Submission call for UK based BME authors

Arachne Press is hoping to publish an anthology of fiction and poetry from UK resident writers of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic heritage. We are aiming for publication in Autumn 2021. We will pay royalties. Once published in an Arachne anthology you may be invited to submit a collection/novel.

Laila Sumpton [recently the Keats House poet in residence who has edited poetry anthologies for the University of London, the Royal Free Hospital and Ministry of Stories] will be our poetry editor, and Sandra A. Agard [Professional storyteller, poet, short story writer, playwright, cultural historian, literary consultant, resident writer/reader and creative writing facilitator for over forty years] will be our fiction editor.

We have an application for funding in with ACE, so at the moment all we want is an expression of interest – via submittable: https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit your name and contact details, and any writing credits, whether you are a poet or fiction writer (or both!) and if you want, your idea for what you will write.

We have an overarching theme for all our anthologies for the next 12-18 months of ‘maps and mapping’. You do not need to take this in any way literally – ‘the map is not the territory.’

Submissions of work will be accepted from February 2021 once we know we have the funding. Please don’t send anything now, we just want a list of exciting authors and poets lined up to work with when we are ready.

Deadline for expressions of interest Jan 15th 2021.

Gwahoddwn feirdd Cymreig i fynegi eu diddordeb

[English version]

Mae gwasg Arachne Press yn eich gwahodd i gynnig cerddi gwreiddiol sy’n gysylltiedig efo’r A470 ar gyfer blodeugerdd.
Ar hyn o bryd nid oes ond angen mynegi diddordeb, er mwyn ein galluogi i wneud cais am nawdd.

Be ydi’r A470 i chi – siwrne dawel trwy harddwch Cymru neu daith araf a diddiwedd? Ai hon yw’r ffordd i adael, neu’r ffordd adref, neu ddechrau datganoli? Parciau Cenedlaethol, ffyrdd osgoi, llusgo mynd tu ôl i lori neu waeth fyth garafán, y ffordd i’r Sioe Frenhinol? Traethau, chwareli, pwerdai niwclear, awyrennau rhyfel, coedwigoedd, mynyddoedd, Bwlch yr Oerddrws, Pen y Fan? Taith ddiriaethol ar y tarmac neu daith o fath gwahanol? Does dim rhaid dehongli’r A470 yn llythrennol.

Mentrodd Arachne Press, gwasg fechan yn Llundain, i fyd cyhoeddi barddoniaeth Gymraeg am y tro cyntaf trwy gyhoeddi Mamiaith gan Ness Owen. Fe wnaethom fwynhau’r broses o gyfieithu’r cerddi o Gymraeg i Saesneg ac o Saesneg i Gymraeg, felly dyma ni’n ôl yn awyddus i wneud mwy dan ofal Ness a’i chyd-olygydd Sian Northey (awgrym Sian oedd y teitl A470). Mae hyn yn rhan o’n cynllun ar gyfer y tair blynedd nesaf ac rydym yn rhagweld y byddwn yn cyhoeddi’r gyfrol yn yr hydref 2022. Byddwn hefyd yn cyhoeddi blodeugerddi eraill – cerddi Albanaidd, cerddi gan feirdd B.M.E. a cherddi gan feirdd Byddar – gyda ‘Mapio’ yn thema gyffredinol i’r cyfan.

Rydym yn edrych am gerddi sydd heb eu cyhoeddi eisoes, gan feirdd Cymraeg a Chymreig lle bynnag maent yn byw, a beirdd sydd yn byw yng Nghymru.

Rydym yn edrych am wreiddioldeb: cerddi teimladwy, neu gerddi sy’n herio, cerddi caeth neu gerddi rhydd.

NI fyddwn yn derbyn erotica, arswyd, trais dianghenraid, rhywiaeth, hiliaeth, na homoffobia.

Rydym yn annog cyfraniadau gan leisiau sydd yn cael eu tangynrychioli, gan gynnwys beirdd o gefndiroedd ethnig amrywiol, beirdd LGBTQ, beirdd â phrofiad o amddifadedd economaidd-gymdeithasol, a menywod.

