Thursday, 8 June 2017

Newsletter 8 June 2017

What a month it’s been since I last wrote. I was very saddened by the terror attack in Manchester and then another on in London. We do know some people affected. I therefore decided to postpone our celebration event in Manchester. We had just reached the point where we needed to do a lot of last minute publicity and that seemed highly inappropriate. But it will happen. Watch this space.

By sharp contrast, I’ve just enjoyed a week away with my choir in Cyprus. I did absolutely no writing and had no mobile device with me apart from my phone. I wouldn’t risk my computer or my tablet in the hold. I did take a note book but didn’t touch it. I’ve kind of made up for it since I got back.    

It did me some good – and my voice has come back.  

Singing in a choir is such a good activity for a writer. Instead of working in isolation and trying to do something different you’re working co-operatively and trying to blend with others. Plus you make lots of friends. Recommended.  

Fabulous course for children’s writer interested in writing for TV

Children’s TV Anything but child’s play, led by Dan Berlinka and Elly Brewer, with guest appearance by Sue Nott, will take place at the Arvon Centre at Craven Arms. The course is suitable for those who are already working on a script and for beginners. Each tutor will give constructive feedback in 30 minute slots.
Arvon courses are a joy and this one sounds especially tempting. Find out more here.    


I’m selling some of my work via Patreon.  You can find details here. As the name suggests, you would in effect become a patron. I think I’m offering real value for money, with something for both readers and writers. And you can take both if you happen to be both.  Check it out if you’re interested.   


My dream team of reviewers and beta–readers and for my publishing and self-publishing projects, editors, proof-readers, illustrators and designers is beginning to take shape.  
This is a personal recommendation.  Initially I would use my Dream Team a lot myself but gradually I would add in people that friends and friends of friends had recommended.

What happens?

You sign up to a mail list and every time a request comes in we mail it out to you or the enquirer contacts you directly via my web site. The conversation then carries on between you and the person making the request. You may also have a page set up on my blog and you may update that once a year. 
Interested? You may sign up for more than one category. 
Beta readers sign up here.
Reviewers sign up here.
Editors sign up here.
Illustrators sign up here.
Designers sign up here.
Proof-readers sing up here.    


Bridge House

Bridge House’s anthology Baubles continues to sell. You can read a few extracts here. Salford Stories is out there also. Both could do with a few more reviews. If you’ve read them, do write a review for them. Please review on Amazon. You can also leave reviews on Good Reads or your own blog.  You may know of other places. I can also offer review copies for free (PDF or e-mobi). If you’d like a review copy, then reply to this email.

So, the submissions are now in our new anthology for 2107, Gliterary Tales. Debz Hobbs Wyatt  and I are currently reading them.  

We’re also getting plenty of interest in our single-author collections. These are for authors we’ve published before and they may include stories we’ve already published, ones they’ve had published elsewhere and new ones. The description for this is now on the web site. We’ve already had some enquiries and we’re currently working on a couple of anthologies.  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.    

We think we’re there now with our extra anthology, Citizens of Nowhere, with the theme of the global citizen. We’re commissioned just over half of the work from known authors and  there has been room for a few open submissions.


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. Very shortly I’ll be putting together the Best of CafeLit 6.   

The Best of CaféLit 5 is still available. There are some lovely stories in this. I’m very pleased that I have a story in this collection. Order your copy here.      


Again we need more reviews for this. Have you read them? Could you write us a review? And again, I’m offering free copies as PDFs or e-mobi files.




We’re still looking for collections of Flash Fiction. CafeLit writers might particularly consider this as your stories so often fit this brief anyway. See our submissions page here. We have now signed up five writers already and I’ll be putting out one of my collections as well soon. Take a look here.  

Neil Cambell’s Fog Lane is out now. Again, reviewers very welcome. Here is the link:      

This call for submissions will be closing soon so hurry if you want to submit. 

Chapeltown is also excited to be publishing Colin Wyatt’s Who will be my friend? – a delightful picture book about friendship and accepting others. Yes, Colin is Debz’s dad. He is a Disney licensed illustrator and his latest publication is The Jet Set. We feel very honoured to be publishing him.

The book is out now and available at Reviews welcome. We can provide the PDF.  

We’re very pleased with this book and now aim to publish more picture books.   

