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Whicker’s World Foundation launches inspiring Funding Award at Radio Festival

Whicker’s World Foundation launches

inspiring Funding Award at Radio Festival

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  • Whicker’s World Foundation launches the Radio & Audio Funding Award (RAFA) at the Radio Festival, the annual celebration of all things audio at the British Library. The festival brings together a full media scope of leading figures from the UK’s audio industry.
  • Supporting authored storytelling in the UK, taking us into new or hitherto unseen worlds, RAFA will help fund independent audio documentary makers.
  • RAFA Awards are worth a total of £7,000.
  • Submissions for this and existing Whicker’s World Foundation Awards 2017 are now being accepted.

Whicker’s World Foundation will today, at the UK’s popular Radio Festival hosted by broadcaster Paddy O’Connell launch a brand-new funding award – the RAFA –  to help aspiring independent audio documentary makers. The awards were created to celebrate and encourage excellence in audio documentaries, and have been generously funded by a legacy left by the celebrated journalist Alan Whicker who died in 2013. Whicker wanted to encourage curiosity, stimulate the senses and empower talent which might otherwise never find a place in today’s highly-competitive industry.

The Whicker’s World Foundation, launched in 2015, has already awarded over £100,000.The award prizes consist of £5,000 for the winner and a runner-up prize of £2,000. The winning pitches will offer new and exciting ideas for audio documentaries, meeting Whicker’s World Foundation criteria of: taking us into a new or hitherto unseen worlds; being personal but not partisan; and with an emphasis on strong original storytelling and development of the medium. Applicants need to supply up to six minutes worth of audio in support of their proposals.Deadline for entries is 23rd December 2016, there is no application fee and candidates can apply online. The best five will be invited to pitch at an event in March 2017 and the winners will be announced at next year’s Radio Festival.Whicker’s broadcasting career began in radio and he went on to join Radio 2 in the late 1990s, adding what Jim Moir, the then Controller, described as Great lustre to my network. Alan was an avid fan of radio documentary and told the press he wanted to return to it because, unlike TV,  it didn’t ‘dumb down’ – radio and ‘assumed an intelligent audience’. Alan Whicker’s passion continues into new generations with awards such as RAFA, created to empower emerging talent.The panel of judges will be looking for imaginative storytelling, either breaking new ground or taking a familiar path in a new and innovative direction. Valerie Kleeman , Whicker’s partner in life and work for over 40 years, said: “Alan was well aware that he had been lucky enough to start working at a time when serious journalism was respected and presenters given the freedom to fashion their own programmes. He and his colleagues were writing the grammar of what was to follow; they were given support and opportunities and often allowed to learn on the job. He was aware that this scenario is not replicated today; money is scarce and commissioners are reluctant to green light without a celebrity name fronting a subject with which they often have little connection. Alan, who felt the best shot of himself was the back of his head, abhorred this trend. He was apolitical; he sought to intrigue and stimulate but not to influence. He strived to uncover the unusual as well as entertain. Above all he was a writer and observer who wrote and filmed what he saw. At the Foundation we seek to use Alans legacy to further his vision and to help those with talent to take the first step up a ladder which is increasingly difficult to climb.

Jane Ray, Consultant Artistic Director for Whicker’s World Foundation said: “I am thrilled that the Radio Festival are partnering this new funding award for audio. I am a passionate believer in the enduring power of the well made, thoughtfully produced audio documentary. The other day we were contacted by someone looking for a series Alan Whicker had made 18 years ago. They knew the title and could describe the pictures vividly – then remembered theyd actually seen radio broadcasts. Those who inspire us to listen, I mean really listen, and take us deeper into understanding the notions and motivations that shape our human story need to be nurtured. If this award goes some way to helping talented independent audio producers realise their documentary dreams Alan Whickers legacy will be wonderfully well served.Roger Cutsforth, The Radio Academy Managing Director added: “The Radio Academy is proud to be partnering with Whickers World Foundation on this fantastic initiative to encourage and support new talent in audio documentary making. The Radio & Audio Funding Award [RAFA] is a wonderful legacy of the late, great Alan Whicker and his passion for the medium and will be a wonderful addition to the Radio Festival.

