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#18: Joelle Owusu, editor, Unbound

Kassia speaks to Joelle Owusu, an editor at Unbound, the innovative publishing company that aims to use crowd-funding to shake up the way books are produced, paid for and disseminated. Joelle explained how Unbound's business model works, how it compares to traditional publishing, and how they aim to give voice to writers that have traditionally faced a sceptical response from the industry. She also discussed her own career, which has seen her make an unlikely move from petroleum geology to...

Duration: 00:54:53

#17: Candice Carty-Williams, senior marketing executive, Vintage Books

Kassia and Simon interview Candice Carty-Williams, senior marketing executive at Vintage Books. She spoke to us about the nuts and bolts of marketing a book and the role data play. She also discussed how she wrote her debut novel "Queenie", which was acquired by Orion earlier this year for a six-figure sum and will be published in 2019. You can find us online at, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at Always Take Notes is presented...

Duration: 00:51:52

#16: Nick Summers, features editor, Bloomberg Businessweek

Kassia and Simon spoke to Nick Summers, a features editor for Bloomberg Businessweek who at time of recording was based in London but is now in New York. Nick talked us through his commissioning and editing process and spoke about some fascinating pieces he's worked on recently including one on an Wall Street informant who double-crossed the FBI and another that looked into exactly what it is that IBM does (and whether it's any good at it). Stories discussed:...

Duration: 00:43:46

#15: Oliver Franklin-Wallis, commissioning editor, British Wired

Simon interviews Oliver Franklin-Wallis, commissioning editor at British Wired. Oliver edits — and writes — longform features for the magazine. He discusses his background and entry to journalism, dos and don'ts of the pitching process and stories about the future of death, the Ebola crisis and the 'Hyperloop.' Stories discussed:

Duration: 00:55:06

#14: Kiran Millwood Hargrave, winner, Waterstones Children's Book Prize 2017

Kassia and Simon interview Kiran Millwood Hargrave, an award-winning children's novelist as well as a poet and playwright. She revealed what motivates her to write, her previous struggles with her mental health, and how she manages her finances.

Duration: 00:47:16

#13: Tom Standage, deputy editor, The Economist

Kassia and Simon interview Tom Standage, deputy editor of The Economist. They spoke about Tom's long career at the publication, why there is a no-bylines policy and some of The Economist's newer projects, such as a virtual-reality reconstruction of the Mosul Museum in Iraq, containing artefacts destroyed by Islamic State in 2015. More information on this project can be found below:

Duration: 00:53:18

#12: Patrick Walsh, literary agent, PEW Literary

Simon and Kassia interview literary agent Patrick Walsh, who runs PEW Literary in London and formerly co-founded Conville & Walsh. They discuss the complexities journalists can face moving into book writing, the art of the nonfiction proposal, the expansion of the Chinese market and the thrill of the deal. You can find us online at, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook at Always Take Notes is presented by...

Duration: 00:44:03

#11: Tom Jennings, director, Logan Nonfiction Programme

Simon interviews Tom Jennings, director of the Logan Nonfiction Programme at the Carey Institute for Global Good in upstate New York in the US, where Simon stayed earlier this year. They spoke about Tom's career and the importance for writers of grants and fellowships like the one organised by the Carey Institute. If you're fascinated — or slightly intimidated — by residencies and grants, this episode is for you. More information on the Logan Programme and the Carey Institute is available...

Duration: 00:37:32

#10: Alice Fishburn, editor, FT Weekend Magazine

Kassia and Simon interview Alice Fishburn, editor of the Financial Times Weekend Magazine. They discuss how she got her start in journalism, where the magazine sits within the rest of the FT’s offerings, and why longform journalism seems to be valued less in the UK than the US. Some of the FT Weekend Magazine pieces mentioned in the interview are: ‘Has science cracked the peanut allergy?’: ‘Out of road: driverless vehicles and...

