Brockley Max Feast Tales the videos

Video

Video from our feast of food stories at the Brockley Deli as part of Brockley Max festival.

You may notice something about these videos, you may not… see below*

Snippets from the longer works, and the complete poems. Mostly the readers are the wonderful Gloria Sanders and Peter Noble, but the equally marvellous Joan Taylor-Rowan read her own story.

Peter reading from Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith

Joan reading from Feeding Time

Gloria & Peter reading from Monsieur Fromage (Lovers’ Lies) by Rosalind Stopps (the full video is available on Youtube

Peter & Gloria reading from Christmas, Presents by Jason Jackson

Peter reading April is the Cruellest Month by Rob Walton

Gloria reading Laureate by Jennifer A McGowan

*A new experience for me, matching sound files to video – the aircon (or something) at the Brockley Deli interfered with the sound on the video so I had to use the recordings from my audio machine. Something of a challenge getting them in sync!

If Stories be the food of… read on … a feast of stories about food

Our Final Brockley Max event for this year
Thursday 4th June at Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross, SE4 1BE
The Story Sessions: Feast Tales
Join us for a story set in a cheese shop, Cranberry Sauce as an excuse for an illicit meeting, trying to win friends with cookies and taking tea with a demon, plus poems about oranges and bay leaves! Order appropriate food to ‘taste-along’. Mostly read by our actor friends Peter Noble & Gloria Sanders.
8pm – 9pm Free entry; accompanied children 10+ welcome
A free live literature event all about food. Stories from Rosalind Stopps, Joan Taylor-Rowan and Jason Jackson, Poems from Jennifer A McGowan and Rob Walton, plus an extract from Devilskein & Dearlove, our Carnegie Nominated young adult novel by Alex Smith.

Arachne Feast & Festival at BrockleyMAX

Story Sessions logo copyThe Story Sessions are back – for a guest spot, maybe for good, depending… We are doing three events for BrockleyMAX. The first two are both on Saturday 30th May The Ladywell Gallery, (what used to be Misty Moon) behind The Ladywell Tavern 80 Ladywell Road SE13 7HS

Writing Workshop – Festival

5pm – 7pm Free; accompanied children over 10 welcome
Arachne Press presents a writing workshop on the theme of Festival. Get inspiration from the exhibition of photographs from previous BrockleyMAX festivals and write a new short story or poem, with the option to read it at The Story Sessions event in the evening.
 run by Cherry Potts
Story Sessions: Festival Tales
7.30pm – 9.30pm Free; accompanied children welcome
A live literature event with stories from Joan Taylor-Rowan and David Bausor, poems from Elinor Brooks (read by actor Miriam Lee) and Jennifer A McGowan on a festival theme. Circuses, Street parties and more. Join in with Flash from the Floor – your chance to read your own festival piece (max 100 words).
brockley max ladywell gallery
And finally, on Thursday 4th June at Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross, SE4 1BE
The Story Sessions: Feast Tales
8pm – 9pm Free entry; accompanied children 10+ welcome
A free live literature event all about food Stories from Rosalind Stopps, Joan Taylor-Rowan and Jason Jackson, Poems from Jennifer A McGowan and Rob Walton, plus an extract from Devilskein & Dearlove,our Carnegie Nominated young adult novel by Alex Smith – mostly read by our actor friends Peter Noble & Gloria Sanders.
Join us for a story set in a cheese shop, Cranberry Sauce as an excuse for an illicit meeting, trying to win friends with cookies and taking tea with a demon, plus poems about oranges and bay leaves! Order appropriate food to ‘taste-along’.

Devilskein & Dearlove Lewisham reading with Peter Noble

Video

The last of the readings before we hear whether we’ve been long-listed for the Carnegie Medal (announcement will be on Tuesday)…

Cape Town born Peter Noble takes up the Devilskein challenge, at Lewisham Library. Peter it turns out went (we think!) to the high school Erin is forced to attend, a little later into the book than this extract.

Devilskein and Dearlove readings at Brentwood and Newham- reporting back!

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Press coverage of the reading at Brentwood Theatre (with slightly exaggerated audience number in the headline!!) Thanks to Chicken & Frog for organising!

