Wednesday 7 January 2015

The Best of CafeLit 3

All about CafeLit

CafeLit is the e-zine that supports the Creative Café Project. The Creative Café Project looks at identifying cafés that support the arts and encourages cafés in these endeavours. The e-zine helps to raise awareness of the project and actually supports it financially. CafeLit is also a platform for publishing short fiction.  Its unique selling point is that each story is associated with a drink and each story would ideally be read in a coffee break.

The Best of CafeLit

Each year we also publish a book in paperback and Kindle from the best stories produced the previous year. Debz Hobbs-Wyatt is currently the editor of the e-zine She and I take it in turns making the selection each year for the book. It was my turn when it came to The Best of CafeLit 3.

Old favourites and new voices 

I really enjoyed making the selection last year. There was some strong writing from both new and established writers and it was good to come across so many old friends: Trevor Belshaw, Charlie Britten, PatsyCollins, Julie-Ann Corrigan, Susan Eames, Dawn Knox and Roger Noons. I was very pleased to be able to select work submitted by some of my former students from the University of Salford: James Foreman, Daniel Lamb and Olivia Smith.  Also in the  mix are: Gail Aldwin, Lindsay Bamfield, Carol Bevitt, Margaret Bulleyment, Janet Bunce, Steven Chapman, Jacki Donnellan, Tracy Fells, Jo Fino, David Hook, Helen Laycock, Jenny Palmer, Elliott Sampford, Angela South, PaulaR C Readman and Betty Taylor. There is also one of Debz’s own stories in this edition.
There was little editorial to do as the stories have already been edited.  It was just a matter of turning them into something suitable for a paperback. I read them three times: once to select, once as a copy edit before the books were camera ready and once as a proof read after the files had been created. I was never bored. I’d even say that I enjoyed reading all of the stories in the e-zine. We couldn’t select them all, however – the book would become unwieldy. They’re still there for you to enjoy on the web site.

Associated drinks

Writers can be very imaginative in the way they associate drinks.  We rarely get the same one twice. Would you be tempted by these for this year’s selection? A shot of something strong? A Strawberry Flapper? Cocoa in a Snoopy mug? Green Fairy cocktail? Tizer cocktail?
“It’s choosing the drink  that’s the hardest part,” said one writer at our recent get-together in London. Perhaps, but it’s important.

Would you like The Best of CafeLit 3 in a Creative café near you?

If you can point me in the direction of a new Creative Café not already in the project, I’ll send a free copy to that café. Post a comment, and then leave contact details of the café. The first three cafes to be nominated will receive free copies.
Do enjoy the stories yourself – either in the e-book, the paperback or just in the e-zine.    

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