#Arachne5 special offer to UK libraries and book charities

To Celebrate our 5th Anniversary (8th September 2017) we are offering the first five books we published FREE TO BONA FIDE UK LIBRARIES or BOOK CHARITIES

 

London Lies ISBN: 978-1-909208-00-1 CONTEMPORARY
Our first Liars’ League showcase, featuring unlikely tales set in London.

 

 

 

 

Stations: Short Stories Inspired by the Overground Line ISBN: 978-1-909208-01-8 £10.99 CONTEMPORARY
A story for every station from New Cross, Crystal Palace, and West Croydon at the Southern extremes of the East London line all the way to Highbury & Islington.

 

 

 

Lovers’ Lies ISBN: 978-1-909208-02-5 CONTEMPORARY
Our second collaboration with Liars’ League, bringing the freshness, wit, imagination and passion of their authors to stories of love.

 

 

 

Weird Lies ISBN: 978-1-909208-10-0 SCI-FI/FANTASY
WINNER of the Saboteur2014 Best Anthology Award
Our third Liars’ League collaboration – more than twenty stories varying in style from tales not out of place in One Thousand and One Nights to the completely bemusing.

 

 

 

Mosaic of Air Cherry Potts ISBN: 978-1-909208-03-2

FANTASY/SCI-FI/ CONTEMPORARY
Sixteen short stories from a lesbian perspective.

 

If you’ve not tried our work before here’s your chance to explore.
Libraries just pay delivery, charities completely free contact us
Other special offers on back-list titles direct from us for the duration of the celebrations. explore the shop

All paid for books ordered direct sent post free within the UK!

These offers only to bona fide libraries and book charities. There are other special offers available to everyone else… explore the shop

 

Significance #Arachne5

As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from  Sarah James whose poem and flash fiction we published in  Shortest Day, Longest Night.

Significance

Is the number five more or less significant to a writer than anyone else? Five fingers for writing. Five senses we can use to make that writing as atmospheric as possible. Five days to the working week…or, at least, there used to be.

Working hours have shifted for everyone in our always switched-on society, but writers have never really had a day off as such. As a poet and fiction writer, my subconscious is always busy –  listening for stories, rhythms, the sounds of words.

Maybe I’m trying too hard here to find symbolic links and connections to the number five because Arachne Press is celebrating its fifth birthday. But this is what language and writing are all about – evocative symbols that we use to make connection between us and other people, the page and the reader, the performance and the audience.

In any case, all of these observations filter one way or another into the writing of my poem ‘At the Hotel de la Lune’ and short story ‘Cut Short’ in the Arachne Press anthology Shortest Day Longest Night.

The man in 512 is trying to sleep
but he can hear his ex’s breath
in the air conditioning’s webs…

(From ‘At the Hotel de la Lune’)

There is a phrase ‘If the walls had ears…’ that sums up both part of my writing process and the background to ‘At the Hotel de la Lune’ in particular. The poem hangs on the passing flow of visitors through the hotel and all the stories they bring with them, if only the hotel rooms could pass these on. The beautiful thing about being a writer rather than a wall is that I not only have ears to hear but also a tongue to speak and hands for writing or typing. As writers, readers and audience, we also have something else that’s even more important – imagination.

These aren’t real stories, only stories that could be real. The hotel is a fictitious place conjured up by my mind. Each of the rooms , with its characters and its stories, is a room inside my head. Each character in this poem also has their own rooms inside their heads, with their own stories, hopes and dreams.

But who is in charge of all these rooms? Is it me as the writer/dreamer? The night porter, Billy – a potential modern-day Shakespeare (in his own head at least) – who aspires to theatrical stage stardom? Or the spiders and bugs that scuttle in the mind’s shadows and across this poem’s mundane yet nightmareish everyday stage?

