Tom Chatfield Chairs ALCS, Singapore Announces Translation Symposium

In News by Porter Anderson

Industry Notes: Tom Chatfield has been made chair of the UK’s Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society, and Singapore Book Council has announced its translation event.

An audience at the 2016 Frankfurter Buchmesse. Image: FBM, Marc Jacquemin

By Porter Anderson, Editor-in-Chief | @Porter_Anderson

Tom Chatfield Chairs ALCS
As Publishing Perspectives readers will recall from our coverage, author Tom Chatfield is to moderate the opening session of the digital-and-physical Frankfurt Rights Meeting on September 5, that session being:

Tom Chatfield

The lmpact of AI on the Rights Business: An Outlook

  • Tom Chatfield (moderator), author and tech philosopher
  • Madeline McIntosh, former CEO of Penguin Random House USA
  • Thomas Cox, managing director, Arq Works
  • Duncan Calow, partner, DLA Piper
  • Peter Schoppert, director, NUS Press

As announced last week, Chatfield also has a new role as chair of the United Kingdom’s Authors’ Licensing and Collecting Society (ALCS).

The society, as many in our readership know, is the collective agency for writers/rights-holders’ revenues in the United Kingdom, and it also is a reliable sponsor of a great many of the industry associated activities, from awards programming, particularly in support of the work of the Society of Authors, the writers’ union in Britain.

Chatfield’s most recent book is How To Think—something we’re all hoping he’ll teach us—published two years ago this month by Sage Publications.

And in succeeding Jo Revill as the chair of the licensing and collecting society, Chatfield is quoted going right to the crux of the current te noire in publishing—as well as the focus of his Rights Meeting session on September 5. He says, “With the rise of generative AI, authors and creators of all kinds are facing unprecedented challenges, uncertainties and opportunities.

“ALCS has long been a champion of authors’ rights and a passionate advocate for the significance of human creativity.”

Barbara Hayes, who is the ALCS’ CEO, says, “I have long admired [Chatfield’s] rigorous approach, speaking up for the challenges writers have faced in the digital age and now, too, his commitment to seeking a fair and just approach for authors as the evolution of digital into the generative AI era is now upon us.

“He has already taken a strong lead on the AI discussions at United Kingdom, European Union, and international levels, and will be an invaluable asset to ALCS as we develop our own approach to what the future brings and how we protect and promote the rights of our 120,000 writer members.”

Apparently, Chatfield took up his new position in late July, and the news was released last week.

For those looking to join the Frankfurt Rights Meeting in which Chatfield will moderate the first session, remember that this year the program features four weekly digital sessions and then concludes with a reception and keynote.

  • Each of four segments is set for a Tuesday (starting September 5) from 4 to 5 p.m. CEST / 10 to 11 a.m. ET.
  • The final event is scheduled as an in-person conclusion Messe Frankfurt with networking from 5 to 7 p.m. CEST.

Again, our story on it is here, and ticketing at Frankfurt’s site is here.

Singapore’s 2023 Translation Symposium

In the Singapore Art House’s ‘Living Room,’ the space in which the Book Council’s translation symposium is set. Image: Arts House Ltd., Singapore

The Singapore Translation Symposium has set September 30 and October 1 as its dates this year, and it’s announcing five of its speakers.

They include:

  • Jeremy Tiang (Singapore)
  • Chen Si-an (China)
  • Shanna Tan (Singapore)
  • Susan Xu Yun Singapore)
  • Thomas Hitoshi Pruiksma (United States)

The program this year is set at the island nation’s venerable former parliament building, now called Arts House, and is produced, as before, by Singapore Book Council.  New information on the coming program will appear first on this page (which currently has information about last  year’s symposium). That program’s main themes included an artificial intelligence session, and it’s a good bet that the topic may come up again this year.

Tickets will be SG$25 (US$18.45) for one of the two days, and SG$35 for both days (US$25.83), and the over-arching theme this year is “Translation is Creative.”


More on Frankfurter Buchmesse is here, more on the Frankfurt Rights Meeting is here, more on international translation and publishing rights is here, and more on international book fairs is here. More on the Singapore market is here, and more on translation is here. 

About the Author

Porter Anderson

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Porter Anderson has been named International Trade Press Journalist of the Year in London Book Fair's International Excellence Awards. He is Editor-in-Chief of Publishing Perspectives. He formerly was Associate Editor for The FutureBook at London's The Bookseller. Anderson was for more than a decade a senior producer and anchor with CNN.com, CNN International, and CNN USA. As an arts critic (Fellow, National Critics Institute), he was with The Village Voice, the Dallas Times Herald, and the Tampa Tribune, now the Tampa Bay Times. He co-founded The Hot Sheet, a newsletter for authors, which now is owned and operated by Jane Friedman.