James Walker, NWS Chair, announces the appointment of a new Development Director, 31 May 2013.
This week we shortlisted six applicants for the post of Development Director and held interviews on Tuesday. On the panel was myself, Henderson Mullin (WEM), Niki Valentine (founder member and University of Nottingham) and Robin. Each candidate gave a 5–7 minute presentation on their vision for the Studio and how they would source funding to achieve these aims. After responding to their presentation we then asked each candidate three generic questions regarding personal motivations, stakeholders, and project management. The interviews lasted 30 minutes.
Selecting the right person for the post was a pleasurable headache, given that individual visions for the Studio varied dramatically in direction and emphasis. However we were unanimous in our final decision that the most suitable person for the job was Pippa Hennessy. Pippa will now work closely with Robin over the following month to ensure a smooth transition.
The coming months are crucial for the Studio as we have to write our GfA bid and ensure we meet our commitments for the current grant period. Pippa has vast knowledge of the Studio (she is a former Board member as well as a member of our poetry group) and therefore is able to easily slot in and focus in on these requirements.
As pragmatic as the above requirements are, the main reason Pippa was appointed was for her sheer passion for the literature scene. She was a driving force behind the recent Festival of Words and has proved herself countless times. In having so many diverse relationships with literature I think that she will be an invaluable resource for our varied membership.
Pippa has been nurtured through the publishing industry under the watchful eye of Ross Bradshaw where she has gained experience of proofing, marketing, festivals and most importantly, dealing with the various needs of writers. She has a computing background and so is able to help develop the website and fix the computer if it breaks. She holds epublishing workshops, knowledge which is very useful to the growing number of independent publishers emerging and enables the studio to think more digitally about the future. She’s also a poet, teaches creative writing, and has done the obligatory article for LeftLion to prove her loyalty to Nottingham.
We often talk at the Studio about developing writers and so it’s fantastic to be able to help develop Pippa’s career. It seems only yesterday that I received an email from a student on a creative writing MA to come down and review their anthology. You will not be surprised to learn that Pippa instigated the publication of the anthology with the desire to install confidence and worth in aspiring writers. This has now become a regular feature of the programme. I think this typifies her ‘can do’ attitude and so I hope you will all give her a very warm welcome, and then pester her to death with requests.
It is with great sadness that we will soon be saying goodbye to Robin. But he’s not gone just yet so I’ll save the blushing accolades for another post. For now this is Pippa’s moment.