NB; this page was written before the weirdness & the new world of Zoom. I’m still working out what this means for fees. Generally most things still take the same amount of time/work-though I have been able to do more small/low-fee gigs than before.
I’ve recently decided to share my fee brackets here, in hope of making conversations about bookings easier. I’m a big fan of more transparency around fees for creative work- and a VERY big fan of performers and writers being paid fairly, which is why I was instrumental in setting up the Poet and Spoken Word Group of the union the Society of Authors: https://www.societyofauthors.org/groups/poetry-and-spoken-word
I have over thirteen years experience as a full time writer and performer and feel valued by many organisations who have chosen to use my skills as a writer, performer, facilitator, comedian and speaker multiple times- including the BBC, the National Trust, First Story, Northern Stage, Apples and Snakes, New Writing North, BALTIC, the National Autistic Society, numerous literature festivals, councils, universities and schools. At the same time, I believe strongly in sharing my skills with newer writers, people in marginalised groups and places and a wider public. Get in touch and let’s see if we can work something out. I’m based in Whitley Bay in North Tyneside so please do take my travel into account- it’s great when organisations think about geographical accessibility and reach.
Fee Bracket a) £250+
Minimum gig/speaking fee- £250. Usually plus travel and (depending on distance from Whitley Bay) accommodation.
Performance of usually up 20- 40 minutes- possibly an hour.
This is also my minimum workshop fee- a workshop being usually 90 minutes or 2 hours. I run creative writing or writing for performance workshops (sometimes with a comedy focus). Additional preparation will be charged at my daily rate.
I may perform for less than this figure for charitable/activist causes I’m interested in, worthwhile organisations who habitually have less money to pay to speakers (say, libraries, smaller WIs) and very easy/local gigs.
Fee bracket b) £300-£400 daily rate
This would usually be the fee bracket for an Arts Council funded organisation or a school booking me for more than three hours.
It is my rate for preparation for events (any required research or writing, for example).
It is also the daily rate for a commission or residency (Negotiable depending on length). Many poem commissions involve at least 3 days work.
Fee bracket c) £500+
A minimum of £500 would be for compering an evening or afternoon event-if requiring me to stay overnight (From Whitley Bay), or being the named headliner/solo performer/reader at an event you’re selling tickets for (for example, an “Audience With…” type evening at a library or arts centre).
Or for a festival event involving more than one element in a day (for example, a panel and a performance or a workshop and a performance). Any preparation will be charged at my daily rate.
Travel and accommodation will be additional.
Fee bracket d) £525 +/Percentage of ticket fee.
is the standard minimum fee for a full performance of one of my shows.
Usually this would be a fixed fee (small venues/festivals) or a guarantee against a split of at least 75%. (Negotiable).
Fee bracket e) £1000+
Is the minimum fee for corporate work- for example, a short performance at a conference. Or the fee for a privately (or ACE) funded event requiring more than one day’s attendance or after dinner speaking.
Further elements, such as preparation, a commissioned poem, a panel or conference attendance will be added at the conference rate, or my daily rate (Negotiable).
Usage of my poems/writing for commissions, broadcasting, products etc, by negotiation
- Bottle/s of water always welcome at an event when I’ll be speaking.
- The offer of food if I’ve been travelling is also welcome. I have no special dietary requirements.
- A quiet room for changing/preparing before a performance/event is always a very good thing.
- I try travel by train if I can, but it is often more convenient (not to mention cheaper for your expenses) for me to drive, in which case mileage is charged at 35p per mile or your organisation’s standard rate.
- A nice local B and B with good TripAdvisor reviews can be a lovely thing, so can a shiny four star boutique or chain hotel. Otherwise, my favourite budget chain hotels are usually (in order); Premier Inn, Ibis, Holiday Inn Express, Travel Lodge.
- I mostly need just a microphone for speaking events, unless I’m doing one of my shows or a presentation in which case we’ll talk further about tech requirements.
- It’s a good idea to provide pens/paper for workshop participants.
- I don’t have an agent, but it usually more convenient for me to pass emails re details of events/working out logistics to my assistant once we’ve made initial contact. I generally prefer email to phone, but if it will be much easier for you to have an initial contact to talk things through via phone then I can do that.
- Please confirm all details including running orders, event location (including where I can park, if applicable) and organiser contact details, at least a week before the event. I usually expect any contracts will be issued at your end rather than mine.