Thursday, November 5, 2009

The Magic Roundabout Unconvention: Now It's Official!

The UK Unconvention will be held in Swindon from Friday 1 October to Sunday 3 October 2010.

Events will be based around Jury's Hotel in central Swindon, and in surrounding pubs, clubs, restaurants and caf├ęs.

Pencil this weekend in you diaries now. And watch this website for news and gossip from now until next October!

Monday, November 2, 2009

And the winner is...

The poll is closed and the total votes cast for the candidate locations were:

Chester: 21

Nottingham: 34

Swindon: 35

And so I am happy to say that the UK Unconvention 2010 will be held in Swindon.

We look forward to seeing you there!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Last chance to vote!

Remember, you have just a fraction over 30 hours to get your vote in for the venue of UK Unconvention 2010!

The vote is still close and there is everything to play for still.

Friday, October 23, 2009

State of the polls

No, We're not going to tell you who's in the lead. What do you think we are?

But we can say that the poll is very close indeed. Just two votes separating the two currently leading contenders, with the third hot on their heels. All three have substantial support, which isn't surprising because they are all excellent candidates. In our humble opinion...

So, if you haven't voted already, get in there! There is everything to play for!

Monday, October 19, 2009

Where should Uncon 2010 be held?

Before we plan the Unconvention, we need to know where we are going to hold it. And that is up to you. We have invited Bookcrossers to nominate their favoured locations and ansked them to make a brief statement in support of it.

We received nominations for Chester, Nottingham, and Swindon. You can read what the proposers have to say elsewhere on this page.


Statement in support of SWINDON

From Gingergeoff and Kentlass

We would like to propose Swindon as an option for the 2010 BookCrossing Unconvention.

Whilst I realise that Swindon may not be the first place on the list of ‘must see’ places in Britain, we do have a few things to offer the prospective tourist.
  • The Magic Roundabout – Five mini roundabouts arranged in a pentagon, it has to be seen (and driven over) to be believed!
  • Lydiard House – Excellent place for a Sunday release walk, average catch rateof around 40%
  • Coate Water Country Park – Place of previous years BBQ’s, plus the now legendary miniature railway.
  • Steam – The museum of the Great Western Railway.
  • The Designer Outlet Village – Very close to Steam, so the boys could go and look at trains, while the ladies investigate the shopping.
  • Avebury stone circle and Silbury Hill – These ancient monuments are within short driving distance of Swindon.
  • Jasper Fforde’s Swindon – Swindon is the inspiration for the location of Jasper Fforde’s Thursday Next series of book. If people are interested, then a bus could be organised to take people around the sights mentioned in the books and on the Jasper Fforde website.
I have contacted the new Jurys Inn hotel in Swindon and they would be happy to accommodate us at a very reasonable price, plus being a hotel, we will be able to negotiate a reduced room rate.

This is a brand new hotel on Fleming Way, in the centre of Swindon, approx 10 mins walk from the station and less than 5 mins walk from the town centre. It does not have its own car park, but there is a public car park opposite and a ticket for 24 hrs is only £5 from reception.

Based on approximately 75 attendees, I believe we could hold the 2010 UK BookCrossing Unconvention in Swindon for between £15 and £20 per person. This would include the following:
  • A foyer area which could be used for the books, tombola, raffle and competitions.
  • Conference room which could seat up to 120 people for the author talks.
  • A smaller room which could seat up to 20 people for writing workshops.
  • Tea and coffee served in the morning and afternoon.
Thanks for your interest and I hope to welcome you all to Swindon in 2010!

Statement in support of NOTTINGHAM

From CountOfMonte

The City of Nottingham would make a wonderful venue for Uncon 2010! This is
why...

It has a rich literary heritage ranging from Lord Byron ~
The Romantic poet Lord Byron is famous the world over as a passionate lover, a political revolutionary and a man who inspired the Greeks to victory over Turkish rule. One of England’s greatest literary heroes, Byron’s first poem was written at the age of ten. It was about Nottingham, and Byron is buried at St. Mary Magdalene Church in Hucknall. There is an annual Byron festival in Hucknall, Notts which was in July in 2009.

to D H Lawrence ~
Lawrence's best known works are his novels, Sons & Lovers, The Rainbow and the controversial Lady Chatterley's Lover. Their style, language and frank treatment of subjects such as female sexuality changed the face of English literature. Lady Chatterley’s Lover became the centre of a famous indecency trial, marking an important transition in public views on censorship and the arts. The writer retained a deep feeling for his native Nottinghamshire – which
he referred to as "the country of my heart". The Lawrence museum is in Eastwood, Notts and it hosts an annual D H Lawrence festival, which was in May in 2009.

