Waithood and The Podcast Opportunity

Yesterday was Wednesday, and that means... a newsletter!

‘Waithood’ is the period between being adult and being able to achieve ‘adult’ goals: marry, have children, own a home, have a career or a business. Waithood is that liminal status when you’re supposed to be doing things, but lack the capacity to do them. The term originated out of studies into a new generation of youth in Middle East and North Africa, the insight behind it is more broadly applicable.

Later this month, I'm joining Acast's Sophie Herdman at an as-yet-undisclosed London location to talk about "The Podcast Opportunity" with the PRCA. Details here. 

"A good deal of a wangler"

[The FSA photographer] must be a good deal of a social scientist, with some theoretical and much practical grounding; he is the social investigator with a camera as his note-book; he must be a first-rate reporter - not of spot news - but of the major currents of our time as they manifest themselves pictorially in any one location. He must be able to distinguish between biased information and fact; he must have a wealth of knowledge of a variety of subjects - from rural architecture to tractor construction; and he must be capable with pencil and note-book to almost the same degree as with lens and shutter. 

To do this kind of job the photographer has to be more than an artist - more than an adequate mechanic. He must be something of a sociologist, something of an economist; he must be a good deal of a wangler, equally at home with a hostess or a farmer’s wife; he must have a healthy nose for news coupled with a thorough scepticism of biased information; and more than anything else, he must have a basic understanding for the meaning of his story. 

The Farm Security Administration's brief for photographers, from the 1930s. More on this - plus crocodiles and hole-punches - in the latest email.

Reviewers' Choice and Thy Kingdom Come

A cameo appearance for Tor.com for the bi-annual Reviewers' Choice picks.

This is clearly a thinly-veiled response to 2018's emotional gauntlet, but my two choices - Slay and The Stars Now Unclaimed - are both very fun, very bouncy, utterly escapist reads. Plus, zombie space raptors.

Also, Simon Morden talks about the history of Thy Kingdom Come. A reprint of this book was our third(?) Jurassic London book, so I chimed in with a bit about what I learned from publishing this (utterly lovely) book. The (minimalist) page for the book is still around, but it doesn't really do it justice.



NWG Innovation Festival

I'm a guest at the upcoming NWG Innovation Festival in Newcastle. The Festival is a unique event: a week-long series of hack days, with teams trying to solve a dozen different societal and environmental problems. That's a lot, but there's even more around the edges - speakers (hi!), school programmes, panels, workshops and much more.

I'll be working with the team from Explain to answer: 'how to build advocacy with communities and customers?':

Market research experts Explain Market Research will be heading up the sprint team looking at how companies and business from across the world build fan bases and what they can do to turn customers into fans. How do you change ‘likes' into loyalty and turn sales into supporters, Explain will lead the way.

A great challenge, and I'm delighted to be participating as planner and a shameless fanboy. I'll be speaking on Tuesday (10th) about fandoms and fan culture. Tickets and details here. (And some recent thoughts on loyalty here.)

Tentacles and terror

New newsletter:

What Lovecraft lacked, and still lacks, in popular success, he makes up for in fan loyalty. There's an entire ecosystem that exists with the singular and self-reinforcing purpose of keeping Lovecraft important. There's a lot to be questioned about this, including: 'Is Lovecraft actually important?' But, to me, what's more interesting is the why. Why is it so important that Lovecraft is important?

When Supernatural Horror in Literature meets Terror Management Theory! Subscribe.

Culture Sector Industry Day

Also in Bradford, I'm taking part in the inaugural Culture Sector Industry Day alongside some very impressive speakers from the arts, culture and publishing worlds.

I'll be participating in the morning session on Sponsorship:

This session will focus on how to build and nurture strong relationships in the world of private sponsorship. From developing title sponsorship relationships with FTSE 100 and FTSE 250 companies, to how regional and local companies can offer smaller scale but vital funding and sponsorship in-kind, to an exploration of how private benefactors and individuals with a track record in philanthropic giving, can provide much needed financial diversification and resilience to organisations operating on all scales. The session will offer practical, tangible advice into building sponsorship relationships, at a time when private giving may seem like a less viable option.

I've been on both sides of the fence - both seeking out, and handing out, sponsorships. For both public and private sector organisations, in culture and beyond. And, as always, will try to be more useful than noisy (but no promises).

The entire day looks terrific, and has a disturbingly reasonable price. Tickets here.