Events Marketing Assistant Tiffany Ko is fast approaching her one-year anniversary at Fremantle Press. Working just a couple of short days per week, she manages all our Great Big Book Club events, our Fogarty and Hungerford award ceremonies, our Champions of Literature soirées and all the workshops and events we run for the Four Centres Emerging Writers Program.
My usual day begins with some journalling alongside my breakfast. Sometimes I’ll do it at night, but luckily you caught me today with some nice lighting. After that, I’m off to Fremantle Press! The first thing I do is check my inbox. It can be a bit of a surprise: some days I only have a handful to reply to, and others it’s a waterfall of messages requiring my attention. Luckily, every email is categorised by event, so I just pop them in their respective folders to avoid confusion.
Day to day, I get to work closely with our amazing marketing team of Claire Miller, our Marketing and Communications Manager, and Jen Bowden, our Marketing and Communications Coordinator, which usually involves a whole lot of laughter sprinkled in with a few irreverent jokes.
I travel quite a distance to work since I live North of Perth, but that can come in handy for me when I’m called upon to travel back up for meetings with librarians, venue hosts and community grants officers. We’re planning an event in the City of Joondalup for 2020, so recently I’ve been closer to home. I’ve also been able to act as a guide for Claire, who is really good at getting lost whenever she leaves Fremantle.
Currently I’m getting our Business of Being a Writer seminar underway for early 2020 (watch this space!) A typical day might involve me publishing the event online for you, our lovely readers, to register your interest. Unfortunately I can’t claim to be the design genius behind our graphics, because it’s Chloe Griffiths who makes all the magic!
Most of the planning for our events follows a general timeline: finding a suitable venue; contacting potential speakers; booking catering and audiovisual equipment; creating running orders, speeches and photography briefings; and making sure we’re stocked with enough books to sell. Basically, lists upon lists upon more lists up until about three days before the event, when everything has to be nailed down.
Then I’ll be getting on to what we like to call ‘packing the event boxes’ which involves a lot of taping and labelling and, sometimes, ironing letters onto our Fremantle Press t-shirts. #IAmAHumanSelfieCam
The busiest time for me, of course, is the day of the event, and you can usually find me running around with a clipboard in hand and an extra watch in my bag, just in case. Every minute of the event is planned out to a T, just so I’m always prepared if something goes wrong. Ideally, everything goes to plan – the best events are the ones where I do the least because that actually means everything’s going right, and during the Fogarty Literary Award ceremony I was doing just that! We had a few extra hands on deck thanks to our lovely volunteers, which meant I was free to roam around and leisurely check how things were going with the bookseller, photographer and authors, as well as the grazing table a couple of times.
The exciting thing about working at Fremantle Press is that there is a wide range of events to work on, and none are the same. Just a few weeks ago, we wrapped up with Booktoberfest™, which celebrated the launch of Hungerford Award winner Holden Sheppard’s book, as well as nine other authors in the Fremantle Press family. Not only do we do large-scale book reads, but we’ve hosted more intimate ones throughout the year, such as the launch of the poetry collections of Nandi Chinna and Caitlin Maling, as well as a panel discussion for debut authors Tom McKendrick and Elliot Langdon.
When I’m not working on one of the book reads, I focus my attention on organising workshops for the Four Centres Emerging Writers Publishing Program, all hosted at different writing centres in Perth. This includes meeting with the lovely folk at WA Poets Inc, the Fellowship of Australian Writers WA, Peter Cowan Writers Centre and Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre to plan out our next publishing-related session for the talented writers in the program. If you’re a writer or an aspiring writer yourself, I’d highly encourage you to join one of these centres, as they have a wealth of knowledge to share and are great company too!
Last but not least are our Champions of Literature soirées, each of which is held at the home of one of our Champions. At these soirées, our kind supporters have the opportunity to meet and greet our seasoned and up-and-coming authors. We are always welcoming new members to the Fremantle Press Champions of Literature family, so don’t hesitate to contact us if you are interested in becoming a supporter.
When the end of the day rolls around, I take the gorgeous coastal road back home, and sometimes get to catch the sunset. I usually wind down by tackling my mountain of TBR books, or spend some time with my journal if I haven’t already done so in the morning.
I’ve been keeping diaries since I was seven and it’s oddly satisfying to add a new one to the growing pile I keep hidden away from the light of day. Actually, this is the first time I’ve taken them all out in many years and it’s quite fun (but mostly cringey) to go back in time and relive my life when I was younger. On other nights, I like to spend time with my siblings, which usually involves a tray of snacks in front of the TV. Currently we’re re-watching Rick and Morty in anticipation of the new season.