Friday, 1 May 2015

Newsletter April 2015

The second semester is now drawing to a close. This involves me in giving plenty of formative feedback on students’ writing. In a couple of weeks’ time the assignments will come in and then it will be more summative feedback. However, there’ll still be some suggestions about what to do to improve. Even Level 6 students who are about to graduate will probably carry on writing and we writers continue to develop continuously.
What a day job, eh?  I get to read a lot of stories. All that critiquing and editing enhances my own editing skills. What’s more, they pay me to do it.       

Books and short stories  

Girl in a Smart Uniform continues to burble along. It’s shaping up a little better now though it’s a slow process. I’ve almost finished the second draft. I’m getting to know my characters a bit better. I even quite like them. That’s always useful.  
I’m now working on a second chapter for my non-fiction book proposal. I’m discussing Lemony Snicket and Hans Christian Anderson :- in other words, authors who offer no happy ending at all. Next will come a chapter on war. Then I’ll craft the introduction. At that point it will be ready to send out.
I’ve written two more short stories but I’ve not yet sent those out.  They’re resting in a drawer at the moment. They’ll be on their way soon, though.

Bridge House

We’re currently reading for the next anthology.
Debz and I are meeting up next Saturday and we’ll be discussing how we shall be going forward. Bridge House is here to stay, have no fears. It may change the way it looks, however.   

Creative Café

Don’t forget as well we’re always looking for stories for CafeLit.
I’ve now added some pages of resources for writers to the web site. Do look out for those.

School Visits

I continue to offer free school visits, details below.     
These visits are up to 90 minutes long and are focussed on my books.
In addition, many of us from the university are going out and offering presentations on what is on offer on our programmes. I’ll generally throw in a creative writing exercise.   
I’ll reiterate straight away that authors should be paid for school visits, but these free ones are actually part of the work I do at the university.
I offer 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 books here. 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 specifically 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.
Here’s some further news about the Schellberg project.
Query for a school visit here.

The Red Telephone

I’m working on Kathy Dunn’s The Demon Magician. This has a fast-paced plot and some delightful characters.
There will be a new call for submissions shortly.  

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