Just heard from the charmingly peripatetic Anthony Watkinson. He and his wife Sarah and his daughter Ruth and her husband and their two children and their dogs have just spent the day at the Northumberland County show. Thousands of others (many of them farmers) were around looking at horses, cattle, sheep, goats, sheepdog demonstrations, a bagpipe band and farmers of both sexes doing tugs of war with tractors! Sounds like a P.G Wodehouse story! How refreshing in these computer-dominated days!
And! Here is more information about Sarah Watkinson!
Sarah Watkinson’s debut poetry pamphlet Dung Beetles Navigate by Starlight won the 2016 Cinnamon Press Pamphlet Prize. From 2019-20 she was inaugural writer in residence at Wytham Woods, producing The Woods of Hazel with Romola Parish. Her debut full collection Photovoltaic (2021) was long listed for the Laurel Prize 2022 and is published by Graft Poetry. The collection is available to buy direct from the publisher, Waterstones or from Amazon. A novel Native Soil will be published 6th October 2023 and is available for pre-order on Amazon. As emeritus research fellow in fungal biology, she has worked extensively on the activities of fungal networks in woodland, and co-authored three editions of the international graduate textbook The Fungi, Elsevier. She is interested in exploring the creative common ground between science and poetry, co-organising interdisciplinary meetings of poets and scientists in Oxford through the TORCH SciPo network, founded in 2016 with poet Jenny Lewis.
And her forthcoming novel! Native Soil sounds intriguing! I just ordered an advanced copy from Blackwells!
Was reading that the Associated Press was negotiating an agreement to license its content to OpenAI. When the Associated Press (AP) became the first major publisher to license its content to a major artificial intelligence (AI) platform, the newswire reportedly ensured that it could modify the terms if another publisher struck a better deal. This first-mover safeguard was included in the agreement announced by the AP and ChatGPT creator OpenAI July 13, The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) reported Friday (July 28), citing unnamed sources that aspects of the agreement reflect the uncertainty in determining the value of the content that is used to train generative AI tools, according to the report. That value will be worked out in the marketplace, as several other publishers are also working to get paid for the use of their content by the developers of AI tools, including Microsoft and Google along with OpenAI.
Another new development! Barnes & Noble has turned the page on their desire to destroy independent bookstores. Enter James Daunt, CEO of Barnes & Noble who is shifting control to individual store managers. He is giving them power over purchasing, placement, and even pricing. One way to measure the health of a bookstore is the return rate—the percentage of unsold books that retailers ship back to publishers. The lower, the better. Waterstones and Barnes & Noble both had return rates between 20% and 25% when Daunt started. It’s down to 3.5% at Waterstones. Barnes & Noble’s is 9%, Daunt said. His target is 5%.