Friday 3 February 2017

Newsletter 3 February 2017

A real feeling of getting there

It’s all very good timing. Last Saturday I caught up with my self-imposed writing deadlines: four hours a day, 3,000 words.  I was up to date and even a little ahead by 9.00 p.m. My SCBWI group met on that day and amongst many other very enjoyable and worthwhile activities we reviewed last year’s goals. Mine had been simply to find more writing time. Well that has happened. In 2017 I aim to finish my Schellberg Cycle and go back to science fiction.   
I may slip a little now as I’m teaching at the University of Salford again. I have two full days per week and this will last for twelve weeks with a three week gap in the middle. Then there will be all the marking. I do enjoy it though and at least now I’m just teaching. I do my research and writing in my own time. I only have a little admin. I find working with the students actually enhances my own writing. So, it’s a winner.             


Bridge House

Bridge House’s anthology Baubles continues to sell. You can read a few extracts here. Salford Stories is out there also. Both could do with a few more reviews. If you’ve read them, do write a review for them. If you bought via Amazon, leave one there. You can also leave reviews on Good Reads or your own blog.  You may know of other places. I can also offer review copies for free (PDF or e-mobi) but of course we then don’t get the review on Amazon.  But everything helps and if you’d like a review copy, then reply to this email. If you do review or have reviewed, please also send me a copy.          

Our new annual anthology for 2107 will be Gliterary Tales. So, glittery stories that have a touch of literature about them. I wonder what that will add to the debate about the difference between literary and popular fictions? Debz Hobbs Wyatt has got the call for submissions out: read the guidelines here.  

Remember we’re also offering to publish single-author collections. These are for authors we’ve published before and they may include stories we’ve already published, ones they’ve had published elsewhere and new ones. We’ll be putting a description out about this soon but we’ve already had some enquiries. You may recycle stories we’ve already included in another anthology, and you may reedit these if you wish. You may also add in new stories. We’re aiming at a total word count of between 30,000 and 80,000 words. 
If you’re interested in this, contact me here.    

We’re being a bit cheeky and getting a little political. Are we are in danger of getting our books burnt? Well, there’s no such thing as bad publicity. We’re doing an extra anthology, Citizens of Nowhere, with the theme of the global citizen. Oh, I hope we don’t upset Ms May. We’re commissioning just over half of the work from known authors but there is room for a few open submissions. Stories can be “one you prepared earlier” or a brand new one, with a cut-off date of 31 January, though this may very well be extended. Stories between 1,000 and 4,000 words. Submit to editor at bridgehousepublishing dot co dot uk. 
Yes, okay so the cut-off date has gone. We’ll now keep going until we’ve got enough, so please submit. We’re currently about two thirds of the way there.     


Remember, we’re always open to submissions. Find out how here.  I’ve been encouraging my students to submit. I’m beginning to see some of their work appearing.

The Best of CaféLit 5 is now available. There are some lovely stories in this. I’m very pleased that I have a story in this collection. Order your copy here.      


Again we need more reviews for this. Have you read them? Could you write us a review? And again, I’m offering free copies as PDFs or e-mobi files. Again, also send me a copy of the review.   



We’re currently looking for collections of Flash Fiction. See our submissions page here. We have now signed up five writers already and I’ll be putting out one of my collections as well soon. Take a look here.  
Our first volume is out.  See it here.  Congratulations to Allison Symes Again, reviews, reviews please. Email me for free electronic copies.    
This call for submissions will be closing soon so hurry if you want to submit.  
Chapeltown is also excited to be publishing Colin Wyatt’s Who will be my friend? – a delightful picture book about friendship and accepting others. Yes, Colin is Debz’s dad. He is a Disney licensed illustrator and his latest publication is The Jet Set. We feel very honoured to be publishing him.


