The Elephant in the Room
Cannot be ignored …..
But I’m not going to talk politics here. Those of you who know me well know exactly what
I think of Brexit and I’m happy to talk to you about it outside of this
I do have a few apolitical comments:
This is what happened at our house last night.
23.03 We were watching a recorded episode of Silent Witness and suddenly noticed the
time. Ah! So no fireworks then?
23.04 Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. Bang. So there were some after
23.05 Was that it? In
Lots of fodder for stories I think over the next eleven
months. Writers and readers get ready!
On a more serious note I do hope the UK keeps the new copyright
laws that the EU have come up with. Even better if we can persuade the US to
take them on as well.
News about my writing
I’m now about two
thirds of the way through the first draft of The Round Robin, the fifth book in the Schellberg Cycle. This may be only a working title.
I’m also continuing
with Not Just Fluffy Bunnies – which is
becoming a monster of a book. I’m really
enjoying, though, rereading several texts written for young people.
Using my own Fair
Submissions web site (https://www.fairsubmissions.co.uk/
) I’m also challenging myself about once
a fortnight to writing specifically for a competition or a call to submission.
I’m also now submitting
something pretty well every day. Yes, that leads to more rejections, - or as
one of my cup-half-full writing friends calls them, rewrites, - but it also leads to more acceptances. This also gives me insight for a section of the
online course I’m designing: Submitting
Strategy for The Business of Writing.
The Young Person’s Library
I’ve added new this
Awaken by Meg Cabot
This is a YA novel
and features the supernatural, including some references to mythology.
The Silver Sword by Ian Serraillier
This is a classic
and tells of post-World War II people displacement. It is aimed at the fluent reader.
The Magical Kingdom of the Birds: The Silent Songbirds by Anne
The Cat in the Hat by Dr Zeuss
Tom’s Midnight Garden by Philippa Pearce
If you’re interested
in children’s literature take a look at the site. There is a search facility on
it. You can also browse it by clicking
on Labels and then Show More. Categories are age groups, schools, Key Stages,
authors and themes. Information is also
given about the year of publication for each text and when it was first
Current reading recommendation
I do keep buying books.
The one I’m recommending this month I bought at one of a
series of talks organised by the Portico
in Manchester, Rewriting the North
Jennifer Nansubuga Makumbi. Find more details here.
Makumbi is Ugandan and has a PhD in Creative Writing from the
University of Lancaster.
It appealed for two reasons:
- Much of it relates to Manchester
and I live in Greater Manchester.
- I’m a fan of short stories
anyway. These I find excellently crafted and nicely unpredictable.
To boot, this is a gorgeous hardback.
Sadly I have no more shelf room for it so I’ll be depositing
it at the Book Nest in the Millgate centre in Bury in the next few days.
This month I’m giving away The Best
of CafeLit 8 in which I have a story. Those authors who were included in The Best of CafeLit 7 voted for what
should go into 8, so I’m very pleased to have been included.
You can download it and lots of other free materials here.
Please, please, please review it if you read it.
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.
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 included a few comments on writing the fifth
book in the series. Find them here.
I’ve written a post about the use of Social Media making it
easier to speak up these days than it was in the 1930s and 1940s. Read it here.
I also included a couple of posts about useful books:
I mention The Silver
again. Read the review here
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
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
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
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
They do overlap a little but here is a summary of what they
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.
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.
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
A Publisher’s Perspective
Here I blog as a publisher. Access
The Creative Café Project
Listings and reviews of creative
cafés. See them her
Find these here
Gill James Writer
All about writing and about my books. View
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.
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.
The Young Person’s Library I am gradually moving the children’s book
catalogue over to this site. Access it here.
Fair Submissions I am gradually moving the Opportunities
List to this site. Find it here.
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