Oxford Literary Festival commits to paying authors after backlash
In the UK, the Oxford Literary Festival has ‘rebalanced its budgets’ and will pay authors £150 to speak at its 2017 festival and for all future festivals, reports the Bookseller. As previously reported by Books+Publishing, in January author Philip Pullman resigned as festival patron over its refusal to pay speakers, stating that ‘it seems contradictory’ to ‘lay on lavish “black tie dinners” and at the same time claim that it can’t afford to pay speakers’. A festival spokesperson said it has ‘conferred with interested parties and, recognising the strength of feeling, have rebalanced our budgets to enable this to happen.’ Author and festival patron Joanne Harris said the decision was ‘great news’, and came after consultation with the UK Society of Authors. ‘This is really excellent news, which I hope will lead to fairer treatment for authors by festivals all over the country,’ said Harris.