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Five Leaves Bookshop wins the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award 2018

Ross Bradshaw who founded Five Leaves writes:
“Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham became the first radical bookshop to have won the Independent Bookshop of the Year Award at the British Book Awards, the booktrade equivalent of the Oscars.

The bookshop was presented with a cheque for £5000 and a trophy by author Benjamin Zephaniah at a “black tie” event at Grosvenor House in London in front of around a thousand people from the book trade nationally.

Ross Bradshaw, from Five Leaves Bookshop, said “It was not the most likely setting to find a radical bookshop, but we coped pretty well! By coincidence, Nottingham writer Jon McGregor won the very next award for Book of the Year, Fiction with his Reservoir 13. Jon was our first ever customer in 2013. We launched Reservoir 13 when it came out so we were able to celebrate together.”

The judges of the Independent Book Awards identified Five Leaves’ key strengths as including a sharp increase in sales in 2017, putting on around 90 events over the last year attended by over 6,000 people, having a politically-conscious outlook with initiatives including Nottingham’s first ever radical bookfair (which included a stand from the Morning Star) and an extensive in-house publishing programme.

Beyond all of that “Five Leaves creates a distinct identity out of its emphasis on political and social issues, a passion for diversity and a reputation for poetry” carrying a stock that is “finely tuned to its market”.

Five Leaves began life as a publisher in 1995, opening the bookshop in 2013, giving special interest to literature and to books advocating social change. This June the bookshop launches the national Feminist Book Fortnight, with the support of thirty other independents across the country.

Five Leaves is proud to pay a minimum of the Living Wage to all members of staff, which team includes people who used to work at Waterstones, Blackwells and Leicester University Bookshop, while owner Ross Bradshaw worked for many years at a previous radical bookshop in Nottingham, Mushroom Bookshop.

Ross Bradshaw added “Despite the setting, it felt like winds of change are blowing through the book trade. The winner of the non-fiction (narrative) book section was Why I’m No Longer Talking to White People About Race by Reni Eddo-Lodge, while the joint winner of the children’s book of the year was The Hate U Give by Angie Thomas, whose main character is a black girl from a poor neighbourhood in the USA.”

Among the other winners, the publisher of the year HarperCollins was credited for “making great strides … on diversity” by increasing the number of Black and minority ethnic (BME) authors it publishes and for being the only publisher to feature in the Business in the Community’s Best Employers for Race list. Faber, winner of the Independent Publisher of the Year award, was also praised for its commitment to Black and minority ethnic internships and work with Creative Access, an organisation which aims to increase the number of BME workers in creative industries.

Before announcing Five Leaves’ award, Benjamin Zephaniah remarked that it was a small community bookshop – now long gone – Page One which published his work for the first time and it was at that moment that the Five Leaves team thought this year their radical and community-based stand would win through.”

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New ARB member! Aye-Aye Books in Glasgow

Aye-Aye Books is an independent bookshop based within the Centre for Contemporary Arts (CCA), Glasgow.

We are an art bookshop with radical intent. We carry a range of books about art and by artists, particularly small-run and self-published titles, alongside books that look at the theoretical, social and political context. We have many books about radical thought and movements, left-wing and anarchist politics. We have magazines and journals, zines and pamphlets, experimental fiction and poetry, locally produced CDs, vinyl and cassettes, multicultural children’s books.

We don’t sell ‘gifts’, clothing or cards, and we steer well clear of coffee table art books.

CCA was originally the Third Eye Centre, set up by Tom McGrath (former editor of the International Times) in 1974 as a centre for the counter-culture in Glasgow. It is in this spirit that we operate.

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Help October Books to Buy a Bank!

October Books, Southampton’s only independent bookshop, is buying a bank! We’re borrowing funds directly from the community to buy the Natwest building on Portswood Road in Southampton. The aim is to create not only a new home for the bookshop, but also a venue for community events, workshops and meetings.

We’re looking to raise £360K from loanstock and donations and we’re now over half way there. We have a crowdfunder for donations, however, most of the funds are being raised through the issuing of loanstock. Loanstock is a kind of community share in which interested people can purchase stock which is then later paid back with interest when the stock matures.

The rest of the funds for purchase and renovation are being raised through a co-operative community loan, and (when the building is bought) sale of the upper floor to the Society of St James. The Society of St James is a Hampshire-based charity who provide supported housing for homeless people.

