Thursday 31 December 2020

News 31 December 2020


Tier 4 now in Greater Manchester, it’s snowing and it’s our last day in the EU. Technically we left last year but only now will we notice it. It was called “transition”.  Interesting word. I have had to change the domain name of my blog. So, it’s now . I’ve restored all of the internal links, I think, but if you find something not working, give me a shout and I’ll send the new link.


News about my writing and other creative projects

I’m still carrying on much as before: The Class Letter, the fifth book in the Schellberg Cycle, Not Just Fluffy Bunnies, and I’m still working on The Business of Writing.  And of course I’m interspersing this with short stories and flash fiction.

I’ve had two more articles published on Talking about My Generation:  - this compares Covid19 with Spanish Flu and the Great Plague of 1665 and argues that one big difference is that we have been able to keep in contact via such facilities as Zoom. However, there is a divide; some do, some don’t.        

a review of a reading of this great work by actors at the Octagon Theatre, Bolton.    


The Young Person’s Library

This month I’ve added:

Monster Blood Tattoo -  Book 2 in the Lamplighter Series a fantasy book for fluent readers and older readers.  Quite a long book and rather complex.  A very interesting world, though.


Current reading recommendation

I’m recommending this time Word Shower produced by poets Mary Bevan, Lesley Cooke, Jane Cope, Bec Macleod Turner, Anne Peterson, Julie Sharpe and Christine Storey. They were introduced to prose poetry by Anne Caldwell, who runs Prose-Poetry UK, when she ran a day’s workshop with the group.

Inspired by the workshop, the eight began to meet on a monthly basis and this project was born from those meetings.   

We are encouraged to read the pieces aloud. Yes, that does indeed work.

This is a genre I’m rather fond of. My own first writing was in this form when I made contributions to the school magazine. Back then nobody talked about prose poetry.

Each piece transports you to a moment in time and each of these moments each have a gentle emotional overlay.

It’s a tricky book to find. You really need to make contact with one of the contributors. I know Penny Rogers and was delighted to receive this book from her.     




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

This month I’m giving away The House on Schellberg Street

This is the first story in my Schellberg cycle. It has three interweaving stories of:

·          Renate Edler, who did not know she was Jewish until she was sent to England on the Kindertransport. She spoke no English and struggled with her identity

·         Renate’s grandmother and best friend who helped to hide and teach children with disabilities.  This was in the house on Schellberg Street.   

·         The school friend who Renate left behind.  They kept in touch via a class letter.

Two more books in the cycle are published: Clara’s Story and Girl in a Smart Uniform. Face to Face with the Führer is in press and The Class Letter is being written. Helga’s Story and Gabriela’s Story are planned. Helga is a Holocaust survivor. Gabriela is a German resistance worker.    

I hope you enjoy the novel I’m offering this month.  

Please, please, please review it if you read it.

You can download it and lots of other free materials here.

Note, that 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 £7.00. 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 and also for other writers and readers of historical fiction.

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

There were three posts in December.

Bystander guilt discusses how the girls became bystanders.  In The Class Letter I dela ot some extent with how the girl fac their guil when they ifn out about what happened to towe girls whi disappeared formtheir school, one of th nuns who used ot teach them and  alocal prest.

The Stammtisch and Newspapers   debates how news was recived diffently ojn htose dyas. The Stamm tish provide much of what we now have with sicla media but this wans;t relaly open to the girls.


Review of Wild Spirit Wild Spirit is a boat. Its ownere are involved in the Dunkirk evacuation. A loves tory is woven around this.   


School visits

I’ve suspended these until further notice. I’m now starting work on a series of on-line materials.  

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. 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 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.     


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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