and Anna Fodorova’s In the Bloodat the Czech Embassy on Tuesday, with Jude Cook chairing and Lisa Rose reading the excerpts, but it is actual publication day TODAY – Congratulations both!
Thanks to Phoebe and team at the Oxford Poetry Library.
Thanks to Jude and Lisa, and the Janas at BCSA, the Czech Centre and Czech Embassy for hosting, and Lutyens and Rubinstein bookshop for handling the sales, and to Erik Weisenpacher for video and photo and audio recordings; it was a novel experience to just turn up, introduce and sit in the audience!
Anna & Jude swapping books copyright Erik Weisenpacher
copyright Erik Weisenpacher
copyright Erik Weisenpacher
copyright Erik Weisenpacher
copyright Jana Nahodilova
If you missed either or both, do not despair, as there is a joint launch 6.30 next Tuesday, 1st November, at Keats house, with readings by Carrie Cohen. You can get your free tickets from Eventbrite – there will be cake and soft drinks
Reviewers and Bookshops… we will be in touch shortly to offer you one or more of the following Advance reader copies. If you know you are not on our list and are interested, give us a shout. These are like gold dust, so first come first served!
Here it is! Our first ever listen-along audiobook challenge.
Starting on Sunday 24 October, we invited YA readers to listen to a section of the Zed and the Cormorantsaudiobook, every day for a week. Each day we release exclusive Zed-inspired creative activities – from word searches to author videos, book club questions to crafts.
Bookmark this blog post and follow @ArachnePress on social media for extra content too.
Day 1 – Sun 24 Oct: Listen to Chapters 1 – 4 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
Zed loves making origami figures – to help her relax, as gifts and as decorations. An origami cormorant like the one below is quite a challenge, but you could try making some paper butterflies, usingthis simple YouTube tutorial.
Day 2 – Mon 25 Oct: Listen to Chapters 5 – 11 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants. While you are listening, pay particular attention to the descriptions of the cormorants.
“Zed watched it untuck its neck and raise itself up through an ‘S’ bend to form one almost straight line from yellow beak to glossy black tail. Then, with a little shudder, its wings unfolded and started to pulse: huge black wings with three layers of feathers, the bottom ones spreading out like a fan. And it was off too, raising itself vertically before flattening out and beating its way across the river. One long black wing angled down to the water, where with every stroke it seemed to brush its grainy reflection.”
“Its body was so sleek it looked like it had been painted in jet black oil, with a sheen of metallic purple or green, depending on the way the light fell when it twisted his head. Its eye was definitely green though, a shiny emerald bead.”
Day 3 – Tues 26 Oct: Listen to Chapters 12 – 16 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
Try baking a recipe from the book! Bread, buns, cakes and scones abound in Zed and the Cormorants as Zed’s dad tries to establish his own bakery. Here are some simple recipes to recreate similar treats to those mentioned in the book:
Pay attention to the conversations between Zed and Tamsin in these chapters of the book – particularly noticing how their dialogue is evolving from when they first met. Can you recall what you spoke about when you first met your best friend? Try and remember, or imagine, what the conversation might have been like and write a short dialogue scene.
Day 4 – Weds 27 Oct: Listen to Chapters 17 – 22 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
Log on to Twitter this afternoon and take a look at our book club questions. Discuss them with your friends or family, think about the questions yourself or join in with the conversation by tweeting us your thoughts!
Day 5 – Thurs 28 Oct: Listen to Chapters 23 – 28 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
Head over to ReadingZone to watch a video of author Clare Owen and pick up some Gothic Writing Prompts from Clare, to help you write your own scary story.
Day 6 – Fri 29 Oct: Listen to Chapters 29 – 34 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
Find a jam jar and some craft supplies to make a decorative chalice like the one Amy and Zed take down to the boathouse, or colour and decorate the jar on our drawing challenge worksheet.Visit ourInstagram pageto see a chalice we made earlier!
Day 7 – Sat 30 Oct: Listen to the final Chapters of Zed and the Cormorants, then:
We could all do with some cheer in the bleak days of January, especially this year, so courtesy of Arts Council England, we are here to do just that.
We are the proud and happy recipients of a £45,000 grant from Arts Council England
This will pay for our next ten books, and (drum roll) audio books! Which means we can smack Covid on the nose by providing another way to enjoy our books without leaving home, and provide some work to actors who aren’t allowed into a theatre just now. I’m anticipating it will also be huge fun. Putting the plans together now with our audiobook partner Listening Books
Thanks to everyone who gave us their thoughts on whether this was the right way to go. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors in literature, but it’s tough to get right, and harder still to market, so the funding will also pay for …
A part-time marketing person, and a (separate) part-time admin person for a few months, so that I can concentrate on finding and supporting new writers and guest editors. We will be advertising these posts very soon. They will be remote working, so if you think that could be you, start polishing your CV, but don’t send anything until you see the advertisment please!
The books that are being supported by the ACE grant are:
Editor Cherry Potts talks about Devilskein and Dearlove a young adult novel by Alex Smith, which was nominated for the Carnegie Medal on 2015. Includes Q&A with the author, animated trailer by Nick Page and a couple of readings by actors Greg Page and Peter Noble.
You can buy Devilskein and Dearlove from our Webshop. Use the discount code ARACHNEVERSARY at the checkout throughout August.
Another gorgeous cover from Gordy Wright, and another great printing job from TJ International.
This is the third and final installment of The Naming of Brook Storyteller, and Brook (Brat-Spellbinder-Dragonfriend-Wolftalker) has taken on an apprentice, Cricket; but deadly plots are all around and it takes all her cleverness and resilience to get to the bottom of it all, with a lot of help from Cricket, and her ‘cousin’, the wolf, Drinks-the-Wind.
In the shops from 7th June (the day after Ghillian’s 85th Birthday).
Launch party still in negotiation but I will be able to reveal soon, I hope!
We had a great evening at Gay’s the Word – thank you to Uli & Jim – and despite Kate’s determination to walk out of shot, we have some video – where it got silly, with just a sleeve on show, there’s audio instead.
Here’s Cherry reading a bit about family from The Dowry Blade, chosen specially to link with Kate’s themes, and not read elsewhere.