100neHundred Blog Tour

With are delighted to launch the blog tour for 100neHundred by Laura Besley.

Out on 27 May, 100neHundred is a collection of 100 stories, each of 100 words. A man carries his girlfriend in the left-hand breast pocket of his shirt. During World War II, a young soldier searches the houses and barns of the families with whom he grew up. An astronaut wonders whether she can adapt to life back on earth. This is a moving, funny, powerful collection of microfiction.

Laura said “The more micro fiction I write, the more I love it: the challenge of piecing together what I want to convey in as few words as possible and the absolute joy when it works. I’m extremely excited about the launch of 100neHundred, hoping that people will enjoy reading my tiny tales as much as I enjoyed writing them.”

Follow the blog tour on the schedule above to read reviews of 100neHundred, plus guest posts from Laura Besley, an Author Q and A and some exclusive extracts of stories from the collection. 

Find all the content from the blog tour here too (updated daily):

  1. So much of life is packed into these stories, precious moments and sad ones, humour and grief, gorgeous nuggets of hope and stinging barbs of hurt.” Read Ellie Hawkes’ beautiful review of 100neHundred here.
  2. Read ‘Lowest Ebb’ – one of the stories from 100neHundred – in an exclusive feature on Idle Ink.
  3. One of the things I love most about short fiction is the invitation to experiment.” Read Laura Besley’s guest blog post for Popshot Magazine.
  4. “Laura has created beautiful snapshots, each one alive with precision and emotion. Each story excels in its originality, each one a complete tale, each carefully crafted without a word to spare.” Read an excellent review of 100neHundred – and an exclusive story extract- on Book Bound.
  5. Read @tillylovesbooks’ instagram review of 100neHundred
  6. “The main thing that went into 100neHundred was time.” Laura Besley talked to Elizabeth M. Castillo for an author Q and A.
  7. “…like savouring a perfect little tipple at the end of a stressful day.” Zoe’s Book Nook gives 100neHundred 5 stars.
  8. “With this collection I soon lost track of how many ‘wows’ I was uttering…” Laura Besley credits Morgen Bailey’s 100 word story competition with her interest in micro-fiction. Read Morgen’s review of 100neHundred here.
  9. “This collection of micro flash fiction is possibly the perfect read for the moment, as we all grapple with the changing pace of life.” For Book’s Sake reviewed 100neHundred on Instagram.

100neHundred Blog Tour Banner Image

Zed and the Cormorants Blog Tour

Schedule showing the dates for the Zed and the Cormorants blog tour

With less than a week to go until publication, we are really excited to launch the blog and instagram tour for Zed and the Cormorants, with the first post going live tomorrow on @a_never_ending_story.

Zed and the Cormorants is a page-turning gothic mystery and contemporary coming-of-age story rolled into one. Perfect for readers aged 12-15, it is the debut novel by Clare Owen.

Zed’s family have moved from London to a village in Cornwall. Dad says they need a fresh start but nobody has asked Zed what she thinks. Maybe their new home will help with Mum’s depression and keep Amy, Zed’s sister, away from her drop-out boyfriend, but why does it have to be so remote?

Why has the boathouse at the bottom of the garden been locked up for seventy years? Why do the birds living by the estuary fill Zed with such dread? And WHAT do they want?

Follow the blog tour on the schedule above to read reviews of Zed and the Cormorants, guest posts from Clare Owen and even some Zed-inspired recipes. Plus, we will be sharing some exclusive content from the book!

Follow all the content from the blog tour here too:

  1. @a_never_ending_story gives Zed and the Cormorants 8/10
  2. Check out @bookslovereader’s beautiful Instagram review of Zed and the Cormorants
  3. Read Clare Owen’s guest post “Why I chose to write YA” on Whispering Stories blog and listen to an exclusive extract of the Zed and the Cormorants audiobook
  4. In just over 180 pages, Claire Owen has crafted a deep and haunting story which covers a range of important topics” says @magnifying_reader
  5. The gothic genre being entwined with the young adult genre made this book really interesting and enjoyable… I think it is a book every school library should stock!” Read Emma Suffield’s full review
  6. “Have you ever read a book and instantly wanted to recreate a tasty treat that was briefly mentioned?” @acupofwonderland created a Zed and the Cormorants themed #bookishbake
  7. “Let me just say that the Rebecca comparison? Spot on!” Dark Heart Books calls Zed and the Cormorants atmospheric, fun and a joy to read
  8. Zed and the Cormorants was a magical, mystical read that had me longing for more.” Read the review on Amy’s Bookish Life
  9. For our final blog tour review, Lucy Jakes give Zed and the Cormorants 4/5, loving the “simultaneously claustrophobic and magical setting” and “creepy cormorants”
Promotional image showing Zed and the Cormorants book cover and blog tour dates (24 April - 2 May)

Hither Green Festival Video 2 – The audience join in

More from our Women & SciFi/Fantasy evening for Hither Green Festival.

The audience put in their comments and recommendations. Call out for Naomi Novik and the Temeraire series

 

Solstice Shorts Video: In the Gloaming

In the Gloaming, short story by David Mathews, read by Patsy Prince, and accompanied by Sarah Lloyd. BSL interpretation by Paul Michaels. The tunes played by Sarah are Neil Gow’s Lament and Bella Napoli.

This, and all the other stories and poems performed at the Solstice Shorts Festival are available in the book Shortest Day, Longest Night

A Lovely Review of London Lies from Sabotage

We have another, excellent, review from Sabotage.