Recording from an early section of the reading by Greg Page at Brentwood Theatre

Video snippet of Greg Page reading at The Gate Library, Forest Gate.

Arachne Press is doing another actor reading of our CARNEGIE MEDAL NOMINATED Young Adult novel, Devilskein & Dearlove this coming Thursday 5th Feb 7.45 for 8 til 9.30 at Lewisham Library 199-201 Lewisham High Street SE13 6LG.
It’s an intoxicating mix of gardens and demons, doors within doors, tragedy and hope. Great for anyone from age 9 to 900, and especially anyone who loves fantasy.
Join publisher Cherry Potts of Arachne Press and actor Peter Noble for the reading with video Q&A from the author Alex Smith, showing of the animated trailer and live Q&A from the publisher.
We will find out if we are LONGLISTED for the Carnegie Medal a couple of days later…

Free but booking advisable at EventBrite (this is purely to control numbers, don’t be put off coming by the need to get a ticket!)

February Events: Devilskein & Dearlove at Lewisham Library

Join us at Lewisham Library
199 201 Lewisham High Street
SE13 6LG

on Thursday 5 February from 20:00 to 21:30

Come and hear actor Peter Noble read from Alex Smith’s Carnegie Prize nominated tale of Erin Dearlove. From living grumpily with her bohemian Aunt Kate, Erin’s life changes when she goes to tea with Mr Devilskein, the demon who lives on the top floor. A fantastical story aimed primarily at 12-18 year olds, but in the tradition of former Carnegie medal winners Phillip Pullman, Terry Pratchett and CS Lewis entirely suitable fro anyone aged 9-900 and there is plenty for adult readers and listeners to savour.

This is a free event but please pre-book your tickets

Watch the YouTube trailer for Devilskein & Dearlove

We will have a novel Q&A on the night (like skype without the technical hiccups) – as Alex Smith lives in South Africa and isn’t able to be with us. We have asked people to get questions in early so that Alex can record her answers for the event.

Devilskeinfront final for bus card

Devilskein & Dearlove goes on tour

mr devilskeinWell, very nearly – do three dates constitute a tour?

We are doing readings of our CILIP Carnegie Medal Nominated young adult novel Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith at:

Brentwood Theatre 15 Shenfield Road, Brentwood, Essex, CM15 8AG (in partnership with Chicken & Frog Bookshop)
Wednesday 21st January 2015 13:30, with Greg Page (who voices Mr Devilskein on our animated trailer) reading. We will show the trailer,  together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) and Cherry Potts, Arachne Press owner will talk a little about publishing.
£10 including a copy of the book

The Gate Library 6-8 Woodgrange Road, Forest Gate, London E7 0QH
Thursday22nd January 2015, 11am with Greg Page taking the reader’s role. We will show the trailer,  together with a video of author Alex Smith answering questions from Cape Town, South Africa) Free.

Lewisham Library, 199-201 Lewisham High Street SE13 6LG
Thursday 5th February 2015 8pm with Peter Noble reading. Free.

erin dearlove

Ask Alex some questions about writing, Devilskein & Dearlove, or secret gardens…

We have actors to read because author Alex Smith is in South Africa. We have tried doing live video link-ups but there are too many variables, and it tends not to work, so we are doing some filming in advance, and we need your questions!

If you are coming to any of these events (or even if you aren’t) and would like to ask Alex a question, please use the form below, or tweet us at @Devilskein, BEFORE CHRISTMAS. Then Alex will record her answers and we can play them at the events, and put the video up on the website afterwards. (At the moment this will only happen at Brentwood Theatre, but we will see whether the libraries have the facilities to do the same.)

Devilskein & Dearlove readings

mr devilskeinPublication date is approaching fast. Which means we have started organising readings. A bit of a challenge with Alex being in South Africa – but does that stop us? No it does not!

You want a signed copy? No problem!

Alex is busy signing book-plates (based on Ed’s brilliant cover design) to be affixed lovingly to your copy, and we’ve got three actors as volunteer readers who can do South African accents, in Malini Stephenson, Peter Noble and Helen Belbin.

Our very first reading is actually the day before publication, at The Story Sessions: Youthful Tales on Wednesday 23rd July, in Hither Green (SE London).

