“Writing” a workshop
I’m speeding ahead with getting material ready for my first school workshop on the Schellberg cycle. As I mentioned last time, I’m also developing the kit so that schools can work on it on their own. I‘m having most difficulty in deciding what to charge here. Any suggestions are very welcome. The kit includes:
· Six board games
· Thirty-six profile cards (for role play and letter-writing)
· A short story and questions about it.
· A series of letters and two sections of prose plus a chart for students to fill in
· A series of topics for discussion
· Notes for teachers, on all of the above sections, plus suggestions for creative outputs
These resources are provided in soft copy and the schools may then duplicate them as much as they want to. Any teachers out there, what do you think I should charge?
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. The description for this is now on the web site. 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. It’s now a question of whether your story is good enough. If it is, we’ll accept it straight away. The call for submissions ends once we’ve filled the collection. Stories between 1,000 and 4,000 words. Submit to editor at bridgehousepublishing dot co dot uk. 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 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 still looking for collections of Flash Fiction. CafeLit writers might particularly consider this as your stories so often fit this brief anyway. 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.
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 CaféLit. 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.
I’d also like to mention now that I’ mentoring two of my former students also to help them get their novels up to publication standard. They won’t start this until they’ve finished their studies but it is something for them to keep them occupied as they wait for their results. I’m looking forward, too, to working with them.
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.
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.
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.
I’m also continuously adding materials for schools to the site that are different from the ones I use for the workshops. I’ve recently added in a resources and books to do with the topic. See them here:
Query for a school visit here.
I’m also happy to tailor a visit for your agreed donation. This can be for either a Schellberg Cycle visit or a creative writing workshop. Any monies raised this way will go specifically to a project I have for a non-fiction book about a journey that will follow the footsteps of Clara Lehrs. I’m hoping to do the whole journey by train, including departing via my nearest Metrolink station. It’s important to feel the rails beneath my feet.
I offer as well standard author visits which include readings from my books, Q & A sessions and creative writing exercises.
Books, short stories and other writings
I continue to make good progress on Facing the Führer. (Yes, I’ve changed the name)
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. Facing the Führer is Renate’s mother’s version of events. In The Round Robin we learn about what happens to Renate’s friends.
I’m also now turning The House on Schellberg Street into a play. I’ve been working on this during the odd minutes I get in the days when I’m working at the University of Salford. So far I’ve worked out which scenes I’ll use and I’m beginning to write out an outline for each. This is my first go at writing a play. I’m enjoying it.
On the 29th March, 7.00 p.m. until 10 p.m. I’m running an online author event. I already have five authors and would like a sixth. Any volunteers? Contact me on gill dot james at btinternet dot com.
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 an excerpt of Veiled Dreams. Download here: You will also find in this dropbox:
· 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
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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