Interview with Ghillian Potts – Early Writing

Ghillian Potts, author of Brat and The Old Woman from Friuli bravely shares her adolescent poetry, which got her out of housework! (Photos from the family archive.)

We would like to invite you to a very informal launch reading at Eltham Centre Library, Archery Road, Eltham SE9 1HA on 7th June at 1.30 for Brat and 3.45 for The Old Woman from Friuli. Both readings will be performed by Carrie Cohen.

Further readings are at

BrockleyMax Art in The Park, Hilly Fields Park SE4 on 10th June 2017 at 2.30pm; (Old Woman From Friuli read by Katy Darby)

Stanmore Library, 8 Stanmore Hill, Stanmore, HA7 3BQ on 8th July 2017 2pm (Old Woman From Friuli read by Lisa Rose)

Osterley Library, St Mary’s Crescent, TW7 4NB on 22nd July 2017 at 2.30pm (Old Woman From Friuli and BRAT read by Carrie Cohen)

If you run a library, bookshop or school and would like us to visit you with a reading, get in touch.

The Old Woman from Friuli Launch, Tour and author interview

 

 

 

 

 

Interview with author Ghillian Potts

Events

A very informal launch reading at Eltham Centre Library, Archery Road, Eltham SE9 1HA on 7th June at  3.45  read by Carrie Cohen.

Further readings are at

Art In The Park Story-telling tent on Hilly Fields, on Saturday 10th June at 2.30, when Arachne stalwart Katy Darby will be reading

Stanmore Library, 8 Stanmore Hill, Stanmore, HA7 3BQ on 8th July 2017 2pm read by Lisa Rose)

Osterley Library, St Mary’s Crescent, TW7 4NB on 22nd July 2017 at 2.30pm (Old Woman From Friuli and BRAT read by Carrie Cohen)

(Illustrations Ed Boxall)

Crowd funding rewards for writers part 2

Pledge £50 or more to help us support new and early career writers with our book and exhibition tours and new books

Fiction Critique from Katy Darby

Katy Darby is co-editor of our Three Lies books and runs Live Lit event Liars’ League. She will give you a professional critique of your fiction at £50 for 5000 words – (Electronic delivery ONLY, please don’t send paper) so if you want her to critique something longer, pledge more times!

OPTION: personal face-to-face critique (30 min) in London for an extra £25 as an add-on: you can pledge more than the £50 through the site, just let us know that’s what you want.

(Katy will not be available to do this until mid/late August.) https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1477491501/beyond-solstice-shorts/

Crowd fund reward for writers

Crowd funding… how I love it… not. It’s a slog and it’s very uncomfortable asking for money, but we have expenses we need to cover if we are to get all our books out in the fresh air and into your hands and onto your shelves, and generous though the Arts Council is, they like to see us find some of the money we need elsewhere.

So, here is something for the WRITERS amongst you.

Have your writing edited by us

Cherry Potts copyright Tom Dingley 2014

Cherry Potts copyright Tom Dingley 2014

Have your short story or 1st chapter of your novel professionally edited and critiqued by Arachne Press editor, Cherry Potts. Maximum 5000 words, sent electronically only.

Estimated delivery: Jun 2017

Limited reward (5 left of 5)

Pledge £100 or more here

 

 

 

 

Is it worth giving us your money?

Here’s some feedback from our tour date in Bath…

  • a really excellent variety of pieces, and wonderfully read
  • inspiring and entertaining
  • I shall look out for future events
  • a very enjoyable event
  • completely gripping
  • Brilliant reading by Nick Rawlinson
  • a break from reality – lovely
  • Bookish whirlwind of tales and poems that provide thought-provoking insight into the writers’ minds
  • Liked the stories in particular – Cherry’s especially loved the weirdness, strange and spooky!
  • Live Loud and Varied. an eclectic mix of poems and prose that veered from tragic to whimsical.
  • an excellent evening with an inspiring mix of poem and stories. Poignant, witty, intelligent work well supported by the incomparable Cherry Potts who does such crucial work in supporting and developing opportunities for writers.
  • A big Shout-out for Arachne Press!

 

Lester Simpson Winter Folk Song Workshop for Solstice Shorts

You can now book for Lester Simpson’s Folk Song Workshop on 26th November – our Solstice ‘Advent’ event! 12.45-5.15 pm, £25lester1sml.
Come and learn around 5 acapella songs in 3 or 4 part harmony, from Lester Simpson an international recording artist, and member of the renowned Coope Boyes & Simpson, who also runs community choirs. Informal but intense, lots of tea and biscuits. Access to sound files after the event. St Hilda’s Church Hall, Courtrai Road, Crofton Park SE23 1NL

Advance booking essential!

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Book for Lester Simpson Folk Song workshop

How to be a really successful writer- A biased view from a small publisher

I’m a writer as well as a publisher, and when I had my first work published I was dreadfully naïve and thought the books would sell themselves.

After all, I’d written it, and someone liked it enough to publish – my work was done!

