Time and Tide Solstice Shorts 2019 call out

Solstice Shorts Festival 2019

To coincide with the launch (tonight) of Noon, the latest anthology of stories and poems from the festival, we announce the theme for this year.

Now in its 6th Year, Solstice Shorts Festival is once again being held on 21st December – and this year it’s a weekend, so we’ll be looking to fill an entire day (or at least noon to dusk) with short stories, poems and song.

The Theme:
It’s always about time – in the past we’ve done, Longest Night, Shortest Day, Dusk, Noon and just ‘Time’; but this year we are looking back, and picking up on a suggestion from the feedback from the very first festival.

This year our theme is

TIME and TIDE

We are looking for organisers and venues in port cities and towns – either on coasts or on tidal rivers. We already have organisers in London, Our Holyhead collaborators Cybi Poets are on board and we hope our Aberdeen collaborators Intuitive Music Aberdeen will be game for another year of Solstice activity too,  but we would also like to look beyond our own shores and go international, we are in discussion with people in Lisbon, Portugal – let’s see how far we can take the festival this year. [Don’t be shy – it doesn’t need to be a huge complicated thing – if the idea excites you, get in touch and we’ll talk you through it. Nor do you have to keep going all day!]

We are looking for stories poems and songs of making a living on or beside the water, and making new lives over the water so a particular interest in immigration, emigration, diaspora. We would like everything to have an historical slant (though that can be fairly recent history). There is a risk that this could develop a decidedly male voice so we would also like to pick up on the use of Time and Tide [wait for no man] as the title of the Suffragette magazine in the UK, and want to see lots of strong female characters and voices. We also want to see lots of strong BAME characters and voices, so spread the word to your female and BAME writing friends.

Your story/poem/song will be performed live by an actor (or you) at the festival – possibly on multiple sites. We try to live stream to Facebook (technology permitting). Subsequent publication in the anthology with royalties paid (this may include the lyrics of songs if appropriate.)

Maximum 2000 words regardless of fiction/poetry. Songs maximum 5 mins

Closing date 21st June 2019

Songs can be traditional or original, and in any language, provided you send us an English translation so we can tell if it’s appropriate, and need to be performed by their proposer/writer (unless you have someone who can do it for you), so songwriters/musicians need to be able to attend one of the venues.

Story/Poem writers can be from anywhere but your story must be in English or BSL.

We will only accept non-English works if they are linked to a confirmed venue, so hold fire on those until we’ve tied up that side of things, and they must be accompanied by an English translation. Deaf writers can submit a video, blind writers can submit audio files.

No horror/erotica/gratuitous or sexual violence. We mean it, don’t send it.

CLOSING DATE
23:59
21ST JUNE 2019

Happy International Women’s Day 2019

A quick name check of all our brilliant women writers, poets, short story authors and novelists.

Gosh, there are a lot of you aren’t there!

Alex Reece Abbott Alex Smith Alison Lock Alison Moore  Alison Willis  Angela Trevithick Anita Sethi Anna Fodorova A.J. Akoto Abigail Beckel Adrienne Silcock Alannah Egan Alice Tarbuck Alwyn Marriage Angela France Anne Elizabeth Bevan Anne Macaulay  Arike Oke Annabel Banks Alexandra Penland Arna Radovich Aisling Keogh Alison Gerhard  Anne Elizabeth Bevan Ash Lim

Bernie Howley Bridie Toft Bobbie Darbyshire Belinda Huang Barbara Renel

C T Kingston Cassandra Passarelli Caroline Hardman Carolyn Eden Cath Bore Catherine Sharpe Cherry Potts Cindy George Clare Owen Clare Sandling Cathy Bryant Clare Shaw
Corie Feiner Cath Holland Cathy Lennon C.A. Limina Catherine Jones Catriona Yule

Dizz Tate Diana Powell

Eileen Carney Hulme Elinor Brooks Elizabeth Parker Ellery Akers Emma Lee Ellen O’Neill Ellie Stewart  Emily Cleaver Emily Pedder  Emma Timpany Evleen Towey Elizabeth Hopkinson Elisabeth Simon Elizabeth Stott Elaine Hughes

Fiona Salter Frances Gapper

Ghillian Potts Gabrielle Choo Geraldine Green

Helen Morris Helen Slavin

Ilora Choudhury

Jane Aldous Jennifer A. McGowan Jill Sharp Joan Leotta Judi Sutherland Jackie Taylor Jacqueline Downs Jessica Lott Joan Taylor-Rowan J. A. Hopper, Julia Kent,  Jennifer Rickard, Jenny Ramsay, Joanne L. M. Williams, Jayne Buxton Jess Kilby Jasmin Kirkbride Jane Roberts

Karen Bovenmyer Karina Lutz Kate Foley Kate Wise Katie Evans Katy Lee Kelly Davis Katerina Watson Katy Darby Kirsty Fox Karen Ankers Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier

Laila Sumpton Laura Page Lindsay Reid Laura Martz Laura Williams Lee Nash Lily Peters Louise Swingler Lucy Grace Lucy Smith Laura Besley Lucy Ribchester

