Monday 1 September 2014

Newsletter 1 September 2014

I’m busily getting ready for the new academic year at the university yet it still a little less hectic than the teaching weeks will be. The new students need quite a bit of attention in the first few weeks as do the students who still have pass marks missing.
I’ve taken a few odd days off here and there, mainly to use up remaining leave. I find these odd days very useful. I don’t look at university emails on those days though I might do a little forward planning. They’re useful for catching up on such tasks as paying cheques into the bank, getting a picture framed and sorting out a new phone. Plus they give me a taste of how life will be when I retire in two years’ time. Of course, I won’t retire from writing – in fact, I’ll probably get more done.
I’m suddenly making some very exciting connections. I can’t say more at the moment, but I should be able to in a few weeks’ time. Watch this space.


I’m making steady progress with all of my works in progress.
I’ll finish Clara’s Story within two weeks, I should think. Then it will be on to Girl in a Smart Uniform. These are stories in my Schellberg cycle.
My Flash Fiction project is coming along. I’m writing a series of flash 140 pieces 140 words long, inspired by pictures on Twitter. I’m up to 27. However, this will be put on hold once I start on Girl in a Smart Uniform.
My text book, Writing Novels for Young Adults is now complete but I’m not fully satisfied with it.  I can’t however, see what else to change myself. Time to get involved with an editor? It’s really a text-book for university students such as the ones on my course Writing Novels for Young People.
 I’ll use it with this year’s students and send it out to publishers at the same time.   


CafeLit continues to attract some good writing.
Send us something if you can. Guidelines here.
We’re pleased to announce that we’ve made the selection of writers whose work has been accepted into The Best of CafeLit 2013. Read more.    

School visits

I’m continuing to offer free promotional visits to schools but am restricting this to the first twelve schools to respond for academic year 2104-2015. These visits are up to 90 minutes long and are focussed on my books.
I’ll say straight away that authors should be paid for school visits, but these free ones are actually part of the work I do at the university.
I’ll do readings for 14+ of Veiled Dreams, Scum Bag, Spooking, Fibbin’ Archie and The Peace Child Trilogy (The Prophecy, Babel, The Tower) a short question and answer session and a creative writing exercise for your class. For primary children there are Jason’s Crystal, The Lombardy Grotto and Kiters. Read more about my books here. There are of course also my stories in various anthologies. All other visits are at the rates suggested by the Society of Authors. Schools can mix and match these visits. I do ask that travel expenses are covered.   
I’m offering visits and talks about my The House on Schellberg Street project for a donation towards the project. I’ve devised a whole interactive workshop for this. The book is now out and selling steadily. It would be a real asset for any school teaching the Holocaust at Key Stage 3. Even if a school can’t afford a donation, I’d be happy to run the project.
Query for a school visit here.

Bridge House

We’ve selected our thought-provoking stories for our 2014 anthology. Now, we’ve finished editing and are putting the book together.

Creative Café

I’m steadily bringing new cafés into the project and I’m always on the lookout for more. So, if you know of one, do get in touch.  More and more people are now engaging with the project. Take a look here.

The Red Telephone

We’re still working on marketing Shanta Everington’s XY. You can still join in the online launch here. She is still also running a very successful blog tour.
 Cyan Brodie’s, Dream Girl is going through the final stages of editing and will be out shortly.
I’m delighted to report also that we have signed Kathy Dunn for her The Demon Magician. This has a fast-paced plot and some delightful characters.
The big news also is that we are open for submissions. Guide-lines here. We’ve not over publicised this as we didn’t want to grow a huge slush-pile. It’s a nod and a wink to our friends in the know. We may extend the open period, however.       

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