Zed and the Cormorants: listen-along audiobook challenge

Here it is! Our first ever listen-along audiobook challenge.

Starting on Sunday 24 October, we invited YA readers to listen to a section of the Zed and the Cormorants audiobook, every day for a week. Each day we release exclusive Zed-inspired creative activities – from word searches to author videos, book club questions to crafts.

Bookmark this blog post and follow @ArachnePress on social media for extra content too.

Day 1 – Sun 24 Oct: Listen to Chapters 1 – 4 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:

Day 2 – Mon 25 Oct: Listen to Chapters 5 – 11 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants. While you are listening, pay particular attention to the descriptions of the cormorants.

“Zed watched it untuck its neck and raise itself up through an ‘S’ bend to form one almost straight line from yellow beak to glossy black tail. Then, with a little shudder, its wings unfolded and started to pulse: huge black wings with three layers of feathers, the bottom ones spreading out like a fan. And it was off too, raising itself vertically before flattening out and beating its way across the river. One long black wing angled down to the water, where with every stroke it seemed to brush its grainy reflection.”

“Its body was so sleek it looked like it had been painted in jet black oil, with a sheen of metallic purple or green, depending on the way the light fell when it twisted his head. Its eye was definitely green though, a shiny emerald bead.”

After listening:

Day 3 – Tues 26 Oct: Listen to Chapters 12 – 16 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then: 

  • Try baking a recipe from the book! Bread, buns, cakes and scones abound in Zed and the Cormorants as Zed’s dad tries to establish his own bakery. Here are some simple recipes to recreate similar treats to those mentioned in the book:

Cornish Saffron Buns

Easy Tomato and Olive Twists

Not-quite-Cornish Apple Cake

  • Pay attention to the conversations between Zed and Tamsin in these chapters of the book – particularly noticing how their dialogue is evolving from when they first met. Can you recall what you spoke about when you first met your best friend? Try and remember, or imagine, what the conversation might have been like and write a short dialogue scene.

Day 4 – Weds 27 Oct: Listen to Chapters 17 – 22 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then: 

  • Read a blog post by author, Clare Owen about Writing Fear in Zed and the Cormorants
  • Log on to Twitter this afternoon and take a look at our book club questions. Discuss them with your friends or family, think about the questions yourself or join in with the conversation by tweeting us your thoughts!

Day 5 – Thurs 28 Oct: Listen to Chapters 23 – 28 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:

Day 6 – Fri 29 Oct: Listen to Chapters 29 – 34 (inclusive) of Zed and the Cormorants, then:

  • Find a jam jar and some craft supplies to make a decorative chalice like the one Amy and Zed take down to the boathouse, or colour and decorate the jar on our drawing challenge worksheet. Visit our Instagram page to see a chalice we made earlier!Decorative Chalice

Day 7 – Sat 30 Oct: Listen to the final Chapters of Zed and the Cormorants, then:

You can download or purchase the Zed and the Cormorants audiobook from audible.

See the full schedule of listen-along activities here.

August Bank Holiday Sale NOW ON

August Bank Holiday,

00:01 Saturday 24th August through to 23:59 Monday 26th August BST

10% off all physical books

with this single-use-per-customer code

KKNLMB22OSSL

That’s an ‘O’ not a zero. If you don’t use the code, you won’t get the discount.

There is also free postage in the UK at the moment. We will start charging postage soon – basically the next time we print a catalogue, which is likely to be September/October, so you might want to order before that happens.

Enjoy!

Hither Green Festival video 4 Spellbinder

Part of our Women & SF/F event for Hither Green Festival.

Having discussed what we grew up reading, here’s a bit from one of Cherry’s early influences, her mum, Ghillian Potts. This is a section from Spellbinder, the middle book of the trilogy The Naming of Brook Storyteller.

The final installment, Wolftalker, is out on 7th June!

Cherry first read these books in her teens, and did a critique of them in her twenties, which was largely ignored!

 

 

Spellbinder books have arrived

Just taken delivery of the advance copies of Spellbinder, book two of The Naming of Brook Storyteller by Ghillian Potts

Brook, known as Brat to her friends, is now called Spellbinder, and is working as Remembrancer to her friend Graycat, now the Young Overlord Lady Quicksilver.

Spellbinder is captured by the Westron Overlord, Arrow, and forced to summon the Elder Dragons, something that every Storyteller knows is both wrong and dangerous.

When she cannot control the dragons, she must break her Storyteller vow to save Storyteller children held hostage, and forfeit her most precious possession – her name.

Cover by Gordy Wright.

In the shops 7th December for £9.99. We’ll be taking advance orders from our webshop as soon as I’ve got it all set up. Give me an hour!

