A pop-up bookshop, events hub and workspace run by writers and staffed by volunteers has opened in Brighton.
The Book Makers is a charity-run enterprise, revolving around a mentorship scheme where established authors mentor diverse new voices. It is located on Cranbourne Street in the town centre.
The shop is spearheaded by local author and crime writer William Shaw (pictured top) in collaboration with Brighton-based arts charity Creative Future, and is a pilot by Brighton & Hove City Council in partnership with traders' organisation Brilliant Brighton. The pilot focuses on utilising previously vacant premises in the city centre to support local artists and arts organisations with short-term opportunities.
The premises will remain open for six months, and has received support from authors including Paul Burston, Sharon Duggal, David Fennell, Mick Finlay, Elly Griffiths, Araminta Hall, Kate Harrison, Mick Jackson, Heidi James, Vaseem Khan, Dorothy Koomson, Bethan Roberts, Lesley Thomson and Laura Wilkinson.
Local Brighton bookshop Goldsboro Books is managing the shop’s retail content, with a percentage of revenue from all sales going to support the project. Goldsboro m.d. David Headley, who also runs the DHH Literary Agency, will be involved throughout The Book Maker’s lifetime.
Commenting on the shop, Shaw said: "Bookshops have always been about more than just selling books. With The Book Makers, we’re building a space where established authors commit to welcoming new voices into the community of writers. It’s a place where people can learn about the craft — and - of writing."
In September, The Book Makers plans to start a full programme of workshops in the space programmed by Creative Future, New Writing South and Writers Mosaic. Engaging with the local community of writers, it will also run a programme of events, talks and launches.