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Company updates, professional news

Girls can do Anything

The panel:  Abiola Bello (Author and co-founder of Hashtag Press), Hannah Sheppard (Literary Agent, DHH Literary Agency), Charlie Morris (Senior Publicity and Marketing Executive, Stripes Books), Gillian McAllister (Sunday Times Bestselling Author)

On Wednesday, our administrators Kathryn and Anna went to the evening event Girls can do Anything, Write? The first panel discussion in a new series hosted at The Library in Covent Garden as part of the London’s Big Read 2019, inspiring an eagerly listening audience with suggestions for success in a publishing career.

Are women’s voices heard enough in the publishing industry?

The industry is predominantly populated by women so why are women rarely the ones in charge of those important decisions? After acknowledging that there are exceptions to this within the big six trade publishers, the big takeaways were:

  1. Male voices are often given more weight – women are making the hiring and firing decisions but men are rising through the ranks at faster speed.
  2. Men and women brand themselves differently – men are often more confident and actively seek a response, whilst women couch themselves with a much more passive approach. This confidence, particularly in authors trickles all the way down to the retail selling of a book.
  3. The glass ceiling has not yet been smashed – more conversations need to be had in the sharing of maternity leave for example.

On a positive note, women reign supreme in crime fiction at the moment and their voices are being heard in publicity roles across publishing.

Lesson: Be confident and share support, whatever stage you have reached in your career

(Don’t be afraid to ask AND offer!)

How can more BAME women be heard in publishing?

Publishing houses are making more of a conscious effort in their recruitment processes however, diversity reports show that there is more work to be done.

  1. There are not many BAME submissions and more books need to be published with BAME characters
  2. There is a twitter “mob mentality” around individual voices, however the existing writing community is under pressure to avoid writing diverse characters. So how do we get diverse books to young readers, with characters reflecting themselves, to encourage them become authors?
  3. It is possible that we need to start from the bottom, and address potential unconscious bias within schools and promote books outside of the educational canon.

Some Advice…

Are you an aspiring writer? Here are some useful tips:

  • FINISH THE BOOK! You can edit later, it is much easier to work on a finished manuscript.
  • Find something that triggers inspiration for you. A particular genre of films?
  • When reading, read analytically. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • When writing, your characters should drive the plot – what do they really want? It is their goal that should lead the story.
  • It is important to network; attend events, blog, join in conversations, subscribe to industry news outlets like The Bookseller and BookBrunch. (This is relevant to a career in publishing on the other side of the desk too!)
  • TIP: Try to write 20 minutes a day and take a day off.

Do you want to get into publishing? Here are some useful tips:

  • Read a lot, especially what is being promoted, bestsellers and what is being reviewed. It is important to have knowledge of what works and the industry itself.
  • HAVE OPINIONS! When applying for a job, look for a connection between yourself and the role you are applying for.
  • Read the job advert closely, understand exactly what they are looking for and demonstrate that you have those skills.
  • Look at the companies’ social media and website and see what they value.
  • TIP: Recognise the business person within yourself and be a boss in your field!

With contributions from Anna Slevin.

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The Art of Reading

The Atwood Tate 2019 Reading List, find out what is on our consultant’s bookshelves this year!

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

HHelen loves history books, and was given `Queens of Conquest’ as a Christmas present as she really enjoys Alison Weir! Helen appreciate’s Weir’s writing upon historical figures, to which there is limited information and these queens from the early Middle Ages sit within that category.

Helen will also be reading `Tombland’ by CJ Sansom, as she loved the earlier Shaedlake books. `Tombland’ is set in Norfolk, where Helen is from, spurring her on to read it even more!

Kathryn Flicker, Administrator & Social Media Coordinator

Kathryn will be reading `Call me by your name’ as she hasn’t yet watched the film and wants to get lost in the romance and setting of Italy through the written word.

Richard Yates, is again on Kathryn’s bookshelf with `Revolutionary Road’.

Having read `The Easter Parade’ and finding it mostly sad, but recommending to everyone she knows, Kathryn is ready for more Yates!