Francesca Panetta, last year’s runner up for ‘The Dhammazedi Bell’ and multimedia special projects editor at The Guardian said: “It’s wonderful to see this new funding award. There is so much talent out there but few avenues for funding creative audio. I’m looking forward to seeing or more appropriately hearing the results.”

 

Nina Garthwaite, founding director of In the Dark Radio, added: “While the Internet has opened up new platforms for independent audio production, it’s still not always easy for producers to find the funding to do the work they’re passionate about and you need money to have the time to really explore your ideas. So it’s great that the Whickers World Foundation Awards want to support radio makers with a strong independent voice and a desire to develop the medium. I’m excited to hear the results!”

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Will Jackson, managing Director of the Radio Independents Group commented: RIG greatly welcomes this new funding award, which gives the next generation of Britains audio documentary makers an invaluable opportunity to join the ranks of Britains highly successful indie production sector.

 

Alan Hall, previous Whicker’s world Foundation audio judge and CEP of Indie Falling Tree said: “It’s exciting to welcome a new funding award that encourages documentary production to go beyond worlds (literal or figurative) known already to us and, in so doing, to develop the unique qualities of a medium now entering a new golden age!

 

Whicker’s World Foundation’s pre-existing awards are also opening entries for submissions today.

 

The Audio Recognition Award

 

This is moving to The Radio Festival. This is for a documentary, 15 minutes or over, broadcast or published online in the previous year.  It was won this summer by Cathy Fitzgerald’s Little Volcanoes. The award is for £5,000 to the winner and £2,000 for the runner-up. The winners will be announced at next year’s Festival.

 

The Film and TV Funding Award

This is the primary focus of Whicker’s World Foundation. Each year £80,000 will be awarded to a new director with the most promising pitch for an authored documentary which fulfils the core criteria of the Foundation and can be completed for screening with this award. The money will be paid in instalments to the director’s film company, enabling a project which deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible. This year it was won by Alex Bescoby for Burma’s Lost Royals. The closing date for entries is 31st January 2017 and the shortlists will be announced in May 2016. The first winners will be announced by Whicker’s World Foundation at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Award Ceremony, which will take place on the final night of the 2017 festival, 13th June 2017.

The Whicker’s World Sage Award

‘Retirement’ was not a word in Alan’s vocabulary. He was 83 when he wrote and presented Whicker’s War, a much acclaimed account of his army experiences in Italy for Channel 4. He made his last series for BBC Two, Journey of a Lifetime, in his late eighties. The Sage award will recognise a TV or audio professional who has come to air with an authored story for the first time, a prize of £5,000 will be awarded annually to an applicant aged 50 plus. Submissions of no more than 10 minutes; this can be for presentation but must be their own work. A runner-up will receive £2,000. Keith Earnest Hoult won this award for for Fluechtlinge – Refugee. Keith, a fan of Alan Whicker’s ‘gentle approach’ to interviewing, was inspired to create a ten-minute film about Syrians seeking refuge in a disused airport used for the Berlin Airlift. When he witnessed his friend’s wife Caroline trying to help refugees against a growing backlash he ‘felt the urge to film it if only for her family to reflect on later in life’. Keith learnt his film-making skills at the SAE Institute after redundancy and divorce turned his life upside-down. Judges were impressed that he made this entirely self-funded film as ‘a simple tale of ordinary people helping other ordinary people at their time of most desperate need.’

