It has been a busy time, another set of videos I’ve only just had time to edit and post:
We took part in the Archway With Words Festival back in September, reading from a variety of books at Archway Library. (5 books, 5 authors, for our 5th anniversary…)
Katy Darby, The Horror, the Horror, Stations
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.
Bartle Sawbridge Since Lovers Lies was published I have read from it in a packed room at Keats’ House, a literary festival in Faversham, and lots else in between. I self-published my first novel, A Piece of String two years ago, (look at the excellent reviews on Amazon, and buy it!) and I’m making good progress on its sequel, based not in inner London but in a fictional village in Middle England.
Bobbie Darbyshire Since Lovers’ Lies came out, Bobbie Darbyshire’s third novel, OZ, was published in 2014 and has received much praise on Amazon. She has completed a fourth, Thinner Than Water, and embarked on a fifth.
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.
Mi L Holliday Since being published in Lovers’ Lies a poem of mine, A Mother’s Concern, was published in Shooter Literary Magazine, Issue #3: Surreal. Also, myself and my colleagues here in Japan are gearing up for a big seminar on English education to be held at the end of September 2017. This is the culmination of three years of efforts to integrate new teaching methods and technology into elementary and junior high foreign language classrooms, and we’re all very nervous and excited about presenting the results! Hope everyone will wish us luck!
Tania Hershman I’ve published four new books since 2013 – I’m co-author, with Courttia Newland, of Writing Short Stories: A Writers and Artists Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014), my first poetry pamphlet, Nothing Here Is Wild, Everything Is Open (Southword, 2016), won 2nd prize in the Fool For Poetry chapbook contest and was published in February 2016, and in 2017 my third short story collection, Some of Us Glow More Than Others (Unthank Books) and my debut poetry collection, Terms and Conditions (Nine Arches Press), were published. I founded ShortStops, a hub for all things short story in the UK and Ireland in November 2013, and I am now on the last leg of a PhD in creative writing inspired by particle physics, and am a Royal Literary Fund writing fellow at Manchester University. www.taniahershman.com
Tom Conoboy It’s been a busy couple of years writing-wise for me. I completed my PhD after five years and I was free to get back to my own writing. What a release that is! The joy of writing! I’ve completed one novel, the story of a young American girl who arrives in Scotland in 1985 in search of the key to her identity and I’ve just finished the first draft of my second novel, based on a real life murder in Perth in 1935.
As part of the run up to our celebration of our fifth anniversary we are highlighting our first five books, all available for £5 each from our shop
Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.
Number Three: Lovers’ Lies
Designed expressly for romantic cynics and cynical romantics. Liars’ League teamed up with Arachne Press for a second outing bringing the freshness, wit, imagination and passion of their authors to a wider audience.
Join us as we wallow in the many facets of relationships. Explore role-play gone wrong, goldfish that eat loneliness, and a very literal leap into the unknown. Old love, cold love, true love, new love, dead love, we’re through love – making babies and making whoopee, disappointment and contentment, playing at home, playing away or just playing; missed chances and new romances: everything from first conversation to last breath, strange journeys and stranger destinations.
Be careful who catches you reading it – your intentions might be misinterpreted.
… the anthology isn’t slavishly devoted to its theme; it has the freedom to take off on tangents and flights of fancy. Love is treated as a springboard rather than an anchor to hold the anthology in place.
The final, redemptive twist of Jason Jackson’s ‘A Time and Place Unknown’, the last, sci-fi, entry in Lovers’ Lies, leaves the anthology with a final note of optimism. It ends by letting us believe that love is a force for good and that it can overcome time, space and perhaps even death itself.
Over the course of its 138 pages Lovers’ Lies shows both the darker side of love and the way it brings out the best in us. If that was the intention of the Arachne Press editors, then they’ve done a fine job.
When we were looking for somewhere to launch this, we said we need the most romantic place in London… what about Keats House? Oh, they’ll never let us… but they did!
Speaking of designs, the cover (by Annie Rickard Straus) was the result of a massive competition with public and authors voting – they didn’t agree, so the authors won.
videos from readings
We will be reading from Lovers’ Lies at the PARTY on the 8th September. Come along! free (but ticketed)
LGBT history month is almost over, The Outcome exhibition(s) in Lewisham are coming to an end, and we are nearing the half-way mark in terms of time for our Crowd fund to raise printing costs for our Outcome project, with 18 days left and 69% of the target funding raised.
With nice symmetry we have had 18 backers so far, all wonderful generous people! (Thank you, Laura, Sian, Bea, Nick, Isaac, Alicia, Richard, Jonathan, Mike, Tim, both Marks, all the Peters, and all the Pauls.)
So to help you join this select band of special people, I thought I’d mention what brilliant rewards we have for backers.
We need to raise a further £756 to hit our target – if we don’t get all the money, we get none of it.
so that’s 756 people pledging £1 for a thank you message from us
or 51 people pledging £15 for a signed copy of Cherry Potts’ collection of short lesbian stories Mosaic of Air
or 31 people pledging £25 for a signed copy of Cherry Potts’ lesbian epic fantasy, The Dowry Blade.
or 27 people pledging £28 for a copy of the Outcome book.160 pages, 80 beautiful images of wonderful LGBT people, some you may have heard of, some will be new to you.
or 26 people pledging £30 for a SIGNED A4 print of our lovely Peter Tatchell portrait
or 22 people pledging £35 for A SIGNED copy of the Outcome book. 160 pages, 80 beautiful images of wonderful LGBT people, some you may have heard of, some will be new to you. We will get as many of the portrait subjects as we can to sign their picture (probably at the launch!) plus of course, the photographer, Tom Dingley, and then send it to you with our love and appreciation.
or 8 people pledging £100 for:
Invitation to the Launch Party. We will be holding a launch party in London as close to the 11th October (Coming Out Day) as we can get, which will double as the private view for the launch exhibition. Join us so that we can thank you personally. (travel to the launch at your own expense!) ) ONLY 3 of these left!!