More details available on the website.

About us
October Books is a co-operative radical not-for-profit bookshop. It’s run directly by the workers, with the help of customers members of the co-operative, with profits going back into the shop. It turned 40 last year, having been in the Portswood area of Southampton for the last 15 years. The shop sells a wide range of new books and magazines with a special focus on political, social and environmental issues. It also sells organic and Fairtrade products.

Previous Coverage

http://www.dailyecho.co.uk/news/15921858.A_Southampton_bookshop_could_be_set_to_buy_a_bank/

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/jun/19/revolution-radical-bookshops-october-books-southampton

October Books
243 Portswood Road
Southampton
SO17 2NG

Open: Mon-Sat, 9am-6pm
Web: www.octoberbooks.org
Tel: 023 8058 1030
Fax: 023 8058 1040

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Anarchist Bookfairs in 2018


April 7th: Liverpool Anarchist Bookfair

11am-6pm at The Black-E, 1 Great George Street

Bookings for stalls are now available at £15 per table, along with spaces for workshops and campaign presentations.
Contact liverpool.anarchistbookfair at gmail.com
Event page


May 6th: Norwich Anarchist Bookfair

2pm-11pm at Bedfords Crypt, 1 Old Post Office Yard, Bedford Street, NR2 1SL

Despite a change of venue announcement, the bookfair is well in hand with stalls confirmed from the Anarchist Federation, Solidarity Federation, hunt sabs, PM Press, Eleusinian Press, the Cunningham Amendment and many more, plus headline talks on the Norwich Soup Movement, Freedom Fibres and Faslane Peace Camp. Hosted by No Comply Promotions.
Event page


May 12th: Bristol Anarchist Bookfair

Details tbc

Organisers are promising their Biggest Ever Venue in the east of the city and have already set the pace for entertaining promo posters (see above).
Website | Twitter


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June 2nd: London Radical Bookfair

Goldsmiths University, New Cross

Organised by the Alliance for Radical Booksellers and featuring the annual Bread and Roses award for radical literature, this is the London Radical Bookfair’s third outing. More info to follow.
Website | Facebook


July 21st: Edinburgh Anarchist Feminist Bookfair

At Augustine’s Chuch

Exact details tba, email eafb@riseup.net to find out more.


August 4th: Dorset Radical Bookfair

11am-6pm at Beufort Community Centre, Beaufort Rd

Including such wonders as vooks, stalls, food, meetings, a kids’ area, zines, films, talks and a safe space policy. “We welcome rational debate, we don’t welcome attention-seekers, bigots, fascists, grasses and scabs.”
Plus an afterparty at the Riviera Bar with live music and reggae DJ ’til 2am, £5 suggested donation.
Website


October 13th: Rhyddical Swansea Bookfair

Central Swansea, details tbc

Only recently announced and not many details yet
Event page.


November 17th: Nottingham Radical Bookfair

11am-4.30pm at Nottingham Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood St

Nottingham’s second radical bookfair, organised by Five Leaves Bookshop, featuring stalls by national and local publishers, second-hand booksellers and a full supporting programme throughout the day.


December? Manchester & Salford Anarchist Bookfair

Last update was that they were hoping to announce a date “early in 2018.” For enquiries, email manchester@bookfair.org.uk.
Facebook page.


Will they/won’t they

Some of the bookfairs which have taken place in recent years are yet to declare on whether they are doing one in 2018, but if you want to keep a general eye out, details are below:

Bradford: The 1in12 Club doesn’t always do bookfairs, but when it does they’re interesting. Last time was September 2014

Belfast: Usually held around mid-October but nothing announced yet, updates here.

Cambridge: Last year this was held at the end of April by Anti-Capitalist Cambridge, no word yet of a repeat.

Cardiff: The local anarchist network is concentrating on anti-arms activism over the next month and aren’t repeating last year’s February event, but we’ll keep an eye out in case something materialises later in 2018/

London: The biggest event of the anarchist calendar in Britain is not being put together by the longstanding bookfair collective this October, but there have been talks about running a smaller one with a new collective. Watch this space.

Sheffield: Last year saw the Showroom and Workstation host in late May, the collective website is here.

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New alliance member: Printed Matter in Hastings


New ARB member Printed Matter in Hastings. If you are in the area be sure to drop in….Great shop.