 

For further details on the awards and entry forms please go to

www.whickersworldfoundation.com

 

-ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

For images, media information and interviews please contact:

Siobhan Connor at Connor PR siobhan@connorpr.com   + 44 (0) 7966 177025

 

For Terms and Conditions and award Criteria please go to http://whickersworldfoundation.com/application-forms/

 

Join the conversation: facebook.com/whickersworldfoundation

https://twitter.com/whickersworld   @whickersworld

 

About Whicker’s World Foundation

On 7 June 2015 Whicker’s World Foundation, whose principle aim is to give a much needed fillip to authored documentary storytelling in the UK, launched three new documentary awards worth over £100,000 for the promotion of curiosity in programme making, generously funded by a legacy left by the celebrated broadcast journalist Alan Whicker. The launch took place in the Sheffield Winter Gardens led by Alex Graham, chair or Doc/Fest, Jane Ray, Artistic Director for the foundation and Kim Longinotto, multi award winning filmmaker. Entries for 2017 Awards opened on September 26th 2016 www.whickersworldfoundation.com

Radio Festival

Radio Festival is an annual event organised by Radio Academy, a registered charity dedicated to the encouragement, recognition and promotion of excellence in UK radio broadcasting and audio production. www.radioacademy.org

 

Connor PR, Whicker’s World Foundation, Siobhan Connor PR

 

ALAN WHICKER COLLECTION NOW AVAILBLE TO VIEW AT BFI SOUTHBANK AS PART OF LATEST ACQUISITIONS EXHIBITION

 

ALAN WHICKER COLLECTION NOW AVAILBLE TO VIEW AT BFI SOUTHBANK AS PART OF LATEST ACQUISITIONS EXHIBITION

Inside Whicker’s World: The life and travels of Alan Whicker

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  • Alan Whicker collection on view now as part of an exhibition of material from the BFI National Archive’s Special Collections; ‘Latest Acquisitions is free to view in the Mezzanine Gallery at BFI Southbank until October 23
  • Items on display include Alan Whicker’s passports, a BBC Audience report for Whicker Down Under, interview question cards for Papa Doc: The Black Sheep (1969) and The World of James Bond (1967), photographs, correspondence, and shooting schedules
  • Test your knowledge by taking part in a travel quiz made by the Whicker’s World Foundation – https://whickersworldfoundation.com/2016/10/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-whickers-world/
  • Submissions for Whicker’s World Foundation Awards 2017 are now being accepted

As well as caring for one of the world’s richest and most significant moving image collections, the BFI National Archive also holds world-class Special Collections of scripts, posters, designs, photographs and other documents, including the archives of some of Britain’s most important film and programme makers. This exhibition presents highlights from some of our exciting recent acquisitions including the papers of Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, television journalist and documentary-maker Alan Whicker, and S John Woods, the man behind many of the best-loved Ealing Studios posters. The exhibition is open now and free to view until October 23rd 2016 at BFI Southbank, Mezzanine Gallery, Belvedere Road, London SE1 8XT.

 

The BFI National Archive is now home to the archives of pioneering investigative TV journalist, Alan Whicker, donated by Valerie Kleeman, Whicker’s World Foundation. The collection contains meticulous records of one of the most enduring and influential careers in British television history, spanning the late 1950s into the 21st century.

 

This is an extensive and significant donation covering the entire career of a world-renowned broadcaster, and represents a unique insight into the production methods of a master documentarian. Alan Whicker’s name is a by-word for brilliantly crafted and revealing studies of people and places, whether exploring behind the scenes of the Miss World competition, interviewing Papa Doc in Haiti, or exposing the lifestyles of the hippies of San Francisco, with an enquiring mind and a sceptical tone. This unlikely figure, clad in Gucci tie and blazer, found his way into the nation’s hearts as he went where his audience was unlikely to follow.

 

The meticulously kept Alan Whicker archive spans the years 1938-2014. It includes a school report from 1938, documents relating to his war career and letters, photographs, extensive production files, audience reports, interview notes and questions (including Whicker’s hand-annotated question cards) and transcripts of every TV programme he made, along with some, as yet, unidentified films. The archive gives an insider’s view of some of the key events, social trends and personalities of the 20th century, while fully documenting the changing world of television reportage across more than five decades.