A copy of Outcome plus Your Name in a list of thank-yous in the book when published.
or 6 people pledging £150 for a 1 hour photo shoot with Tom Dingley at a suitable venue in London. includes editing of resulting pictures and delivery of 6 photographs as digital files.
So how many people do YOU know? pass on the message, help us fund this gorgeous and exciting project!
We have a great fondness for LGBT history month at Arachne Press, and we are also exceptionally fond of libraries. As a result the combination definitely works!
Our last outing for February was to Richmond lending library, one of the oldest public libraries in London (lovely building, glass roof, unfortunately on the flight path for Heathrow…)
Here are some readings from that evening, mainly from Cherry Potts, but with assistance from Alix Adams on the first one. The sound isn’t wonderful (those planes…) but it’s better than what we managed on the video camera.
In order of appearance:
Arachne’s Daughters from Mosaic of Air (Cherry Potts)
Death & Other Rituals from Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time (Tannith Perry)
A Place of Departures from Stations (Cherry Potts)
The Other Side of Sleep from the anthology of the same name (Kate Foley)
Tasting Flight from Lovers’ Lies (Catherine Sharpe)
Traditionally the sale happens in January. Well, we decided to have a February sale instead.
You can now purchase a copy of Lovers’ Lies, post free in the UK for £5 through our SHOP until Valentine’s Day, Saturday 14th February.
For the rest of February you can buy a set of Liars’ League titles, London Lies, Lovers’ Lies and (award Winning) Weird Lies for £26 (normally £29.97) again, post free in the UK.
And until they’ve gone, you can buy a Solstice Shorts T-shirt for £5 we have at least 2 in every size, but once they’ve gone, they’ve gone.
Only seven days to go in the crowd funding for Solstice Shorts, and to entice you to part with your cash, a couple of new rewards.
For £5 (or more) each: 20 A4 posters of the cover art by Annie Rickard Straus for Lovers’ Lies…
and for £10 (or more…) 1 only of an A3 poster based on the cover art by Kevin Thelfall, used for a reading of Weird Lies at Misty Moon gallery (this image is not identical as it is just the background – we didn’t keep the file for the poster because it was just too big). Imagine some words, and a stray fish…
– See more at:
You can find information about our books dotted about all over the place on the website, But in terms of our bid to get enough money together to hold the Solstice Shorts Festival, here’s a small plug for the books on offer as rewards.
A Pack of Lies for £40
and a signed copy of Mosaic of Air for £16
a complete collection of our Liars’ League anthologies full of wit, wackiness and wonder.
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?
Lovers’ Lies is designed expressly for romantic cynics and cynical romantics. Be careful who catches you reading it – your intentions might be misinterpreted.
Liars’ League teams up with Arachne Press for a second outing bringing the freshness, wit, imagination and passion of their authors to a wider audience.
Join us as we wallow in the many facets of relationships. Explore role-play gone wrong, goldfish that eat loneliness, and a very literal leap into the unknown.
Old love, cold love, true love, new love, dead love, we’re through love – making babies and making whoopee, disappointment and contentment, playing at home, playing away or just playing; missed chances and new romances: everything from first conversation to last breath, strange journeys and stranger destinations.
These stories are quirky, solidly formed and pretty much always with a satisfying ending. There are tales of the unexpected, magical realist fantasies, and clever, clever writing that stays with you long after the last full stop.
There’s something about Liars’ League that brings out the wildness in the writers’ imaginations. In Weird Lies we explore myth, fantasy, science fiction, and the indefinable what the – that makes up Weird. In true Liars’ League fashion there is as much humour as there is darkness and poignancy.
More than twenty tales, varying in style from stories not out of place in One Thousand and One Nights, to the completely bemusing.
Discover mirrors that predict the immediate future and museums where your personal future life is exhibited in the kind of ephemeral objects that might normally find their way into a dustbin.
Meet tadpoles, lazy assassins, and assiduous poisoners; observe deals with the devil, and workplace stress taken to its logical conclusion.
Heroes, villains, and animals – anything and anyone could provide the twist in the tale – cursed travellers, persistent dreamers, aliens, robots and even ice might be the object, or source, of love. Winner of the Saboteur2014 Best Anthology Award.
When you know your story is going to be read out loud by an actual actor to a real, live audience, I’m sure you make certain to trim off anything superfluous that doesn’t directly contribute to the vigor of your story and while reading Weird Lies I got the sense that the writers whose stories made into this collection gave of their best.
Originally published twenty years ago, the sixteen short stories in Mosaic of Air reflect and explore Lesbian life in the 1980s through myth, history, fantasy and science fiction. Delving into lecturing spiders, Helen of Troy, seaside libraries, computers that fall in love, murder and memory; but most of all humour, and a delight in all that women can be.
Cherry Potts writes with economy, punch, panache.
Definitely about women in space, not the usual glossy tomboys of standard sf.
Delightful … both a hilarious spoof of one-man-and-his computer myths such as 2001, a Space Odyssey; and a reflection on the limits of love and power.
This Isn’t Heat by Richard Smyth, read by Silas Hawkins, in which the Buddha interferes in James Mercury’s life when the air conditioning breaks down.
Surf & Turf by Mi L Holliday, read by Sean Patterson, in which a goldfish comes to the aid of her lonely owner.