Launching The Other Side of Sleep

When you put together an anthology, there’s a tendency to have authors all over the place, which makes choosing a venue for a launch tricky, so we decided not to bother for The Other Side of Sleep – choosing that is – and have several!

Final Cover Design for The Other Side of Sleep. Copyright Zoe Lee

Cover Design by Zoe Lee

We are kicking off in Oxford at Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton Street OX2 6AU on 30th October at 7.30  Readings from poets Alwyn Mariage, Angela France, Elinor Brooks, Jennifer A McGowan, Jill Sharp, Kate Foley, and Simon Brod. (this is combined with an earlier reading at 6, from our young adult novel, Devilskein & Dearlove with actor Peter Noble.)

The next day (1st October, 7:30) we are in north London at Lauderdale House, Waterlow Park, Highgate Hill N6, which is combined with an art exhibition by our cover artists, much more information about this one here.

And then, on 2nd October at 8pm we are in Brighton at Bom-Bane’s cafe 24 George St, Brighton BN2 1RH. with readings from Elinor Brooks and Jill Sharp, who are joined by actors Kevin Cherry and Jonathan Rice, reading for our more far-flung poets.

November: 8th Middlesbrough (p.a.morbid, Brian Johnstone, Adrienne Silcock, Alwyn Marriage), 15th Amsterdam (Kate Foley, Simon Brod, Robin Winckel-Mellish plus music), 19th South London (Inua Elams, Sarah Lawson, Anne Macaulay, Jeremy Dixon) more details as we finalise them; we hope to hit Scotland at some point, and will be at Keats House, Cheltenham and Swindon poetry festivals and Grange over Sands next year.

If you have a bookshop or library or other literary venue and would like some of our poets to come and read for you do get in touch!




This is the last you’ll hear about Crowd Funding from me, unless you are waiting for your T-shirt, books, or badge to arrive in which case we’ll keep you posted.

We got to our target.

So a BIG THANK YOU to all our backers:

Rebecca (both of them!)

and a big BIG thank you to everyone who offered their time, skills, and talent to create the rewards especially

Cherry Potts for T-shirt and badge designs
Katy Darby for the read-it-aloud workshop
Inua Elams for the digital portrait
Jennifer A McGowan for offering to hand letter a poem

So – just the hurdle of the Arts Council funding to get over then. We should hear about that around the 17th September, in nice time to announce it at the next Story Sessions, though if we hear sooner we are unlikely to be able to keep quiet.

just under six hours to go to help us meet our crowd fund target

I know, I know. We are SO nearly there. Just £12.50 would do it. You get one of these badges

3 designstogether with whatever else you choose from our luscious list of rewards donated by our lovely friends. I’m only reminding you because I don’t want you slapping your forehead in the morning and shrieking about how you meant to, and you totally forgot.

Anyway, just thought I’d mention it… click here…

tickticktick into the final hours of the Solstice Shorts Crowd Fund

TWELVE AND A HALF hours to go. and thanks to 31 incredibly generous backers, and some equally generous supporters giving their time and skills for free, we are at £977.50 … we only need £22.50 to hit that target.

That would take:

12 liars badges

5 supporters badges

3 sets of Devilskein badges

2 T-shirts, or 2 signed copies of Devilskein & Dearlove, or Mosaic of Air, or 2 VIP invitations to the launch of The Other Side of Sleep.

1 read-aloud workshop, or 1 professional story edit, or 1 bespoke flash fiction, or 1 hand-lettered poem.

Of course you can have ALL of those and more, but only if you press the button before 23:59 tonight, any later and the coach turns back into a pumpkin.So be our fairy godmother, and we can all go to the ball!

Arthur Rackham Illustration from Cinderella

(Now there’s a story that hinges on time…)


Whoosh … Solstice Shorts Crowd Fund day minus 2

That’s time speeding up, and rewards disappearing off the list. Digital portrait? GONE, A couple more T-shirts – GONE, another place of the read aloud workshop GONE. (I once saw Patrick Stewart do a one-man live version of A Christmas Carol, with the most magnificent clock strike noises G-dang,G-dang… if you can imagine that noise, that’s what those GONE‘s should sound like).

We are at 88% of the money needed, and 27 wonderful generous backers and 30 hours or so to go. So we don’t even need a pound an hour, (although that would be nice).

Tell everyone, feel at absolute liberty to smash that target! You can do that right here.