to Alan Sillitoe ~
Alan Sillitoe, Nottingham's most famous contemporary author, was born in Nottingham on 4 March 1928 and worked at the city’s Raleigh bicycle factory on leaving school at the age of 14. His first novel, the ground-breaking and critically acclaimed "Saturday Night and Sunday
Morning" painted a vivid picture of Nottingham life. His next book "The Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner" was filmed in 1961 with Tom Courtenay in the leading role. Alan Sillitoe has published 25 novels as well as volumes of poetry, books for children, screenplays and essays.

and also:
JM Barrie
Sir James Matthew, Baronet Barrie (1860-1937) began his career in journalism on the Nottingham Daily Journal before moving to London. He lived in the area known as the Arboretum and it’s rumoured that Peter Pan was inspired by a Nottingham street urchin he saw walking in Clifton Grove.

Stephan Collishaw
Author Stephan grew up in Nottinghamshire, and studied at Nottingham Trent University. He won an art bursary from East Midlands Arts for his work, The Last Girl, which Newsweek International called “a spectacular novel.” His second novel, Amber, was published in July 2004.

Helen Cresswell
Helen Cresswell (1924 - 2005) started writing at the tender age of six years old. She was born in Nottingham and until her death in September 2005, she lived locally in an old farmhouse. An acclaimed children's author, she wrote over 60 books including The Piemakers and the Phoenix
Award winning The Night Watchmen. She also wrote screenplays for acclaimed television drama serials like Lizzie Dripping, The Secret World of Polly Flint, and Five Children and It.

Graham Greene
Henry Graham Greene (1904 - 1991) was a former employee of the old Nottingham Daily Journal and it was here in Nottingham that he was instructed in the Roman Catholic faith. He left the city to become sub-editor on The Times and went on to write travel books, novels, short stories, plays and film scripts.

Robert Harris
Born in Nottingham in 1957, Robert Harris is the bestselling author of books such as Fatherland in 1992. A former TV news reporter, journalist and columnist, he has followed it with novels such as Enigma, Archangel, and Pompeii. He's a graduate of Cambridge University and has also written five non fiction books.

John Harvey
Initially a writer of paperback fiction, John Harvey has published over 90 books. Now he's principally known as a writer of crime fiction, including the award winning Charlie Resnick novels which are set against a backdrop of Nottingham. A former student of the University of Nottingham, he taught Film and Literature there between 1980 - 1986, and has now returned to live here.

Arthur Mee
Born in Stapleford, Mee was a prolific author and editor of non-fiction for both children and adults. He helped to write Harmsworth's Self-Educator and History of the World. He then wrote his own Children's Encyclopedia, My Magazine, The Children's Newspaper, 1000 Heroes, The Little Treasure House, The Children's Bible, Children's Shakespeare, Bunyan and 'Arthur Mee's '
books about many things. When he was twenty he was appointed editor of the Nottingham Evening News and later moved to the Daily Mail.

PLUS, although he's a Derby man, local author and musician Nick Wray (A Tribute to Zed Beddington, St Cyborg's) might be persuaded to join us for a meet and greet.

I could also ask the Nottingham "Book Doctors" to get involved. These are wonderful library evangelists who help people to choose books to enjoy and generally encourage people to read. (Not that BookCrossers need that!) I met them at an eco-fest and am joining them to promote BookCrossing at County Hall in November this year.

On a practical note, Nottingham is geographically central with road links via the M1, excellent bus, train and tram links and for the more distant traveller, East Midlands airport is very near.

It has 2 theatres, 2 art-house cinemas as well as multiplexes, pubs, (maybe the oldest pub in Britain - Ye Olde Trip to Jerusalem dates from 1189), nightclubs, shopping centres, cafes (wonderful for veggies and vegans) and a cultural quarter in the Lace Market. Plus, perhaps of more interest to BookCrossers, I could identify marvellous local cheap charity shops and libraries (for ex-library stock) for supplies of good BC books, costing 10p or 20p per book.

It is all here to enjoy

Statement in support of CHESTER

From jalna and dolph1n

Chester is a historic city with some unique features, but many modern attributes. As a popular tourist destination it has much to offer the visitor by way of venues, accommodation, entertainment - and a river, complete with cruises! It is readily accessible by car or by public transport and situated fairly close to the centre of England.