Author Archives: Karine Nicpon

About Karine Nicpon

After completing her MA in Publishing and an extensive intern experience in trade publishing, Karine spent a few years as an Editorial and Legal Assistant at Editions Points in Paris. She was also in charge of the editorial committee and of all the negotiations with foreign publishers and agents. Thanks to this previous experience, she has a solid knowledge of the publishing industry and understands the needs of both clients and candidates. Karine joined Atwood Tate in September 2013 and looks after Editorial (Business Information, STM and Societies), Production, Production Editorial, Design, Digital and Operations (from graduates to mid-management) in London, the Home Counties and East Anglia.

PPA Independent Publisher Awards 2017

Speaker talking to audience in front of projection of PPA independent publisher conference 2017

Last month, we were delighted to be one of the sponsors of the PPA Independent Publisher Awards 2017. It was an exciting day and a great occasion to catch up with a lot of friendly contacts, clients and candidates, and the Independent Publisher Conference in the morning was as always full of talented speakers and valuable insights.

Jim Bilton, Managing Director at Wessenden Marketing, was the first to take the stage. He offered the audience a unique insight into the key industry trends in 2017, which has been a challenging year. He observed a massive drop in turnover and headcount growths (these figures were compiled from the benchmark Publishing Futures survey taken by 99 publishers). Key Industry Metrics graphThis has of course affected both our clients and candidates and confidence has reduced particularly in smaller publishers (only 44% are more confident than a year ago). B2B publishing, remarked Jim, is much more global and ad-driven than consumer publishing, and low print. Overall B2B has a solid profitability. Jim gave the audience valuable advice to overcome challenges and adapt to a changing media landscape, and he concluded on a positive note as 2018 should be a promising year with key indicators picking up.

Another crucial piece of information that morning was the session about the imminent GDPR. Simon Morissey, Partner at Lewis Silkin, talked us through users’ implied consent in online marketing. The GDPR will give users more control and choice over their data. This will be a challenge for the publishing industry but Simon pointed out that challenge creates opportunities. He also advised strongly that publishers start thinking about their marketing GDPR strategy now, not in May 2018 but now!

This enlightening morning was followed by the PPA Independent Publisher Awards. I was proud (and I confess a bit nervous!) to give away the award for Publisher of the Year. It was a great afternoon in very nice company. Congratulations again to all the winners of this year and thanks to the PPA for organising such a wonderful event! Bring on 2018.PPA Independent Publisher Awards winners

For more information about the PPA see their website here.

Karine Nicpon, Lead Consultant (B2B roles)

t: 020 7034 7905

e: karinenicpon@atwoodtate.co.uk

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/karine-nicpon

Leave a Comment

Filed under Industry News & Events

PPA IPN Conference & Awards 2017

We’re very excited to be attending the PPA IPN Conference & Awards on 28th November – all the details about the day can be found here: http://www.ppa.co.uk/events/ipn2017

Karine and Kellie will be attending the morning conference which is always hugely informative with a great line up of talks including key industry trends, events, GDPR, developing subscriptions and media models of the future. We’re looking forward to the round table – we’ll be hosting the one focussed on Talent (we do know a thing or 2 about this!). 

Good luck to all the nominees – for a full list of the Awards and all those shortlisted check out: http://www.ppa.co.uk/en/Events/IPN2017/Awards We’re pleased to be sponsoring the award for Editor of the Year!

Here at Atwood Tate, we work closely with many independent publishers across a wide range of markets and sectors. Coming from publishing backgrounds ourselves, we understand the culture and ethos of all our clients – one of our favourite parts of the job is getting to know people and building lasting relationships. That and of course working with our candidates to help them find the right job and develop their careers.

We hope to see you at the conference and awards and do get in touch if you have any Talent / recruitment queries in the meantime.

#PPAIPA

Karine Nicpon, Lead Consultant

t: 020 7034 7905

e: karinenicpon@atwoodtate.co.uk

https://uk.linkedin.com/in/karine-nicpon

Leave a Comment

Filed under Company News

How to Keep Your Skills Relevant – The Galley Club

how-to-keep-your-skills-relevant

Last week I was delighted to open the talk season at the Galley Club. They invited me to share my experience about changing skillset in publishing. I focussed on production skills but really we could apply the tips and advice below to any job in publishing. Here is a retranscription of what my presentation.

