Thursday 3 August 2023

News 3 August 2023


A fabulous day at the Pioneers Museum, Rochdale 


On 29 July 2023 the Falinge Writing and Performance Group launched their collection As You Were. Heritage and Culture in Rochdale.

And what a celebration we had! How appropriate as well to hold it in the Pioneer’s Museum, where the Co-Operative Movement began.

The event was held in The Learning Loft. The Rochdale Pioneers soon expanded and took over the whole building at 31 Toad Lane. The Co-Operative movement has  a list of seven principles.  This loft helped them to meet principle 7 – the promotion of education.

After a lovely buffet lunch, Eileen Earnshaw, the project manager, introduced us to the project and the book. We were entertained by the Uketeers, the Oakenhoof Clog Dancers and the Littleborough U3A choir. Performance poets Jo Wood, Maureen Harrison, Glenis Meeks, Seamus Kelly, Eileen Earnshaw and Chris Green read from their work. Chris Green was on video – he was actually away on holiday. Michal Higgins read his ‘An Invocation to Lord Byron’. The afternoon was rounded off by Sid Calderbank reciting some poems in dialect. Sid has been collecting and performing stories in the Lancashire dialect for over 40 years. 

I’ve written a longer article about this for Talking about My Generation and hopefully this will appear soon.

I think it would make a lovely space for a writing workshop and I’m toying with doing something like that.         


Writing news

I’ve added a new way of buying January Stones, my first flash fiction collection.  See it here in my Kofi shop:   

I’ve also added a new commission to Kofi – the critique of a Young Adult novel.  Find all of my commissions here:  . Many of these are pay-what-you-can-afford.

I’ve written another nostalgia article for Talking about My Generation , another “I Do Like to be beside the Seaside” piece.  This one is about two trips to the Norfolk Broads.

Meanwhile, I continue with Peace Child 6 and a set of Tip Sheets for creative writing teachers to use with new writers.                     


On My Blog

There’s nothing new on the blog this month. Do remember, though, if you’re a writer you will be a welcome guest on my blog. Take a look at how this works:

If you would like to be on my blog just answer the questions below and send them with appropriate images to .

Please feel free to pick and choose which of these to answer. 

1.      What do you write? Why this in particular? 

2.      What got you started on writing in the first place?

3.      Do you have a particular routine? 

4.      Do you have a dedicated working space?

5.      When did you decide you could call yourself a writer? Do you do that in fact?

6.      How supportive are your friends and family? Do they understand what you're doing?

7.      What are you most proud of in your writing?

8.      How do you get on with editing and research?

9.      Do you have any goals for the future?

10.  Which writers have inspired you?

Please write as much or as little as you like for each section and supply as many pictures as you like. Also let me know your latest publication and supply me with a link if it's not on Amazon. 

I'm also happy to offer you a post whenever you have a new book come out, even if I'm not your publisher. In this case answer the following questions:

  1. Tell me about your book.
  2. Tell us about your research for this book.
  3. What inspired you to write this?
  4. What's next?
  5. How can we get a copy of the book?
  6. Do you have any events planned?

Again write as much or as little as you please. Alter and add to the questions if you wish. Provide as many pictures as you wish.

Send to:


The Young Person’s Library

I have added three books this month:

How Do You Live? by Genzaburo Yoshin 

Suitable for both upper primary and lower secondary, this is a new edition of Japanese classic, portraying a young school boy facing some complex issues.  Science, philosophy, ethics and geography all feature here.  

Aaron Slater and the Sneaky Snake by Andrea Beaty and David Roberts

This is a fun read for upper primary. It is well illustrated.  It also includes some complex issues about how society works.

The Story of the Little Mole Who Knew it Was None of His Business:

This is a picture book for pre-school. Mole finds a turd on his head when he comes out of his hole. He makes it his mission to find out who it belongs to. 

I kept seeing this book whilst we were on holiday and couldn’t resist buying it.   



Recommended read

This month I’m recommending another John Steinbeck: East of Eden

This time we are dealing with a man who has plenty of money.

Yet there are still struggles. He has a strained relationship with his half-brother, partly caused by his father’s expectations. His wife flees the family home. She seems to have some sort of personality disorder. He and his manservant bring up the twin sons who have something of Cain and Abel about them; indeed their behaviour rather reflects that.

In the end this is about a dysfunctional family but we can forgive them. Another long text, but John Steinbeck keeps the reader engaged through his well-drawn characters in this classic novel, East of Eden.           



Note: these are usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle.  Occasionally there are PDFs. This month I’m offering a Kindle file and a PDF of Build a Book Workshop. I’m including the teacher’s manual and the photopiable resource.

This step-by step guide for teachers and writers show you how to organise creative-writing workshops with a difference and with a very tangible end product. Your students can see their work turned into a real book that has a spine and can sit on a shelf, raising money for charity at the same time.

Students will:
•Improve their writing
•Write with a purpose
•Learn about commerce and enterprise
•Engage with the local and wider community

Teachers and writers will learn how to:
•Plan and organise your workshops
•Get the best writing out of your students
•Maximise the impact of your book
•Build a book with little or no financial outlay


Grab your copy and lots of other freebies:  

Note, you may have to copy and paste the link.   

And please, please, please leave a review, perhaps on Amazon, Good Reads and / or Story Graph, when you’ve finished.    

Note: Normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I manage sell for anything from £0.99 to £10.99.  Most on Kindle are about £2.99 and the average price for paperback is £8.00. Writers have to make a living. But I’m offering these free samples so that you can try before you buy.


The Schellberg Project

The posts may be helpful for teachers who are familiar with the Schellberg stories or who are teaching about the Holocaust.  They may also be interesting for other readers of historical fiction.

Sometimes I also write about what might be useful to other writers.

This month I’ve written about the launch of Face to Face with the Führer. Read all about it here. This includes a special deal on all four books, while stocks last.   


Some notes about my newsletters and blogs

They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they all do.


Bridge House Authors For all those published by Bridge House, CaféLit, Chapeltown or The Red Telephone or interested in being published by us. General news about the imprints. News for writers. Links to book performance. Sign up here.


The Bridgetown  Café Bookshop where you can buy my books and books published by Bridge House Publishing, CafeLit, Chapeltown Books and The Red Telephone.  Visit us here.     


Chapeltown Books News about our books. Sign up here.


The Creative Café Project News about the project and CaféLit – for the consumer rather than for the producer.  Sign up here.   


Gill’s News: News about my writing, The Schellberg Project, School Visits and Events. Book recommendations and giveaways. Find it here.   


Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher News about conferences and workshops to do with the young adult novel. (infrequent postings) Sign up here.  


Red Telephone Books News about our books and our authors. Sign up here.


A Publisher’s Perspective Here I and some other editors blog as a publisher. Access this here.   


The Creative Café Project Listings and reviews of creative cafés. See them here.   


CaféLit Stories Find these here


Gill James Writer All about writing and about my books. View this here.


Gill’s Recommended Reads Find information here about books that have taken me out of my editor’s head and a reminder of the ones I’ve highlighted in this newsletter.    


Gill’s Sample Fiction Read some of my fiction here.


The House on Schellberg Street All about my Schellberg project. Read it here.


Writing Teacher All about teaching creative writing.  Some creative writing exercises. Access this here.  I also invite other writers to provide prompts and work for critique.     


Books Books Books Weekly offers on our books and news of new books. Find them here. 


The Young Person’s Library The children’s book catalogue. Access it here.


Fair Submissions  Find it here.   

Opportunities for writers are added several times a day. Roughly once a month 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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