Printed Matter is an Independent Bookshop in Hastings, East Sussex selling new books ranging from sociology, philosophy, psychology, political science, criminology, social history, economics, art & culture, music, nature and fiction. Higher education, undergraduate and post-graduate books. Book ordering service available. 10% Book discount for students in-store with ID. Mail order available from website www.printedmatterhastings.co.uk

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Derry Radical Bookfair // 27th January 2018


On Saturday 27th January 2018 Derry will host its, now annual, second Radical Bookfair at Pilots Row Community Centre in the city’s Bogside area.

We are pleased to announce that following on from last years successful first ever Radical Bookfair in Derry that we will begin plans to hold our second annual Radical Bookfair in 2018.

Following on from this years event held during the Bloody Sunday week of events we have had continuous support and encouragement to make the Radical Bookfair an annual event as part of the political calendar of Derry.  Our first Radical Bookfair played  host to many participants from all over Ireland, England, Scotland and Wales played  part of the Bloody Sunday week of events leading up to the annual Bloody Sunday March, which itself hosted a series discussions and debates, film and theatre that centred around a wide range of local, national and international contemporary social justice issues.

As ever we would like to extend our hand to participants again to the Radical Bookfair with different visions, ideas, practices and radical traditions.  Again we hope that our second annual book fair will be used as an opening in support of small press publishers and independent book sellers and producers, circulating radical reading materials and information from independent distributers, non-party political campaigns and groups to share their publications and merchandise, which normally would be hard or impossible to find at mainstream book shops. Books of local, national and international interests including social and labour history as well as themes covering radical feminism, queer liberation, anarchism, marxism, republicanism and environmentalism.

It is worth noting that Derry has a long and proud tradition of working class radicalism which has influenced many historical events, standing out beyond most other cities that has both challenged and changed society around us for the better.

At present we are allocating stall space and as seen last year at our first ever radical bookfair, space is limited.

If your book store, distribution or publishing collective would like to book a place at the radical bookfair then now is the time to confirm.

At the moment things are staring to take shape and its looking to be an amazing day of stalls, books, records, zines from independent booksellers, political and historical groups, local radical projects, small press and more.

Check out our website for stallholder info and how you can book you place. https://derryradicalbookfair.wordpress.com/

Derry Radical Bookfair

Online: derryradicalbookfair.wordpress.com

Email: radicalbookfair.gmail.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/derryradicalbookfair/

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The Big Freedom Rebuild

Freedom needs your help! Or at least the Freedom Building in Whitechapel does.

One of East London’s last radical bastions, since we moved into 84b in 1968 the Freedom building has weathered firebombs, arrests, police infiltration, stalkers, threats of all kinds and more movement shenanigans than you can shake a very large stick at. And now we’re facing a major rebuilding project, costing up to £50,000, including vital works to fix the roof, walls and even stairs.

A survey carried out last year highlighted that emergency repairs are needed to the roof and walls that will total around £13,000. Our aim is to raise this amount by August 2017 so that the building works can take place in the Summer. As of February 2017 we have raised £5,000 to get us started.

But the fun doesn’t stop there – over the coming three years we will need a lot more money to treat dampness in the walls, insulate the building, install a boiler and look into making the whole place more accessible. In the long term costs could be between £40-50,000 to bring the building back to its best, including things like fixing up the lovely (but old-style) sash windows.
The building is an important resource providing space for; an anarchist bookshop that is open 7 days of the week; Freedom news and publishing group that has been producing anarchist propaganda since 1886; office space for Haven Distribution, Soldiarity Federation, Anarchist Federation, Corporate Watch, IWW UK, the National Bargee Travellers Association – London branch and the Advisory Service for Squatters ; Decentre , a social room for meetings, events and organising; and for supporting groups such as London ABC , Legal Defence and Monitoring and the Green and Black Cross who regularly use the building.

Help us bring 84 back to its best so we can continue to work as a vital hub for the anarchist movement!