Faye Jones, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Faye is obsessed with Alfred Hitchcock films and `The Woman in the Window’ is loosely inspired by Rear Window. Having heard such good things, Faye decided to add to her list!

Faye will also be reading `Catcher in the Rye’, a classic she hasn’t got round to yet. `This is going to hurt’ by Adam Kay has been on Faye’s read pile for a while and 2019 is the year!

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Anna is planning to read `Lies Sleeping’ by Ben Aaronovitch and `The Wise Man’s Fear’ by Patrick Rothfuss. Both fiction, both falling into the fantasy camp, they are fun and compelling and make reading fun for Anna!

`The Gastronomical Me’ by M.F.K. Fisher is also on Anna’s bookshelf. Food essays are wonderful to read and delight the senses!

Parissa Bagheri, Trainee Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Parissa is currently reading `The World’s Wife’, after enjoying The Feminine Gospels and its extravagant metaphors, Parissa is reading a Duffy poem a day!

`Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine’, humorous and heavy hearted, Parissa is expecting to ride a roller coaster of emotions with this one!

Catherine Roney, Publishing Recruitment Consultant

Catherine is a huge fan of Liane Moriarty and can’t wait to get stuck into her latest book! Nine strangers in need of a break, a beautiful health and wellness retreat, what can go wrong?

If you enjoy warm, funny and family centred novels, indulge in some Liane Moriarty this year!

Karine Nicpon, Lead Consultant

Karine is planning to read `Chéri’ by Colette. Colette is a very famous French writer who Karine has never read, making 2019 the year!

The novel is written in French and English translations are available. A tale of unobtainable love, if you love romance, this is one for you!

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Welcome to the team Cat and Novia!

We are delighted to announce that we have two new team members! The team is very excited to welcome back Catherine Roney, (after some time out) Cat will be working on permanent roles in London and the Home Counties. The fabulous Novia Kingshott will be supporting Kellie Millar on the Temps/Freelancers desk as a Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant.

                                                     Catherine Roney


Catherine first joined Atwood Tate after working for Octopus Publishing Group as an International Sales Executive. Responsible for selling International rights as well as supporting the International Sales team, Catherine has a keen understanding of the publishing industry. Originally from Western Australia and with a love of all things book-related, Catherine is excited to re-join the team after taking an extended maternity leave.

Catherine’s s focus at Atwood Tate will be in Marketing, Publicity, Product Management and Customer Service, covering all sectors in London, the Home Counties and East Anglia.

catherineroney@atwoodtate.co.uk 0203 574 4429

Novia Kingshott

Throughout her recruitment career, Novia has focused solely on temps as she loves the fast paced and urgency the temps recruitment process requires. Novia is very experienced in placing top notch candidates within healthcare, medical, government and legal fields. With a passion for publishing, Novia is looking forward to offering her 5 star customer service to candidates and clients alike.

Novia will be supporting Kellie Millar on the Temps/Freelancers desk as a Senior Publishing Recruitment Consultant.

NoviaKingshott@atwoodtate.co.uk 0203 574 4421

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Industry Spotlight: Temping

What is temping?

Publishers contact us to book temps when they need an extra pair of hands to help them meet a deadline or when they are extra busy. These roles are also urgent with almost immediate starts. Our clients also need temps to cover sick leave or to cover whilst a new permanent team member is being recruited.  They may even consider the temp! Temp roles can range from 2 days up to 6 months and can be extended further and even lead to a permanent role.  

Temping with Atwood Tate

The Temps/Freelancers team cover roles across the entire publishing industry including trade and educational, Academic, Science as well as professional and B2B, digital and print.  They also cover administration, finance, HR, marketing, and sales.

The team are:

Kellie Millar (Temps/Freelancers Manager) kelliemillar@atwoodtate.co.uk

Novia Kingshott (Senior Recruitment Consultant) NoviaKingshott@atwoodtate.co.uk

Anna Slevin (Temps/Freelancers Administrator) annaslevin@atwoodtate.co.uk

Anna is a former Atwood Tate temp herself and had a few admin placements in Accounts Payable and Publications Teams. As she can testify temps are paid weekly on Fridays and receive holiday pay which goes into a “pot” they draw from when they go on annual leave. Temps can be paid by hour or have a day rate depending on the job.