Mandy Macdonald Maria Kyle Mi L Holliday Michelle Shine Marlee Cox
Megan E. Freeman Michelle Penn Melaina Barnes Maja Bodenstein Máire Malone Miriam Sorrentino Marika Josef Marka Rifat

Natalie Gasper Ness Owen Nina Murray

Pat Tompkins Paula Read Pauline Walker Peng Shepherd Penny Pepper Pippa Gladhill Polly Hall Patty Tomsky Patricia McCaw Patience Mackarness

Rebecca Gould Rebecca J Payne Rebecca Skipwith Rosalind Stopps Robin Winckel-Mellish Rosamund Davies Rachael McGill Reshma Ruia Roppotucha Greenberg

Sarah Deckro Sarah Lawson Sherry Morris Sarah Tait Sarah James Swati Khurana Sara Elgerot Susan Cartwright-Smith Steph Thompson Sue Birchenough Sarah-Clare Conlon Shamini Sriskandarajah Su Yin Yap

Tania Hershman

Uschi Gatward

Wes Lee Wendy Gill

Noon Launch Info

There are THREE NOON Book Launches

On 21st March 2019:
5-6pm CORK Waterstones 69 Patrick Street, Cork free Facebook event
Organised by Anne Elizabeth Bevan who will be reading with friends:

Mother Hand, Karen Ankers
Toast Crumbs, Karen Boissonneault-Gauthier
Veranda, Clare Shaw
Farewell My Father, Anne Elizabeth Bevan
Moon Jellyfish, Ness Owen
Fire at Midday, Susan Cartwright-Smith

AND
7-9pm GREENWICH Stephen Lawrence Gallery 10 Stockwell Street London SE10 9BD free facebook event
Organised by us.

Authors reading:

Precarious, Michelle Penn
Still No Name, Marika Josef
#Noon, Su Yin Yap
Veranda, Clare Shaw
After Hours, Stuart McKenzie
and possibly more.
There will be cake

and on 29 March 2019

17:30-18:30 Aberdeen Blackwell’s Aberdeen 99 High Street, AB24 3EN free: Facebook event
Organised by Intuitive Music Aberdeen who are also providing music

Moon Jellyfish by Ness Owen read by Marka Rifat
On the First Calculation of the Circumference of the Earth
by Alison Gerhard read by Haworth Hodgkinson
Pocket Watch written and read by Catriona Yule
High Noon written and read by Marka Rifat
Noon Talk by Graham Burchell read by Haworth Hodgkinson
Sun Beats over New Orleans by Natalie Gasper read by Catriona Yule
Arthur Streeton Advises his Students by Mandy Macdonald read by Marka Rifat
Mother Hand by Karen Ankers read by Catriona Yule
Unleashed by Paul Foy read by Marka Rifat
An Autumn Noon by Ian Grosz read by Haworth Hodgkinson
I am not Beautiful at Noon by Elinor Brooks read by Catriona Yule

It would be really great if there was standing room only (again) so if you’d like to come, make yourself known on the Facebook events or contact us

 

Happy Saint David’s Day /Dydd Gŵyl Dewi

It’s St David’s Day, so let’s celebrate our Welsh/Wales-based writers

Jeremy Dixon (In Retail, Liberty Tales, The Other Side of Sleep)

Nicholas McGaughey (Dusk, An Outbreak of Peace, Noon, Story Cities)

Karen Ankers (Noon)

Gareth Culshaw (Noon)

Diana Powell (Noon)

Ness Owen (Mamiaith, An Outbreak of Peace, Noon, Dusk, Shortest Day Longest Night)

We are publishing Ness Owen’s first collection of poems, Mamiaith on 8th August.

The Title means Mother Tongue and the collection is partially bilingual, because when the manuscript arrived, and there were several poems about the Welsh language, my first question was, why aren’t these in Welsh?

Ness is of an age that she was not taught in Welsh in school but in English, so that Welsh was effectively taught as a foreign language. Although she is a native speaker, she is unconfident of the fine detail fo writing in Welsh. After some discussion we agreed that if she could find someone to help, at least some of the poems should be in both languages.

That help was supplied by Sian Northey in the main, but also Iona Evans.

Mamiaith
Pwy wnaeth ddwyn y geiriau
o geg fy mam a’u taflu yn
ôl ataf mewn darnau sy’n
disgyn i’w lle yn fy mhen ond
yn gwrthod disgyn ar bapur?
Fel perthynas annisgwyl, yn dal
ag ogla capal, yn twt-twtio yn
fy nghlust, ysgwyd ei phen
a thrio fy neud yn ddiarth i fy
eitifeddiaeth.
Wyrion y ‘Not’ pryd nawn ni
dorri’r cortyn? Sut nawn ni
ddweud ein stori yn yr iaith fain?
Yn baglu ac ymddiheuro
dan ni’n anadlu Mamiaith
yn barod am chwyldro
ond yn gwybod y bydd ein
hysgrifen yn ein bradychu.