All of the rewards on offer are for collection from Freedom Bookshop in Whitechapel. If you would like to organise for postage of your item(s) please contact shop(at)freedompress.org.uk

Rewards up for grabs include

Freedom Tote Bag

Save the Freedom Building t-shirt

 

 

The All Important Link:

https://www.gofundme.com/thebigfreedomrebuild

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Welcome new ARB member Just Books of Belfast

Just Books has a history in Belfast that stretches back to the opening of the original Smithfield shop in June 1978 by the Belfast Anarchist Collective. While the shop closed its doors in June 1994 the Just Books Collective has continued to provide stalls at events such as grassroots gatherings, at Belfasts annual May Day celebrations and Belfast and Dublin Anarchist Bookfairs.

Like the original Just Books we are aiming towards something which is much more than just a bookshop. The original premises included a cafe and print workshop and provided a focal point for the collectives many activities until it closed sixteen years later in June 1994. Set up without any form of state subsidy or grant money was raised through running benefits, from interest free loans and donations from supporters. Just Books has always been run on a self managed basis with collective decision making at its core.

Since May 2016 we’ve been running a bricks-and-mortar shop, housed at the Belfast Solidarity Centre, 22 Berry Street, Belfast, BT1 1FJ.  Our website is www.belfastsolidarity.org (and there’s a facebook page linked from there too).  Our phone number is 028 954 30203, and our new webshop will be up-and-running soon.

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Radical Bookfairs 2017

Derry Radical Bookfair – 28th January – derryradicalbookfair.wordpress.com

Cardiff Anarchist Bookfair – 18th February 2017 – www.southwalesanarchists.wordpress.com

Liverpool’s First Anarchist Bookfair – 1st April 2017 – https://liverpoolanarchistbookfair.wordpress.com

Cambridge Radical Bookfair – 29th April 2017 – https://www.facebook.com/events/671426069692438/ 

Dublin Anarchist Bookfair – April – www.wsm.ie/bookfair

WOWFEST – Radical Literature Festival – Liverpool – 1st-31st May http://www.wowfest.uk 

Nottingham Bread & Roses Bookfair – 13th May 2017 – http://fiveleavesbookshop.co.uk/events/bread-and-roses-bookfair/ 

Sheffield Anarchist Bookfair –20th May 2017– www.sheffieldbookfair.org.uk

Dorset’s 1st Radical Bookfair – 3rd June 2017 – www.dorsetbookfair.wordpress.com

London Radical Bookfair –24th June 2017 – www.londonradicalbookfair.wordpress.com

Liverpool Writing on the Wall – no dates available – www.writingonthewall.org.uk

Tolpuddle Martyrs Festival – 14th – 16th July 2017 – www.tolpuddlemartyrs.org.uk

Swindon Anarchist Bookfair – 2017 dates tba, but was in September in 2016

Bristol Anarchist Bookfair – 16th September 2017 – www.bristolanarchistbookfair.org

Belfast Anarchist Bookfair – 2017 dates tba, but was in October in 2016 www.facebook.com/belfastanarchistbookfair

Sunderland Working Class Bookfair – 2017 dates tba

London Anarchist Bookfair – 28th October 2017  – www.anarchistbookfair.org.uk

Edinburgh Independent Radical Book Fair – 2017 dates tba, but in October in 2016

Birmingham – plans afoot for a new fair at the end of the year

Manchester and Salford – 2017 dates tba, but in December in 2016

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Open letter to Simon & Schuster

Britain’s radical booksellers have been discussing Simon & Schuster publishing the work of Milo Yiannopoulos in the USA and the worldwide impact of the firm publishing someone known for views that have led 160 children’s writers in the USA, many published by the same firm, to say that his is “a voice of hate that stirs its followers to emotional, verbal and physical violence directed at anyone who disagrees or speaks to the contrary.” We are pleased that Simon & Schuster UK is not publishing the book.

We value Simon & Schuster’s publishing writers whose work has argued for a less violent society, in particular those children’s books which help their readers understand the situation of, for example, LGBT teenagers. Indeed, looking through our collective shelves, we find books in Simon & Schuster’s past and future programme taking a positive attitude towards women and towards minority groups, in this country and in the USA. Publishing Yiannopoulos risks damaging this work, tarnishes their reputation and raises the possibility of existing and future authors seeking alternative publishers.

Simon & Schuster is the publisher of the New York Times bestseller, Nobody: Casualties of America’s War on the Vulnerable, from Ferguson to Flint. We fear that the views of Yiannopoulos will lead to more such casualties.

Ross Bradshaw
On behalf of the ARB

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