Our clients aren’t all publishers but have a busy publishing team. These also include a royal academic society, a charity or even a standards or ratings publisher. A lot of the time when temping, skills are readily transferrable and employers are more flexible regarding your work background. Marketing roles are particularly easy to transfer across or specialist knowledge such as science or law can be very useful in editorial for those specialist subject publishers.

How will temping benefit me and is an extension guaranteed?

Sometimes temps cover a role more senior or more junior than they would typically expect. This could be in a different area to one they have worked in before or one they do because they love what the publisher works on and the job. Temping is great for exploring the industry and various companies.

Temp roles will often say “extensions possible” this is because roles can be extended for more days and weeks or a contract on the publisher’s payroll could be offered. There are no guarantees but it does happen and you are more than welcome to apply for internal vacancies while working for that publisher which may not be available to the general public.

Candidates do come to Atwood Tate specifically wanting temp or freelance work but quite often they are looking for a permanent job but don’t yet have the required experience so the Temps team can help to get that ‘foot in the door’. Once a candidate has a bit more experience in publishing, the Permanent Team can help look for a permanent role in publishing. Kellie and Novia can help you to build up that in-house experience.

What is the recruitment process for temping?

A role comes in. We tell you about it / You express interest. We put you forward. If the client chooses your CV you can start working immediately or there may be a telephone interview or even a face to face interview. Interviews are less formal and shorter with temp roles.  

As a Temp: work hard + submit timesheets + be paid on Fridays = WORK IN PUBLISHING!!!

(You also learn a lot no matter how well you know the role and get to work with some really lovely people.)

With contributions from Anna Slevin

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#WorkInPublishing 2018 : What Skills Do I Need?

Are you unsure about what skills  you need to enter the publishing world? In the middle of a degree and trying to decide what publishing sector suits you best? For #WorkinPublishing Week 2018, we have pulled some of our best material into one easy to reach place! Today we look at what each publishing sector might look for in their candidates.

If you would like to find out more about the individual sectors, click on the hyperlinks for the full lowdown on the type of roles available.

Sales

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Presentation skills.
  • Results and target driven
  • Good head for numbers
  • Knack for negotiating.
  • Driven, determined and ambitious.

Customer Service 

  • Excellent communication skills
  • Problem solving and
  • Empathy with customers.

Operations and Distribution

  • Analytical skills
  • Excellent software knowledge. You will be using Excel spreadsheets a lot, including Excel formulas. Depending on the publishers, you might also need to have certain software knowledge.
  • Communication skills and
  • Strong organisation skills are also essential

English Language Teaching

  • An excellent command of the English language
  • Very strong editorial skills
  • ELT teaching experience
  • Any relevant ELT qualification such as CELTA (Certificate in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages) or DELTA (Diploma in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages).

Production

  • Good learning attitude is a must.
  • Good communication skills
  • Project and account management
  • Time management and organisation
  • Numerical skills
  • Good software skills, i.e. Excel spreadsheets, InDesign and Adobe CS, Biblio3 or XML publishing.

Marketing & Publicity 

  • Superb communication and relationship building skills.
  • Excellent organisation skills.
  • Attention to, and eye for, detail.
  • Strong copywriting skills
  • Creativity.
  • Photoshop and Indesign desirable.
  • Innovation and resourcefulness
  • Software skills: CRM, email, social media, marketing automation software and analytics
  • Up to date with market trends
  • Video & Audio content creation desirable.

 

 

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Welcome to the team Parissa!

We are delighted to announce we have an amazing new trainee consultant, Parissa Bagheri! Parissa has joined our London office where she is learning the ropes before becoming a fully fledged Publishing Recruitment Consultant. Parissa is supporting Karine Nicpon on editorial in London and the Home Counties.