Before I start, let me tell you just a little bit about me: I studied Spanish and Publishing back in France and I worked in trade publishing in Paris for a few years. I was Editorial and Legal Assistant for a pocketbook publisher there. Three and a half years ago I moved to London because I wanted a life and career change. I’ve been working at Atwood Tate for three years now. At Atwood Tate we cover all kinds of roles at all levels across all publishing sectors, from academic to STM, B2B, trade or professional. For three years I’ve been working on production and production editorial roles, amongst others. So I will focus on changing skills set in publishing and more particularly in production, and will tell you how to keep your skills relevant and adapt to changing roles.

  • Context: changes in publishing and production

This is not breaking news, publishing has been through many changes over the years. Proof of that is the invasion of “metadata” and “content” in the headlines of conferences and seminars. Publishing has changed, whether it’s in STM, academic, professional or educational and of course trade as well, which had perhaps been a bit slower to adapt than many other sectors, in terms of innovation and digitisation of content. As I’m sure everyone is aware, sales of digital products, whether that be eBooks, online journals, databases or online platforms have grown considerably. And publishers developed new systems and workflows to enable their content to be published in various formats.

This obviously has affected all roles within publishing and the skills required to do those jobs. The same goes for the printing industry. In three years at Atwood Tate, I have seen a huge variety of new job titles, most including the word “digital”, but this has changed again actually, as digital is now entrenched in all that they do and it doesn’t need to always be highlighted.

In terms of production, we’ve seen a change in workflows and methodologies, with for example a move to xml first workflows. New products, formats and technologies means new systems being put in place, whether that be overhauling production workflows and peer-review processes or outsourcing the digital conversion of files to specialist suppliers. As a result we’ve noticed a demand for more project and programme managers, both on a permanent and fixed-term contract basis. Professionals need to be able to review and master workflows and processes.

Now don’t hate me, but there is also a lot of demand and opportunity for people with strong technical skills: knowledge of mark-up language such as html and xml is often required, as well as basic coding and analytics. Everybody should be comfortable reading and manipulating simple data. Because it’s all about data and metadata nowadays! And being able to deal with suppliers and control the quality of the data received. Highly technical roles are still relatively rare in publishing, because the majority of platforms and systems are being developed and built by external suppliers, but this could change, and larger publishers do already have teams of developers working on bespoke software in-house.

But there is a good news! Publishers are not just looking outside the industry for people with skills that are missing. When I joined Atwood Tate, I worked on Digital Producer or Video Producer roles and our clients were saying that they were open to hire people from outside of the industry, because they felt that existing publishing candidates lacked the experience and skills required. However I’m pleased to say that this has changed, and in the majority of cases, the online/digital aspects have been integrated into the traditional positions. Bringing new people in is good for diversity but often very techy people might not fit into the creative world of publishing. Now this brings me to my next point, how do you build up on your skills? How do you keep these relevant?

galley-club-image

Karine speaking at the Galley Club

  • Get to know your skills and your career options

Traditional skills are still key in publishing. The profile of production and production editorial people have not really changed. The “hard skills” used in production are still the same. Yes, you need to be able to deal with suppliers but it’s nothing a production controller is not used to be doing. You need to be a good project manager to master workflows? Well again this is a core skill of production people, organisation, time-management. You need to be able to work comfortably with data? Production professionals were always required to have a good head for numbers and a keen eye for detail. I realise I sound a bit like a job description but what I want to say is there is nothing unachievable here!

Before updating your skills though, I would advise to get to know them. Assess your experience and see what you’re good at, what you’re missing. You need to be able to identify a skill you don’t have by talking to colleagues and competitors. If you work in a very small company, maybe go to seminars to identify the latest trends in the market, talk to fellow production people. If you need advice on your options, talking to a recruiter is also a good idea. Recruiters will be able to tell you where there is a shortage of skills in the market and where you will have more opportunities. You can also have a look at some job adverts to identify the requirements of publishers.

It is important for you to be aware of your options. The days of keeping one job for life are long gone. And there are many different paths a production candidate can take, whether it’s managing a production team, or becoming a project manager. It could be working in Operations where production profiles are often required or managing relationships with suppliers. There are multiple careers available for production candidates. So ask yourself: what are you good at? What do you enjoy doing? Where do you want your career to go?

  • Keeping your skills updated

Now once you’ve identified which of your abilities and skills you would like to develop, how do you get there? How do you gain new skills and update your existing ones?

One way is obviously through training.

As I mentioned earlier, publishers do understand the importance of experience and publishing knowledge. And they are now training and reskilling people rather than bringing in new people for the sake of it. A lot of our candidates are sent on training courses or in-house workshops. There are several training organisations out there and hopefully your company will back you up. It’s worth having a look at the benefits of a publisher before accepting a new role there, to see if training is provided on a regular basis.

