Monday 1 April 2024

News 1 April 2024


Easter weekend 


And April Fools’ Day to boot. And the day we put the clock forward. Two bank holidays in one long weekend. So everything is happening at once. A real boon for people who have demanding  day jobs. 

I note that hot cross buns have been available since just after Christmas – as have chocolate Easter eggs. For me, this dilutes the season a little.  I love both hot cross buns and chocolate Easter eggs – but only at Easter.

Easter is early this year and there has been news about fixing the date. I would welcome that and I can’t imagine why anyone wouldn’t. Yet neither does it seem all that important.  The third Sunday of April has been suggested. That’s fine with me.

Easter anyway is a time of much promise.  Indeed our garden is looking pretty and should soon be even more beautiful.  



Writing news

I’m still working on edits of Peace Child 6. I’m currently in the middle of one about variety in pace.

You can read my review of Northanger Abbey at Bolton’s Octagon theatre here: I attended the Theatre Club discussion mentioned; we were all a little perplexed by the play. Yet it had its good points.

You can read two of my stories mentioned last month: and    

On 13 March I attended the AGM of the Lancashire Authors’ Association and was rather pleased to find that several of my stories had been placed. In the WILLIAM BARON CUP-  Flash Fiction, Short Story in Standard English, not exceeding 500 words, my piece of flash fiction ‘Gone’ was awarded third place and ‘There is Abundance’ was  commended. In the MERCER CUP – Short Story in Standard English, not exceeding 1500 words ‘Hammering’ was highly commended. ‘How to Be a Friend’ and ‘Ginger’ were commended.   


On My Blog

Yvonne Walus talks to me about her latest book. I discuss food in my peace Child books. I also talk about television I enjoy and how this strengthens my sense of story: My Kind of Television



The Young Person’s Library

I’m afraid I’ve not added anything this month. Not to worry, there are books in my to be read pile that should feature next month.

Recommended read

The month I’m recommending Now Go Tell by Susan Sachon.

Protagonist Jenny Watson has a challenging life anyway. And then she is offered an even greater challenge.

It seems like a dream job - putting on a Shakespeare festival and running a pub but she knows she has to get this right. Then things start to become quite sinister and her life is in danger.  

This novel has well-drawn characters, plenty of pace and tension and a satisfying ending. This makes a good holiday read.

Susan Sachon certainly keeps us guessing in Now Go Tell.  

Sample pages

If you like what you’re reading you can click through and find out ways of buying the book. However, I’m still happy to give you a free copy if you’re strapped for cash and / or you’re willing to review.  Just contact me.  

This month I’m offering 140 x 140


I wrote these stories on the days when I was mainly editing. They offered a chance to do some writing on days that were full of rewriting.  There are 140 stories, each 140 words long.   

Each story was inspired by the first picture I saw when I opened my Twitter feed. They originally had the Twitter handle of the person tweeting as part of the title but I decided I needed to make it all more anonymous, a little vaguer. I've preserved the dates, however. Just in case someone thinks that writing flash is quick and easy. You will see how long it has taken to produce this volume and if you look at the end date and the date this collection is released, you'll realise that it takes a finite amount of time to produce a book, even with all the technology available to us.

I hope you enjoy this collection and will find it varied, thought-provoking, laughter-producing and tear-jerking. I have certainly enjoyed putting it together.

What's up next in terms of flash? Why, 280 x 70, naturally.      

Read more here                  



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.

I’ve added a couple of posts this month.

I look at different types of leadership. This actually crosses over with my YA science fiction. I remind myself of how we should be grateful for our freedom: Be Grateful for Your Freedom



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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