Well, my retirement day looms ever nearer. Now it’s 54 actual days and twenty working days. I’m on a day’s leave today, so it’s a sort of practice. I’m intending to spend a couple of hours or so writing, then I’m off to see an open air production of Alice in Wonderland at Ordsall Hall. Weather’s looking good. However, the ticket warns “bring suitable clothing for the weather”. That’s Rainy City for you.
I have started my European blog though I’ve not got into a routine yet. I’ve also yet to make it look prettier. But you can take a preview here.
I’m well ahead for once on editing my twelve stories for Baubles. Debz Hobbs Wyatt is doing the other twelve and she’s enormously busy. I’m finding I have a little less to do over the summer than in other academic years.
We’re also looking at doing some single author collections. These are for authors we’ve already published. You may recycle stories we’ve already included in another anthology, and you may reedit these if you wish. You may also add in new stories. We’re aiming at a total word count of between 30,000 and 80,000 words.
If you’re interested in this, contact me here.
Remember, we’re always open to submissions. Find out how here. I’ve been encouraging my students to submit. I’m beginning to see some of their work appearing.
I’ve now finished the selection for The Best of CaféLit 5. There are some lovely stories in this.
We’re currently looking for collections of Flash Fiction. See our submissions page here.
We’re always looking for new cafés. If you visit one of the cafés in the project and would like to write a review of between 250 and 350 words – nice, too, to have a couple of pictures – send it to me here. Do the same if you find a new café.
I’m now going to send out a welcome letter to each new café that’s added. This will also offer them the opportunity to join the mailing list.
I’m proactively promoting my school visits associated with The House on Schellberg Street project. I’m still offering visits on this for a donation towards the project. I’ve devised a whole interactive workshop. 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. I’ve added in a page referring to “deleted scenes”. You know, just like you get on some DVDs.
There is also now a page of links to some articles about the process of writing the novels.
Query for a school visit here.
The Red Telephone
We are currently open for submissions. Hoorah! We’re looking for the next great YA novel. Check out the details here.
I’d like to remind you of our new enterprise - something between a mentoring system and an online course. Though publication is not guaranteed, we will at least look at your full book if you’ve attended one of the courses. We’re offering it for free to a few people at first. We’ll refine as we go along based on feedback from our clients. We’ll then continue to offer it at a discount for a while before going to full price when we’re completely happy with it. We’re not sure what the full price will be. Again, we’ll be guided by our current clients. Find out more here.
Books and short stories
I’m now making good progress on Shooting Hitler. Remember my ten-word pitch.
“A Führer, an anteroom, a pistol. Will she shoot him?”
I’m keeping everything crossed for Clara’s Story which is being serialised. You may recall I was thinking of changing the title of Flowers on the Table. I decided not to in the end. However, the cover makes this theme quite clear. The novel is can now be found on Channillo. You may read it here.
I’m now also sending out a proposal for an academic book about children’s lit. Fingers crossed.
I had an interesting chat last Friday with Laurence and Steph of Crooked Cat Publishing. There may be some projects on the go. Watch this space!
We’re going into a quiet period. Summer holidays are coming.
It won’t last forever, though.
I’m looking forward to a Writer’s Retreat at the Gladstone Library in October, possibly making my Clara Lehrs journey and the Bridge House celebration on 3 December. I’m also thinking of holding the Pushing Boundaries, Flying Higher event again.
I will be returning to Salford University as a hourly paid lecturer at the end of January. I’ll actually be teaching 11-12 hours a week and eventually marking 188 scripts. My husband has said he’ll buy me a dictionary so that I can look up what the word “retire” means.
And I also have a feeling that I might get involved in University of the Third Age, plus I’m open to a lot more school visits again ….
Isn’t life grand?
This month I’m giving away a copy of The Prophecy, the first book in the Peace Child trilogy. The first person to message me via Twitter that they’d like the book - @gilljames – gets it.
Happy reading and writing.