Publishers are making an effort to retain their staff and train them for different roles. A lot of our clients are encouraging people to move into different roles or even different departments within their organisation. It’s a massive benefit and in the long term can save on time and money. They would rather develop their employees than getting some new people on board who would require a lot more training and might not be the right fit in the end.  Some of our clients also organise shadowing days where you sit next to a colleague to try and familiarise yourself with a new way of working and new workflows. If you don’t think your employer is offering this, there is no harm in suggesting it yourself!

Attending classes and getting a professional certification can be useful too. I’m thinking of Prince 2 or Agile certification, for instance, which is sometimes required for Project Manager or Product Manager roles. And it’s always a bonus on your CV and a plus for your organisation. So again, do not hesitate to ask your line manager for training. If you can’t get backing from your company then there are free online courses like the MOOC (Massive Online Open Courses) offered by universities to help individuals to develop. Or affordable workshops and seminars you can go to. But you need to be ready to teach yourself new skills.

No matter how you chose to update your skills or what opportunities you are given, there is one thing you will always need, and it’s the right attitude.

  • The right attitude

Something that we hear HR and in-house recruiters say all the time is: you need to be adaptable. The industry changes constantly, roles don’t tend to stay the same, there are so many factors impacting your professional career, politics, economics, etc. So the one thing you need to develop is your adaptability. Be curious and resilient. Be flexible. Don’t be put off by change, embrace it! It’s not always an easy thing to do. Some people are open to change naturally and actually really like it, for some others it’s more difficult to adapt. But if you want to evolve with the industry, you have to be flexible. The pace is fast. If you can’t demonstrate your willingness to move with the times, to upskill and learn new tech, understand new business models, then you won’t keep up. Your experience and the skills you already have are gold for publishers. But you need to be eager to learn more every day.

It’s not easy for everyone. It was certainly not easy for me. When I came to London, I knew nothing about recruitment. I had worked in publishing, I knew the industry quite well, yes. But recruitment doesn’t exist in France. So when I got hired at Atwood Tate, I had everything to learn. And I was really eager. I moved to London because I had in mind that things are different in England and that transferrable sills are actually a thing. And they are! In France it’s very difficult to move to another industry, if you studied Spanish, then you can be a Spanish teacher, or live in Spain, but that’s pretty much it! In England I do really think that we have the chance to move to different roles using these so called transferrable skills.

Of course I received a lot of training at Atwood Tate. And I keep getting training every step of the way, because if the publishing industry is changing, my job is changing too. And it’s all about keeping up-to-date and adapting to the market really. When I started three years ago, we didn’t need to dig out candidates, we had plenty of applications for our roles. It’s very different now. The market is very fast-paced and we constantly need to head hunt some candidates for some roles like Junior Production Controller for example which is a level where it’s really difficult to find people. So we have had to adapt too. Claire sends us on courses and we go to seminars, we talk to our candidates, our clients, we listen and we try to evolve. Some of us took a recruitment qualification recently. I’m not a person who loves change. But I had to learn to be more flexible and to be fair, I’ve only be more successful since then. More confident as well as I have developed a lot more skills than I thought I had.

 

To sum up I would say that you need a positive attitude and an open-mind to keep on top of things. More than a skillset, it’s a mind-set. You need to take ownership of their careers and be proactive. Jobs are changing and so is the industry, but it’s really up to you to keep learning and be open to trying new things.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice, Industry News & Events

BIC Seminar: New Trends in Publishing (part 2)

As promised last week, we’ll focus this time on the impact that New Trends in Publishing (#bicnewtrends @BIC1UK)  can have on production departments and suppliers such as printers. Mike Levaggi is Group Production Director at HarperCollins and he came to the BIC Seminar to tell us a bit more about the digital print revolution.

Publishing is changing, I think we’re all aware of that. There is an increasing number of titles and a decreasing run length: publishers tend to print short runs to adapt to their business model.

Slide 3

© Mike Levaggi & HarperCollins

E-books and e-readers create extensive back lists and encourage print on demand. In this context, digital print is growing rapidly and is replacing offset printing. Print on demand requires publishers to move fast: you don’t print a book unless there is an order for it (“book of one”, down to one copy). The same way short print runs have increased changeover time and put pressure on conventional printing. Print runs are getting shorter and smaller orders are driving administrative issues for both printer and publisher which changes the workflows in production departments.