 

Parissa Bagheri

Parissa graduated earlier this year with a Masters with Distinction in English Literature, looking for a role in the publishing industry. Her interests include reading, writing, health and fitness and travel. She is currently reading Everything I know About Love by Dolly Alderton and her favourite film is Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby. Parissa joined Atwood Tate as a Trainee Recruitment Consultant in October 2018 where she works on Editorial roles in London and the Home Counties.

parissabagheri@atwoodtate.co.uk

0203 574 4431

See our Meet the Team page for more information and contact details for all our consultants.

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BookMachine: Talking Tech

Anna Slevin our Temps Administrator attended the BookMachine “Talking Tech” event a few weeks ago and after Ada Lovelace Day recently celebrating the first computer programmer* we thought we’d let you know about the “manifesto” they discussed. We need Tech skills in publishing today!

As discussed by an all-female panel: led by the chair Emma Barnes (Founder & CEO, Bibliocloud and MD, Snowbooks), Sara O’Connor (Full Stack Developer, Bibliocloud), Lola Odelola (Software Engineer and Founder of blackgirl.tech) and Janneke Niessen (Entrepreneur, Investor, Boardmember, Inspiring Fifty, Project Prep). Anna, our Administrator tells us more.

Anna

All of the speakers were genuinely passionate and clearly knew what they were talking about but none of them were afraid to admit that when they don’t know the answer they turn to Google or the community. (It turns out that the tech community are often very helpful and generally prioritise make something work and finding the answer, most things are open source.)

A lot of the information is free and readily available on websites like Learn Enough it’s just a case of working through it and understanding what you’ve read. Which is the part most of us struggle with! You may have heard of things like C++ or Python and thought it sounds like a foreign language and it turns out it is!

Ruby

Which brings me to Ruby. Like Dorothy’s ruby shoes** prove there’s no place like home and Ruby is fun mainly because it is an object based language you can use to code. It feels more familiar (and homely) like a typical word-based language and once you start to see the output you’re already a programmer!

If you are a woman interested in trying for yourself with a bit of help, they publicised the next free Rails Girls London event: https://railsgirls.london/#events – you might even see some of us from Atwood Tate there! (Applications close in one month.)

Sara, Lola, Janneke and Emma

The panel (and chair) all talked about their own experiences in tech and why it’s important to publishing and society in general.

The key concerns raised time and again were:

Empathy. Accessibility. Diversity.

A lack of women in tech roles was partially why they were speaking at all but Lola raised issues around a lack of diversity across tech teams. Much like architects sometimes forget to consider spaces for wheelchairs or prams, the tech industry similarly sometimes can’t anticipate an issue until a product is rolled out to the public such as Lola’s observation about the photo tagging incident with an app a few years ago.

Resources/Opportunities mentioned:

Anyone can code.

Even a man with little or no sight hired by Janneke.

Even Sara who as originally in Editorial and is now a Full Stack Developer (which I asked her about and means she does the part people see and the back end stuff that makes it function).

Even that SUM formula on Excel pretty much counts as programming. Programming in publishing could save you a lot of time on those repetitive tasks… Give it a try!

 

*incidentally the daughter of Lord Byron (it’s all connected to publishing!)

**disclaimer: working in publishing, we know the shoes are silver in the books!

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Administrator in the Hot Seat: Anna Slevin

If you could write ‘THE book’ on something, the definitive how-to guide on any subject, which topic would you choose?

This is also my one true fact to share but I wrote 6,000 words about cinnamon instead of a dissertation for my degree! It wasn’t definitive so I’d quite like to go back and do that someday. (It was a choice between cinnamon or coffee at the time but I didn’t want to end up hating coffee!)

What three books changed your life?

First Test by Tamora Pierce

Where a girl didn’t have to pretend to be a boy to do what she wanted! (Tamora Pierce started in the eighties and is having a revival at the moment) It didn’t so much change my life as shape it from the start because my mum read it to me when I was about six I think.