 

 

Around Whicker’s World in 13 Guesses

Test your knowledge of Alan Whicker’s Life and Work by taking part in our quiz

https://whickersworldfoundation.com/2016/10/quiz-how-well-do-you-know-whickers-world/

 

Submissions for Whicker’s World Foundation Awards 2017 are now being accepted

 

The Funding Award

This is the primary focus of Whicker’s World Foundation. Each year £80,000 will be awarded to a new director with the most promising pitch for an authored documentary which fulfils the core criteria of the Foundation and can be completed for screening with this award. The money will be paid in instalments to the director’s film company, enabling a project which deserves to reach as wide an audience as possible. This year it was won by Alex Bescoby for Burma’s Lost Royals. The closing date for entries is 31st January 2017 and the shortlists will be announced in May 2016. Entrants must be aged 35 years or younger on the closing date for applications. The first winners will be announced by Whicker’s World Foundation at the Sheffield Doc/Fest Award Ceremony, which will take place on the final night of the 2017 festival, 13th June 2017.

 

The Whicker’s World Radio and Audio Funding Award (RAFA)

For 2017 we are introducing a new Funding Award for Radio and Audio documentary projects in association with the Radio Academy. This is for a documentary, 15 minutes or over, broadcast or published online in the previous year. The Whicker’s World Radio and Audio Funding Award (RAFA) has a £5,000 first prize and £2,000 runner up award. The deadline for this award is the 23rd of December, with the best pitch being announced at a special event in March 2017.

 

 

The Recognition Awards

In addition to our funding awards there are two further annual prizes to recognise completed work: the ‘Audio Award’ and the ‘Sage Award’, the latter of which is for the finest industry newcomer over the age of fifty.

Alan worked in radio before TV and was snapped up by Radio 2 in the late 1990s, adding what Jim Moir, the Controller from 1996 to 2003, described as “great lustre to my network”. Initially Alan’s radio programmes revolved around re-visiting his most memorable encounters from Whickers World: from the ‘Ten Pound Poms’ to Margaret Rutherford’s transsexual adoptee who ‘gave birth’ to a mixed-race daughter in South Carolina. He went on to create a radio history of television called Itll Never Last.

Whicker’s World Foundation will award an annual £5,000 prize for the best audio project of over 15 minutes in length, broadcast in the last year. A runner-up will receive £2,000.

The Whicker’s World Sage Award

‘Retirement’ was not a word in Alan’s vocabulary. He was 83 when he wrote and presented Whicker’s War, a much acclaimed account of his army experiences in Italy for Channel 4. He made his last series for BBC Two, Journey of a Lifetime, in his late eighties. The Sage award will recognise a TV or audio professional who has come to air with an authored story for the first time, a prize of £5,000 will be awarded annually to an applicant aged 50 plus. Submissions of no more than 10 minutes; this can be for presentation but must be their own work. A runner-up will receive £2,000. Keith Earnest Hoult won this award for for Fluechtlinge – Refugee. Keith, a fan of Alan Whicker’s ‘gentle approach’ to interviewing, was inspired to create a ten-minute film about Syrians seeking refuge in a disused airport used for the Berlin Airlift. When he witnessed his friend’s wife Caroline trying to help refugees against a growing backlash he ‘felt the urge to film it if only for her family to reflect on later in life’. Keith learnt his film-making skills at the SAE Institute after redundancy and divorce turned his life upside-down. Judges were impressed that he made this entirely self-funded film as ‘a simple tale of ordinary people helping other ordinary people at their time of most desperate need.’

 

For further details on the awards and entry forms please go to

www.whickersworldfoundation.com

 

-ENDS

 

Notes to editors:

 

For images, media information and interviews please contact:

Siobhan Connor at Connor PR siobhan@connorpr.com   + 44 (0) 7966 177025

 

For Terms and Conditions and award Criteria please go to http://whickersworldfoundation.com/application-forms/

Join the conversation: facebook.com/whickersworldfoundation

https://twitter.com/whickersworld   @whickersworld

 

About Whicker’s World Foundation

On 7 June 2015 Whicker’s World Foundation, whose principle aim is to give a much needed fillip to authored documentary storytelling in the UK, launched three new documentary awards worth over £100,000 for the promotion of curiosity in programme making, generously funded by a legacy left by the celebrated broadcast journalist Alan Whicker. The launch took place in the Sheffield Winter Gardens led by Alex Graham, chair or Doc/Fest, Jane Ray, Artistic Director for the foundation and Kim Longinotto, multi award winning filmmaker. Entries for 2017 Awards opened on September 26th 2016 www.whickersworldfoundation.com

