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What Might Change Look Like: Alternative Models

June 17th

Blue Skies Stage, Exhibition Centre


Writing by digits - to self publish or hold out for the Big Deal?

Just when we thought the digital advance was unstoppable, the real world is fighting back, vinyl is all the rage in the music world and books too are making a comeback-what's that all about?

For writers the self publishing revolution was meant to cut out the middle man, opening a direct path of Red Sea proportions from the lowly author to the reader, and consumer; no longer would the writer have to wait for nod from on high, they could decide when their cherished work was good and ready to go, and praise, or otherwise, and income, was to be just one click away. But what is the reality? Novelist and poet Ros Barber argues that 'self publishing is a terrible idea for a serious novelist', and yet for many writers it has become a lifeline for their need to get work in front of reader, and move on to their next project, something they would never have achieved if they'd waited for the official publishing industry to take notice. This event will explore the potential and the complexities of self publishing, or writing for digital platforms (is it really the best platform for novelists, or more suitable to the short and experimental forms) the pluses, pitfalls, the finances, and writing throughout our digital lives.

Speakers Include:

Jim Friel, Liverpool John Moores

Ross Barber, Novelist and poet

Adam Croft, Author

John Donoghue, Author



The Writing Game – Creating Stories for the Gaming Industry

Local Game developers come together with game writers to deliver a session that is both discussion and master class on the latest developments in modern gaming, exploring how it can be a siècle for storytelling, and offering tips and guidance for writers who are interested in developing their ideas, stories and skills for working in the gaming industry. The Liverpool Gaming industry is rapidly making a name for itself, nationally and internationally with Lucid, recently winning a BAFTA award. This event will include representatives from Liverpool gaming companies Lucid, Star ship and Fire sprite, and will seek to explore the wider impact of gaming upon culture and leisure, but will also offer guidance to those looking to develop their writing skills for a potential career in the gaming industry.


Matt Southern, Mint Games

Nick Davies,Lucid Games

Ivan Davies, Catalyst Outsourcing 


The Cooperative Movement - beyond repair or the answer to all our problems?

In Brazil, since the 2009 economic crash, there have been over 100,000 new cooperatives established. In Argentina, for example, the majority of the petrol stations are owned and run by cooperatives, but on the back of the private takeover and crisis within the cooperative Bank, the movement in the UK appears to have all but collapsed; an economics student can graduate without having ever studied the cooperative model. How did this come about, and in the face of a changing and challenging economic period, along with the decline of large scale industry, could coops be the answer? 


Professor Tony Webster, Professor of History Northumbria University

Paul Tsanos 

Sally Anne Watkiss, Homebaked Anfield 

Rebecca Lawlor, Granby 4 Streets 


Taxis to Tanning Salons - Living in 'The Gig Economy'

Bringing together writers, commentators and those who work in the gig economy to explore the changing nature of work and its impact upon working and social lives, health and income. We’re asking the question - who really benefits from the gig economy?


Lynn Collins, Regional Secretary of TUC 

Jo  Austin, The Womens Organisation

Tony Schumacher, Author and Journalist

In order to attend a Blue Skies Session register on Eventbrite for the session you wish to attend. 

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