Friday, 1 August 2014

Newsletter July 2014

I’m back at work now, and extremely busy at the university, getting ready for next academic year. I’m also dealing with students facing resits and new students applying through Clearing, though the real push comes after A-Level day – 14 August.
Today, though, I have a day off because I’ve a demanding dress and technical rehearsal this evening with a choir I’ve joined. This is something extra and over and above the choir I normally sing with. We’re involved with a special project, Honour, that remembers the Great War. Do take a look. It is going to be spectacular. Come along if you live in the Greater Manchester area.    
And if you’re a writer who feels a little isolated, I can really recommend joining a choir. You work with people and singing is good for both your physical and mental health. Find a choir in your local area here.


I’m very close to finishing Clara’s Story and I’m now giving some thought to the next, Girl in a Smart Uniform. My Flash Fiction project is coming along. I’m writing a series of flash 140 pieces 140 words long, inspired by pictures on Twitter.
I’ve also almost completed my text book Writing Novel for Young Adults. It’s really a text-book for university students such as the ones on my course Writing Novels for Young People. I did have a publisher interested but they said “Try it out on your students first.” Then, a few months ago another person from the same house wrote and said they were no longer accepting that type of book. It was so almost finished that, unusually for a non-fiction, I decided to finish it anyway. I’ll use it with this year’s students and try to sell it to another publisher at the same time.      


CafeLit continues to attract some good writing. I’ve actually had one of mine accepted there this month. Take a look: Rolling Around the Park. This sort of happened to my son, who is gay.
Send us something if you can. Guidelines here.    

School visits

I’m continuing to offer free promotional visits to schools but am restricting this to the first twelve schools to respond for academic year 2104-2015. For others normal Society of Author rates apply. These visits are up to 90 minutes long and are focussed on my books.
I’ll do readings for 14+ of Veiled Dreams, Scum Bag, Spooking, Fibbin’ Archie and The Peace Child Trilogy (The Prophecy, Babel, The Tower) a short question and answer session and a creative writing exercise for your class. For primary children there are Jason’s Crystal, The Lombardy Grotto and Kiters. Read more about my bookshere. There are of course also my stories in various anthologies. All other visits are at the rates suggested by the Society of Authors. Schools can mix and match these visits. I do ask that travel expenses are covered.     
I’m offering visits and talks about my The House on Schellberg Street project for a donation towards the project. I’ve devised a whole interactive workshop for this. The book is now out and selling steadily. It would be a real asset for any school teaching the Holocaust at Key Stage 3. Even if a school can’t afford a donation, I’d be happy to run the project. 
Query for a school visit here.

Bridge House

We’ve now selected our thought-provoking stories for our 2014 anthology and all of those accepted and rejected should have heard by now. Contracts have been sent out. Do contact us if you’ve not heard. The standard was very high this year. Now, we’re busy editing.

Creative Café

I’m steadily bringing new cafés into the project and I’m always on the lookout for more. So, if you know of one, do get in touch.  More and more people are now engaging with the project. Take a look here. 

The Red Telephone

The big news this month is that we have published Shanta Everington’s XY. We held a lively online launch on Monday 7 July and quite a debate about some of the issues took place. You can still join in here. She is also running a very successful blog tour.

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