FINALLY, THE ORGANIC APPROACH TO FACELIFTS THAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR

FINALLY, THE ORGANIC APPROACH TO FACELIFTS

THAT WE HAVE ALL BEEN WAITING FOR

Pioneering technique FAMI™ is storming the world

of plastic surgery

  • World-renowned surgeon Dr Roger Amar specialises in facelifts without surgery
  • Dr. Amar’s FAMI technique has provided rare longevity in rejuvenation procedures through the use of injected stem cells into the core of a patient’s muscle
  • The procedure has been described as ‘state-of-the-art’ in cosmetic surgery
  • FAMI can be accomplished without the need of a scalpel, rejuvenating all the structures of the face: bone, muscles and skin without any visible scars
  • The outpatient three hour procedure can last for virtually indefinitely

 

As we reach a certain age, a youthful appearance creeps up higher on our beauty wish list. However, not everyone has the inclination to go under the surgeon’s knife. But now there is an alternative – Facial Autologous Muscular Injection (FAMI™) – which has transformed the way physicians approach non-invasive facial rejuvenation by offering a unique alternative to the traditional facelift, without scars, general anaesthesia or even a scalpel.

 

Using his expertise and experience in plastic and reconstructive surgery and aesthetic medicine, Dr. Amar has spent the last 17 years developing one of today’s most sophisticated, advanced and innovative fat-grafting techniques for facial reconstruction, reshaping and rejuvenation with minimally invasive surgery. Dr. Amar named this new fat-grafting technique the FAMI™ – focusing on the use of cellular grafts using autologous adult stem cells, with proven long-lasting results

 

Based on a deep surgical knowledge and understanding of the human anatomy, FAMI™ represents a complex surgical procedure, while appearing simple and easy to understand to the patient.

 

The procedure is performed on an outpatient basis with local anesthesia. During the procedure, the adult stem cells are extracted with fatty tissue through gentle liposuction before being separated and purified in a centrifuge. Dr. Amar uses his specially designed and patented cannulaes to graft the autologous adult stem cells into specific areas of the muscle and bone surfaces. FAMI™ corrects, rejuvenates and restores the shape and the contours of the face, achieving the results of a traditional facelift without the need for incisions or sutures.

 

Dr Amar said: “After 25 years of private practice in Aesthetic Plastic Surgery, I was listening to my patients asking for more non-surgical face-lifting. My best results and the best of my international masters were never to be perfect. Scars, deformities, asymmetries and an unnatural look have been the signature of invasive procedure for rejuvenation. Why? Because the cause of the aging process, the loss of facial contour, were never treated at first. My patients wanted new procedures and to be left scarless! Thanks to them, I developed the FAMI™  technique to rejuvenate and offer them the most natural facelift without scalpel, without scars.”

 

Dr Amar knew that the sagging skin, dropping and/or emaciated faces that made people look old were not only caused by loss of muscle mass, but also loss of bone structure due to aging or disease. He came to the conclusion that the main problem in fat grafting procedures was the lack of vascularization and, consequently, that in order to get what they needed, the stem cells needed to be injected into the most vascularized tissue – the muscle, as well as under the periosteum. This would restore vascular bonds between skin, muscle and bone, giving the person undergoing the procedure back their natural youthful and healthy look – turning back time.

 

After more than 2,500 muscle injections from 1996 to 2002, and after 15 years of follow-up research, FAMI, without a doubt, offers the best solution to the very old problem of graft longevity: long-lasting successful and symmetrical results that have attracted hundreds of surgeons from all over the world to learn the ‘Amar technique’.

 

FAMI™ is much safer than standard open surgery that risks damage to arteries, veins, nerves and other facial structure. It provides an organic alternative to the unpredictability of traditional cosmetic remedies. FAMI™ is the first Technique in the world to insert safely stromal vascular fraction of the Fat (SVF) into the 30 facial expression muscles.