The Corfu Trilogy by Gerald Durrell

(Slightly cheating I know but I only picked it up because it was so thick!) This autobiography melded fact and storytelling the point where I went off and wrote about cinnamon and studied Creative Nonfiction later. It’s been adapted into several television productions each different from the last. It showed me that real life can be as interesting as fiction and imagination can be applied to everything. Even slugs.

Kitchen by Banana Yoshimoto

I often give people the impression that I only read longer books or sprawling series, this isn’t entirely true because of this book. The amount of foreign literature in translation on British shelves is minimal – this is criminal. Kitchen is two novellas by a Japanese author that were somehow mainstream enough to be in English at my local library. Novellas are often underrated or undervalued, unfortunately they cost almost the same as much lengthier paperbacks. But some stories should be a certain length. Some stories need a certain style, a certain pace. Some stories are specific and individual and particular. But resonate. I now actively look for shorter fiction and translations.

If you were given the chance to have one superpower from any book/comic character, what would you have?

 Walking between worlds. It’s something of a theme in Diana Wynne Jones from her nine-lived enchanters with the title Chrestomanci to Howl of the Moving Castle fame (the film is very different! In the book he’s actually Howell Jenkins from Wales in our world) and in Homeward Bounders while in The Merlin Conspiracy there is confusion with multiple Earths…

The way it can mean so many different things even to one author strikes me as something special. It normally makes the character appreciate the world they come from or find one they prefer! I like the idea of seeing how different societies function and being able to choose for myself, much like a good book…

Bonus Question

Who would you invite (and why) to your fantasy literary dinner party?

There’s a saying: “never meet your heroes” and a lot of the best characters can be very obnoxious… I’m actually reading The Immortal Dinner at the moment with Keats and Wordsworth in appearance but Wordsworth sounds like a very difficult guest at times!

Do you invite characters or authors? What would they eat? Does Bob Dylan count, having won the Nobel Prize? If this is a fantasy literary dinner party I would invite my dad and Bob Dylan to talk to each other because my dad would love that, and William Morris; I would invite my mum and Margaret Drabble because she introduced me to her, and Eric Hobsbawm; and I would quietly slip out the back door and ask my parents about it later as an after-party. I don’t know who would be making the food. My parents introduced me to literature for which I can never thank them enough so I think I’d rather they get the opportunity and I know I would have no regrets, facilitation being the better part of valour.

 

 

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Atwood Tate Book Club: Back to School

 

Have you ever wondered what a team of publishing recruitment specialists like to read in their down time? Curious about our favourite books growing up? Welcome to the Atwood Tate Book Club, where we reveal what books have a special place on our shelves! For this entry, we go back to school with our favourite reads from our educational careers.

Julie Irigaray, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Virgin Suicides by Jeffrey Eugenides

The first book I read after having passed the French equivalent of the GCSE (around the age of 15). I was moving to another school and to a higher level, so I suppose I needed to read a book about the changes taking place when one becomes a teenager. This novel deals with dark themes like suicide, sex and obsessional love in such a delicate way and with such a rich language that I couldn’t resist. The mystery surrounding both the main characters and the narrator makes it even more mesmerising.

 

Anna Slevin, Temps & Freelancers Administrator

Arcadia by Tom Stoppard.

I read the play for fun around the time I was sixteen and bored at school. The way time merges together and the interplay of language between characters really captures the imagination. I’m still wondering if it would be anywhere near as good on stage!

 

Claire Law, Managing Director

The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood 

 

I did a course at Uni on Canadian Women’s literature and this and her other books had a great impact on my reading both for study and pleasure purposes from that point. I also decided to make a literary nod to her name when I set up Atwood Tate!

 

Helen Speedy, Associate Director

Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasian Chalk Circle) by Bertolt Brecht

I can’t remember whether Bertolt Brecht’s Der Kaukasische Kreidekreis (The Caucasion Chalk Circle) was one of my A-level set texts or an add on, but it remains one of the most influential plays that I have read. Our literature focus for German was Die Gerechtigkeit und das Gesetz, which translates as Justice and the Law.  When I got into trouble at school it was usually a rebellion in the face of injustice, so Brecht, who explores the concept of justice and the tendency for corruption to manipulate the law and even favour the criminal over the innocent, was appealing to me.  I recently re-read my other set text by Duerrenmatt, Der Richter und sein Henker (The Judge and his Hangman), and would recommend this as a quick and accessible read.  It’s a thriller (verging on noir) which delves into this issue of justice and (or versus) the law and I hope you can find it in translation somewhere if you don’t read German.