Duration: 00:37:55

#9: Sara Baume, novelist

Kassia interviews Irish novelist Sara Baume on the publication of her second book, 'A Line Made By Walking.' Sara spoke candidly about switching careers, what makes her write, how she got her first book deal and the financial realities of life as a full-time novelist. Her first book, published in 2015, was 'Spill Simmer Falter Wither.

Duration: 00:44:56

#8: Stig Abell, editor, Times Literary Supplement (TLS)

Simon and Kassia interview Stig Abell, editor of the Times Literary Supplement and former managing editor of the Sun. Stig has also reviewed books for the Spectator and ran the Press Complaints Commission. We discussed his career, his plans for the TLS, the impact of Facebook on print media and why he remains optimistic about its future.

Duration: 00:40:14

#7: Sharmaine Lovegrove, publisher, Dialogue Books

Simon and Kassia interview Sharmaine Lovegrove, who is the publisher at Dialogue Books – a new Little, Brown imprint that aims to showcase work by writers neglected by traditional British publishing. Sharmaine has previously run a bookshop in Berlin, been literary editor of ELLE Magazine and co-founded Dialogue Scouts, a consulting company that looks for books to be adapted for film and television. Sharmaine talks about the importance of bringing new voices into the often cliquey world of...

Duration: 00:44:38

#6: Nicola Solomon, chief executive, The Society of Authors

Kassia interviews Nicola Solomon, chief executive of the Society of Authors, the British trade union for all types of writers, illustrators and literary translators. The SoA specialises in protecting authors' interests in negotiations and disputes with agents and publishers. Nicola discusses freedom of expression, explains how the publishing industry has changed over the past century and how to get a fair book contract.

Duration: 00:34:40

#5: Peter Frankopan, author of 'The Silk Roads'

In this episode, Simon and Kassia interview Peter Frankopan, a historian at Oxford University and director of the Oxford Centre for Byzantine Research. His latest book 'The Silk Roads : A New History of the World' proved a No 1 bestseller all over the world, topping the nonfiction charts in India, Pakistan, China and the UK, where it remained in the Top 10 for 10 months. Peter discusses what it feels like to be at the centre of a publishing whirlwind, the unlikely circumstances in which he...

Duration: 00:34:42

#4: Giles Wilson, founding editor, BBC News Magazine

In this episode, Simon interviews Giles Wilson, the founding editor of the BBC News Magazine and now creative director at Harpoon Productions. Giles discusses how and why the BBC started commissioning longer written pieces online, and the future of longform journalism in the UK and beyond. The three stories Giles mentions are: * Reykjavik Confessions…ec_7617/index.html * The Village and the Girl…-a0eb-4ef064900f92 * The...

Duration: 00:27:15

#3: Laura Barber, publishing director and editorial director, Portobello Books and Granta

In the third episode of Always Take Notes, Simon and Kassia interview Laura Barber, publishing director at Portobello Books and editorial director at Granta. Laura discusses the differences between the two imprints she works on; how books can be both bought off-proposal from agents or — less often — commissioned by publishers; and the kinds of writing that she finds exciting. You can find us online at, on Twitter @takenotesalways, and on Facebook...

Duration: 00:34:07

#2 Imogen Pelham, literary agent, Marjacq

In the second episode of Always Take Notes, Simon and Kassia talk to Imogen Pelham. Imogen is a literary agent at Marjacq, an agency based in London, where she represents both literary fiction and non-fiction authors. She explains the mysteries of book advances and the different ways she sells novels and non-fiction to publishers. Imogen also spoke about how to get into the industry, and gives tips to aspiring authors and agents. You can find us online at,...

Duration: 00:37:10

#1: Jonathan Beckman, deputy editor, 1843

In the first episode of the Always Take Notes podcast Simon and Kassia interview Jonathan Beckman, the deputy editor of 1843 (the lifestyle and culture magazine from The Economist) and author of the award-winning 'How to Ruin a Queen.' Jonathan previously worked at the Literary Review, where he ran the Bad Sex Awards – indeed that's how Kassia first met him… You can find us online at, @takenotesalways on Twitter, and Always Take Notes is...

Duration: 00:26:59