 

-Ends-

 

Notes to editors:

Weblinks:

www.londonfamiclinic.com

www.amarclinic.com

 

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Facial_Autologous_Muscular_Injection

 

 

Media information:

To arrange an interview or require a case study please contact Connor PR

Siobhan@connorpr.com Tel: 07966 177025

www.connorpr.com

 

Dr Roger Amar

Plastic Surgeon & FAMI™ founder

 

A native of France, Dr. Roger Amar is a plastic surgeon based in London and Marbella, Spain. Since 1997, Dr. Amar’s FAMI technique has provided rare longevity and predictability in rejuvenation procedures through the use of purified adult stem cells, injected into the core of a patient’s muscle. FAMI approach represents a dramatic departure from the classical concept of fat injection, which has been the common solution for facial rejuvenation efforts, offering little permanence or predictability. In 2001 Dr Amar extended his concepts to restoration of Bone surfaces, muscle and fat atrophy and created the new registered FAMI technique called Fat Autografting Muscle Injection. Using an extensive knowledge of human anatomy and proprietary instruments designed specifically for the procedure, Dr. Amar has perfected the FAMI approach through the use of a patient’s own mesenchymal stem cells. Extracted from a patient and purified in a custom-designed centrifuge, these cells are then introduced back into the patient’s body through a deep, cellular graft. Providing an organic alternative to traditional means of adding needed volume, FAMI avoids synthetic fillers in favor of harnessing the healing power of the human body to add volume in a safe, effective and permanent manner.

 

FAMI can be accomplished without the need of a scalpel, rejuvenating all the structures of the face: bone, muscles and skin without any visible scars.

Dr. Amar has spent over a decade perfecting the FAMI technique through intensive research and real-world application of the FAMI technique, using mesenchymal “stem cells” to spur natural growth and volume. Areas of proven growth include the facial muscle system, bone surfaces and edges and along the jaw line, tightening the complex network of nerves and vessles that make up the face. Dr Amar has taught his method to more than 500 scholars all over the world, including US, Argentina, France and Germany.

Connor working specialist in Cosmetic surgery, Connor PR specialist in plastic surgery, Connor PR working with Dr Roger Amar, Connor PR working with FAMI procedure

 

 

Let’s spread the Qbees love with your Valentine’s Day Qbees

***PRESS RELEASE***

 

Simply say ‘I Love You’ This Valentine’s Day with www.loveqbees.com

 

 Valentines

We’re gearing up for the most romantic date of the year here at Qbees with unique limited edition Valentine’s Qubes.

 

Valentine’s Day comes only once a year, and it’s a much celebrated event for both children and adults. Who doesn’t remember delivering Valentines to their friends when they were in school? So whether you’re a hopeless romantic or a last-minute cupid, Qbees will help you win their heart.

 

Qbees are fashion accessories that snap around headphone cables, giving tweens and teens the opportunity to decorate and accesorise their look. Qbees are made up of mini plastic snap-frames and interchangeable images (called Qubes) that sit inside, and they cost a mere £3 for the pair, regardless of whether you choose to upload your own Valentine’s design or photo, use the word editor or choose from the Qbees fabulous range. They allow the user to transform their plain headphone cables into works of art, message boards or personal statements. The product is so versatile it provides an ever-changing platform for young creative minds.

 

The concept was born during a ride on the London Underground when Jason noticed the people sitting opposite all had the same white cables hanging down around them. ‘How boring’ shifted to ‘Wouldn’t it be nice if they were more individual and colourful and interesting to look at’ and with that, the brand was born.

 

Not content with simply providing a variety of fun shapes, colours and images, the team behind Qbees have opened the doors to a new kind of product – offering people the chance to become Qube designers by submitting their ideas online. Winning designs will bag the artist £50 and they will get to watch as their Qube moves up the trending wall!

 

Jason Palmer, Qbees Creator said: “Young people have so much passion and creative drive so why not let them be a part of designing the accessories they choose to wear. We want to champion young artists and commend creativity and this product does exactly that. And for those who prefer to choose ready-made designs, they can choose from a fantastic selection created either by our designers or their own peers.”

