Monday 2 October 2023

News 2 October 2023


Autumn approaches 


Did you also think that the days got shorter very suddenly this year?  Perhaps it was because we felt that we had no real summer this year in the UK.  And what a contrast to the wild fires in the Mediterranean countries and some severe weather in many more parts of the globe.  

Yet we’re approaching a time of the year when we are surrounded by stories. Halloween is now not far away, then we have Guy Fawkes and of course Christmas follows on soon. Our choir has started practising some of our Christmas repertoire.

I’m indulging in a lot of theatre visits now. That also seems a part of the season somehow.

So, keep those stories coming and I’ll also do my best to keep writing.                    


Writing news

I’ve written an article for Talking About My Generation about how my garden grows: There is a whole  series of articles like this one by various of our reporters so if you like gardening you may find these interesting. 


I’m adding more and more material to my Kofi account. This is another place where you can buy books I’ve written or edited and here I give you  the choice of how much to pay. I’ve added Citizens of Nowhere to my shop:     

Meanwhile, I continue with Peace Child 6. I’m now on the second draft which has meant adding a few more chapters. This is nearly always the most demanding of the rewrites. I’m also sharpening up a couple of the characters and I’m looking at some inconsistent spellings.

I’m continuing with my set of Tip Sheets for creative writing teachers to use with new writers. New writers will also be able to use them on their own. I’ve created forty-two so far and I’m aiming for fifty.  I’ve covered amongst other topics, character, story structure, poetic forms, turning your work into gifts, a submission strategy and some notes about formatting scripts.   

And I’m soon going to be having a go at writing a little poetry, inspired by Alison Chisolm’s The Poet’s A-Z, a glossary with writing exercises.  I attended the workshop she ran for the Lancashire Authors’ Association.  It was brilliant.   

I also have a review of one of the palsy I’ve seen recently on Talking About My Generation:        


On My Blog

Just one article on the blog this time: that thorny old questions – should we only write what we know? Have a look at what I suggest here:   



The Young Person’s Library

I’ve listed two books this month: The House of Serendipity, Sequins and Secrets:  This is suitable for mature fluent readers in the upper two classes of junior school. It has an Upstairs / Downstairs vibe ad there are some lovely fashion and pattern drawings.

Then there is Full Metal Alchemist: The Valley of the White Petals by Makoto Inque and Hiromu Arakawa This has a manga influence and indeed there are some manga illustrations inside. It’s suitable for lower secondary and mature upper primary.  



Recommended read

This month I’m recommending  The House of Serendipity, Sequins and Secrets:

Class barriers are dropped as two young girls plot to help an older sibling and her friend wow the rest of the world.  

Myrtle and Sylvie become a team. First of all they design and make a superb dress for Sylvie’s sister Delphine.  Then they become involved with Agapantha Portland-Prince who wants to wear trousers for her coming-out ball and also wants to disguise herself as a man so that she can go on an exotic adventure.

It almost all works but a misunderstanding almost spells disaster.

Lucy Ivison tells a good story and Catharine Collingridge charms us with her exqusitie fashion drawings in The House of Serendipity, Sequins and Secrets




Note: these are usually mobi-files to be downloaded to a Kindle.  Occasionally there are PDFs.

This month I’m offering Spooking, a gentle YA supernatural romance.


Tom crashes his car and he wakes up in an unfamiliar place. He is unable to reach Amanda. They argued just before the crash. He meets cheeky but friendly Marcus, who, though younger than Tom, has more experience in the areas that now matter. But Marcus has his own concerns and eventually has to leave Tom to deal with his problems on his own. How can Tom let Amanda know how much he loves her? Does she feel the same way? Will they ever be able to move forward?

Spooking may make you cry.

Grab your free stuff here:  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 Asylum Seekers, Illegal Immigrants and the Value of Migrants We are dealing with the same problems now that were rife then.   


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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