 

Charlotte Tope, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

Noughts and Crosses series by Malorie Blackman

I couldn’t put these books down – they delivered a great message, in a thoughtful way, to a young audience. Such an effortless read!

 

Faye Jones, Trainee Recruitment Consultant

The Great Gatsby by F.Scott Fitzgerald 

I studied The Great Gatsby for A Level English and become completely immersed in the characters and history behind 1920’s America. Even though the first chapter of the book is difficult to get through, I always recommend The Great Gatsby to anyone who’s looking for a short read and the film is great as well!

 

Cheryl O’garro, Administrator and Social Media Coordinator 

The School for Scandal by Richard Brinsley Sheridan 

This 18th century satire from Irish playwright Brinsley Sheridan was one of my AS level set texts and I have been in love with it ever since.  The play follows Lady Sneerwell and her band of gossips and the hypocrisy of their behaviour. The two plots are amazing: Sir Peter Teazle and his new, much younger wife and their marital troubles (half of which stems from society rumours)  and Sir Oliver Surface who, wanting to write his will, sets out in various character disguises to test if brothers Peter and Charles Surface are as respectively good and bad as society claims. I picked up a leather bound 1903 third edition copy from an antique book shop in Dublin (where he was born) and I was so happy I nearly hyperventilated!

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B2B Job Focus: Digital / Online / Web Editor

Are you a journalist or a section editor who wants to climb up the career ladder? In a previous post, Atwood Tate introduced you to the world of Section Editors. Today we’ll focus on Digital/Online/Web Editors!

Digital / Online / Web Editor

Web editor positions (also known as Digital or Online editors) developed as online publishing was spreading across publishing. It is now a rare thing for a publication to have a print version only but not so peculiar to have digital only titles! Web editors are responsible for creating content tailored for online publication. This includes a wide range of material from text to videos and podcasts. Web editors create and develop editorial guidelines to attract and increase online audience.

Web editors’ responsibilities include:

  • producing appealing content for the publication’s website, app, etc.
  • liaising with in-house team members and clients to adapt digital content
  • ensuring that search engine optimisation (SEO) is effective
  • overseeing the online publication’s layout (text, images, videos…)
  • developing and monitoring online communities
  • monitoring online messages boards and social media

 

Web editors act as the main point of contact with technical staff. They need to collaborate with several professionals (web developers, writers, photographers, web designers, the marketing team…) to enhance the website’s visibility. They also monitor online traffic to measure popularity and find new ways to make content attractive.

Required Skills

Not surprisingly, web editors should have strong IT skills. An excellent knowledge of desktop publishing and photo imaging packages like Photoshop and InDesign is necessary to work as a web editor. They must also be familiar with SEO and content management systems. They still need to have strong editorial skills though as this is ultimately an editorial position! And employers value creative candidates who can anticipate the next trade or burning topic within their industry.

Career Background

There is no particular route to become a web editor although a strong body of experience is often required. Many web editors have worked as journalists, and have solid knowledge of online publishing. Some digital editors move into editorial team management, but once again the career paths for this role are pretty flexible. With the boom of online publishing, many companies hired web editors and new graduates are all expected to be familiar with online publishing. It seems that this function is nowadays more and more engrained in Editor roles as onlube publishing has become inevitable and it is probable that this specific function will merge totally in an Editor role.

You can find relevant Digital/Online/Web Editor jobs here: www.atwoodtate.co.uk

Inspired by the different careers in B2B publishing and thinking about new opportunities? We are running a contest to receive a personalised CV surgery session with Karine, our Lead B2B Consultant, to make sure you are the best applicant you can be! Apply here between midnight 20th August and 11.59pm 2nd September to secure your chance!

 

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