Slide 4

© Mike Levaggi & HarperCollins

To face these changes, printers and manufacturers are tooling up, investing in a range of digital technologies to be able to print faster and shorter at a better cost. Inkjet quality is improving, as well as costs. Equipment suppliers work on higher resolution.

Digital printing is a lot faster, it increases flexibility and minimises turnaround times. Digital accelerates cash-flows.

© Mike Levaggi & HarperCollins

© Mike Levaggi & HarperCollins

What’s next? Mike has been talking to a lot of publishing professionals, printers and suppliers and according to them, the industry is facing the biggest change since print moved from film to computer. The technology will continue to improve, driving cost and quality benefits. More titles will be kept available without increasing inventory. Workflows will develop rapidly in all parts of the supply chain. And the pace of change is going to be increased.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Industry News & Events

BIC Seminar: New Trends in Publishing

I was very pleased to attend the BIC Seminar about New Trends in Publishing last Wednesday (#bicnewtrends @BIC1UK). We were invited in the very impressive Stationers’ Hall to hear all about the latest trends in publishing and what we can expect for the future.

Chris McCrudden (Head of Technology and New Media at Midas PR) and Jane Tappuni (Executive Vice President of Business Development at Publishing Technology) got the ball rolling, revealing the 5 top trends in trade publishing nowadays.

The first one is “Direct to Consumer Publishing”: to grow publishers’ need to understand and find out who their customers are. All publishers know how to cultivate their B2C relationships. A good example of this is what HarperCollins did with their virtual Romance festival last year. This was a clever way to develop their relationship marketing and to build their community activity. Publishers also focus on creating buying opportunities (D2C ecommerce) and leveraging their brand offer (memberships).

The second top trend is “Mobile reading”: 14 million Kindles and 2.5 billion mobile reading devices were sold in 2015. Are people reading on their mobile phone? Yes, they are!

BIC 1

Phones are getting bigger and bigger and reading on a mobile is getting more and more comfortable.

BIC 2

There are now publishers creating specific content for mobile reading.

The third top trend in Trade publishing is “The Power of Fandom”. If you haven’t heard of it yet (where were you?), fandom is basically people creating content on fan fiction websites. I can hear you say “Why should we take this seriously?” As Chris and Jane pointed out, millions of people create and consume fan fiction. Wattpad, a host for fan fiction content, counts 40 million users! And when fan fiction hits the mainstream it goes big! The best example of that is Fifty Shades of Grey. It started life as a piece of Twilight fan fiction and we know what happened next…

The fourth trend is “Growing pains for eBook subscription”. Chris and Jane revealed that if the book subscription services have grown they haven’t grown quickly enough. Most of the members consume a lot of books and this doesn’t generate a lot of money.

The last top trend fiction is “Content as Marketing”: authors have been creating content that brands would pay for: Jonathan Safran Foer and Toni Morrison wrote original content for coffee cups:

BIC 3

These are the 5 top trends in trade publishing according to Chris and Jane. It is quite fascinating to see how the industry evolves and we’ll see in the part 2 of this blogs how this evolution impacts other parts of the business such as printers.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Industry News & Events

BookMachine: Transferable Skills in Creative Industries

Alison and I went to the BookMachine event a couple of weeks ago which was sponsored by The Publishers Association. The talk was about Transferable skills in creative industries. We were particularly excited to listen to what our former colleague Stephanie Hall, who is now Resourcing Manager at HarperCollins, had to say! And what the audience heard that night is that you have to be adaptable if you want to work in publishing nowadays.

At HarperCollins, they have been looking for candidates outside of the industry and trying to bring in people from a diverse range of industries: finance, creative start-ups, academia, etc. The challenge is to make sure that these new recruits integrate smoothly into the industry and work well alongside publishing people. Soft skills are very important in this context: they need to make sure everybody is comfortable working with each other.

Stef also mentioned the notion of being a “digital native”, that is being able to integrate digital into your role. So they are looking to upskill publishing people already working for them, to develop their careers. As an employer, to keep people growing, they provide personality profile evaluation, training in their fields to be a trainer, so they can distribute their knowledge to the rest of the company through workshops.

But to future proof your career, you have to be flexible and adaptable. Learn to adapt to not be left behind. Try not to be too niche at what you do or you might end up in a corner. At HarperCollins, they encourage people to think outside the box and not only think of what their team does. You just have to be open to something else, to be adaptable.