Bydd hon yn flodeugerdd gyfan gwbl ddwyieithog, yn dathlu gwychder y ddwy iaith, ac yn dathlu doniau beirdd a chyfieithwyr.

Gallwch gynnig cerddi yn Gymraeg, yn Saesneg, neu yn y ddwy iaith. Bydd cerddi sy’n cael eu derbyn mewn un iaith yn unig yn cael eu cyfieithu – gan y bardd ei hun neu gan gyfieithwyr profiadol gan gynnwys Sian Northey, un o’r golygyddion.

Y nod yw trin y ddwy iaith yn gyfartal ac fe fydd y cyfieithiadau yn cael eu gosod ochr yn ochr â’r gwreiddiol. Golyga hyn na all yr un gerdd, na’i chyfieithiad, fod yn fwy na 27 llinell, gan gynnwys y bylchau rhwng penillion. Bydd lle yn y gyfrol ar gyfer uchafswm o 50 o gerddi a’u cyfieithiadau.

Telir breindal i’r beirdd, ond mae’n annhebygol y bydd tâl o flaen llaw am y cerddi – bydd hynny’n dibynnu ar y nawdd a dderbynnir.

Gadewch i ni wybod a oes genych ddiddordeb cyfrannu cerdd/cerddi trwy’r ddolen hon https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit dyddiad cau 8 Ionawr 2021

Gallwch gysylltu â ni yn Gymraeg neu Saesneg. Y cyfan sydd ei angen ar hyn o bryd yw eich enw a’ch manylion cyswllt a pharagraff byr amdanoch gan gynnwys, os yw’n berthnasol, wybodaeth am waith sydd wedi’i gyhoeddi eisoes.

Expressions of interest invited from Welsh poets

Arachne Press are looking for poems linked to The A470

Expressions of interest only at this stage, so that we can make a clear proposal to funders.  

[feriswn Gymraeg]

Arguably the most famous road in Wales, the A470 is 186 miles from shore to shore through the backbone of Wales, linking north to south. 

Peaceful and picturesque or slow and never-ending, what does the A470 mean to you? The road out of here, the road home, the beginnings of devolution? Glorious national parks, bypasses, being stuck behind a certain lorry firm, or worse, a caravan, the road to the Royal Welsh? From the seashore to slates, from nuclear power stations and fighter plane flypasts to forests and mountains: Bwlch yr Oerddrws, Pen Y Fan. On the road or on a journey, there’s no need to take the A470 too literally.

Arachne Press’ first foray into Welsh language poetry came from the publication of Ness Owen’s Mamiaith (Mother Tongue). We enjoyed the translation process both Welsh to English and English to Welsh and we’re back for more, with Ness and fellow editor Sian Northey, who helped with those translations, at the helm. (Sian takes credit for the brilliant A470 idea.) This is part of our plan for the next three years and we anticipate publication in Autumn 2022.

We want unpublished  poems from Welsh poets wherever you are, and all other poets living in Wales.

We are looking for the unanticipated: sensitive poems, or poems that challenge, in traditional forms and new forms.

NO Erotica, horror, gratuitous violence, sexism, racism, or homophobia.

We actively encourage submissions from underrepresented voices, including ethnically diverse poets, LGBTQ poets, poets with experience of multiple socio-economic deprivation and women poets. Where relevant we encourage you to also submit to our Deaf anthology and our B.M.E. anthology (call out coming soon).

This will be a fully bilingual anthology, celebrating the magnificence of both languages, and the artistry of both poets and translators.

Poems may be submitted in Welsh, English or in both languages. Poems that are submitted in one language only will be translated – either by the poet themselves or experienced translators, including our editor, Sian Northey.  

We aim to give Welsh and English equal weight and the translations will be laid out side by side. This does mean each poem, regardless of language, can only be 27 lines including title and spaces between stanzas. We have room for a maximum of 50 poems plus their translation.

We will definitely pay royalties, but are not expecting to pay advances – that will depend on funding.