Hilights include:

As someone who was born and brought up in London, and has lived there for the best part of 26 years, it would have been easy to take it somewhat personally if this collection had in any way failed to deliver. Luckily, this is one of the most enjoyable story collections I’ve had the pleasure of reading in several years

In some ways, the consistently high quality of London Lies makes it difficult to review. Every time I have sat down to start writing, I’ve wanted to highlight different stories…

you can read the whole thing here

Incidentally, the reviewer quibbles gently about diversity, but she seems not to have read Cherry Potts’ Leaving which does redress the balance somewhat. Also, David Bausor’s story, O Happy Day! is confused with Katy Darby’s Keep Calm and Carry On; but we’re very happy that Sabotage liked our London stories so much.

Forest Hill Library Cityread – the video

A well attended event, about a dozen enthusiastic folk, only one of whom we already knew! thank you to Alan and Paolo for their excellent marketing.

Appropriately for a Forest Hill gig, we started the evening with Peter Morgan’s Mr Forest Hill Station, about an eccentric and seemingly eternally youthful man only ever seen in the station’s environs.

Moving one stop north we encountered Rosalind Stopps’ story of aging romantic angst in How to Grow Old in Brockley.

Over (or should it be under) the river we stopped off at Shoreditch for Katy Darby’s drug-and-ego fuelled tale of Bafta wannabe’s The Horror, the Horror.

And our furthest point north, Hoxton brought us Caroline Hardman’s story of a vampire completely out of his depth.

Submit to Arachne Press

Ok, we’ve had enough with the enquiries. We weren’t going to open submissions until the end of the month, but due to popular demand they are now open, but only until the end of MAY. So that’s your window – or possibly letterbox?

Read the GUIDELINES and get in touch, we are really interested, and excited, wondering what you have in store for us.

Writing on the Move Writing Workshop

the

old vinyl

factory

1st June 1-4 pm. A walk and site-specific workshop for writers of all levels of experience. Come and explore The Old Vinyl Factory site in Hayes
Blyth Road
Hayes
UB3 1HA

The factory was home to EMI from the 1900’s right through to the 1970’s, though most of the buildings date from the 20’s: everything from Caruso to The Beatles was pressed here.

Compare old and new, derelict and refurbished, crowded and empty, sound and silence. Use the site as inspiration for writing. Work with all your senses to develop atmosphere, character and plot – we might even throw in some music.

There will be a brief introduction  in the  Vinyl Lounge:vinyl

Followed by a guided walk (roughly 45 minutes) around the interior of the refurbished Shipping building (including archive exhibition)  and the currently derelict Cabinet building; and the exterior of the power house (if weather fair). Followed by a two-hour writing workshop back in the colourful Vinyl Lounge.

Workshop run by Cherry Potts, author of Mosaic of Air and Tales Told Before Cockcrow, editor of Stations, co-editor of London Lies and Lovers’ Lies, and owner of Arachne Press.

Bring a notebook suitable for make notes in on the move, and pens. More technically advanced writing gear is welcome once we settle in for the workshop, but might not be suitable while we are walking.

cabinet interior 2Caution: Some walking surfaces in the derelict areas are very uneven with varying surface materials, and there are one or two steps and thresholds to get over, and other potential tripping hazards. Sensible shoes essential! If you have mobility issues please get in touch before booking.

Part of the Hillingdon ArtsWeek. Booking essential as places are limited. £14. tickets from: Compass Theatre

Ample parking on site, Hayes & Harlington Station 10-15min walk. Buses locally.

London Lies Flash Fiction Winner

Firstly, thank you to our three authors for taking part, and thanks also to the more than 500 people who voted.

And the results are (in reverse order)

Runners Up:
Chris House (untitled, but refered to here as Shaggy Dog) 1.09%
Janis Pegrum Smith (Claim to Fame)  35.4%

And the clear winner:
Viv Cooper (Screaming)  63.5%

Congratulations Viv. If you would all like to contact us with your addresses we will post your copy of London Lies or your London Liar badge to you.

the winning entry is repeated here for those of you who missed it.

Screaming

The boy was spoilt. You could tell that straight away. His dad told everyone how bored he got, how bright he seemed, how gifted he was.

He was unbearable. At the riverside café where we sat, he was noisily re-enacting the Iraq War. When the food was finally brought, he shouted for bigger burgers, fizzier pop.

He was running down the stone steps to the Thames. He’d tired of planning the Third World War and was now splashing into the water, calling out to his parents to look, look, look!

And he was screaming, probably because there was no one now he could pretend to bomb.

Then the screams became words.

“There’s a shark! Mom, there’s a shark in here!”

He screamed with the full force of his lungs. He screamed to make the sky echo. He screamed to make the clouds shiver. Heads turned to look at the child-rippled water; tongues clicked in disapproval at the irresponsible parents.

“What a liar!” people muttered. “There are no sharks in the Thames.”

Oblivious, the loving mother brought her camera to the water’s edge and filmed her brave son.

Oblivious, the loving father smirked proudly.

The boy screamed. He screamed to make the river cower. He screamed to make the birds cry.

Still the mother filmed. Still the father smirked.

The dark water was the first warning. From up in the café, onlookers could see the change in the colours, hear the difference in his screams. Through a viewfinder though, sounds that should terrify seem entertaining; colours that should alarm look artistic.

Only a sudden silence could pierce the proud parental insouciance, could make the mother stop filming.

It was only then that they realised that their lovely, clever, noisy son had not just been screaming but, weed-mangled and reed-pinioned, drowning.
© Viv Cooper

Stations Advanced Copies have Arrived!