 

Let’s spread the Qbees love with your Valentine’s Day Qbees.

 

-Ends-

 

Notes to editors:

Media information: For all media enquires please contact Connor PR www.connorpr.com

siobhan@connorpr.com Tel: 07966 177025

lisa@onewomanworkforce.com Tel: 07970 727801

 

Join the conversation

Twitter handle: @LoveQbees

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/loveqbees

Website: www.loveqbees.com

 

About

Entrepreneur Jason Palmer lives in Barkingside, Ilford, with his wife Sue and children Max and Ellie. With a history in the travel industry, Jason has invented and developed Qbees with a creative and passionate team of people who are intent on developing an environmentally friendly, cost-effective product. They believe in hard work and producing products that make people smile! If you want to know more about the T&Cs, please click here.

 

Qbees will be showcased in front of more than 70,000 retailers at the acclaimed Spring Fair in Birmingham ( February 1st – 5th 2015). The event features the world’s biggest collection of British-designed products and the latest products from new and popular brands.

 

Platform Inspiration

Platform Inspiration Limited was set up in 2014 by Jason Palmer as the parent company for the Qbees range of products, Platform Inspiration Limited is registered In England No.8589869.  Trading will initially be via Platform Inspirations e-commerce website www.loveqbees.com

 

Connor PR specialist in product launch PR, Connor PR working with www.loveqbees.com.Connor PR specialist in parenting PR, Connor PR specialist in consumer PR

Middle Farm Press holds exclusive launch party at Waterstones

Middle Farm Press Holds Exclusive Launch Party at Waterstones, Shrewsbury

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With a turnout to be proud of, new venture Middle Farm Press held its launch party last night in Shrewsbury’s Waterstones.

sam gray kate taylor bing taylorjamie ryan sam gray siobhan connor

 

With canapés provided by Momo•No•Ki,, guests included: Jenny and Marcus Bean (Brompton Cookery School); Colin Young (BBC Radio Shropshire); John Barton (Coach and Horses); Chris Burt (Momo•No•Ki.), Sam and Claire Barker (Greak Berwick Organics) and Suree Coates (The King and Thai), who all turned up to support Sam Gray and Kate Taylor as they celebrated their new company and its first book, Doing it in Wellies, which was launched at last week’s Ludlow Food Festival.

 

momo no ki sushimarcus bean

The evening is perhaps best summed up in the speech given by previous President of the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland, and Middle Farm Press’ Chairman, Bing Taylor:

“Like many other industries, and perhaps the music industry is the closest analogy, the publishing world has changed dramatically since I started my career as a university publisher at Longman in the early 1970s. With a little more experience under my belt I realized, by 1975, that people not only needed access to books (and large swathes of Britain didn’t have a bookstore within 100 miles in those days) but they needed selection, advice and guidance – the sort of help you would get from a good local bookshop. A friend of mine and I started The Good Book Guide which made English books available all over the world, at English published prices. We even published a separate edition for children. At about this time a man called Tim Waterstone and I were invited to speak at a conference called Children’s Books and the Chocolate Factory. Tim said he was thinking of starting a thinking person’s bookstore chain but that he would never stock children’s books as they were low ticket items and could never be profitable. He quickly changed his mind. Both Harry Potter and Waterstones were no doubt grateful.

A great deal of what I learned about people and books I learned from working at The Good Book Guide. For us, a quality selection and customer care were all important to retaining customer loyalty. Being a mail order operation we couldn’t provide on the spot guidance that you would expect from a friendly local bookseller so we got people with specialist knowledge to recommend books for the general reader such as Yehudi Menuhin on Music; Antonia Fraser on Biography and somewhat unexpectedly the Duke of Edinburgh on Wildlife Conservation. We learned a lot from our customers – the girls in the order processing department even got marriage proposals from people whose orders they had sorted out satisfactorily. And from our mistakes – one lady, who turned out to be one of our loyalist customers, lived in Papua New Guinea and ordered a copy of Quick Headache Relief without Drugs. We sent her The Joy of Sex. She wrote to say that miraculously her headaches had never returned.

