Sabotage Reviews Looking For a New Director
Claire Trevien will be stepping down as Managing Director at Sabotage Reviews, eight years after she originally founded it as a blog, one that has now grown into the biggest review website for indie literature in the UK.
The team is now looking for someone to replace her, to keep Sabotage and its associated Saboteur Awards still going. Sabotage covers fiction, poetry, and spoken word, but not currently novels or full poetry collections. Nonetheless, there seems to be a lot of creative freedom, as there has been some interesting projects including Sabotage's first Anthology Verbs that Move Mountains: Essays and Interviews on Spoken Word Cultures Around the World, and a spotlight on the poetry scene in South Africa.
The most exciting aspect, in my opinion, is the annual Saboteur Awards and Festival. These events have been described as the "ankle-biter" of the literary world, and so definitely deserve to stick around shaking up the establishment. Rather than focussing on heavyweight novels and big publishers, the awards celebrate small-budget indie publishing and experimental works that often sit on the margins, with awards like 'most innovative publisher' and 'best spoken word performer'. I can fully attest to the impact these awards can have as I was lucky enough to win an award at the 2018 ceremony as Best Reviewer (Editor's Choice), which was incredible, particularly given the dearth of prizes for critics.
The new Managing Director would be responsible for the overall running of the Sabotage Reviews website, including helping, where necessary, Sabotage's team of editors, and the running of the Saboteur Awards. Claire has described this work as "often difficult, but also very rewarding and exciting". The role is a voluntary one, but with fundraising and funding bids, it is possible that the new Managing Director could find a way to change this.
At Write Out Loud, we really hope this will be the case! The site has a good track record, as there has been two successful bids with Arts Council England for two of the Saboteur Awards events so far. Claire would be particularly keen to hear from applicants that come from traditionally under-represented backgrounds in literature, and you can find out more here.