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Office Administrator – permanent, part-time, based in Bethnal Green, London

Salary – £ Competitive

About Us:

Riot Communications is a multi-award-winning arts and culture PR agency working across publishing, exhibitions, theatre, film and TV. We are looking for an exceptional and experienced Office Administrator to join our energetic team.

About the role:

You will be responsible for the general administrative duties required to help support the smooth running of the office, and will be required to provide assistance to the rest of the team as required.

 

Key Responsibilities:

To provide general administrative support including, but not exclusive to:

  • Answering phone calls politely and promptly – you are the front line of the company – dealing with enquiries, message taking
  • Providing IT support to the team and troubleshooting IT problems
  • Managing post efficiently – incoming and out-going.
  • Keeping meeting agendas and writing meeting minutes as appropriate
  • General photocopying/scanning
  • Accurately booking couriers, travel and accommodation for team members and clients when required
  • Co-ordinating mailings
  • Renewing licenses
  • Managing office budgets and petty cash – handling sales and purchase invoices for the book keeper, depositing of monies
  • Liaising with staff and suppliers including cleaners, couriers, book keeper, IT helpdesk and building management staff
  • Using Microsoft office packages, Dropbox and other pieces of administrative software
  • Managing personnel records, including holiday and sick leave
  • Greeting clients/journalists as they arrive
  • Booking meeting rooms and providing refreshments, setting up AV equipment
  • Proactively ordering stationery and other office supplies as required
  • Distributing newspapers on a daily basis among the team
  • Some PA duties to the MD of the company and Associate Director as required, including co-ordinating diaries, arranging meetings, booking appointments

About you:

You will have a professional demeanour, both in person and over the phone; will be calm under pressure; have exceptional attention to detail; have outstanding multi-tasking skills; be super organised and dependable and a proactive, can-do approach. You will be unafraid of hard work and will enjoy the challenge of working in a fast-paced, creative environment.

Key skills:

  • Reliability
  • Adaptability
  • Good interpersonal skills
  • Organisational skills
  • Communication skills
  • IT skills
  • Problem solving skills

Essential Criteria:

  • At least a year’s previous office-based clerical, secretarial or commercial work experience is essential
  • Proficient in Microsoft packages and Dropbox experience
  • Excellent command of written and oral English

If this sounds like you, we would love to hear from you. Please apply in writing to info@riotcommunications.com with a CV and a covering letter explaining why you should be our next employee, including your current salary and notice period. Only candidates invited to interview will receive a reply. Deadline for applications is 5pm, Monday 20th March 2017.

Prize of £5,000 of books a ‘dream come true’ for school after three years of struggling to raise funds for a library

Cherry Burton 2

The winner and runners-up of the third annual World Book Day Award have been announced today on World Book Day. The first prize of £5,000 worth of books was awarded to Cherry Burton Primary School in East Yorkshire for their ‘Old Curiosity Shop’ entry, pictured above. A further three schools were awarded the second prize (£3,000 worth of books), and an additional 10 schools awarded the third prize (£1,000 worth of books).

Each year, schools are invited to take part in a creative challenge, which celebrates reading for pleasure – this year picture book giant, Oliver Jeffers and acclaimed fine artist, Sam Winston asked schools to create their own ‘world of stories’ inspired by their new children’s book, A Child of Books, published by Walker Books, who have funded the Award for 2017.

Cherry Burton Primary School responded with a whole school project which transformed their summer playhouse into an ‘Old Curiosity Shop’, inspired by the classic novel by Charles Dickens. Designed to convey the “individual experience” of reading, the shop was filled with displays and crafts made by the children, sparked by their favourite books, which ranged from Owl Babies to The Snail and the Whale and The BFG. The massive influx of £5,000 worth of new children’s books provides fresh hope to a school that has spent the last three years struggling to fundraise to expand their collection of books from just one bookshelf into a fully-fledged library.

Winning entries from the West Coast of Scotland to the West Midlands and Northern Ireland were chosen by a panel of judges consisting of Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston, World Book Day Director Kirsten Grant and Arts Editor for The Times Alex O’Connell. Each winner, plus 100 runners-up, will also receive a signed copy of A Child of Books, plus a limited edition print for their school.

Sarah Shepherdson, Literacy Coordinator, said: “We’re honoured and thrilled to have been awarded first prize for our entry to the World Book Day Award. The children all worked incredibly hard and loved exploring and interpreting their favourite books for the project. The addition of £5,000 worth of books to our school library is a dream come true. Three years ago, our library consisted of one meagre bookshelf, and while we have come a long way since then, there is no doubt that this prize will be life-changing for our pupils.”

