By Chris Kubica
If you’re in town a bit early for the London Book Fair, check out Read Ahead, a book-y “unconference” at Free Word Centre on Sunday, April 6, from 2 to 6 pm.
What is a “book-y unconference”, you ask? Well, the unconference format is a gathering of people around a topic (in this case, the book-publishing industry) where there are no preselected speakers or sessions like at normal conferences. Rather, the session topics and discussion leaders are self-selected from the attendees themselves in the first 15 minutes of the unconference. Read Ahead, specifically, is a book-y gathering where authors, designers, editors, agents, marketing/PR folks, techies, thinkers and other space-cases from across the planet of Publishing come together to meet, discuss and think out loud/outside the container about the who-through-how of the future of reading.
So if you have a topic that you’d like to lead discussion on, feel free to bring a topic. There is no voting! The organizers will merely continue to accept topics from the group and assign them to spots on the “grid” (a matrix of meeting rooms and session time slots that are hastily taped to the wall) until all slots are filled. You can of course choose NOT to lead discussion, too; feel free to come and just chime in (or just lurk and listen!).
For an inkling of what to expect from such an event, read Dan Blank’s “virtual tour” of a previous similar event that took place last year in New York City.
Writers, readers, editors, book designers, marketing and PR folks, literary agents, publishers, startup founders, project managers, storytellers will all be in attendance. Thus, Read Ahead is also a great place to network with other like-minded folks in synergistic, between-session, spontaneous conversations! Feel free to bring business cards. One of the great things about Read Ahead is meeting people from around the world that you may not have otherwise met. And since the atmosphere is very casual, it thus encourages impromptu conversations, exchanges of ideas and possibly even future business and personal collaborations.
As of now, there are a few dozen tickets left, so register now before it’s too late! And if you come, we encourage you to tweet and blog using the official #ReadAhead hashtag.
About Read Ahead:
More info here:
Sunday, April 6, 2 pm (GMT) to 6 pm
The Free Word Centre
60 Farringdon Road
Hope to see you there!