Then we are reading at Balham and Tooting Libraries (SW London) on the same day, 7th August ,2.30 at Balham, 4.30 at Tooting.

Malini is covering those three.

erin dearloveA little later in the year, on 30th September, Peter will be reading for us at Albion Beatnik in Oxford. This is a departure for Albion Beatnik as they don’t stock Young Adult books as a rule – so come along and show Dennis there’s a market! We will be combining this reading with one for our forthcoming poetry anthology The Other Side of Sleep. Rumour has it tea will be served in between, highly appropriate for a book in which drinking tea with a demon changes lives for ever.

Exact timings tba.

If you like the sound of Devilskein & Dearlove and run a bookshop, library, reading group, museum or other suitable venue (a cafe, perhaps?) and would like us to come and read to you, please get in touch.

London Love and Strangeness at Peckham Literary Festival

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.

lies special offerRhik Samadder reading David Bausor‘s O Happy Day: from London Lies, a tale of weddings, street parties and sausages.

Nicky Diss reading Rosalind StoppsHow to Survive the Olympics with a Broken Heart from Lovers’ Lies

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!

Thanks to all our readers, authors, audience and especially Evie Wyld (who didn’t even get to hear the stories apart from the monster roars through the floor) and Review Bookshop for hosting.

Liars’ League: Behind the Scenes, Part 3 – The Event Itself! A guest blog from Liam Hogan

man and machinePreviously (i.e. Part 1 and Part 2) : five amazing stories on the theme of Man & Machine have been selected, polished, paired with our super-talented actors, and rehearsed. So all we need to do now is have them read aloud on stage to an adoring audience, right?
Well, as ever with Liars’ League there’s a little more going on behind the scenes than that! And with this wrap up piece, I also want to credit anyone I have neglected to mention so far. First up for that treatment, is Gaurav Sarin who does the art work for the League’s posters. You can see more of his work here.
After winding our respective ways home from the rehearsals, the actors take their much-scribbled-upon notes and practice their respective Indian/German/Afghan/Machine accents, or make sure they don’t trip up on that key section which happens to also fall on a page break. Katy Darby, founder and Liar Almighty, collects and collates the author and actor bios to create the highly desirable (they all go) event programmes, and updates the Facebook pages as well as ensuring the video and audio recording devices are ready to immortalise the event via Podcast and YouTube channels. Also available via the Liars’ website, of course!
Meanwhile, yours truly, host and backstage photographer for the event, dashed out Part 2 of the blog, before cobbling together his customarily whimsical introduction and a set of fiendishly geeky questions for the Infamous Liars League Book quiz! Ooh …
The doors of our lair beneath The Phoenix opened at 7pm, but the Liars Dissemble (geddit?) a little earlier than that. We have an event to put together, after all …

In addition to a little light room-rearrangement, (good as an actor’s warm up exercise) we run through the tops and tails of each story, to make sure the host isn’t completely discombobulated by the simple act of a handover, and we also take the time to feed the always-ravenous Book of Lies: stories go in, but have you ever seen them come out again? No, nor I!
Mind you, that’s not entirely true anymore, thanks to the endeavours of Arachne Press! Cherry and co have already put together two compilations of the best of Liars’ League stories, London Lies and Lovers Lies, and a third – Weird Lies – is on the way.
Even when the doors open, and while the eager audience amasses, the actors are forgoing the temptations put before them (payment for their services in booze – the event’s in a pub, after all) and instead diligently and soberly practice their lines. What LL does is “performed readings”; so the text is in front of the actors on our snazzy Perspex lectern, but even so, they’re all pros who know that holding their audience entranced often means holding their audience’s gaze, despite the bright lights and the occasional rattle of cutlery. (Food is available, and rather good …)

Sabina Cameron copyright Liam Hogan

Sabina Cameron copyright Liam Hogan

With the room chock full, extending even to the distant far corners, the lights dim, the music quietens, and my big moment arrives – the chance to “Talk like a 1980s robot”. Obviously (thankfully?) this opportunity does not come up very often, and I wasn’t going to miss out … Then, with phones silenced, and audience wondering when I was going to let someone on who knows what they are doing, it was my sincere pleasure to introduce Sabina Cameron to the stage, to read the first story, Duct Tape, Masking Tape, Whatever by (Lovers’ Lies author) Darren Lee.
Now, if you’re reading this blog and you weren’t there, despite my strongly worded advice in Parts 1 and 2: to wit, to attend! – all is not lost, because most appropriately for a Man & Machine theme, Sabina was surrounded by a multitude of recording devices, and if you click the title above it’ll take you through to the Liars page where you can find Video, Audio, and also good ol’fashioned text! (Captured by the fine weave of the textaphone, lower left)