Speaking on the judging process, Oliver Jeffers and Sam Winston said: “It was incredibly difficult to choose between all of the fantastic responses we received. Each entry was clearly crafted with passion and imagination, and we loved seeing the types of stories that are engaging children today. The joy of stories was evident in Cherry Burton School’s outstanding project – their infectious enthusiasm for reading inspired not just pupils, teachers and parents, but also their local community.”

World Book Day Director, Kirsten Grant said: “Each year I am blown away by the fantastic entries we receive for the World Book Day Award, and this year has been no different. World Book Day is all about celebrating books and finding fun ways to encourage children to read for pleasure. This year, schools said that ‘the challenge has brought a bigger focus on books and stories’ and ‘prompted a different approach to reading for enjoyment’, which is incredible to hear, and the time, creativity and imagination in the entries is breath taking. The World Book Day Award gives schools the opportunity to transform their libraries, which play a vital role in promoting literacy and the joy of reading to children and young people. We hope our winning schools and their pupils enjoy their brand-new books!”

World Book Day is the biggest annual celebration of reading for children and will celebrate its 20th anniversary in 2017 with 15 million £1 (€1.50) book tokens distributed in schools across the UK and in Ireland. The special £1 books produced to mark World Book Day are a yearly showcase of some of the best writing and illustration talent published in both countries.

Visit www.worldbookday.com to see this year’s entries and to get more information, the latest news and to subscribe to the free monthly World Book Day e-newsletter.

‘Reading for pleasure‘ charity celebrates 20th anniversary with new research that shows children read more because of World Book Day

One in four children say that the book they bought with their 2016 World Book Day book token was the first book they owned

Pupils from Saint Rose of Lima School in Glasgow celebrate World Book Day

To mark World Book Day’s 20th anniversary (Thursday 2 March 2017), the ‘reading for pleasure’ charity has released new data which shows the positive impact it has on the lives of children across the UK.

Conducted by the National Literacy Trust, the survey of over 9,000 pupils aged between 8 and 11 (Key Stage Two) found that nine out of ten (89.5%) were aware of World Book Day and six in ten (58.8%) were inspired to read more by the celebration of books and reading.

The data also showed that World Book Day was meeting its core objective of encouraging more children to explore the pleasure of reading by selecting and owning a book of their own, with one in four pupils (25.2%) saying that the book they ‘bought’ with their 2016 World Book Day book token was the first book they have had of their own. Amongst children receiving free school meals, this number increased to three in ten (32.9%).

World Book Day in the UK and Ireland enables increased book ownership amongst children by distributing £1 World Book Day book tokens via schools and nurseries all over the country. The £1 book tokens, supplied by official sponsor National Book Tokens Ltd, can be exchanged for one of ten specially-published £1 World Book Day books. This is made possible by a partnership of publishers, booksellers and interested parties who work together to promote books and reading for the personal enrichment and enjoyment of all.

The survey also revealed that six in ten Key Stage Two pupils (58.6%) took part in a World Book Day activity – whether at school or at home – in 2016, a number which the charity hopes to see increase this year as it celebrates its 20th anniversary.

Kirsten Grant, Director of World Book Day, said: “We’re extremely proud of how deep and wide the impact of World Book Day continues to be in the lives of children and young people all over the UK and Ireland, particularly in light of the recent news that one in ten people don’t own a single book*. Evidence suggests that there is a lost generation of readers amongst today’s adults, but we truly hope and firmly believe that, through giving children and young people greater access to books, World Book Day is ensuring that the next generation carry a love of reading with them on into adulthood.

“Reading isn’t just about literacy skills and attainment levels either – it’s about creativity, imagination and empathy, it opens up whole new universes and changes the way we see and think about the world. Unlocking those worlds and empowering children to make choices about what they want to read, enabling them to own their own books and inspiring them to be regular visitors to their local bookshop and library is the beginning of a lifetime of pleasure.”

Founder of World Book Day UK, Baroness Gail Rebuck, also Chair of Penguin Random House UK and founder of Quick Reads, says: “In 1997 the level of children’s engagement with reading was at a point of national crisis. The previous year a Government report had been released showing that 42% of 11-year-olds failed to achieve level 4 in reading and writing on entry to secondary school. We wanted to do something to reposition reading and our message is the same today as it was then – that reading is fun, relevant, accessible, exciting, and has the power to transform lives. I’ve seen first-hand how World Book Day has affected social change and long may it continue.”

As well as enabling hundreds of thousands of children to own a book each year, World Book Day puts on a number of high profile events and activities encouraging people to ‘Do Something Booky’. This year’s The Biggest Book Show on Earth will visit Glasgow, Coventry, Barry, London and Dublin with an all-star line-up of over 30 authors and illustrators, giving over 6,000 children the opportunity to see their literary heroes in person. The Oodles of Doodles initiative is offering children the chance to design a National Book Token, inspired by special 20th anniversary doodles from the UK’s best-loved illustrators, while the World Book Day website (www.worldbookday.com) offers a range of assets and ideas to help schools, bookshops, libraries and families mark the occasion.