Jon Ingold, Creative Director at inkle, couldn’t agree more. Inkle is a start-up created in 2011 by two game developers with a passion for storytelling and beautiful design. They are not a publisher but they borrowed the publishing model for the games market.

Jon insisted on the importance of communication: as an Editor, he takes other people’s writing, so has to be a very good communicator to manage deadlines and sensitivity of writers. He uses his transferrable skills from teaching (he was a teacher before) to bring people together and make them collaborate. As the Creative Director of a small company, Jon finds it difficult to hire because they can’t hire specialists, there wouldn’t be enough work. The candidates they are looking for have to have more than three skills. They get approached by “idea people” all the time but  what they need is people who can execute these ideas. Being able to multi-task is important. You can learn as you go but you have to be competent.

Someone in the audience asked how you can stand out when you’re a graduate?

Jon: “Make stuff. People who have an idea but are too lazy to make it their own project are not going to succeed. Finishing things is the key.”

Stef: “Learn from others about things you don’t know. Don’t be niche and become an expert about a lot of things.”

Jon: “Which doesn’t mean developing things you’re bad at. If you’re not good at it, don’t do it. But learn from others to broaden yours existing skills.”

These were the watchwords of that night: be curious, try, learn, adapt.

Bookmachine2

Leave a Comment

Filed under Advice, Industry News & Events

The FutureBook Conference (part two)

The afternoon at the FutureBook conference was as busy and inspiring as the morning. After lunch, I decided to learn a bit more about “the long-term role of social media in publishing”. The amazing Rachel Fershleiser (Director of Publisher Outreach at Tumblr) told us everything we needed to know about Tumblr. Publishers often underestimate the potential of Tumblr where there is an incredible community of readers sharing their thoughts about their favourite books. Tumblr users react to art by creating their own content. Publishers have to be aware that their audience now have an audience too. And again, Rachel agreed with the idea that digital and social media gives you the opportunity to publish more specific content as you can get straight to your readers.

David Ripert (Head of YouTube spaces EMEA at Google/YouTube) gave another example of how book fans can turn into real promotion executives! Have you ever heard about BookTubers? (part of the audience had, I must say I hadn’t). It’s basically book fans like Sanne Vliengenthart who own their own YouTube channel and use it to talk about books. It is entertaining and educational and has become very popular in the last few years. BookTubers now have over 26 million views and 426k subscribers. Why so popular? Because it’s accessible and shareable.

Joe Cohen (CEO at Movellas) actually goes further with Movellas, a community site where you can publish your own stories – or movellas as they like to call them and your audience is actually a source of content. They think of themselves as the home of the fan girl!

I spent the rest of the afternoon finding out about what’s happening in the digital sphere today and hearing about predicted trends for tomorrow. FutureBook was provocative, informative and overall a great day.  I don’t think anybody that attended could deny the importance of digital and social media in the world today and its relevance to the publishing industry.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Industry News & Events

The FutureBook Conference (part one)

Last Friday was my first time at the FutureBook Conference. I was promised a lot of fun and interesting talks and wasn’t disappointed. It was a dismal morning and we all arrived at the Queen Elizabeth II Conference Centre under battling rain. In contrast, the atmosphere once we got inside was full of excitement and the audience was captivated by the three key note speakers. While George Berkovski (How to build a billion dollar app – see our blog) advised publishing professionals to learn from million dollar start-ups and start using Google Analytics a bit more, Carla Buzasi (Global Chief Content Officer at WGSN) urged companies to take digital risks. The digital community is forgiving as long as the content you publish is good. Tom Weldon (CEO Penguin Random House UK) confirmed PRH will not turn into a retailer: “If Google, Tesco & Sainsbury’s can’t do it, we can’t either”. But trade publishing is the only industry that has entered digital and not shrunk, according to him. Weldon presented PRH as having a strong digital strategy with a focus on children’s books and how to adapt children’s products (he then rewarded us with a little trailer which prompted some oohing and aahing from the audience).

The tone was set! The whole day was packed with talks from innovative, provocative and visionary speakers. I had a difficult decision choosing which sessions to attend next, but I decided to start with “How does digital impact the editorial process?”

For Kimberley Young, Head of Women’s fiction at HarperCollins, publishing has always been challenged and the biggest change that digital has brought is transparency. Social media is an incredible tool to facilitate our understanding of what consumers want and to find new talent. Digital media allows publishers to be more reactive and dynamic and to jump into the market within a day instead of waiting months for a book to be printed.