Creative Café

We’re always looking for new cafés.  If you visit one of the cafés in the project and would like to write a review of between 250 and 350 words – nice, too, to have a couple of pictures – send it to me here. Do the same if you find a new café.
I’m now going to send out a welcome letter to each new café that’s added. This will also offer them the opportunity to join the mailing list.  
I’m also now proactively encouraging cafes to stock The Best of CafeLit. Do you know anyone who might like to stock it? We can offer a 35% discount to retailers. Query gill at cafelit dot co dot uk.     


The Red Telephone

We are currently open for submissions. Hoorah! We’re looking for the next great YA novel. Check out the details here.  We’re particularly open to speculative fiction but we’ll also like anything that is well written and well-targeted.  I welcome others but send sample chapters and synopsis first. The full details are on the site.  
I am now working on Richard Bradburn’s Evernrood. We are still open for submissions but this will only be for a limited time now.    
Our mentoring programme is now full. I’ll update you from time to time on how that is going.  

Book tours

If you’re a Bridge House / Red Telephone / CaféLit / Chapeltown author and you want to get serious about book tours, consider our author’s kit. We provide twenty books you take to the bookshop and the bookshop can put these through the till. We then invoice the bookshop, with a 35% discount for any sold and top up your supply to twenty. At the end of the tour you can either pay for the remaining books at cost + 10% or keep them until you’ve sold them and then pay the normal price of 75% of RRP. The latter can in any case be set against royalties. You need to allow at least ten days between events. Contact me here if you’re interested in this.           


School Visits

I’m proactively promoting my school visits associated with The House on Schellberg Street project. I’ve now developed a whole workshop for this. It starts off with a board game, includes some role play and creative writing and ends with a discussion. I’m offering this half price to schools that apply in January 2017 and schools that apply in February 2017 can book two for the price of one.  Contact me here.     
Also, I’m developing a kit for schools so that they can deliver the workshop themselves. This is almost ready. If you would like to be notified when this is ready, contact me here.    
I’m now adding in materials for schools. See them here:       
Query for a school visit here.
I am also happy to do standard author visits which include readings from my books, Q & A sessions and creative writing exercises.
Costs= travel expenses plus £400 for a full day and £200 for a half day. This includes all materials and some freebies. Two schools near to each other might consider splitting the day and halving the travel expenses and fees. This is open to negotiation in any case.        


Books and short stories

I continue to make good progress on Shooting Hitler.
Clara’s Story is being serialised. The cover makes this theme quite clear. The novel can now be found on Channillo. You may read it here.    
Clara’s Story is the second in the Schellberg circle. All five stories cover roughly the same period and are very much happening in and associated with Nazi Germany and the Holocaust. They can be read in any order. The stories overlap to some extent but where they repeat we see the happening form another point of view. For instance The House on Schellberg Street is mainly about a young girl, Renate, who comes to England on the Kindertranpsort. Clara’s Story is about her grandmother. Girl in a Smart Uniform explains how at least one German girl associated with the story became a Nazi – and then gave it all up. Shooting Hitler is Renate’s mother’s version of events. In The Round Robin we learn about what happens to Renate’s friends.  


Upcoming events

Note for your diary: the London Bridge House / CafeLit / Chapeltown / Red Telephone celebration will be 2 December at the Princess of Wales again. People published 2017 will be invited first and then it will be open to all authors of our imprints. You are in case invited to bring one friend at the first call. Last year we “sold out” – the event is free but ticketed.  I’m planning a similar event in Manchester in the summer. Watch this space.           



This month I’m giving away free copies of the e-book (Kindle) of Spooking. I'm also offering: 
·         An extract from Clara’s story
·         Some seminars for schools about The House on Schellberg Street
·         Some fiction writing exercises
·         The opening chapters from my manual for writing the young adult novel     
Sign up for all freebies here.  

Writing opportunities

Remember I keep a full list of vetted opportunities on my writing blog. See them here. New ones are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I go through it and take out all of the out of date ones. At that point I send it out to a list. If you would like to be on that list, sign up here.    
Happy reading and writing.

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