#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…

The Story Sessions Fantastical Tales Video part 3

Final section of the videos from The Story Sessions on Wednesday, and the Liam Hogan Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed set which had a decidedly immortal theme to it:

Time the Devourer, read by Annalie Wilson

Internet Dating for Immortals, read by Liam

and

the final take on Bad Day, with a little music from Annalie to top and tail it.

These are the final posts, from the final Story Session of the season.

We’ve made the decision to retire the Story Sessions as a regular thing – and it will only stick its nose out into the light (and inevitable rain – have we EVER done a session when it didn’t rain?) as part of festivals and if asked for – it is regretably too much work for far too little return even when part-funded by those nice people at the Arts Council (Thank you ACE, really). There are other things to get busy with. So Festival organisers – if you ask us, we will put together more sessions, but if you don’t, this is your lot!

 

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Thanks to The Brockley Deli for hosting this season.

 

The Story Sessions- Coming Up: Winter Tales

gate-burton-frostWe have the line up for The Story Sessions for 18th January, Winter Tales

We are not entirely sure which authors/poets are reading their own work, but the material is chosen…
Headlining:
Rosalind Stopps Deliver Me
Math Jones Skadhi’s Laughter
Megan E Freeman On Winter Days in Northern Norway, read by Annalie Wilson
Karina Lutz New Kinds of Weather read by Annalie Wilson
Cath Blackfeather Winter Tale
Anne Macaulay It’s January Where We Are Now
Testbed:
Michael Carey Regeneration
Plus, music from Annalie, and, we hope, plenty of Flash from the Floor from the audience!
Join us at The Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross SE4 1BE at 7.30 on Wednesday 18th January for music, murder, myth, laughter, and all kinds of weather.

The Story Sessions Freedom Tales

Story Sessions logo copyThe first of the new season of The Story Sessions is getting close now, as is the launch and tour of Liberty Tales, and we are going to have to practice ‘power napping’ in the afternoon to cope with all the late nights.

So what can you expect from The Story Sessions, and Freedom Tales in particular?

Stories! the food and drink of the evening, although there is of course food and drink too – we are in a Deli.

Before the interval: a song from resident actor/singer Annalie Wilson, followed by a story from David Steward and a poem from Andrew McCallum Liberty  read by Annalie, and a short TestBed story from Cherry Potts, Morality for Simple Girls (mainly so that people get an idea of what that’s for.)

INTERVAL – replenish your glasses/plates, write us 100 words on freedom, give written feedback on the TestBed session.

After the interval: another song from Annalie, then FLASH FROM THE FLOOR, your chance to wow us with 100 words on theme.

Followed by a story from Jim Cogan, Lag, a poem from Brian Johnstone  The Branded Hand read by Annalie, and finally a story from Liam Hogan,Stalemate

Freedom is never out of fashion. Wednesday 16th November 2016 7pm Brockley Deli 14a Brockley Cross SE4 1BE.

Closest station Brockley (Southern, Overground), and on bus routes: 171, 172, 484.

 

The Story Sessions is open for Submissions

Story Sessions logo copy

We are reviving the Story Sessions, we hope permanently! We are settling in to our Brockley Max venue, The Brockley Deli for a few months, with support from the Arts Council, and then we’ll see how its going.

The Story Sessions in a live literature event, with themed sessions. We run it like a folk club, so there are headliners, support acts and floor spots*.

We  have a ‘test bed’ section where you can try out a new piece on the audience just before the interval, and get written feedback.
*Floor spots: Flash from the Floor a maximum of 100 words on theme, immediately after the interval. Just turn up with your 100 words and let us know you want to read, or write something in the interval, if inspiration strikes.

We have 4 sessions lined up over the next nine months:

16/11/2016 Freedom Tales deadline 02/11/16 EXTENDED to 11/11/16 (midnight)

18/01/2017 Winter Tales deadline 04/01/17

15/03/2017 Retelling Tales (Legend and Fable) deadline 01/03/17

17/05/2017 Fantastic Tales (Fantasy) deadline 03/05/17

We are looking for STORIES first and foremost, although we will consider very good poems. We are not interested in non-fiction of any kind.