Adam Diggle copyright Liam Hogan

Adam Diggle copyright Liam Hogan

Following Darren’s quirky tale we had Adam Diggle, reading What I am Without by (Lovers’ Lies and Weird Lies author) Richard Smyth. Richard is usually a denizen of Leeds, and ran Liars’ League Leeds from there (easier than running either of the other two offshoots – Liars’ League NYC and Liars’ League Hong Kong from Leeds!) until, after about a year, the Liars’ magic rubbed off on him and he became the world famous author of Bum Fodder – An Absorbing History of Toilet Paper, appearing (aptly enough) on Loose Ends to discuss it with Clive Anderson. And now there’s no stopping him, though alas, this does mean Liars’ Leeds is taking a break.
Richard and his brother James, both of whom have had a multitude of stories performed at Liars’ League and both of whom appear in the pages of the aforementioned and forthcoming Arachne Press’s Liar Anthologies, were hiding out at the back of the room, too modest (or possibly, too late) to grab the front row limelight.

Peter Noble copyright Liam Hogan

Peter Noble copyright Liam Hogan

Wrapping up the first half was Peter Noble, reading The Archive of Ivan Dragoyevich by (Weird Lies author) Alan Graham. As you can see, even the shadows were channelling the spirit, of the late, great, Ivan Dragoyevich! Or the Monster. Or both. Peter and Alan are League regulars so you can track down their previous stories/readings via Who are our Actors? and Who are our Writers?

You’re smart people – of course you are. Otherwise you wouldn’t be reading this… you KNOW how you get onto our “Who Are Our Audience?” page don’t you? Full disclosure forces me to admit we don’t currently have such a page. But we do have a photo …

liar audience

Liars’ Audience copyright Liam Hogan

There they are! Don’t they look like they’re having a blast? Next time, it could be you! This is during the interval, of course, with the house lights up. Can’t see a soul out there during the intros/readings/book quiz. Fortunately we have very good echolocation…

liarsaul

Saul Reichin copyright Liam Hogan

liar henrietta

Henrietta Clemett copyright Liam Hogan

And after the Infamous Liars’ League book quiz (example (trick) question: “What is the name of the time traveller in HG Wells’s The Time Machine?”) in which three brand spanking new books were given to three highly intelligent and attractive audience members, it was time for the second half, kicked off by Saul Reichlin reading The Car Mover by Rosanna Boscawen.
Rosanna is a new author to the Liars stable, which is humungous, and multinational, and quite simply amazing, as it only includes authors who have had a story read by the League. (Well, yes, I suppose I might be in there somewhere…)
Ending the evening on a predatory note, was Henrietta Clemett, dressed for the Afghan plains, reading The Love Song of the Predator Drone by Owen Booth. I might have mentioned accents previously; Henrietta’s included Ahmed the classical historian/goatherd and the embedded German war philosopher Sabine, a character with whom at least one audience member immediately fell in love …
And that, ladies and gentlemen, brought the evening, and brings this blog, to a rapid close. I won’t mention the hours spent, post-event, making sure the actors, authors, and hosts drank The Phoenix dry (or drier, at the very least) and all the other people who stuck around afterwards, to bask in the glow that comes from another successful event. Intrigued? Excited? Inspired? Visit the Liars’ League website, sign up for our Facebook page, follow the Liars, or tootle your email address over and we’ll do all the work, keeping you informed twice a month, just before each event, and just after the web is updated with all those glorious stories! (Another of Katy’s Herculean tasks …)

We’ll be back, sans blog, for Kings & Queens on the 11th June, and you writers out there, you have until 2nd June to get your 2000 word (or shorter!) stories in on Hope & Glory – July’s theme. Write for us. Read for us. Or sit back and let us read to you. And like the motto says, Everybody Wins!