On to the just audio now, in our records of the anniversary party, having forgotten the spare battery for the camera (grr)
There is a tiny bit of video from Carrie Cohen:
In which the world goes to hell in a hand cart and there are no more Catherine Cookson novels…
With the 5th Anniversary celebrations heading into view I was thinking about the thank you speech, and like the Oscars it is in danger of going on, and on. And on. So I thought I’d blog it instead, a section at a time. So I’ve been catching up with authors past and present in the course of the fifth anniversary planning to ask what they are up to now, (not that I don’t know in some cases) because after all, without them there would BE no Arachne Press.
as they were…
Cherry Potts Running Arachne gets in the way of much writing, but I’ve managed to squeeze a story into most of the anthologies, and publish a collection and a novel, and had several stories published elsewhere.
Emily Pedder I recently set up an editorial consultancy, The Book Edit offering editorial advice and developmental edits to writers of fiction and non-fiction.
Liam Hogan My two stories published in London Lies in 2012 were my first to find their way into print, quite a lot has happened since! I’m now in over forty anthologies, ranging from Alice in Wonderland to Sci-Fi steampunk. Full list here I even snuck a story into NewCon Press’s Best of British Science Fiction 2016, and, of course, this year Arachne published my collection of twisted fantasy, Happy Ending Not Guaranteed. Here’s to what the next five years may bring!
As part of the run up to our 5th anniversary we will be highlighting our first five books (Available for £5 from the shop.)
Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.
Starting with London Lies
Our very first book! We thought we’d be able to get it out in time for the Olympics (this was 2012) and sell thousands to tourists eager for something with London in the title (how naive we were). We managed to get the book out in time for the Paralympics but couldn’t persuade the bookshop at Stratford to stock it. We did all right though.
We launched London Lies at the London Review bookshop with readings from Carrie Cohen, Bertie Carvel, Danielle Fenemore, Greg Page and Phil Mulryne, the start of an ongoing and fruitful relationship with Carrie and Greg in particular – they are reading for us at Shoreham Word Festival in October!
From the mean streets of Hackney to sleepy South London suburbs, from boho Bloomsbury to City wine bars, London Lies is a tour of the capital as you’ve never seen it before. What happens when a girl on her way to work is propositioned by a frog? When a man breaks into London Zoo to fight a hippo? When nuclear bombs fall on a future London, when the rats rise up to rule us or – most terrifying of all – when Scrabble goes bad?
Londonist review ‘…nearly had us snivelling on a commuter train.’ ‘…each has a distinctive voice and a point to make. Perfect for reading in bite-sized chunks on the way around town.’
Sabotage Review ‘…this is one of the most enjoyable story collections I’ve had the pleasure of reading in several years.’ ‘…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.’
Moving from 1930s Camden to a Royal Wedding “riot”, via football fights, office steeplechases and awkward dates in art galleries, London Lies is a bizarre, funny, moving and sometimes unnerving glimpse into the secret life of the city we all love and know … or do we?
Here’s just a taste of a cornucopia of readings from the book, by authors and actors.
There are many more. shove London Lies video into the search at the top of the page to find them!
I’m going to be spending the morning editing all references to the lovely Weird Lies on the website to AWARD WINNING Weird Lies, because, ladies, gentleman and aliens… WE WON!!
Our award, and the one won by our dear friends Liars’ League snuggle up for a proud photo.A Big thank you to Sabotage Reviews for their brilliant organisation and for their reviews, and for putting on the awards in the first place.
So what does it all mean, apart from the warm glow and the little star thingy and the aforementioned editing of the website?
It means that a lot of people like what we do – the award is by public vote (THANK YOU everyone who nominated and voted for us, you are lovely, lovely people).
It might mean it’s easier to get books into bookshops, and sold – you might think that creativity is its own reward, but we all need to eat.
