Welcome to the Monday Literary Society.
Just to let you know in good time about a few changes to the Society that will be in place for our next season in October 2015. Firstly, Catherine Smith will be resigning as Chair due to other work commitments which clash with the Society’s programme. Miriam Moss will be taking over as Chair, with Nick Tucker as Deputy. We now have Jean Dolby as Secretary, and we are also delighted to welcome on to the committee Jane Wright, who has retired from a career in Law, and the author and journalist Beth Miller.
The committee, as usual, has worked extremely hard to deliver this year’s programme. Despite this, membership numbers continue to be lower than in the past because of the (understandable) trend for cherry picking events, rather than signing up for membership. This obviously impacts on our finances. Income from membership is our core funding – the money we use to pay speakers, technical crew and room hire. Income from guests is an unknown quantity, although pre-selling tickets via the website and Bow Windows bookshop has proved successful, allowing us to calculate more accurately how many guests will attend meetings.
Each event costs us between £500 and £650, depending on writers’ expenses and whether we require extra technical input. The largest cost is room hire at the already discounted price of £240 per event. It is no longer economically viable for us to continue holding our talks there, so from October all talks will be held at the All Saints Centre, Friar’s Walk, where the cost is considerably lower.
Unfortunately All Saints are not able to offer the Society Monday nights - and so the talks will be held on the third Tuesday of the month. As the Society can no longer hold meetings on Mondays, keeping Monday in our name is problematic. After much soul-searching, given the long history of the ‘Monday Lit’, we have decided we have to change the Society’s name to The Lewes Literary Society.
There will be six talks next year rather than seven, in October, November, January, February, March and April. The membership cost will stay at £30 per member per season – or £5 per talk, which I’m sure you’ll agree is still extremely good value. From October, the cost of attending a talk as a guest will rise from £7.50 to £10. This rewards those who take out membership, and still compares favourably to other one-off talks at Charleston and The Brighton Festival.
We have a great programme developing for you for next season.
Confirmed speakers (so far) are:
Tuesday October 20th 2015
The novelist Neel Mukherjee, The Lives of Others, shortlisted for Man Booker & Costa Prizes 2014.
Tuesday November 24th 2015
Novelist of the lyrical Mr Loverman, Bernardine Evaristo, who also writes verse fiction, short stories and radio and stage drama.
Tuesday January 26th 2016
The comment and features writer Sali Hughes, also Beauty columnist for The Guardian.
Tuesday February 23rd 2016
The novelist, short story and screen writer, Mick Jackson. The Underground Man was shortlisted for the Man Booker and Whitbread prizes.
Tuesday March 29th 2016
Anthea Bell, Translator of numerous literary works, including W.G. Sebald’s Austerlitz, and many children’s books, including 35 Asterix adventures.
Please put these dates in your diary!
The website will be renamed in due course. All further information will be available there, as well as confirmed in the new Chair’s letter to you in September.
We look forward very much to seeing you there at All Saints!
With best wishes,
The Lewes Literary Society Committee