Perhaps the ultimate control is actually with the reader or individual audience member – choosing how to interpret the words and scenes that they’re presented with…

“Damn, late again! I fidget with my car keys, a reflex action, as I’m tempted to bail on lunch. Sundays should be the longest day – lazy sex, coffee in bed, newspapers, novels, Netflix, not getting dressed until three, if at all… Ever since university, I’ve made it my personal quest to stretch these twenty-four hours of the weekend as far as humanly possible. But not today…”

(From ‘Cut Short’)

While ‘At the Hotel de la Lune’ is infused with a touch of A Midsummer Night’s Dream madness, my writing approach for the flash fiction ‘Cut short’ is more inspired by Shakespeare’s “All the world’s a stage,| And all the men and women merely players” (As You Like It, Act II, Scene VII) .

The family politics and matriarchal power dynamics in this short fiction are ones most likely being played out in homes across Britain even as I type this.  At one level, the plotline is a small almost invisible everyday drama. Yet it’s one that moulds the very

personalities of every character in the story and, by extension, wider society.  What can the young woman in this story do to change things? And what will happen if she does try to rock the existing structure?

Tradition and innovation

It might sound like an overly grand aim but in many ways literature as a whole is constructed on two principles brought to a head in this flash fiction – building upon the existing tradition while simultaneously reacting against and rocking it.

This brings me back not to ‘five’ but to ‘thrive’. As a poet, my most immediate response to the word ‘five’ is how close it is in sound terms to ‘thrive’. As words, these are similar yet different. As a writer what I strive for is to create pieces that are both similar (to real life, existing exemplars…) yet different (innovated, unique…). And, of course, yes, I also want my work to be strong, to thrive.

Five years of publishing is a strong stepping stone on thriving’s path. I hope this is a word that will keep resonating, both through my own writing and Arachne Press’s work ten, 15, 20 years from now.

Image: ‘Handling artistic imagination’ by S.A. Leavesley

Come to the 5th anniversary party!

Anniversaries, war and diaries #Arachne5

As part of our Arachne 5th Anniversary celebrations, we’ve asked all of our authors to come up with a blog, that might have something to do with writing or anniversaries. Some of them responded! This one is from Jill Sharp whose poems we published in The Other Side of Sleep and Shortest Day, Longest Night.

August 17th 1944

‘There are moments when I would give anything just to get into a car and drive home, saying I was fed up with the whole show and they could look for someone else to fill my job. The making of plans is child’s play as compared with putting them into execution.’

 

It may be the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love, but for me it’s been a summer of war, reading the edited WWII diaries of Alan Brooke. Brooke masterminded the very tricky retreat of the British Expeditionary Force to Dunkirk, and then oversaw Home Defence during 1940 when a Nazi invasion seemed imminent. For the last four and a half years of the war, he was at Churchill’s right hand day and (often) night, advising on military strategy as Chief of the Imperial General Staff.

The diary was written as a daily note to his wife back in Hampshire, about events at the decision-making hub in London, and became a safety-valve for a man experiencing almost unbearable stress and responsibility. Reading it, you’re closer to the uncertainty, fear and anxiety of the lived experience than any detached historical account can provide. It demonstrates the value of an immediate record, both as a historical source and also as an insight into the individual human psyche during momentous events.

I’ve been deeply impressed by Brooke – a man who managed to negotiate tricky human situations as well as military ones. It was a revelation to me how much skill was needed to steer Churchill and our American allies, let alone to devise overall military strategy.

Because the US had the greater number of allied forces in 1944, Brooke was passed over as Commander of Overlord in favour of Eisenhower. In his diary, he expresses deep frustration and concern at the American general’s often hesitant strategy, feeling the war in Europe could and should have been concluded that autumn, with a very different outcome for the political map of Europe.

March 5th 1945

‘Breakfast with Ike and another long talk with him. There is no doubt that he is a most attractive personality and, at the same time, a very, very limited brain from a strategic point of view… He only sees the worst side of Monty and cannot appreciate the better side… I see trouble ahead before too long.’

Brooke may have received all the official honours due to him, becoming Field Marshal Lord Alanbrooke. But this modest man, whose name, I feel, should stand as high as Nelson’s in our national consciousness, had to sell his beloved collection of bird books after the war, when his military pension was insufficient to support his family.

