Tuesday 1 October 2019

News 1 October 2019


Visiting the Republic of Ireland

Martin and I have been back just over a week from a two week stay in the Republic of Ireland.  We chose it for this year’s holiday as we’d expected Brexit to have happened by now and that how one travelled to other countries may still have been uncertain.  The Irish were still going to accept our driving licenses. We have yearlong and worldwide travel and car insurance anyway. 

Of course Brexit hasn’t happened yet. We found the Irish just as cheerful, friendly and helpful as we’ve always found them though couple of them did say “Take your Brexit back with you.” It was a bit of relief watching the Irish news. Naturally they are also concerned about Brexit but they also focussed on other items.  

We were lucky with the weather. It rained for most of one day and there were a couple of showers on other days. The rest of the time, however, it was warm and sunny but not hot. Ideal for boat trips, visiting old castles and interesting walks. 

We also enjoyed a pleasant evening of good food, Guinness and Irish music.
I always do some work on holiday: does one actually need a holiday when you do what you love?  I think you do, so that you can get things into perspective.  Still, I did some writing and editing. And I gained some ideas for stories: one paranormal and two about feisty women.              

News about my writing

Not a lot new here: I’m ploughing on with 240 X 70, Peace Child 4 (The House of Clementine) and Not Just Fluffy Bunnies, my non-fiction text about the darker side of children’s literature, seems more neutral.
On the short story front I’ve written Bus Stop, a story about an incident at a bus stop. I’m currently trying to place it. It has been rejected once to date.  

Catalogue of books for children

There are no new additions this month. This is partly because as we were away I was reading from my Kindle and though there are some young adult texts on there they didn’t come to the top of the list. However, at the moment I am reading a children’s book by David Almond and that will be added to the catalogue soon.     

Current reading recommendation

It was difficult to decide again which book was the best one in September. However, I’ve opted for an unusual text: Will Self’s Umbrella. It’s not an easy read. The point of view shifts quite often and the characters flitter between the past and the present. There are no chapters and few paragraph breaks. It deals with mental illness, abuse and relationships gone wrong. This is one I read on holiday. I always read a lot when I’m on holiday and then I read intensely. This book needs that. It also requires a good deal of concentration.  It is worth it! You’ll find it here.  


This month I’m giving away mob-file copies of my flash fiction collection 140 X 140. These are 140 stories, each 140 words long.  The title of each includes the date on which it was written.  Each story is a response to the first picture I saw on Twitter on the day of the story. Note, my 280 X 70 that I’m currently working on does something very similar!    

Get your free mobi-file for your Kindle and lots of other goodies here.
Note, that normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I manage sell for anything from £0.99 to £10.99, with most on Kindle being about £2.99 and the average price for paperback being £7.00. We have to allow our writers to make a living. But I’m offering these free samples so that you can try before you buy.   
Naturally I welcome reviews.


The Schellberg Project

The posts may be helpful for teachers who are familiar with the Schellberg stories or who are teaching about the Holocaust.
This month I’ve added a post about Käthe Edler becoming English. She came over to England as a young mother in 1939.
You can read the post here.      


School visits

I’m still 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.
It is now possible to purchase the kit to work on on your own. Find details here.
Costs for my workshops = 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 also offer a free half day visit, though you pay my travel expenses, if you allow me to promote my books.      
I’m continuously adding materials for schools to the site that are different from the ones I use for the workshops. I’ve recently added in 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.
Please remember, with these as well, I’m open to negotiation if you can’t afford the full price.


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.

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. Find it here.   

Opportunities List 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.  

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 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.   

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.     

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

Happy reading and writing.

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