To The Last Word Other Projects

Volunteer Work with Dr Jane Goodall, DBE

Gary & Anita Dalkin with Dr Jane Goodall

I am coordinator for the Jane Goodall Institute UK Bournemouth Base Camp, organising events celebrating the life and work of Dr Jane Goodall in her home town. Events have included a special day at Bournemouth University featuring the UK premiere of the cinema documentary Jane’s Journey, together with a talk by Jane and an exhibition of art by local artists inspired by Jane’s environmental and campaigning work; a tree planting in Bournemouth Gardens with the mayor of Bournemouth in Jane Goodall’s honour, and the planting of a special rose bred in her honour at Compton Acres in Poole. Our most recent event (2018) was a special screening at the Bournemouth Odeon, with Jane taking part in a Q&A afterwards, of the Oscar-shortlisted National Geographic documentary Jane. (See photo) Click to see more about my work with Jane Goodall.

 

 Arthur C. Clarke Award Judge

For two years I was a judge of the Arthur C. Clarke Award (1999-2001). This jury award is the most prestigious award for science fiction in the UK. My fellow judges included novelists Kim Newman and Lisa Tuttle.

 

 Poole Literary Festival

Between 2010-11 I was Press & Media Co-ordinator for the Poole Literary Festival. Our debut festival was visited by an estimated 41,000 people over the weekend of 29-31 October 2010. Festival guests included Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Adrian Beckingham, Mavis Cheek, Katie Fforde, David Gaffney, Elvis McGonagall, Michael Morpurgo (who was the Festival Patron), Imogen Parker, Adele Parks, Keira Rathbone, Nicky Singer and Minette Walters.

I was involved with organising many aspects of the festival, writing most press releases, website copy and all the press pack for the festival, as well as proofreading all content generated for the event. I liaised with authors, sourced photos, and appeared on local radio promoting the festival.

 

New Media Writing Prize

At the same time as the Poole Literary Festival was being developed, working in partnership with Bournemouth University, I was instrumental in launching the international New Media Writing Prize. Despite the festival being a great success, launching in the aftermath of the financial crash, it was not able to make the leap from hugely popular one off to annual event. More happily, the New Media Writing Prize continues today.

 

Magazine & Website Editing

These days I edit books, but before that, for five years I was Co-Features Editor of Vector: The Critical Journal of the British Science Fiction Association (1995-2000 – issues 185-214), and then for another five years deputy editor and then editor of the now defunct Film Music on the Web.

 

Frankenstein Celebration

Also, while working with the Poole Literary Festival, in cooperation with the Purbeck Film Festival, I organised a special end-of-festival late night showing of Frankenstein (1932) and Gothic (1986). This event saw me taking part in an on-stage discussion about Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein with BAFTA-winning screen writer John Foster and Richard & Judy novel contest winner and Mary Shelley Festival Founder, Christine Aziz.

 

Royal Opera House

In 2008 I was interviewed about the music of Eric Wolfgang Korngold for a Royal Opera House podcast as part of the promotion of a season of performances of the composer’s opera, Die tote Stadt (The Dead City).

 

Gateway Writing Workshop

During the summer of 2017, as part of the School of Life project run by Gateway Church in Poole, I co-led a free weekly writing workshop. This proved very successful and it is something I intend to develop further in the future.