I’m grateful that Brooke finally agreed to make public what is a very private and personal document. So many similar texts are destroyed by their authors, out of consideration for their own reputations as well as others’. But what a unique form of writing a diary is, when it’s done with such non-self-regarding honesty.

Come to the 5th anniversary party!

The Old Woman from Friuli at Ealing – recording

Here’s a recording of The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts being read last week at West Ealing Library by Ghil’s daughter, Cherry.

The Old Woman is next being read at our 5th Anniversary celebrations at Manor House Library in Lee SE13 on 8th September at 6.30pm. This event is free, but ticketed.

Then at Shoreham Library as part of the Shoreham Word Fest on October 14th at 11 am where it will be read by Tash Fairbanks. This event is free.

#Arachne5 Anniversary celebrations

This is the hashtag we are using for the 5th birthday celebrations so if you post to Instagram or Tweet anything about our 5th, say #arachne5 as well! Ta.

(Hello all those people saying WHAT? I know, I feel the same, but we have to try to move with the times)

This is where we are having the party. Manor House Library. IN LEE SE13 5SY, not the North London Manor House!

6.30-9.30 8th September, which is the 5th anniversary of the publication of our first book, London Lies

If the weather is good, and I can find suitable outdoor light, we will be performing on those steps, and the audience will be picnicking on the grass, with chairs arrayed to the sides on the gravel.

If not we will be inside, in the main body of the library.

Current line up (Not in this order):

Poems from

Jeremy Dixon (The Other Side of Sleep and Liberty Tales), Reading from both titles
Sarah Lawson (The Other Side of Sleep, A Midsummer’s Night in the Garden) reading her poem from the Midsummer event last year
Kate Foley (The Other Side of Sleep, Liberty Tales, The Don’t Touch Garden), reading from The Don’t Touch Garden

Short Stories from

Ghillian Potts (The Old Woman From Friuli, Brat) – OWFF, read by an actor
Carolyn Eden (Liberty Tales) reading from Liberty Tales
Liam Hogan (London Lies, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed) reading from Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed
Nichol Wilmor (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies, Weird Lies), Reading from Weird Lies
Katy Darby (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies’, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night.) reading from London Lies
Cherry Potts (London Lies, Lovers’ Lies’, Liberty Tales, Shortest Day Longest Night, Mosaic of Air, The Dowry Blade) reading from Lovers’ Lies

Music from
Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd
Summer All Year Long

Get your free/ donation ticket here:

Eventbrite - Arachne Press 5th Anniversary Party

 

 

Our 5th Anniversary celebrations approach

Arachne Press is Celebrating our 5th Anniversary

Come to the FREE Party

Tickets for the party: eventbrite

Friday 8th September 2017 6.30-9.30pm

Readings of Poetry & Stories from (almost definitely)

Carolyn Eden (aka Carrie Cohen), Liam Hogan, Cherry Potts, Katy Darby, Kate Foley, Jeremy Dixon plus others

and Live Music from
Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd
Summer All Year Long

Manor House Library
34 Old Road
SE13 5SY

in the Garden if fine, else Indoors
Refreshments Available for a Modest Donation
Books on Sale – special offers

Tickets for the party: eventbrite

PLUS

We will be Touring a Retrospective Selection of Stories & Poems until December 2017

Starting at Archway With Words festival on 27th September at Archway Library.
If you would like to invite us to your bookshop, library, festival, live lit night, college, or school, get in touch

Special Offers on Books bought direct from our website (our first 5 titles at £5 each, plus other reductions)

Free Books available to Libraries (our first 5 titles available free to bona fide libraries – you just pay for delivery get in touch)

A three-year plan of new publications including new poetry collections from Jeremy Dixon, Kate Foley, Cathy Bryant

The remaining YA titles on the Brook Storyteller series from Ghillian Potts

A women only anthology in collaboration with Liars League to celebrate the anniversary of women getting the vote.

An anthology to commemorate the ending of WWI, provisionally entitled An Outbreak of Peace.

Possibles

a Story Sessions anthology – stories and poems by people who have taken part in Story Sessions who we haven’t already published.