ABSOLUTE maximum 2000 words, but we are happy with  a lot shorter as it means more people can read.

This can be previously published work as it will not lead to a book, and we encourage authors from London and environs, who have a new book to promote, to offer us something suitable to the theme, but unpublished work also welcome. So if you have something on theme and can come and read it on the day, let’s hear from you.

Apply through our submittable account. (If you do it other ways I lose the emails and then people get cross.)

Story Sessions Childhood line up confirmed

And… we have a show!

Planning a live event, especially if it’s free and you therefore have no budget, is a bit too exciting sometimes. Someone offers you a great story, then the author can’t make it after all, so you try to find an actor who will work for their fare and a book and a drink, at the same time as trying to decide whether it’s fair to promote the amazing story which you might not be able to read…

but everything falls into place eventually.

So we ARE reading Courttia Newland’s Sound Boys from the Saboteur2016 Best Anthology Award Winning Being Dad anthology on Wednesday 1st June at the Childhood The Story Sessions for Brockley Max, at the Brockley Deli.

Big thank you to Chukwudi Onwere for stepping in and to Carrie Cohen for making the introduction.

Also reading: Carrie CohenHelen MorrisSimon le Bon Will Save Us – with special singalong audience opportunities for those of you who remember the 80’s (If you want to practice, get your larynx around Duran Duran’s Rio in particular, and maybe Human League Don’t You Want Me, Baby?)

And reading their own work, Barbara Renel Blow Hole, Liam Hogan (also fresh from an award – The Roswell Award – for SciFi Short Story)  Bullet-proof Papoose and Kate Foley The Don’t Touch Garden

and of course …. YOU… you can join in with 100 words on the theme of Childhood – fiction or poetry, bring it with you or write it in the interval, we’ll bring paper and pens.

Get there early and get some fab food and drink, and to be sure of a seat – we are kicking off at 7.30.

BMAX Childhood

 

BrockleyMAX: The Story Sessions

brockley max 16We are reviving The Story Sessions, we hope permanently! starting with a couple of events at BrockleyMax. Both events are free to attend.

The Story Sessions is run like a folk club – headliners, support acts and floor spots – you can join in with 100 words of fiction or poetry on theme.Story Sessions logo copy

refugees welcomeSaturday 28th May 3pm in St Hilda’s Church, Courtrai Road Crofton Park SE23 1PL: Asylum – stories and poems around the concept of safety/sanctuary or the need for it. This is partly to showcase the Refugees Welcome anthology (not published by us!) and will includes stories from the book. more information after the close of the call out for submissions on 1st May

 Wednesday 1st June 7.30 at The Brockley Deli 14A Brockley Cross London, SE4 1BE

Stories and poems on the theme of Childhood. Kate Foley will be headlining this with her adoption poems The Don’t Touch Garden, and we have stories lined up from Liam Hogan and Helen Morris. More info after the close of the call out.

kate at a distance

Kate Foley reading from The Don’t Touch Garden

Liam Hogan reads from RAT

Liam Hogan reads from RAT

Call out: The Story Sessions at BrockleyMax festival May & June 2016

Story Sessions logo copyWe are reviving the Story Sessions, we hope permanently! starting with a couple of events at BrockleyMax.

Brockley Max logo

Deadline for submissions 1st May. This can be previously published work as it will not lead to a book, so if you have something suitable and can come and read it, let’s hear from you.

Saturday 28th May 3pm in St Hilda’s Church, Courtrai Road Crofton Park SE4: Asylum – stories (around 1500 words) or poems around the concept of safety/sanctuary or the need for it. This is partly to showcase the Refugees Welcome anthology (not published by us!) but we want to include other work so send us stuff.
refugees welcome

Wednesday 1st June 7.30 at The Brockley Deli 14A Brockley Cross London, SE4 1BE

(we went down a storm there last year) stories (around 1500 words) or poems on the theme of Childhood. Kate Foley will be headlining this with her adoption poems The Don’t Touch Garden, but we’d like some variety. We already have stories lined up from Liam Hogan and Helen Morris – so get your oar in!

kate at a distance

Kate Foley reading from The Don’t Touch Garden

Liam Hogan reads from RAT

Liam Hogan reads from RAT

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!