From Behind The Mask Competition Giveaway

  • March 14, 2014 11:40
  • Sarah Thrift
From Behind The Mask

From Behind The Mask is an inspiring personal account of Pam Warren’s extraordinary life, before and after The Paddington Rail Crash.

She was not expected to survive. She became the lady in the mask.

In October 1999, Pam Warren’s life was turned on its head when she sustained horrific injuries in the Paddington rail crash. The casualties numbered thirty-one dead and over five hundred injured. Pam underwent scores of operations to rebuild her burnt body, and had to wear a plastic mask over her face for twenty-three hours a day over an eighteen-month period. Unwittingly, she became the public face of the disaster.

Over a decade on from that terrible event, From Behind the Mask charts the true inside story of Pam’s journey from victim to survivor and campaigner. Following the crash she became the UK’s leading spokesperson for improving rail safety, battling with rail management executives and the government – and winning. She was branded a troublemaker, but Pam and fellow members of the Paddington Survivors’ Group helped bring about great improvements on our railways. For years Pam remained focused on that campaign. Now, for the first time, she can tell us all what really happened. It is an inspirational story of determination and courage.

We’ve got five signed copies of Pam’s brilliant book to give away. To enter, simply send an email with your name and address, and answer to the question below here We will not pass on your personal details to any third party.

After The Paddington Rail Crash on October 5th 1999 Pam Warren set up a support group for those who had survived the ordeal. What was the group called?

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Biographer Jad Adams comments on Tony Benn’s life

  • March 14, 2014 10:15
  • Jad Adams

Jad Adams, Tony Benn’s biographer who knew him well for the last 25 years of his life, said:

‘Tony Benn was a public figure for more than 60 years, only the Queen has a longer record.

‘He deserves respect for the sheer endurance of his chivalrous, witty combat in the service of his beliefs. He outlived almost all of his critics to emerge as the embodiment of opposition to arbitrary authority; still a commanding presence on stage and at the microphone, well into his 80s.

‘He represented a peculiarly English form of democratic socialism that he was always pleased to refer back to the Peasants’ Revolt or factions in the English Civil War. It was more rooted in his family’s Christianity than Marxism and owed little or nothing to foreign political ideas.

‘His lasting achievements were in the reform of the constitution and the extension of democracy.

‘He successfully campaigned for the Peerage Act which allowed hereditary peers to renounce the title. In doing that he dealt a fatal blow to the hereditary principle: he proved there was no magic in aristocratic blood, a peer was just a recipient of privilege. It could be given back at any time. The House of Lords was never the same again.

‘He was alone in proposing a referendum on continued membership of the Common Market in the 1970s, in time it became a great national campaign over what was to be the EU.

‘As a minister he was practical and efficient, modernising the post office as postmaster general and ensuring Britain had a share of the wealth produced from North Sea oil as Secretary of State for Energy.

‘In retirement he resurrected the public meeting as a forum for political debate virtually single-handedly in his national series of talks An Evening with Tony Benn.

‘His nine volumes of diaries from 1940 are one of the great records of political and family life and will survive for historians of the future for as long as our era has an interest for them.

‘I remember his generosity and kindness to me and to others who came to his office. One of his great qualities was as a leveller of people. His affability and genuine curiosity about people made him accessible to all, much loved by different ages and classes.

‘Most importantly, for his reputation as a statesman standing head and shoulders above his critics, he responded with mental agility and humour to decades of assaults and came through more popular than ever. He will be missed as few other politicians will be.’

A Tony Benn's-eye view of Trafalgar Square full of crowds and banners.


Job Vacancy: Commissioning Editor

  • March 11, 2014 16:30
  • Sarah Thrift

Commissioning Editor – Biteback Publishing NB: This post has now been filled.

A vacancy has arisen within our small, dynamic publishing team for a Commissioning Editor.

This is a unique opportunity to work on and develop a burgeoning non-fiction list, specialising in politics, current affairs, history, biography and sport.

The successful applicant will work within a busy editorial team to deliver books from conception through to print, including editing, liaising on cover design and picture research, and dealing with proof corrections. He or she will have excellent editorial skills as well as proven experience with InDesign or InCopy, and will liaise closely with other departments on sales, publicity and budgeting matters.

The ideal candidate will have a strong interest in current affairs and a proven editorial background in non-fiction publishing. He or she will have strong negotiating skills, an existing list of contacts within the publishing world, and a proven ability to develop and maintain good author and agent relationships.

This is a brilliant opportunity for a creative individual with an interest in some of the most exciting and agenda-setting non-fiction being published in the UK today.

The position can be full- or part-time depending on the candidate.

Please apply with a CV, covering letter and current salary to:

Publishing Assistant Vacancy


Job Vacancy : Publishing Assistant

  • March 11, 2014 16:00
  • Sarah Thrift

Publishing Assistant – Biteback Publishing NB: This post has now been filled.

A vacancy has arisen within our busy editorial team for a Publishing Assistant. The successful candidate will work on the entire book production process from receipt of manuscript to delivery of files to printer.

This is a wide-ranging job within a small, dynamic publishing team. The successful candidate’s tasks will include the editorial clean-up of manuscripts, line-editing, fact-checking, proofreading, taking in proof corrections using Adobe InCopy or InDesign, preprint checks on PDFs, use of OCR software, management of paperbacks, writing blurbs and picture research.

Other roles will include checking eBooks, liaising with authors, freelancers, picture libraries, agents and foreign publishers.
The successful candidate will have a demonstrable excellence in grammar and spelling, excellence in proofreading and familiarity with BSI proofreading marks. He or she will also show an awareness of current affairs, an attention to detail and an ability to work under pressure.

Please apply with a CV, covering letter and current salary to:

Publishing Assistant Vacancy


Job Vacancy : Designer and Typesetter

  • March 11, 2014 15:30
  • Sarah Thrift

Designer and Typesetter – Biteback Publishing NB: This post has now been filled.

Biteback Publishing is a leading independent non-fiction publisher specialising in politics and current affairs. A position has arisen within our busy editorial team for a designer and typesetter. The successful candidate will be responsible for designing book jackets, typesetting manuscripts, compiling plate sections and designing marketing and media material when required.

The candidate will be a creative and highly organised individual, able to manage multiple projects from concept brief to artwork production, sometimes juggling a heavy workload and working to deadlines, while maintaining a high quality of design. As part of a small, dynamic team, you will need to be adaptable as well as a good communicator
The ideal candidate will have two to three years’ design experience in a book publishing environment. You must be a fluent user of Photoshop, Illustrator and InDesign and experience with photography and typography is essential.

Please apply with a CV, covering letter and work samples (or a link to an online portfolio) to:

Publishing Assistant Vacancy