A 5 poet anthology – exact inclusions to be confirmed, but people we have only so far published in anthologies

A 5 author story anthology – exact inclusions to be confirmed, but people we have only so far published in anthologies

Plus others including novels, still in consideration.

The next 3 Solstice Shorts Festivals will be: Dusk 21st December 2017, Dawn 21st December 2018 and Time & Tide 21st December 2019 (this one will be all day as it falls at the weekend)

 

Of course, none of this (apart from the party and the tour) will happen unless we get some funding, or you lot buy an awful lot of books!  So you can guess what we will be up to for the next couple of months.

 

REMINDER expressions of interest DUSK

You have until the 21st August to let us know you are interested!

We need venues (and people to help coordinate at them!), stories, poems, music.

https://arachnepress.submittable.com/submit

 

The Old Woman is in Ealing this weekend

Another outing for The Old Woman from Friuli!

Ghillian Potts‘ creation will continue her tour of London Libraries at West Ealing Library Melbourne Avenue, Ealing, W13 9BT

Reading by the author’s daughter & publisher Cherry Potts

Saturday 12th August 2pm Free

Suitable for everyone age of 5 and above

Books available for sale

In the meantime here’s Sarah Feathers reading the book at Osterley Library last month!

The Old Woman heads north

The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts will be read by actor Patsy Prince

At Stanmore Library, 8 Stanmore Hill, Stanmore, HA7 3BQ

on 8th July 2017 2pm FREE

Warning: Don’t try to get the better of someone from Friuli. Especially not a woman, and extra-especially not an Old Woman.

books available for sale

 

I loved this story.

… a clarion call to our daughters… Three cheers, I say!

[The Book Bag, 4 stars]

Call for expressions of interest – Dusk for Solstice Shorts 2017

It’s the summer solstice, and it’s National Writing Day, so as it is the longest day of the year you should absolutely be writing until at least 10pm tonight. With that in mind here is something to whet your appetite.

All of this is subject to our getting funding. We won’t know that for a while. We’ve been successful before, though.
This year’s Solstice Shorts Festival (21st December) once again falls on a weekday, so we are taking that SHORT thing and running the event between sunset (when the sun starts going down, and dusk when it’s good and gone. that’s a really short time frame, so we want to do multiple sites around the UK, starting wherever the sun goes down earliest and finishing where it disappears at the latest moment. with (probably) one song one story one poem at each venue, we hope with a live link up via live streaming of some kind.
WHAT WE ARE LOOKING FOR RIGHT NOW
Expressions of interest from writers, musicians AND venues – so essentially just a covering letter, saying who you are, what you’ve written/had published before, and what you might like to write in response to the theme, and MOST importantly, where you are.

submit

This will be a UK only call out this time because of the structure of what we have planned.

For absolute clarity, these are works suitable for performance: story, poem or song, and  as we often have submissions which are off theme, your work should in some way address DUSK. Interpret how you will, but if we can’t recognise a link to DUSK, your  work won’t get chosen… and please no death or dementia stories we’ve read SO many of those that no matter how wonderful, it’s a case of ‘not another one!’ Bleak is fine, just not those particularl kinds of bleak.

Starling Flock Dumfries Shutterstock/Erni

Successful stories & poems will be performed by actors, and will go forward to next year’s Dawn & Dusk anthology, for which royalties will be paid.
Musicians: we aren’t a recording company so we can’t offer anything on those lines, but if anyone who knows someone who can, put us in touch.
All Entries in English (or BSL for a story/poem) and your own unaided original and UNPUBLISHED work.
Songs: we would prefer the musicians among you to be able to perform at your most local venue yourselves (wherever that ultimately is).
ADDITIONAL heads up! We welcome stories/ poems from Deaf writers. If you want to submit in BSL you can send us a video. AVI, MP4, WMA, MOV. We also welcome entries from blind writers. You can submit using audio files. MP3 or WAV, as can musicians, when the time comes.

Send your expression of interest via SUBMITTABLE, communications received by any other route are likely to get lost, that’s why we pay submittable to manage these things. Thanks!

submit