Creative Café

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 sending out welcome letters to each new café that’s added. This will also offer them the opportunity to join the mailing list.  
I’m also now proactively encouraging cafes to stock The Best of CaféLit. Do you know anyone who might like to stock it? We can offer a 35% discount to retailers. Query gill at cafelit dot co dot uk.     


The Red Telephone

We are currently open for submissions. Hoorah! We’re looking for the next great YA novel. Check out the details here.  We’re particularly open to speculative fiction but we’ll also like anything that is well written and well-targeted.  I welcome others but send sample chapters and synopsis first. The full details are on the site.  

I am now working on Richard Bradburn’s Evernrood. We are still open for submissions but this will only be for a limited time now.    

Our mentoring programme is now full. I’m now working quite closely with three very different authors: Charlotte Comley, Dianne Stadhams, and Nina Wadcock. They are all  presenting some fascinating material.     

I’d also like to mention now that I’m mentoring two of my former students to help them get their novels up to publication standard. They won’t start this until they’ve finished their studies but it is something for them to keep them occupied as they wait for their results. I’m looking forward, too, to working with them.        

Book tours

If you’re a Bridge House / Red Telephone / CaféLit / Chapeltown author and you want to get serious about book tours, consider our author’s kit. We provide twenty books you take to the bookshop and the bookshop can put these through the till. We then invoice the bookshop, with a 35% discount for any sold and top up your supply to twenty. At the end of the tour you can either pay for the remaining books at cost + 10% or keep them until you’ve sold them and then pay the normal price of 75% of RRP. The latter can in any case be set against royalties. You need to allow at least ten days between events. Contact me here if you’re interested in this.            


School Visits

I’m proactively promoting my school visits associated with The House on Schellberg Street project. I’ve now developed a whole workshop for this. It starts off with a board game, includes some role play and creative writing and ends with a discussion.

Costs= travel expenses plus £400 for a full day and £200 for a half day. This includes all materials and some freebies. Two schools near to each other might consider splitting the day and halving the travel expenses and fees. This is open to negotiation in any case.       
I’m also continuously adding materials for schools to the site that are different from the ones I use for the workshops. I’ve recently added in resources and books to do with the topic. See them here:       

Query for a school visit here.

I’m also happy to tailor a visit for your agreed donation. This can be for either a Schellberg Cycle visit or a creative writing workshop. Any monies raised this way will go specifically to a project I have for a non-fiction book about a journey that will follow the footsteps of Clara Lehrs. I’m hoping to do the whole journey by train, including departing via my nearest Metrolink station. It’s important to feel the rails beneath my feet.       

I offer as well standard author visits which include readings from my books, Q & A sessions and creative writing exercises.

It is now also possible to purchase the kit to work on on your own. Find details here.

Please remember, with these as well, I’m open to negotiation if you can’t afford the full price.


Upcoming events

Note also for your diary: the London Bridge House / CafeLit / Chapeltown / Red Telephone celebration will be 2 December at the Princess of Wales again. People published 2017 will be invited first and then it will be open to all authors of our imprints. You are in any case invited to bring one friend at the first call. Last year we “sold out” – the event is free but ticketed. We shall have:  
  • general mingling
  • cash bar
  • an opportunity to buy books at an advantageous rate    
  • “speed-dating”  where you get to speak to as many people as possible in the room i.e. promote yourself to readers, swap tips with other writers
  • author readings
  • latest news from me  
  • collection for a local charity
  • big book swap (bring one of your other titles and take something else home – hopefully all will be reviewed. If you bring a non-writing friend they can just bring a book they love)  


This month I’m giving away a PDF of Mosaic. Download here. You will also find in this dropbox:
·         An extract from Clara’s story
·         Some seminars for schools about The House on Schellberg Street
·         Some fiction writing exercises
·         The opening chapters from my manual for writing the young adult novel  

Note, that normally my books and the books supplied by the imprints I manage, sell for anything form £0.99 to £10.99, with most on Kindle being about £2.99 and the average price for paperback being £7.00. We have to allow our writers to make a living. But we’re offering these free samples so that you can try before you buy. 


Writing opportunities

Remember I keep a full list of vetted opportunities on my writing blog. See them here. New ones are added several times a day. Roughly once a month I go through it and take out all of the out of date ones. At that point 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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