ticket prices low, keeping quality high and working to improve the offer of the event at large.

That's all for now...It'll be about a fortnight before the next post because of my upcoming holiday but hopefully we'll have even more exciting news then.



Thursday, June 15, 2006

Event planning: Round 1...

Hi All,

I've just decided that Thursday will be my regular day for posting on this blog, so that'll be the day to come and look and what is going on. I've been pretty busy since Monday pursuing various leads and possibilities.

I've just confirmed Paul Finch for the event, who is a pretty experienced scriptwriter and will be involved in a session exploring this form of writing. I'm also looking to have a slot for young adult writing at Alt.Fiction so we can broaden out the event. I'll be glad to hear any panel ideas that people may have...

I've sent some enquiries to possible participants for next year and there are a few fairly big names in there...I don't want to jinx it but I'll keep you posted on the yes and nos! Obviously there will be quite a few of last year's participants invited back although I can't invite everybody back for a second time (although I believe the majority would come back if invitied!). I'm basically going to work on the first-timers initially and get onto the repeat visitors in due course so I don't want anyone to be disheartened! Even if I'm not inviting people back it's more than likely there are possibilities for 2008 and beyond.

Next Thursday I'll be fairly busy working at a Deaf and Integrated Arts conference...I've been on the steering group since coming into post and it's nice to see the whole thing coming to fruition. The event has drawn people from around the country which is really encouraging. That's the next big thing on the horizon and then I have a week's holiday at Center Parcs from the 26th which will be a great chance to relax and unwind.

Anyway, expect some more news in the near future...things should be taking more of a shape next time I post.



Wednesday, June 14, 2006


Welcome one and all!

My name is Alex Davis and perhaps I should start with a little about me...

I've always been interested in literature- I've written actively since I can ever remember and went on to study Creative Writing at the University of Derby. It was after that I got interested in literature work through volunteering and running a writing group in Derby. Eventually I was lucky enough to be offered a post organising Nottingham 2005 Poetry in the City Festival and following that experience I was offered the post I currently occupy, Literature Development Officer in Derby.

The post is one that I really enjoy and involves helping budding writers through guidance and resources, assisting writing groups to develop, offerign work and profile to more established writers and also organising events both large and small. Which brings me to the whole reason for this blog...Alt.Fiction 2007.

Alt.Fiction 2006 was my first brainchild in post and ran on May 6th of this year. The whole thing took around six months of planning and work and was generously supported by Derby City Council and Arts Council England, who were invaluable in making the event happen. We were able to draw together a host of twenty-five fantastic horror, science-fiction and fantasy writers including Ramsey Campbell, Simon Clark, Justina Robson, Richard Morgan, Chaz Brenchley, Mark Chadbourn, Juliet McKenna, Simon R Green, Stan Nicholls, Peter Crowther and many more. The writers and publishers took part in a host of workshops, discussions, readings and Q+A sessions throughout the event. The day went really well and in particular the response after the event was overwhelming.

The 2006 event was pretty much a pilot and it was only in the cold light of day after the event that we realised we had some decisions to make on its future. I thoroughly enjoyed putting the whole day together and with all the positivity surrounding it, we decided that it would be folly not to run again. So this blog is dedicated to giving news, thoughts and updates for Alt.Fiction 2007.

The very basics first of all: The event takes place on 28th April 2007 and runs again at the Darwin Suite of the Assembly Rooms, Derby. Times have yet to be confirmed.

This year the event has to run on a tighter budget so at present I am pursuing publishers and various other organisations to see if they would like to be involved by having book launches or sessions at Alt.Fiction. It seems likely already that Stephen Hunt (of SFCrowsNest) will have an opportunity to launch his book at the event courtesy of Voyager. I'm also arranging a meeting with Solaris, who are affiliated with Games Workshop who have their head office over in Nottingham, to see if they would be interested in some kind of involvement.
But I certainly wouldn't want anyone to think I was resting on my laurels and I have plenty of big names in mind also to ensure that we can match the high standard of this year's event. Expect some repeat visits plus a whole host of new names for 2007. I'll be trying to post on the blog weekly so keep heading back for all the latest news.

In the meantime, any of you interested in the 2006 can find a nice range of photos on Paul Kane's Shadow Writer website...visit