Really, not.

Now, three books in, and running my own micro-publishing company I am a bit wiser and a heck of a lot more cynical.

The statistics on the number of books published every year don’t bear thinking about – how on earth can you get noticed? Especially if you haven’t been snapped up in a bidding war between the big publishing companies who have an army of publicists on their payroll?

You have to be prepared to get into the limelight and tell the world how fantastic and fascinating your writing is, and what a wonderful charming person you are.

I know.  You’d sooner walk across hot coals and sell your child/cat into slavery.

Well, nonetheless, the books don’t sell themselves, and being prepared to get out there and meet the public in all their various guises really helps, whether that is in person, touring your work round bookshops and libraries, or setting up a blog, or being interviewed on your local radio station. THIS is how books become word of mouth best-sellers.

I have cast iron evidence. My first book hardly sold at all, because I was too frightened to do the publicity my publisher wanted from me. The second book pretty much sold out because I did it anyway, fear not withstanding… and I ENJOYED it. (not a lot, but it was bearable and I discovered I LIKE talking about my writing.)

The popular image of the writer, secluded in her attic/ the library with her notebooks, gazing at the view from her window or the riveting ancient text that has inspired her work, is desperately out of date, but some of us (me included) would MUCH rather be doing that, than spending time on Facebook/ Twitter/ Tumblr/ Whatever, inviting people to make contact and talk about their work and READ it, and the idea of facing a microphone or camera and having to SPEAK…

How to cope? Why would you want to?

How I did it is: I thought about who I needed to be, and in what circumstances I can pull that off, and I wrote myself a character who is the relatively thick-skinned, witty, charming, outgoing person, I can be when I’m really comfortable, and I put her on, coat-like when I need her. She’s been really useful for my publishing face too.

That doesn’t help with the white noise that hits when I’m asked a (to me) stupid question live on air. What does help is preparation. Interviews are fairly predictable, you will almost always be asked – what do you write/ where do your ideas come from/ what’s this book about? Although you might want to respond – haven’t you read it? Your interviewer is actually trying to help – the viewer/listener/reader hasn’t read your wonderful scintillating work, and the interviewer is getting you to persuade them to do that. If you do get asked something that throws you – say what a good question (flatters the interviewer gives you time to think) then answer as gracefully as you can, and don’t be afraid to say I hadn’t thought about that, or I don’t know!

Why am I explaining all this?

I’ve made the difficult decision that I won’t publish people who won’t support their work. I haven’t the time or energy (or money) to promote every book as though it were my own. If you can’t get behind your book, why would I? With an anthology it’s not so bad because there will be 20 or so authors to spread the load – although it’s hardly fair on those who will schlep around libraries reading to expect them to support those who won’t.

How can I support the diffident writer?

I really do get it! As I said, that was me once upon a time. That’s why I’ve got Arts Council funding for a series of workshops for writers, that aren’t about writing – you’ve missed the performance one, but…

FRIDAY 23/9/16 (that’s this week!) 2-4pm Canada Water Culture Space £12  we have: Handling the Media with Rosie Wilby, who broadcasts at Resonance FM, and is also a comedian.

SATURDAY 24/9/16 at The Albany, Deptford, 11-1 we have marketing for writers basics, and 2-4pm marketing for writers advanced, with Yen Ooi of marketing for creatives specialists Think Create Do.

These workshops are heavily subsidised, you would expect to pay £35 or more on the open market. At the moment we have no takers for the basic marketing, so we are cancelling it if we don’t get at least 4 bookings by midday Thursday. Tell your friends! (if we get 3 bookings, we’ll transfer you to the advanced course, or return the booking fee) The other courses have some space left, but if you want to come, you need to get booking.

 

 

 

 

Coming up: Workshops for Writers

Join us in South London in September for workshops for writers that aren’t about writing! (All workshops are being run only once, £12)

What’s on offer:

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Performance for Writers – reading your work aloud is a near inevitable part of success. learn how to do it with conviction and have fun in the process. Lead by Katy Darby. Wednesday 7th September 2-4pm at The Albany, Deptford SE8. (max 20 places)

 

 

yen ooiMarketing for writers (basic) – Not sure if you need a website or social media presence? Are you spending your time effectively online? Learn what your online priorities should be and how you can leverage your online presence to build on your writer profile. Lead by Yen Ooi
Saturday 24th September 11-1 pm at The Albany, Deptford SE8. (max 10 places)

Marketing for writers (Advanced) – Are you effectively leveraging your online presence to improve your writer profile? Do you know what your brand values are, what messages your want to promote, and the new audiences you want to reach? Lead by Yen Ooi.
Saturday 24th September 2-4pm at The Albany, Deptford SE8. (max 10 places)

46 Rosie WilbyManaging Media for Writers Once you get published, your publisher is going to want you to talk to the media if they have the slightest intention of selling your book (we do anyway!). This can be quite intimidating, and it’s easy to get cross with silly questions. Comedian and broadcaster Rosie Wilby will help you sort out what you want to say and how to handle tricky questions, and where to look if a camera is involved.
Friday 23rd September 2-4pm Canada Water Culture Space, SE16. (max 20 places)

BOOK HERE

 

Professional edit of your 2000 word story/ novel extract

Another of our offers for crowd fund supporters – a professional edit from Arachne Press managing editor Cherry Potts. For £100 you will get thorough, honest, detailed feedback on up to 2000 words of short story or 2000 word novel extract. £200 a total bargain! Be grateful we aren’t offering you under-editor Julian’s services…

Help us raise enough to run Solstice Shorts 2015, Longest Night by contributing to our crowd fund at Indiegogo.