Kimberley’s point was very well illustrated by Darren Nash, Digital Publisher at Gollancz, who convinced us that digital has colonised the editorial process. You can now publish a digital edition of a book in less than 45 hours to beat a TV show (e.g. The King in Yellow by Robert W. Chambers was published by Gollancz to coincide with the airing of the True Detective’s pilot, the series inspired by the book). Darren also introduced another very important idea: people will pay for digital if you can add value.

Ruth Madder Head of Dictionaries Publishing at OUP also agreed with Kimberley Young. Digital allows publishers to be closer to users and to see how content is used and to learn from that.

In the end, all the speakers agreed that digital narrowed the gap between publishers and readers and increased the reactivity of the former to match their consumers’ expectations. As Nathan Hull (Digital product Development Director at Penguin Random House) said, “we just need to get better at being brave and bold and imaginative”.

The second morning session I attended, “Who should you hire and how will they change your company”, was crucial for me as a publishing recruitment consultant. As Ben Willis from Headline rightly noted, it is a very difficult question in an industry of constant change! It’s all about being agile and adaptable. Sanne Vliengenthart, Digital Coordinator at Hot Key Books, is a perfect example of how social media allows you to reach people (potential readers or a potential employee) as she was an active BookTuber (read our second FutureBook blog post to find out what a BookTuber is!) before becoming a publishing professional.

Marissa Hussey from Orion had a very good point when she asserted that digital is not an advanced form of traditional publishing roles. Publishers need to hire people who are creative, willing, analytical, logical, resourceful and most of all curious. People who can understand digital technology and extend their personality online. But it is also very important that publishers understand how to keep their staff, starting with a decent salary, said Crystal Mahey Morgan, Freelance Digital Marketer who got a round of applause for that!

It was a busy morning! Watch this space for the second part of our FutureBook blog.

Leave a Comment

Filed under Industry News & Events

Consultant in the Hot Seat – Karine Nicpon

Karine photo

Which literary figure would you be?
George (Georgina) from ‘The Famous Five’ series by Enid Blyton. She was my favourite character when I was a little girl because I was just like her, a bit of a tomboy and delighted every time someone mistook me for a boy! She is clever, brave and loyal with quite a hot temper. And she gets to live so many adventures and solve mysteries all the time. What a perfect childhood!

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?
Telekinesis, definitely! First because I’m terribly lazy. Then isn’t it the coolest superpower ever? Add telepathy to that, and I would make a much funnier Jean Grey! I wouldn’t die so many times to start with and I would probably dump Scott/Cyclops and his eye problem for Logan/Wolverine!

What book are you reading at the moment and what do you think of it?
I just finished Breakfast at Tiffany’s by Truman Capote. I saw the movie a few years ago and was already impressed by the desire for freedom expressed by the main character Holly Golightly. The book is so much more complex though. It is not only about freedom, it’s more about finding who she is and where she belongs. Holly Golightly is an incredibly modern character. Of course we can always find a way to identify ourselves with a character. But it is not surprising I guess if I was touched by this story when a year and a half ago I moved to England, looking for the same freedom and adventure as Holly (except that my idea of freedom is not a rich husband!). Capote’s writing is stunning too. I’ve never set a foot in New York and yet I could smell the heavy rainy afternoons of a late summer and the choking heat of the city. Completely fascinating!

What have been the highlights of the past year?
Moving to London! And getting this position at Atwood Tate. That was two massive changes in my life and I’m so glad I made the move.

Who would you invite to your fantasy literary dinner party?
Oscar Wilde, because apart from being the great author we all know, I imagine him as being the perfect guest: clever, funny, elegant, irreverent and decadent.

Miss Marple. I love old people, they always have a lot of interesting stories to tell. And she could find out all about the little secrets of the other guests. AND she could be extremely useful if someone gets killed (in the library with the candlestick).

Simone de Beauvoir, one of the greatest French thinkers, writers and philosophers of the 20th century. She did a lot for contemporary feminism and had quite an extraordinary life. Such an inspiration!

F. S. Fitzgerald, for the music of his writing, this fascinating, obsessive, haunting rhythm. When I finish reading one of his books, I’m always stuck in it for a ages. It’s like waking up very slowly from a delicate dream, like his words got tattooed on your skin… I’m a big fan.

Alex Turner! I know, he’s a musician. But also one of the best lyricists of his/my generation. To me his songs are so close to poems. And we do need a bit of rock’n’roll in this dinner!

True fact: I’m French. What else?

Leave a Comment

Filed under Company News, Hot Seat