Sunday 9 November 2014

October 2014 Newsletter, slightly belated

I guess my biggest news at the moment is that I’ve been promoted to Senior lecturer at the University of Salford. It’s a nice feeling. It sort of confirms that I’ve been doing a few things right. Not that the pressure goes away – if anything there’s more. Current challenges: improve NSS scores, retention, continuation, completion and recruit more students. Oh, and fit in a little research and writing!   
We’ve just had Reading / Writing Week and I’ve been out and about doing some unusual things: school visits, visit to Ireland, where I’ve made one or two interesting connections, and a conference.
I’ve managed to do a little more research towards my book on Children’s Literature. Some of the material at Trinity College, Dublin was extremely interesting, especially to do with the connection to myths. This also feeds nicely into a lecture I’m delivering next week.     



I’m now steaming along with Girl in a Smart Uniform. My main character is complex and I’m having to keep a balance of innocence and harshness.  I’ve given her a difficult background. Am I giving her an excuse for becoming a Nazi? Is this the only way it can be explained? I have a feeling that this is going to be the most difficult book to write in the Schellberg Cycle.  
I’m delighted to have had a short story accepted on the new Cut a Long Story Short web site.  It is Chocolate, one of my skewed future stories. I’m hoping this will become quite a theme and that I may post more of these types of stories to that site.     


The Best of CafeLit 3 – it would have been 2013 but as we’re so far into 2014 we’ve decided to number them instead. It’s out there and ready for download or in hard copy. I’m very pleased with this latest batch of stories.
We’ll be starting work on CafeLit 4 shortly.   

School visits

I’m now getting quite a bit of interest in my free school visits so the twelve on offer are being taken up fast. These visits are up to 90 minutes long and are focussed on my books.
In addition, many of us from the university are going out and offering presentations on what is on offer on our programmes. I’ll generally throw in a creative writing exercise.     
I’ll reiterate 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 offer 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 specifically 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’re pleased to say that our 2014 anthology, Light in the Dark is at the printers and all being well should launch on time, for 15 November 2014.

Bridge House, Red Telephone and CafeLit Celebration 6 December

We’re now opining our Celebration on 6 December to the public. There will be writers from all three imprints at the Theodor Bullfrog pub, John Adam Street, London. This is handily near to Charing Cross and Embankment tube stations. It’s £15.00 a head to include lunch and one drink from the bar. There will be the chance to network, meet our authors and editors, find out what else we’re looking for, hear some of our authors read and find out what you need to do to be published by Bridge House. Sign up here. Friends and family welcome.   

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. I’m also looking for more articles on Writers in Cafés – see what’s involved here.
I’ll shortly be making some difference to the way you find a café within the site. Trying to list them all is really counterproductive and it will be more useful to visitors to be able to search within the site.
Take a look over the next few weeks.          

The Red Telephone

We’re still working on marketing Shanta Everington’s XY. You can still join in the online launch here. She has run a very successful blog tour.
 Cyan Brodie’s, Dream Girl is now out and we’re also beginning to promote that.
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.
There will be a new call for submissions shortly.  

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