What do you talk about?
Alison has extensive experience of organising marketing conferences and addressing audiences. Recent commitments have included chairing conferences for the Publishers' Publicity Circle, the National Council for Voluntary Organisations and Marketing Week, and giving presentation to the Independent Publishers Guild, both Scottish and Irish Publishers’ Associations and the Society of Women Writers. A booking to talk to the Society of Authors on marketing proved so popular that she ended up repeating it three further times! She enjoys and regularly undertakes guest and after-dinner speeches for publishing-related organisations.
Kingston Readers' Festival
Alison was one of the founders of the Kingston Readers' Festival.
The first Kingston Readers' Festival was held in 2002 and the fifth ran in May 2006. From small beginnings – the first festival was held over a long weekend – we now host a whole month of book-related events, covering all kinds of reading, and drawing all sectors of the community into the programme.
There are events in schools, others hosted by Kingston University, and others in libraries and Kingston's museum. And the range of writing covered is equally wide – from detective fiction to cookery writing, from gardening to how to get published. A notable feature of the programme has been our deliberate decision to try to involve the many writers who live in or close to Kingston, and we have benefitted hugely from Kingston resident Jacqueline Wilson's active role as patron. The result is a festival with very strong local roots, encouraging reading but at the same time promoting Kingston, and raising money for the building of Kingston's own theatre and the rebuilding of Kingston's parish church.