Tell us you are interested (in either language or both) via this link. https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit

Deadline 8th January 2021

All we need at this stage is your name and contact details and a short biographical paragraph including previous publications if relevant.

Opportunity for Deaf writers

Arachne Press is hoping to publish an anthology of Deaf fiction and poetry in Autumn 2021. We will pay royalties.

Deadline for expression of interest from deaf writers/editors extended. Writers keep telling us about yourselves until Jan 31st 2021. Editors: CV please by 3rd January 2021

Lisa Kelly (co-editor of Magma 69, The Deaf Issue; co-Chair of Magma Poetry, first collection A Map Towards Fluency published by Carcanet) will be one of the editors, and we are looking for another Deaf editor who is fluent in BSL, ideally someone who writes fiction rather than poetry.

We are putting together an application for funding, so that the whole book can be produced as BSL videos as well – this means we need translators and interpreters and video editors… quite a lot of people! But we are starting with YOU the writers.

At the moment all we want is an expression of interest – an email with your name and contact details, any writing credits or performance of your own work. If you have an idea for a theme for the anthology please make suggestions.

Submissions of work will be accepted in English or BSL, from UK writers only, from February 2021 once we know we have the funding. Please don’t send anything now.

If you have the experience to be our Deaf editor (there will be a fee for this work), we’d like a CV. please respond here or on our Submittable platform.

Summer Solstice

The Summer Solstice is tonight at 22:43 BST (well, that’s when it is in London, anyway).

I’m not going to stay up! but I might tune in for the sunset and sunrise at Stone Henge.

In the meantime, writers, musicians, you have until 23:59 BST tomorrow to submit your offering for the Solstice Shorts Festival. So maybe you will be staying up to see the Solstice in?

See you on the other side.

Tymes Goe by Turnes – Call Out for Solstice Shorts 2020

Before I ran Arachne Press, I did many things, including, for quite a while, a job I hated. While in that job, I had as my screensaver/lock/background the words

Tymes Goe By Turnes, and Chaunces Chang by Course

I felt better every time I saw them.

Looking back, it’s pretty obvious I should have left the job, rather than comfort myself with the fact that something else would cause a change.  It’s also pretty obvious I had depression, which is why I couldn’t make the change for myself, and partly why I hated the job, to be entirely fair to my then employer.

The lines are from Robert Southwell (c. 1561 – 21 February 1595), who had plenty to be worried and unhappy about. Look him up if you want to feel better about your current situation by comparison, if that’s not the sort of comfort that moves you, (me neither) read the poem, which is at the end of this post; it’ll work better, promise. (There is a bit of God in it, I don’t subscribe but RS did, and it doesn’t spoil the poem for me).

WHY am I sharing this poem with you?

Because I really should be planning this year’s Solstice Shorts Festival, but I don’t know if it will go ahead.

Because Covid-19 might still be preventing us (hope not, it is the end of December!). Because Arts Council is in emergency funding mode and may not want to know about funding it.

Because if either of these, where and how can we be true to the basic live-ness of Solstice Shorts?

Anyway, I am a planner by nature, so I will plan the bits I can, and wait to see what chances change by which courses.

We always have a time theme, so here it is.

WRITERS/MUSICIANS I keep seeing on Facer and Twitbook that in the absence of paid work, you are knuckling down to projects and upping your rejection rates, so here’s another one for you.

Write a story or poem or song that responds or reacts or is inspired by the poem Tymes goe by Turns, or some concept in it. (also open to musical settings of the actual poem – I think there is at least one already.

We want enormous change, finding balance, release… just leave God out of it, ok? Solstice Shorts has a pagan undertow because of the day we hold it, and personally I’m a heathen, so any overtly godly piece will be automatically excluded. (21st December, shortest day of the year, winter solstice.)

If the worst happens and we can’t hold the festival this year (though we are incredibly ingenious) we will just put it off to 2021, and have the book ready to launch at the festival. It’ll be fine. We’ll work it out, but please be prepared for the possibility of a twelve month delay.

https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit

Deadline 21st June 2020.