It might mean we get more gigs for our readings – speaking of – TONIGHT you can hear lovely Liars’ League actors Tony Bell, Silas Hawkins, Carrie Cohen, Sean Patterson, Lisa Rose and Sarah Feathers reading from AWARD WINNING* Weird Lies, and it’s equally terrific stable fellow, Lovers’ Lies, at Misty Moon, where we will also be PREVIEWING the animated trailer (by upcoming animator Nick Page) for our next book, Devilskein & Dearlove. I will say nothing more, other than it’s ACE (Misty Moon aficionados, yes that is what I mean.)
(* wondering how long it will take to get bored with typing that)
It was an excellent event, which kept the energy going all afternoon and all evening, with live readings from all sorts of poets and authors, including London Lies author and Oxford local, Emily Cleaver.
A BIG thank you to everyone I forgot to thank last night, I hadn’t written a speech, so it was very off the cuff.
And a very big thank you to all the writers, in AWARD WINNING Weird Lies and all the other books, you are all brilliant.
And an especially big thank you to Alix, who turns out for almost every live event and does front-of-house so brilliantly. For someone who said she didn’t want to be involved, she does an epic amount, and it wouldn’t happen without her.
We had a capacity crowd at Review bookshop for our PLF event: here are some videos of the readings and an audio file of the Q&A.
and Peter Noble (who stepped in at the 11th hour for which we are VERY grateful) reading Alan Graham‘s Zwo from Weird Lies, a stroy of alienation and B-movies.
The Q&A features all the authors plus Cherry Potts and Katy Darby – editors of the anthologies, talking about writing for Liars’ League, having stories read aloud, arguing, editing, Liars’ League attempts to take over the world, and our massive ignorance on the short story scene in Canada!
Thursday 28th November 2013 at 7pm
Review Bookshop 131 Bellenden Road, Peckham, SE15 4QY
come together to introduce you to new worlds hiding in the everyday. From a movie monster convention in Berlin to a “riotous assembly” on Peckham Rye, via the twin heartbreaks of love and the Olympics, professional actors breathe life into short fiction from Arachne Press’s three acclaimed anthologies of Liars’ League stories. After the readings, there will be an informal Q&A with the writers, performers and editors (Cherry Potts and Katy Darby)
about what makes a short story sing, and what publishers and live events look for in fiction.
With work from Rosalind Stopps, Alan Graham, and David Bausor
Read and performed by Nicky Diss, Rhik Samadder, and Alistair Lock
Book your ticket here www.eventbrite.com/event/8851321541
Barbara, heroine of Rosalind Stopps‘ hilarious but poignant The Suitcase (and heroine of foot based retail, and her own fantasy life too), was wearing a lime green sixties number in what may well have been Crimplene, and a faux Chanel jacket, finished with her Senior Sales Assistant badge. She was much younger than I had been led to believe by Ms Stopps. Julie Mayhew has Barbara’s toxic mix of self-importance, resentment and disappointment down to a tee. The atmosphere was cheerful and enthusiastic, with people rushing apologetically to the bar for a drink before the action started; the audience were attentive and appreciative, bought books and asked Rosalind to sign them, so we were pretty happy! Rosalind was also very pleased to have her story read in the company of stories by Roald Dahl, Ron Rash, Jon McGregor and Kevin Barry, personally I think it’s the company she deserves to keep, and I’m sure Barbara would agree.
The Berko SpeakEasy Company ( Julie Mayhew, Elizabeth Bower, John Lynn and Adrian Scarborough) produce a hybrid reading/performance whereby the actors move about between and among the audience and use props, but read from the page. The space is long and narrow which did occasionally produce issues with being able to hear properly and see without twisting around uncomfortably, but despite this they did all of the writers proud. My favourite (apart from Barbara obviously) was Adrian Scarborough’s rendition of Jon McGregor’s Lost Property.)
We have another, excellent, review from Sabotage.
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.
We are gradually weaning ourselves away from London, and will be taking part in the Berkhampsted Speakeasy which is in Berkhampsted, at The Greene Room, The Kings Arms, 147 High Street, Berkhamsted on Wednesday 25th September 7pm for 7.45.
BerkoSpeakEasy use actors to perform stories as though they were plays so a bit like Liars’ League, but with movement. They are performing Rosalind Stopps‘ The Suitcase (From London Lies) as one of their playlets this month.