Submission Call Out Longest Night, and Liberty Reprised

What do we do for the next Solstice Shorts?  has been a question echoing about Arachne Towers for a while.

This year the solstice (and therefore Short Story Day) doesn’t coincide with the weekend (in fact we’ll have to wait until 2019), so the thinking currently is that we stick with the 21st (a Monday) and do an evening event, which will inevitably be much shorter than last year’s sunrise to sunset juggernaut. So we are taking as our theme The Longest Night.

We don’t know where we will hold the event yet, but we are thinking of starting at twilight (one minute to six) and going on until the venue throws us out. If you can think of a great venue (preferably free or cheap) please make suggestions.

Everything that follows is dependent on funding. If we don’t get any we can’t do it; if we get some, it will be a very small event, if we get sensible amounts it will be as gorgeous as we can manage and there will be a subsequent anthology.

MUSIC

We want to include music again and are looking for proposals from bands/ singers. (GET IN TOUCH IF THIS IS YOU!)

If you’d like to learn some potentially suitable songs, we are running a workshop of Secular Winter Songs with Lester Simpson of Coope Boyes & Simpson on 28th November in Crofton Park SE4, More details later but get on the mailing list here.

STORIES

Of course there will be stories, which is where the call out comes in. This theme rather lends itself to gloom, but it doesn’t have to be that way. We’d like some joyful long nights please! If you are going to serve us up something dark please feel free to wallow in it, but we don’t want to be too depressed, and remember that while we quite like creepy and ghostly Arachne WILL NOT PUBLISH (or PERFORM) HORROR, EROTICA OR ANYTHING REMOTELY APPROACHING TORTURE SCENES or GORE, and we HATE ZOMBIES.

Don’t look on that as a challenge, we mean it. Your emails will never be opened again if you send us anything of this kind.

This year we will accept poems as well, provided they are narrative, to keep in with the short story day focus.

So we are looking for:

ON THEME short story or poem, no more than 2000 words. Anyone can send us their work, provided it is their own, unpublished and in English.

(By unpublished we mean that it has not appeared in print, and if it is online anywhere it WILL be taken down at the point you submit, and that you own the copyright. If you have licensed your copyright to another publisher, in print or online we can’t consider your work.)

Submit via our Submittable account please, so that we don’t lose your work.

DEADLINE 21st October 2015 23:59

 

We have also re-opened our Liberty Tales call out, as we like the idea too much not to do a book – funding permitting.

 

Arachne Feast & Festival at BrockleyMAX

Story Sessions logo copyThe Story Sessions are back – for a guest spot, maybe for good, depending… We are doing three events for BrockleyMAX. The first two are both on Saturday 30th May The Ladywell Gallery, (what used to be Misty Moon) behind The Ladywell Tavern 80 Ladywell Road SE13 7HS

Writing Workshop – Festival

5pm – 7pm Free; accompanied children over 10 welcome
Arachne Press presents a writing workshop on the theme of Festival. Get inspiration from the exhibition of photographs from previous BrockleyMAX festivals and write a new short story or poem, with the option to read it at The Story Sessions event in the evening.
 run by Cherry Potts
Story Sessions: Festival Tales
7.30pm – 9.30pm Free; accompanied children welcome
A live literature event with stories from Joan Taylor-Rowan and David Bausor, poems from Elinor Brooks (read by actor Miriam Lee) and Jennifer A McGowan on a festival theme. Circuses, Street parties and more. Join in with Flash from the Floor – your chance to read your own festival piece (max 100 words).
brockley max ladywell gallery
And finally, on Thursday 4th June at Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross, SE4 1BE
The Story Sessions: Feast Tales
8pm – 9pm Free entry; accompanied children 10+ welcome
A free live literature event all about food Stories from Rosalind Stopps, Joan Taylor-Rowan and Jason Jackson, Poems from Jennifer A McGowan and Rob Walton, plus an extract from Devilskein & Dearlove,our Carnegie Nominated young adult novel by Alex Smith – mostly read by our actor friends Peter Noble & Gloria Sanders.
Join us for a story set in a cheese shop, Cranberry Sauce as an excuse for an illicit meeting, trying to win friends with cookies and taking tea with a demon, plus poems about oranges and bay leaves! Order appropriate food to ‘taste-along’.