When I was MD of Jonathan Cape in the mid 1980s we had, as our offices, a five story house in London’s elegant Bedford Square. Now Cape is housed in two rooms on a floor of Penguin, lately merged with Random House. When I started in the 70s there were more than fifty publishers, now there are about five major publishers with the number ever dwindling. What is missing from these vast, foreign owned, conglomerates is the personal care, nurturing and involvement of the editor / publisher. Some publishers have been able to retain this to a degree – Bloomsbury and their John Lewis style partnership with their authors is a rare example – but many books by major authors these days are far too long as editors dare not edit them for fear that the increasingly promiscuous authors will go elsewhere. Loyalty and trust between author and publisher, as between bookseller and customer, is an increasingly rare but highly valued commodity.

Fortunately here in Shropshire you are lucky enough still to have, against all the odds since the disappearance of the net book agreement and the advent of Amazon, surviving independent bookstores and to have branches of a chain that act as independent book shops with their emphasis on the customer of which this branch of Waterstones is a prime example and something which will I believe become increasingly the case under the leadership of Waterstones CEO James Daunt.

You are also the host town to an excitingly original new publishing enterprise Middle Farm Press, the brainchild of two indefatigable, multi-talented young ladies Sam Gray and Kate Taylor. Sam’s background as a pig farmer might not strike everyone as the logical training for a publisher (and if you think that you don’t know much about the publishing industry) but she is a natural entrepreneur as is Kate Taylor who has a more conventional background as a writer and publisher and despite that, has retained an endless supply of energy, enthusiasm and expertise. She’s come a long way since, as a little girl, she remarked to a dinner guest named Salman Rushdie that she didn’t read books as she thought all books were boring.

Now they have channeled their enthusiasm to form a remarkable partnership approaching publishing from a fresh perspective, cutting out all unnecessary middle-man costs, electing to sell books through the traditional book trade rather than through Amazon and putting a high premium on providing the sort of customer advice, support and guidance that used to be a hallmark of British publishing but has now all but disappeared from the scene. As a former President of the Booksellers Association of Great Britain and Ireland who fought long and hard to protect the independent bookseller it is a particular pleasure for me to be associated with their company as Chairman and to be here at the launch of, I’m sure the first of many beautifully produced books Sam Gray’s entertaining, informative and above all inspirational account of her year as a pig farmer on her 35 acre small holding in Church Stretton ‘Doing it in Wellies’.

Middle Farm Press is putting the book, and its proceeds, firmly back in the hands of the author. The publishers won’t be taking their traditional 85% to 90% of the profits from the authors but instead MFP will be relying on their personal relationships and experience to get the best deals from their designers, printers and suppliers. Thus allowing the author to not only benefit from the publisher’s business acumen but to keep the proceeds from all their book sales.

Amazon excitedly announced a few weeks ago that they will be the sole suppliers of Paris Hilton’s jewelry designs – no doubt a mouthwatering prospect for some but the writing is on the wall – the times are changing. A self-published book was on the Man Booker Longlist for the first time; HMV onetime owners of Waterstones, went bust a few years ago. It now has a new Chief Executive and has reopened its flagship Oxford Street store emphasizing the need to return to offering advice, guidance and support and to putting the customer first. And here in Shropshire Middle Farm Press is opening its doors to authors everywhere and enabling them, for the first time, to reap the true benefits from their creativity and plain hard work.”

Middle Farm Press makes high-quality books, specialising in produce, food and cooking but by no means exclusive to this genre. The company makes stunning books that allow authors to make a real profit. They support bookshops and champion authors – with a particular focus on producers, small farms and passionate chefs.

Middle Farm Press is the brainchild of writer and editor Kate Taylor and her author colleague Sam Gray, who runs her own smallholding. They set up the company to help authors who are considering self-publishing. Bringing with them the very best designers, editors, proofreaders, indexers, photographers, food economists, printers and cartographers, their aim is to help authors produce the same high-quality books produced by leading UK publishers without having to give away most of the profits. Since the founding of Middle Farm Press, it has been evolving to include all manner of things.