#Arachne5 more thank yous

I’ve scheduled this to go live as we start our 5th Anniversary celebrations.

It’s a complex business starting and running a publishing house. People contribute crucial things at crucial moments and sometimes it isn’t until you look back you realise – if that hadn’t happened…

So thank you to all the people who do things without knowing and without being asked, or are so enthusiastic when asked I get over my own doubts and plough on – I’m bound to have missed someone, but here are most of the brilliant people who helped us get started and/or keep Arachne ticking over.

Bartle Sawbridge for introducing me to WooA Writing group something like eight years ago, giving me the structure to start taking my own writing seriously again, and for the rest of the members of WooA at the time, (Joan, Rosalind, David, Anna, Clare, Hilary) for being ace writers and getting me thinking (without saying anything to them) that we jointly needed a publisher, and also for introducing me to Liars’ League.

Liars’ League for being a bottomless cauldron of talent into which I dipped to find the writers for our first book, and especially thank you to Katy Darby for saying exactly the right thing when I approached her about it. If she hadn’t, this would have stayed a pipe dream, and also for co-editing and general cheerleading.

 

On the professional front, everyone at Inpress for not just doing what they set out to, in persuading bookshops to stock our books, but also providing all kinds of opportunities to explore the world of publishing through conferences and fairs made possible and affordable due to their bargaining chops.

Everyone at TJ International for producing such wonderful quality books in particular John Rance, for that first phone call (‘these are the questions you don’t know you need to ask us’) and being so approachable and reasonable and human!

Sabotage Reviews for the most reviews from any one source, and awarding us Best Anthology back in 2014. That plastic star thing is still sitting on the shelf above my desk.

All our Arachne Friends especially David, Jacquie, Pippa, Trefor, and Alison for their support.

Our supporters big and small on various crowdfunds especially Jonathan and Russell

and of course Arts Council England who have funded us twice.

And our authors and artists for coming up with inspired rewards for crowdfunds, especially Inua, Kevin Jill, Pippa and Jeremy.

On the maverick front…All the people who said YES when I came up with what felt like daft ideas, everyone at Lewisham Libraries (literally dozens of them, everyone has got involved and supported us), but particularly Alan Morrison, and Joan Redding (ex Lewisham, now at Carillion) who probably said yes (or more accurately, let’s do it) more than anyone in the known universe, and everyone at Better Libraries in Greenwich, particularly Rebecca Gediking (‘Of course we’ll open the Library at 7am on a Sunday’) and Debra Sullivan (‘This is what Libraries are for’), and many other libraries and librarians especially Gaynor Lynch Foley at RBKC. Greenwich University for a spectacular launch week for Outcome, especially Sarah Creech. Zoltan Abbot at Brockley Deli and Father Bates at St Hildas and Stuart Morriss at Misty Moon for hosting some pretty strange events without batting an eyelid. Dennis Harrison at Albion Beatnik for the most consistent hoster of events outside London. And of Course, V22 (Becca, Simon) for hosting tonight’s PARTY!

My dear friend Michele, who steps in and helps whenever she can and never flaps when things go pear-shaped.

All the other stepper-in-ers, especially Laura, Helen, Birgitta, Tessa, Judith, Catriona, Mark, Bartle, Stuart.

Another great friend, Muireann, for eagle-eyed proofing and cheeky margin comments, and regular company at supper on a Monday. Arachne would be a poorer item altogether without her.

Carrie and Wendy for batting ideas about, practical help with storage and logistics, and offering to be a formal advisory group.

Irena Hill for brilliant networking (she knows everyone) and idea thrashing.

Russell Potts (my dad) for vital help when needed, and telling me he’s proud.

And finally, just in case she thinks I haven’t noticed or don’t appreciate it, Alix, the best woman in the world, who comes to events she doesn’t want to come to (and doesn’t let it show), shares the driving on long hauls, fits holidays around festivals, sings with the choir, does front-of-house, staffs bookstalls and even reads for us. Arachne has a huge impact on her life, and wouldn’t exist if she wasn’t such a positive life force.

Here she is doing everything…

Launching the Old Woman From Friuli and Brat at Eltham Library – video

I can’t tell you what a buzz it is to launch books in the Library where I spent great chunks of my childhood. Although there is an enormous centre out the back and the main body of the library is unrecognisable, the space we were reading in is the actual children’s library that I worked my way round book by book possibly three times before getting access to the adult books several years before I was entitled to. Thank you Eltham Library! (for then and now).

Brat cover by Gordy Wright

 

Carrie Cohen did us proud, reading from both books, Ghillian Potts talked to the children from Holy Family School, who asked really interesting questions about writing, and Gordy Wright, the cover designer for BRAT came all the way from Bristol to help us celebrate.

Here are some pictures of Carrie, and Ghillian, with a rapt audience.

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Video of Carrie reading the opening of BRAT

And some video snippets from The Old Woman From Friuli (Children kept popping up indentifiably so we couldn’t use all the video!)

and just for fun, a ringing endorsement from Carrie

Carrie is reading for us again at Deptford Lounge 1st July at 11am, and Lisa Rose will read at Stanmore Library 8th July 2pm.

 

Liberty Tales launch recordings and Human Rights Day

Our next reading event for Liberty Tales is at North Kensington Library, appropriately on Human Rights Day, Saturday 10th December at 2pm.

To get you in the mood, here are some snippets of recordings from the LAUNCH of Liberty Tales (I know, everything out of order.)

Alison Lock Dog’s Life

Anna Fodorova Fruit of the Sea read by Carrie Cohen

David Guy The King and the Light read by Cliff Chapman

Bernie Howley The Privilege of Departure or Dover Bound but Delayed

Cherry Potts Knitting for Demons

Carolyn Eden Free White Towel

Jeremy Dixon Flax, San Francisco and Pearls Over Shanghai

Katy Darby Character Study

 

Liberty Tales coming up

7pm 18th June 2015

West Greenwich Library, Greenwich High Road, SE10 8NN

Cotton Augustus II.106When we first had the idea for Liberty Tales, (chance meeting at Canada Water Station, it’s a long story) we thought we would be celebrating 800 years of Magna Carta, with, perhaps some historical fiction, and some rousing songs

Well, no, not exactly.

That’s the fun of an open call, you get what you get; and what we got in response to the call out for stories about Liberty, was mostly about living outside the system, and self-expression and choice; and the songs have turned out to be about making things work by not judging others, and working together to get the bright fair future, although they fit surprisingly well with the stories – you’d almost think we planned it!

So we’ve called in some favours to vary the flavour, and now have a rather bleak piece of fantasy, and a story about very much being IN the system…

Our  line up of stories are from:

Liam Hogan The King’s Computer

Carolyn Eden (aka Carrie Cohen, when she reads for us) Promotional Samples of London Town

Jim Cogan Lag

Helen Morris Poppies (read by Carrie Cohen)

Nick Rawlinson Into the Blue (read by Stuart Crossman)

Sarah Evans Bothered (read by Carrie Cohen)

Owen Townend Stopped by a Busker (read by Stuart Crossman)

Thanks to our friends at Better Libraries for hosting us!