It’s a very exciting day today: my copy of this quarter’s British Haiku Society journal Blithe Spirit just arrived, and it contains my first official haiku publication! There are three poems by me on page 54, and it feels like a huge achievement even though they’re so few words each – but that is the art of haiku, after all.
I also have some other poetry publications in the pipeline, so watch this space…!
Following the publication of The Locust Theorem and The Cloud Loom, the lovely folks at Fairlight Books have decided to put me in their author spotlight for the month – how very thrilling! While your over there, don’t forget to read both the stories as well, they’re completely free to read…
“It is probably best if we start with your body. I’d like you to touch yourself – on the arm, the face – somewhere where your hand can make contact with your skin. Feel it. Soft. Malleable. Our bodies are fantastically adaptable – fantastically adaptable – to external conditions. Well now, let’s think about that for a minute. Let’s think about external conditions. Where do external conditions start?” [READ THE LOCUST THEOREM]
“The rain begins with that soft, familiar sigh of release. No pitter-patter – not from this altitude – but a sense of falling with no confirmation of receipt. One long, diminishing descent. His heart sinks and he rolls over, hiding his face in the pillow for just five more seconds, trying to blot out the inevitable. The mean, repeating rainfall days stretch out behind, and into an imagined beyond, dreaded only because a cave of memory decades-long tells him it never used to be this way.” [READ THE CLOUD LOOM]
Happy Monday readers! Those of you who keep up with me on Facebook and Twitter will know that last week I had a piece of flash fiction called The Cloud Loompublished on the Fairlight Books website. I am completely thrilled that the lovely short story editor Urska took on not one but two of my stories, and am really grateful for her keen editing eye and enthusiasm.
Check out the site for the full story! And if you like it IRL, how about giving it a like digitally too? Likes, shares and general story chat online really help boost a story’s readership, and I would be very grateful indeed for your support.
I’m totally thrilled and excited to say that my latest short story, The Locust Theorem, has just been published by Fairlight Books. It’s online, it’s free to read right here, and is a lovely bit of sci-fi fun to get you through to the weekend.
The story takes about twenty minutes to read and follows Andy Anderson, a struggling geneticist trying to come to terms with the loss of his girlfriend – and if that doesn’t grab you, here’s an excerpt:
The first indication I had that something might be wrong was the day the builders came. They had set up scaffolding outside the hotel and, as Su was passing under it, one of them dropped a knife. It sailed four floors down, point-first, straight towards Su’s face. She looked up just in time for it to hit her. There was a sharp sound, like a blade against granite, before the knife fell to the ground and clattered away across the forecourt. Su was shaken but not hurt, aside from a light red irritation that bloomed in a line down her face.
Just over a month until Don’t Panic hits the shelves – yes, I’m dancing excitedly; yes, it’s due out on 10th August; and yes the digital proofs look so pretty a whole flock of butterflies just erupted in my chest.
Yes, you can also PRE-ORDER the new book at all the best bookstores, including but not limited to:
It’s the time of the month where I round up all the internet’s top publishing stories and stick them in one place on the BookMachine blog for your perusal! Here’s a sneak peek – don’t forget to visit the BookMachine blog for more…
The big news from March in UK publishing is obviously the London Book Fair (LBF). Poland shone at this year’s Market Focus, and the Fair was busier than usual, with six-figure deals struck ahead of time and publishers cheerfully splashing cash as sales rose. This was seen as further evidence of the rise of print, with The Guardian stating that by the end of the month stats showing that print outperformed digital. Yet, despite the recent whopping $65m forward paid for the Obamas’ new book (which hasn’t pleased all and prompted a list of the biggest deals of all time) no single title emerged as this year’s big hitter.
I am hugely excited to be able to tell you all that my latest short story, BORN – BREATHING – BOUND, has been accepted for publication in The Cadaverine!
