And now for some GOOD News

We could all do with some cheer in the bleak days of January, especially this year, so courtesy of Arts Council England, we are here to do just that.

We are the proud and happy recipients of a £45,000 grant from Arts Council England

This will pay for our next ten books, and (drum roll) audio books! Which means we can smack Covid on the nose by providing another way to enjoy our books without leaving home, and provide some work to actors who aren’t allowed into a theatre just now. I’m anticipating it will also be huge fun. Putting the plans together now with our audiobook partner Listening Books

Thanks to everyone who gave us their thoughts on whether this was the right way to go. It’s one of the fastest growing sectors in literature, but it’s tough to get right, and harder still to market, so the funding will also pay for …

A part-time marketing person, and a (separate) part-time admin person for a few months, so that I can concentrate on finding and supporting new writers and guest editors. We will be advertising these posts very soon. They will be remote working, so if you think that could be you, start polishing your CV, but don’t send anything until you see the advertisment please!

The Books

The books that are being supported by the ACE grant are:

This Poem Here – Poetry collection by Rob Walton (Just the audio book, as we’ve already done the rest)

Zed and the Cormorants -YA Novel by Clare Owen, illustrated by Sally Atkins. We are talking to Sophie Aldred about reading the audio book)

100neHundred -100 x 100 word stories by Laura Besley

Incorcisms -short, strange tales by David Hartley

Accidental Flowers -Novel in short stories by Lily Peters

Strange Waters -Short Story Collection by Jackie Taylor

Jackie

A Voice Coming from Then – Poetry collection (illustrated with collages) by Jeremy Dixon

An Anthology of poems and short fiction from UK based Deaf writers (no title yet) edited by Lisa Kelly and A N Other

Lisa

An Anthology of poems and short stories from UK based Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic Writers (no title yet) edited by Laila Sumpton and Sandra A. Agard

Solstice Shorts 2021 Anthology (provisional theme: time is running out but we’ll come up with a better title!)

Solstice Shorts Festival Arts Council Funding confirmed

Phew! After a bit of a false start when one of the match funders went silent and we had to go back to the Arts Council with a revised budget, today, we got confirmation that the money is finding it way through the labyrinth of the banking system into our bank account. NOW I can really get my teeth into organising! Zipidee-doo-dah, Zippidee-ay! Calloo Callay! etc. etc.

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Solstice Shorts Festival is happening!

We’ve got our funding offer from The Arts Council, and we got our crowd funding, and several donations from private individuals, so we are just waiting to hear from our final match-funder.

We are working on the basis that they WILL fund us, or if they don’t, we will find the remaining money somehow, somewhere. So we are gearing up for the whole shebang, starting with the competition to find 12 NEW stories on the theme of time.

So WRITERS: starting tomorrow, Sunday 21st September (autumn equinox – we do love a theme) the competition is open. You can find the guidelines and the link to the submission platform on our Solstice Shorts Page. The competition CLOSES 31st October.

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