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News Report Page 11 of 17
Publication Date:- 2018-06-02
News reports located on this page = 2.

Novels and Nibbles event celebrates Merseyside's growing band of indie authors

A group of published writers from across Merseyside and beyond are coming together for a night of celebration and to fly the flag for independent authors.

The Novels and Nibbles event on 12 June 2018 will be a chance for people to meet 5 different authors, hear about their work and latest book projects.

The event will be held at Lifestyle Collective on Allerton Road, Liverpool, at 6.30pm and will include bubbles and nibbles.

In attendance will be Estelle Maher, author of:- 'Grace and the Ghost' and winner of Best Spiritual Fiction in The Soul and Spirit Book Awards 2018; Lynn Robinson, author of spiritual book:- 'A Light to Guide Us Home;' Matthew Drzymala, author of:- 'The Fantastical Gregory Shortbread' and 'The Bumpkinton Tales;' Sally Anne Tapia Bowes, writer of both children's and adult fiction and Bob Stone, who also writes for children and young adults.

As well as talking about their books, the authors will answer questions from the audience and Mr Stone, owner of Write Blend bookshop in Waterloo, will be giving an exclusive reading of his new book:- 'Missing Beat.'

The event has been organised to coincide with Indie Author Week UK, that runs from 9 June to 16 June 2018, which encourages:- Bookshops, Libraries, Schools, businesses and other groups and organisations to celebrate the work of indie authors right across the UK.

Founded by independent publisher Team Author UK, the week long event provides an opportunity for the spotlight to be shined on the creative work of self published writers.

Mrs Maher, who lives on the Wirral, said:- "This event is all about flying the flag for indie authors and giving us an opportunity to share our books and work with the public. Over recent years publishing has seen lots of changes and there are now many ways now for writers to get their work seen by the world. But as an indie author it can be hard work getting known as we don't have the benefit of a big publishing agency behind us and of course their huge marketing budget."

Mrs Robinson, also based on the Wirral, said:- "We very much have to operate as a small business so events like these are great for gaining local exposure and there are similar events happening all over the UK to celebrate Indie Author Week UK, which is fantastic."

Liverpool based writer Mr Drzymala, pointed out that the event would also be a great opportunity for other local writers looking to self publish to speak to authors who have been through the process. Mr Drzymala said:- "We will be taking questions from the audience and we will be happy to talk about our books, what it's like to be a writer, our highs and lows and also anything anyone might like to ask about our own experiences of self publishing."

Mrs Tapia Bowes from Hightown, who has published several children's picture books including:- 'The Star that Lost its Sparkle' and 'The Tiger that Slept on the Stairs', is currently working on the final book in her crime thriller trilogy. Mrs Tapia Bowes said:- "It can sometimes be a bit lonely working as a writer but Indie Author UK Week is bringing several of us together and helping to create a community of writers which is really important. I'm hoping the event will give me the inspiration I need to complete my latest book."

Mr Stone, who has operated Write Blend bookshop for three years, has built up a strong reputation for supporting Liverpool's indie authors, hosting book launch events and also dedicating shelf space in the shop to a range of indie author books. He said:- "Self publishing has become a very popular method for creative writers to further their professional career. Indie authors bring to the table a varied mix of books covering a range of topics and often when readers are looking for something a bit different and unique they will find what they are looking for on the indie author shelf. It's really important for all independent bookshops to start embracing the work of indie authors; they can bring so much variety."

Jude Lennon, creative director for Team Author UK and Liverpool based children's author, said it was fabulous to see local business owners such as Rachel Jesse from Lifestyle Collective supporting local authors. She said:- "The aim of Indie Author Week is to get businesses, schools, libraries and other organisations to shine a light on the work of independent authors so we are very grateful to Rachel for showing her support. It's great to be working with Indie Author Week UK to promote local writers. As a local business, it feels great to be involved. Our space is used for many events including a book club so it seemed fitting to support local authors."

Tickets for the Novels and Nibbles event are priced ₤6 and are available in advance through Eventbrite. For more details about Indie Author Week UK visit the Facebook Page.

Citizens Support Scheme Under Pressure

A crisis fund that supports people under extreme pressure in Liverpool may be unable to cope with the full impact of the Government's welfare reforms.

That's the warning from Liverpool City Council following a review of the Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme (LCSS).

Welfare chiefs at the Council believe more people, including families on low income, could face greater hardship once a raft of changes to the benefit system begin to bite.

A report to the City Council's Cabinet warns there is a risk that the LCSS could become 'exhausted' if future demand increases. The report further suggests that more people may have to rely on other forms of crisis funding to help with essentials such as food and fuel bills.

The scheme was set up by the Council in 2013 after the Government scrapped The Department for Work and Pensions' Discretionary Social Fund.

The ₤3M pot provides a lifeline for some of the City's most disadvantaged citizens, including:- families facing extreme financial hardship, young people leaving care, people with chronic or terminal illnesses and those fleeing domestic abuse.

It provides urgent support to help people and families in crisis to meet immediate living costs and pay for food, clothes and fuel. It also helps people on low income to set up home by providing furniture and domestic appliances.

The fund helps to reduce the risks to people which in turn helps to reduce the demand on other Council services such as adult and children's social care and homelessness advice.

In 2017/18 more than 13,000 awards were made from the Citizens Support Scheme, a nearly 6% increase on the previous year.

And while the scheme remains in budget, the report warns:- "Due to the growing effects of the Government's welfare reform programme, in particular the roll out of Universal Credit, the scheme has come under increasing demand. It is anticipated that the Reduced Benefit Cap and the so called:- '2 child policy' may further increase demand from families and children."

In 2018, the Council conducted its own cumulative impact report into the introduction of multiple Government backed welfare reforms. The assessment highlighted: "Significant disproportionate impact of welfare reform on disabled people, women, people with children, young people and social sector tenants aged 40 to 59." The assessment also highlighted the potential strains on people in employment but on a low income.

The report into the Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme, which was considered by the Council's Cabinet at its meeting, on Friday, 25 May 2018, states:- "The Citizens Support Scheme cannot mitigate the multiple impacts of the Government's programme however it can serve to support those identified as most in need, in conjunction with other forms of advice and support."

The report concludes that the Council will continue to use the LCSS in conjunction with other forms of crisis funding, including Discretionary Housing Payments and the Mayoral Hardship Fund. Cabinet members were asked to note the changes the Liverpool Citizens Support Scheme policy which highlight the potential impact of the Government's welfare reforms.

Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson, said:- "The Citizens Support Scheme was created to provide people in dire circumstances with the absolute basics they need to survive. It puts food on the table, keeps families warm in winter and keeps people away from loan sharks. Its value in providing support to some this City's most under pressure citizens cannot be overstated. But the message from this report is clear - as the Government's welfare reform agenda continues to gather pace, more people in Liverpool will suffer. As a consequence demand for the support scheme will only increase and our concern is that it will soon outstrip the resources we have available. The Council is doing all it can to combat hardship and poverty in this City and we will continue to look at new and innovative ways to support our citizens. It is our duty to highlight the issues affecting the scheme so everyone is aware of the pressures we are facing."

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