For the first time in 2017, World Book Day will be working with all thirteen of Her Majesties Prisons in the Greater London Area, including HMP Belmarsh, Pentonville and Wormwood Scrubs. Thousands of the specially-published £1 World Book Day books, donated by publishers, will be distributed to children and young people visiting their parents on World Book Day and over the following weekend.

David Kendall, the reading engagement specialist leading the prisons initiative, said: “Sharing a book with a parent can be hugely important to a child’s experience of reading, and it’s something that children with a parent in the criminal justice system have less opportunity to do. Being able to work with World Book Day to ensure books are available to children and parents on World Book Day is fantastic, as it will help all families to feel included and show that reading is for everyone.”

More details about World Book Day can be found at www.worldbookday.com.

“What can I tell you about it? The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story.” – Philip Pullman

#BookofDust

Philip Pullman, Author. Photographed by Michael Leckie in Oxford 11th January 2017

Philip Pullman. Photographed by Michael Leckie.

The first volume of Philip Pullman’s The Book of Dust – which has been speculated about for years – will be published on Thursday 19 October 2017.

The Book of Dust is a work in three parts, like His Dark Materials. The first part will be published jointly by Penguin Random House Children’s and David Fickling Books in the UK and by Random House Children’s in the US. 22 years after Northern Lights (July 1995) – the first of his world-famous His Dark Materials trilogy, which has sold more than 17.5m copies in over 40 languages – The Book of Dust will return to the parallel world that has enthralled readers young and old.

The plot and title of this first story will remain under wraps until a later date, but it can be revealed that the book is set 10 years before Northern Lights and centres on the much-loved character, Lyra Belacqua. Alethiometers, daemons and the Magisterium return to play their part, but the book also introduces a host of new characters, including a new hero.

Philip Pullman comments: “I know from their letters and tweets that my readers have been waiting patiently (mostly) for The Book of Dust for a long time. It gives me great pleasure and some excitement at last to satisfy their curiosity (and mine) about this book.

“The first thing to say is that Lyra is at the centre of the story. Events involving her open the first chapter, and will close the last. I’ve always wanted to tell the story of how Lyra came to be living at Jordan College and, in thinking about it, I discovered a long story that began when she was a baby and will end when she’s grown up. This volume and the next will cover two parts of Lyra’s life: starting at the beginning of her story and returning to her 20 years later.

“So, second: is it a prequel? Is it a sequel? It’s neither. In fact, The Book of Dust is… an ‘equel’. It doesn’t stand before or after His Dark Materials, but beside it. It’s a different story, but there are settings that readers of His Dark Materials will recognise, and characters they’ve met before. Also, of course, there are some characters who are new to us, including an ordinary boy (a boy we have seen in an earlier part of Lyra’s story, if we were paying attention) who, with Lyra, is caught up in a terrifying adventure that takes him into a new world.

“Third: why return to Lyra’s world? Dust. Questions about that mysterious and troubling substance were already causing strife 10 years before His Dark Materials, and at the centre of The Book of Dust is the struggle between a despotic and totalitarian organisation, which wants to stifle speculation and enquiry, and those who believe thought and speech should be free. The idea of Dust suffused His Dark Materials. Little by little through that story the idea of what Dust was became clearer and clearer, but I always wanted to return to it and discover more.”

The announcement has been hailed by James Daunt, Managing Director of Waterstones, as “exhilarating… for those of all ages. Other books, other authors, make claims and bring huge rewards… but it is Philip who cements the sophisticated, unique pleasures of reading.”

 

Last night (13th February), publicists from across the publishing industry gathered in Central London for the annual Publishers’ Publicity Circle (PPC) Awards, and we were thrilled to scoop the Daily Mail Best Children’s Book Award for our campaign for M.G. Leonard’s debut Beetle Boy.

Praised by the judges for its creativity, our campaign not only established M.G. Leonard as a major new voice in the world of children’s books, drawing comparisons with Roald Dahl himself, but saw wave after wave of coverage thanks to a tenacious and inventive media relations strategy. The team secured over 90 individual media hits, with major coups for a debut author including The Today Programme, BBC News Channel, Blue Peter, The Sun, Psychologies Magazine, The Big Issue and the Guardian.

One of the biggest breakout children’s debuts of 2016, Beetle Boy became a top 10 bestseller, with over 50k copies sold to date and rights snapped up in 35 territories across the globe.

Our win for Beetle Boy comes just weeks after we scooped a PPC Quarterly Award for our work on Yuval Noah Harari’s Homo Deus.