I’m so grateful to the fabulous editor Lenni Sanders for finding my little tale in the slushpile and can’t wait to see it on Cadaverine’s pages. Cadaverine is a wonderful, free online magazine of poetry and prose from writers under 30 and I’m really honoured to be featured in its pages.
The release has somewhat snuck up on me, but I have to thank Summersdale Publishers and their amazing design team, who’ve made this book so absolutely gorgeous and positive with its fabulous rocket theme.
Hoping that all your personal rockets of hopes and wishes come true in the year ahead!
This week for the BookBrunch interview, I got together with Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods of the Diamond, Kahn & Woods Literary Agency to discuss this year’s Trailblazer Award success and the future of agenting. For the full article, head over to BookBrunch, or read the snippet below:
As the deadline approaches for this year’s Trailblazers Awards, run by the London Book Fair (LBF) in partnership with the Society of Young Publishers (SYP) and BookBrunch, we catch up with two of last year’s winners, Ella Kahn and Bryony Woods, of Diamond Kahn & Woods Literary Agency. They discussed how the award has affected business for the better, why they made the decision to set up their own agency, and what the future holds.
In the four years since Diamond Kahn & Woods got started, the agency has accrued 50 clients and placed over 40 books, managed between Woods, Kahn and their colleague Elinor Cooper, who joined in April last year.
However, the agency was conceived long before this, when Woods and Kahn met during their Publishing MA at UCL in 2009-2010. “As friends, we had always known we both wanted to go into agenting, and joked about setting up our own agency together one day in the distant future, when we were both eminent agents with big lists of clients and grey hair,” Woods explains.
As many of you may know, I love short stories. Reading them, writing them, eating them… Ok, maybe I don’t literally imbibe them but there’s a definite consumption process involved in perusing a short story.
So you can imagine how excited I was this week when I got to interview KJ Orr, the winner of this year’s BBC National Short Story Award. As always, read the full article over on BookBrunch or enjoy the excerpt below.
The big book buzz this week has been about the 2016 BBC National Short Story Competition winner, KJ Orr, and her winning story, ‘Disappearances’. A debut author, Orr beat a heavyweight shortlist including Man Booker winner Hilary Mantel and Costa Poetry Award shortlisted Lavinia Greenlaw. Here, Orr discusses what it feels like to have won, how she came across short stories, and their value to readers.
“It feels pretty incredible and still quite hard to believe,” says Orr about winning the award. “I was settled on the idea that I hadn’t won so I was not prepared at all. Doing the live broadcast directly after was surreal. Most writers are fairly introverted, quiet souls, then there are moments where you have to come out and put on a public hat. I just hoped I made some sense because I wasn’t really prepared to say anything!”
It’s been a while since I busted out an opinion on publishing, so here’s some thoughts about Faber Academy and their extraordinary success with getting their students published. Read the full article over on BookBrunch, or enjoy this little snippet.
Jasmin Kirkbride investigates the successful formula of the Faber Academy, and learns that it involves focusing on the work rather than on the deal
Last week, Headline announced that the launch list of its new Wildfire imprint would contain three Faber Academy graduates: Colette McBeth (published previously by Headline Review) and debut novelists Karen Hamilton and Felicia Yap. This is the latest in a steady stream of deals for writers who have taken the course. What is the secret of their success?
It’s a strange thing, but as a publisher and an author, I find I have to very strict about when I wear my work hat and when I wear my writer’s hat, and it’s very rare that I feel comfortable letting those two things overlap. This weekend’s London Short Story Festival was one of those occasions.
Running from Friday 18 to Sunday 21 June, this was only the Festival’s second year running. Despite this, it boasted a jam-packed programme of events and all its Masterclass workshops sold out well before it started. Events featured authors from around the world, from established masters like Ben Okri, Helen Simpson and Toby Litt to new guns like Kirsty Logan and SJ Naude. The Festival is sponsored by Spread the Word, who are keen to represent the diversity of the short story form, and this showed in the programming.