Here’s the poem, and audio of the lovely Math Jones reading it for us as a special favour

The lopped tree in tyme may grow agayne;
Most naked plants renew both frute and floure;
The soriest wight may find release of payne,
The dryest soyle suck in some moystning shoure;
Tymes go by turnes and chaunces chang by course,
From foule to fayre, from better happ to worse.

The sea of Fortune doth not ever floe,
She drawes her favours to the lowest ebb;
Her tyde hath equall tymes to come and goe,
Her loom doth weave the fine and coarsest webb;
No joy so great but runneth to an ende,
No happ so harde but may in fine amende.

Not allwayes fall of leafe nor ever spring,
No endless night yet not eternall daye;
The saddest birdes a season find to singe,
The roughest storme a calm may soone alaye;
Thus with succeding turnes God tempereth all,
That man may hope to rise yet feare to fall.

A chaunce may wynne that by mischance was lost;
The nett that houldes no greate, takes little fish;
In some thinges all, in all thinges none are croste,
Fewe all they neede, but none have all they wishe;
Unmedled joyes here no man befall,
Who least hath some, who most hath never all.

Spiders Galore – feedback on the 8th Anniversary submissions

Well that was a suprise. When we cranked open the vault at Submittable to see what you’d sent us, there were hundreds of stories and poems in there! Like a spider nest full of baby spiderlings. We thought spiderlit was a niche of minute proportions, but it turns out lots of you share our passion for creatives with eight legs and a talent for weaving.

This does mean a lot of reading. We will do it as fast as we can! Definite ‘No’s will be out fairly quickly, but then we’ll have to compare the ‘maybe’s and the ‘yes’es and see what’s what. There already some themes and similarities rising from the mass, so we’ll need to decide if some pieces are too similar, and so on.

Please be patient!

Inspired by Lady Hale – a Spider anthology for our eighth anniversary

Inspired by Lady Hale I’ve been buying spider brooches (and that T-shirt that’s also supporting Shelter), like a mad thing, and then I thought…

Next August (8th Month) is Arachne Press’s 8th anniversary. What about an eight-legged arachnid inspired anthology?

Get writing, I’ll put a proper call out later in the week but maybe 2000 words-ish, deadline January-ish.

I’m going to make it difficult for you – NO Horror, NO spiders to be killed.

Think Charlotte’s Web for adults, not Arachnophobia. Some sort of homeless connection too? More when I’ve had time to consider properly.

I’ve resisted the temptation to use a close-up photo of a spider here. Imagine one.

 

Solstice Shorts – be quick

Here’s Marika Josef reading her poem, Still No Name from last year’s Solstice Shorts Anthology, Noon. As you can see, there is a book, and there are events, nearly six months after the festival. It’s not just about the shortest day of the year.

If you haven’t already sent us something there are only days left to submit… 21st June 23:59 BST.

MAX 2000 words, and make sure it’s to theme. (Time and Tide – historical, set by the sea, strong female characters)

Shuffle over to Submittable to get all the gen. You too might be reading in a brewery come this time next year.

The Tide is ebbing

Submissions for Time & Tide close on Friday. We’ve been going on about this for a week or so, and are getting tired of the sound of our own voices, so we aren’t going to remind you  (not here, anyway) again. Get your oar in the water and start paddling.

Historical, marine and riverine (is that a word?) theme, with strong female characters.

Stories and poems, ESPECIALLY stories, we’ve had a lot of poetry in: 2000 word limit, original, unpublished and in English, BSL, Portuguese, Scots Gaelic, Doric, or Welsh – with an English version for anything not in English.

Songs to theme in any language, send us a translation though, 5  min maximum, Original or Traditional – nothing that is someone else’s copyright. You, or someone you’ve organised to do it, needs to be able to perform at one of the venues: Aberdeen, Glasgow, Maryport, Holyhead, Greenwich, Hastings, Lisbon and possibly Brighton.

https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit

 

To get you in the mood here’s video of Michelle Penn reading Ian Grosz’s poem Autumn Noon, from last year’s festival, Noon; performed at Brockley Max Festival at Brockley Brewery.