 

 

Interview with Ghillian Potts author of Brat and launch info

A brief conversation with Ghillian Potts about the writing of Brat

Brat is a novel for older children and younger young adults, the first in a fantasy trilogy about Brook, who is 12 at the start of the series. The Trilogy is called The Naming of Brook Storyteller, because Brook, as a storyteller has the power of naming – she can raise or destroy people by the names she gives them, and she earns, and loses, names herself, starting out as Brat, before becoming Spellbinder (book two out in December 2017) and finally Wolftalker (book three out in June 2018)

We are launching Brat with a very informal launch reading at Eltham Centre Library, Archery Road, Eltham SE9 1HA on 7th June at 1.30. The reading will be performed by Carrie Cohen.

We currently have one other reading for Brat arranged (together with Ghillian’s other book, The Old Woman From Friuli.)

Osterley Library, St Mary’s Crescent, TW7 4NB on 22nd July 2017 at 2.30pm. Once again, Carrie Cohen will be reading.

Bookshops, libraries, schools, if you’d like us to visit and read to you, get in touch.

 

Devilskein at The Gate Library

Devilskein Dearlove event poster copyLive or study in E7? Get yourself to the Gate Library at 11am on Thursday 22nd January to meet Mr Devilskein impersonator, Greg Page, watch the trailer and catch author Alex Smith answering questions on video, and buy a book! Got a Question about writing the book? You have until the end of today to ask via twitter @Devilskein or @Africa_Alex or by our page here. School Parties actively encouraged, ideal for 10-14 year olds, enjoyed by 9-900 year olds.

Claude at Harfleur – The Story Sessions video

A second video from July’s The Story Sessions.

Alix Adams reads from Marjorie Phillips‘ historical adventure young adult novel, Claude at Harfleur. Set during Henry V’s campaign in Northern France and featuring 12-year-old tearaway Claude. Originally written in the 1950s, and published posthumously by Curved Air Press (curvedairpress(at)ntlworld(dot)com). We have a few copies available at Arachne, if you’d like a copy, get in touch.

Last Night’s Q&A with Alex Smith

A wide ranging discussion of Devilskein & Dearlove, and children’s books in general over the last 100 years, the invention of Childhood and all sorts!

find the discussion on GoodReads here

The group is public so anyone can join, read and comment. You can always ask more questions, which Alex will answer if & when she notices them! (We get an email when someone posts, so should be able to prompt if necessary).

If we can get the technology to work, Alex will be live on skype from Cape Town tomorrow (Wednesday 23rd) at The Story Sessions, at the Cafe of Good Hope 216 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6RT. Doors 7pm. £3.

Devilskein & Dearlove is after the interval – so you can grab the mic and ask her something ‘face to face’ (ear to ear??). If we don’t manage that, you can at least listen to a section being read by the lovely Malini Stevenson, and catch up with our other readers and authors present in person. You can even join in with your own YA influenced 100 word ‘Flash From The Floor’.

Alex Smith Live Q&A and give away on GoodReads

If you have a GoodReads account, join us on Monday 21st July at 7pm for live Q&A with Alex Smith, you can join the group now, and leave questions about Alex’s writing and Devilskein & Dearlove in particular, as soon as you like. If you aren’t already on GoodReads it’s very simple to join, you can sign in via Facebook or twitter. We are also running a giveaway (UK only) on GoodReads from 21st July to the end of the month to celebrate publication of Devilskein & Dearlove on 24th July – see below.

And you can hear a section of the book read at this month’s The Story Sessions.

Q&A with YA Author Alex Smith

Q&A with YA Author Alex Smith 2 members

Alex will answer your questions live between 7pm and 8pm (British Summertime) – (That’s 8-9pm if …

Books we’ve read





View this group on Goodreads »

Share book reviews and ratings with Q&A with YA Author Alex Smith, and even join a book club on Goodreads.

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex    Smith

Devilskein & Dearlove

by Alex Smith

Giveaway ends July 31, 2014.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter to win

Youthful Tales at The Story Sessions

story sessions youthful tales final23rd July 7pm for PROMPT 7.30 start

Youthful Tales (Stories FOR young adults and BY young adults – 12 years old and up.  It’s not a school night as it’s the first week of the holidays!)
Confirmed stories:
Launching: Extract from Devilskein & Dearlove by Alex Smith, read by Malini Stevenson (this is launching the book – it is actually published the day after – get a pre-publication copy at a special price.)
Revisiting: Extract from Claude at Harfleur by Marjorie Phillips read by Alix Adams
Introducing: Elizabeth Noir and the Titanic Adventure by (Young Author) Beth Broughton-Jones read by Sarah Feathers
Exploring: Home Rock by Sue Oke (who will read it herself)

Join in with 100 words of poetry or fiction in the Flash from the Floor session.

Come along, bring your soon-to-be-adults, or your parents as the case may be!

£3 on the door or from EventBrite

Cafe of Good Hope, 216 Hither Green Lane, SE13 6RT

Soft and Alcoholic drinks available, some snacks.