Soon we will be only 24 hours from Tulsa – no that’s not right. Time is not on your side. Anyway, if you miss out on one of our deeply rewarding rewards, Time will say nothing but I told you so.

Feel free to join in with corny-time-related-song-title-puns,we’ve been doing it privately for months, and I’ve managed to restrain myself from doing it here, up until now. I’ve finally cracked so it’s only kind to join in so I don’t feel a complete noodle. Thank you.


The Other Side of Sleep books have arrived

other side of sleep actual books

Advance copies of The Other Side of Sleep. cover design copyright Zoe Lee

Nothing furnishes an office like a pile of fresh off the press books, especially when the lead poem just won an award, and the covers are so shiny and dramatic.

If you preordered, your books are on the way. Official publication date 25th September. You can order now from our sales partners Inpress.

If you asked for a review copy, it’s on its way. If you’d like a review copy, let us know.

And a quick reminder of launch readings in Oxford 30th September, London 1st October and Brighton 2nd October. More information to follow…

Solstice Shorts Crowd Fund Day minus 3 and counting

Only 3 days to go. 20 backers so far (Thank you!!), and 48% of our target. Actually we’ve had a couple of off-line contributions which take it up to 53%. So can we achieve the remaining 47% in only 3 days? Not without your help. Please share far and wide!

Anyway, just thought I’d mention (again) that there isn’t long to bag something amazing donated by our terrific writers and supporters. What will take your fancy?

Digital Portrait? hand-lettered poem? reading aloud workshop?

Limited edition supporter’s T-shirt? Supporter’s badge?

VIP invitation to a book launch? Your short story edited? signed books?

Original and unique flash fiction starring you as the hero? Posters? book badges?

And then of course the real reward (provided other funders come up with the goods), a fantastic one day festival showcasing new short fiction, amazing writers, and fabulous folk from local musicians.


Solstice Shorts Festival – Crowd Fund Countdown day -4

Almost half way there, and barely 4 days to go. I was feeling a bit down about this earlier today, and I was wondering, is this crowdfunding lark just a chimera, put about to tease people?

But it seems my gloom was unjustified, as we had two takers for Katy Darby’s read-your-work-aloud workshop in just over an hour. You were just all on holiday weren’t you!

Well, shiny new month, you are rested and full of that September zeal to do something new, interesting and purposeful – so how about backing our new, interesting and purposeful festival? So new, there’s never been one before.

Time is running out!

If every single person who is on our mailing list, or who follows us all the places people follow, backed us to the tune of a £2.50 badge, we’d be well over our target.

There’s been a huge lot of effort and goodwill on the part of the people contributing the rewards, and it would be a shame if you missed out. You have until Thursday 4th September at 23:59!

Solstice Shorts Crowd Funding Rewards – Your story professionally edited

Professional edit of your short story from Cherry Potts

Back our crowd fund by £100.00 or more and get a story professionally edited by Cherry Potts who is the owner and editor of Arachne Press, with a number of short story anthologies (including award-winning Weird Lies) and a poetry anthology to her name, plus two collections of her own work published. She is offering a close edit and feedback on a short story, in electronic format, in English, of no more than 2000 words and NOT entered in the Solstice Shorts competition (for obvious reasons, if this edit happens before the competition, the edited story would be ineligible, as Cherry is involved in the shortlisting).

So if you are a writer and you want to support Solstice Shorts Festival, and get feedback on your own work, now is your chance. 5 opportunities are on offer.

Solstice Shorts Festival – Crowd Funding rewards – Calligraphy

Unique Hand-lettered Poem

One of the more unusual rewards on offer in our crowd funding for Solstice Shorts Festival.

If the idea of a beautifully handwritten poem (something like this) to hang on your wall or to send to someone special excites you, we can offer you just that for £70 (or more – you are very welcome to give us more than the guide price!)

Jennifer A McGowan, one of the poets featured in The Other Side of Sleep, is also a calligrapher, with work featured in magazines. Many more examples here

She is offering to letter a presentation poem of your choice, of no more than 25 lines. (This is JUST lettering, no fancy illuminated capitals or decorations, although Jennifer has said if you would like decorations and/or illuminated capital on your poem, you can come to an arrangement with her separate to the 25 lines she is donating to us.) She is too busy in the run up to the Solstice to offer this for a midwinter gift, but could get it completed in time for Valentine’s day, for example. (includes cost of postage within the UK)