 

Mamiaith
Stolen from my mother’s
mouth, thrown back to me
in pieces that fit so neatly
inside my head but will
not fall onto the page.
Like an uninvited relation
still smelling of chapel
she tuts in my ear, shakes
her head, tries to make
me a stranger to what’s
already mine.
Grandchildren of the Not
When will we break the chord?
How do we tell our story in
a thin language? Tongue-tied
excusing our way through
we breath in Mamiaith
waiting to be unearthed
always knowing our
pen will betray us.

 

 

New review of Vindication on London Grip

Over on London Grip Carla Scarano has reviewed Vindication at length  https://londongrip.co.uk/2019/02/vindication/

a compelling collection… captivating prosody… sharp irony … fresh, thought-provoking… clear riveting lines…  The poems collected in the anthology form an absorbing analysis condensing some major issues in the vindication of women’s rights since Mary Wollstonecraft. They are a tribute commemorating women’s past sufferings and perseverance, and they point to present commitment to an ongoing fight.

In Retail customer feedback

The launch of Jeremy Dixon‘s poetry collection, In Retail seems to have met management guidelines for a successful promotion, we hope to bring you photos and video shortly, but as these were outsourced from Arachne’s web, to local operatives, I can’t tell you exactly when.

Don’t forget, for the whole of February you can get special offers on our other LGBT books when you buy In retail, check out the second page of our Special offers

In the meantime, we’ve been getting some feedback over on our shop page, with universal 5 star reviews. (Of course, these are all from people who pre-ordered, so we can assume they were quite keen in the first place) but you can now not only buy a copy from us direct, but leave your thoughts afterwards, like these lovely folk.

Jeremy’s poems are like stars in a bleak landscape, beautiful, funny and life affirming
Jane A. Verified buyer February 11, 2019

A warm, witty, and observant little collection. Well done, Jeremy !
Alan D. Verified buyer January 25, 2019

Arrived much quicker than I was expecting – and what a treat it was. Perfect purchase!
Rob W. Verified buyer January 23, 2019

Love it
Heather W. Verified buyer January 18, 2019

What a great little book, brilliantly observed with laugh out loud moments. Highly recommended
Celia D. Verified buyer January 16, 2019

I loved this book.  The poems give a humorous insight into the trials and tribulations of working in a retail shop. Love it!
Mrs C. Verified buyer December 23, 2018

By the way, there is ONE pre-order badge left. first to order gets it.

There’s lovely.

It’s all go… new books!

It’s a busy day: just sent the files for Math JonesThe Knotsman to the printer, and confirmed the launch: Wednesday 10th April 7.30 at Nell of Old Drury (this link is quite flakey you might find their Facebook page easier) 29 Catherine Street, Covent Garden, London WC2B 5JS

just TAKEN DELIVERY of Noon… (launch(es) still being tied down, but expect Aberdeen London and possibly Cork)

and tomorrow is the launch in Wales, of Jeremy Dixon‘s In Retail.

 

 

 

Happy LGBT History Month 2019

To celebrate LGBT history month we are publishing Jeremy Dixon‘s In Retail on the 7th February.

These poems were written on the back of till rolls and smuggled off the shop floor of a well-known pharmacy in Jeremy’s socks. They chart the absurdities of being a member of staff in retail (most of us have been there at some point), and the cultural take that being a queer poet gives to the experience.

00/13

the in-store radio is on a major seventies kick
after an advert for Snoxin anti-wrinkle serum
You Make Me Feel (Mighty Real) starts

replaying a dark corner of the youth club
where I dance by myself to Sylvester
unable to resist that immaculate beat

compelled to leave the false safety
of a line of canvas chairs
failing to see what is apparent

to everyone else
watching me

punched the length of the pool table

Jeremy is launching the book in his local village hall on the outskirts of Cardiff. The very village hall where THAT youth club was held.

There’s progress for you.

Further events in Cardiff 7th March and Bristol 1st June

To mark LGBT history month we are giving you the opportunity to buy our other LGBT titles for half price when you buy In Retail. (Mosaic of Air is already half price so there’s just a small further reduction there)

In Retail + Outcome (photographic portraits by Tom Dingley)

In Retail + Mosaic of Air (short stories by Cherry Potts)

In Retail + The Dowry Blade (Fantasy Novel by Cherry Potts)

In Retail + A Gift of Rivers (Poetry by Kate Foley)

In Retail + Foraging (Poetry by Joy Howard)

In Retail + The Don’t Touch Garden (Poetry by Kate Foley)

 

New review of Erratics over at The Lake

Cracking review by David Mark Williams of Cathy Bryant‘s Erratics  over on The Lake

Bryant is given to firing from the hip, the poems barely containing at times the incandescent exuberance of what she is driven to express.

and an interview on Wombwell Rainbow

You can buy a copy of Erratics here!

First review for In Retail

Review on London Grip ‘subversively humorous’

Thanks for understanding the design, Emma Lee!

You can preorder here, and get a free badge, we have a couple left.