Author Archives: Ali Bacon

About Ali Bacon

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2016 is not over yet: all the news from Writers Unchained

While we’re on a break from our Story Sunday programme, there’s been plenty  going on. We’ve had a guest night, the launch of a new enterprise and soon you’ll have the chance to pick up some pre-Christmas bargains. A fitting end to a pretty eventful year.

Guest night

sanjidasmallFrom time to time we replace our fortnightly feedback meetings with a visit from a local writer and at our last-but-one meeting of the year we were delighted to welcome Bristol author and journalist Sanjida Kay who gave us a fascinating insight into how her own needs and preferences as a writer have been shaped by the demands of the market.

bone-by-bone-676x1024At an almost full house, she read to us  from her ‘domestic noir’ debut Bone by Bone and we were lucky enough to have a sneak preview of her next book in this increasingly popular genre. Sanjida has already had a successful career in literary fiction and brought along a great selection of her titles for us to browse. Most of us bore away more than one goodie for future consumption.

Thanks Sanjida for sharing your work and reminding us of the rewards and some of the harsh realities of this thing called getting published.

Prizes (we hope!)

Meanwhile we have success of our own to report with Jean Burnett’s new detective novel shortlisted here . Well done, Jean and good luck for making the prize list!

Writing Services

sallyhwordsOn another front, Sally Hare  (last seen in our Midsummer Madness show)  has relaunched her business as freelance writer, editor, proofreader, facilitator and coach.

Sally has an M.A. in Creative Writing from Bath Spa University  and all of us can vouch for her eagle eye and critical acumen.

If you’d like to know more about The WordShoveller you can contact her via her website or on Facebook.

Come and Buy!

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mib_logoThis Christmas we are making our first appearance at the Made In Bristol Gift Fair which runs over several weekends at the Colston Hall.

If you want to catch us and our books, we’ll be there on Sunday December 11th, 10am – 4 pm with an array of genre and literary fiction for you to peruse and take home to stuff in those stockings.

If you’d like a sneak preview, some (but not all) of what we’ll have on offer is over on our Bookshop page. There will certainly be some pre-Christmas bargains to be had on the day.

Come along to say hello and support your local writers.

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Books – what’s not to like?

Then have a very happy Christmas and New Year.

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See you in 2017!

 

Madness it was … (or “phwoah, what a scorcher!”)

midsummergrpahicHelp. Autumn is nearly  upon as and you’re wondering what happened to midsummer.

For us it all came down to a rather warm evening  at Southbank Club and a great line-up of readers who entertained us with tales of doomed love, doomed window-cleaning,  febrile festivals and disturbingly real trouser snakes.

Amongst all the general insanity we also had some spectacular prose and highly professional performances.

So before moving on to whatever autumn may bring, here are a few souvenir postcards of what we did on our midsummer holidays with thanks to all those who came along and made it what it was.

On with the Midsummer Madness show!

We had a fantastic response to our call for submissions for next Sunday and are busy putting together a sizzle of solstices with a sprinkling of swimming pools just in case the heat gets to much.

Check back in a couple of days for our final line-up and running order. Expect to see supernovae and rising stars from our local writing firmament. Which may not add up astronomically but still promises to be a lot of fun.

Tell the world!

Details below.

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More Banksy than Bonnets it certainly was

While we rub our hands and gloat over a very tasty bag of submissions for our next event, here’s Gail’s  snapshot of Stokes Croft Writers’ carefully managed  assault on the genteel cobbles of Bath. 

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Shaping up for a bit of iconoclasm?

It was a steamy hot summer night on the not-so-mean streets of Bath, when a motley crew of Bristol writers came to town. Presented by the inimitable Stokes Croft Writers, this unique event was hosted at Burdall’s Yard, home of Bath Spa Live.

We Unchained lot (all 3 of us on this occasion) were part of the lively Bristol contingent, bringing a ‘More Banksy Than Bonnets’ night of humorous ‘talking tales’ to the Bath Fringe.

banksybigposterThere was a rather patchy turnout from our Bath cousins. We put this down to the weather and people opting for ‘More Barbecue than Banksy or Bonnets’ but there were plenty of us to make up a suitably raucous audience, and it’s good to have a change of scene after all!

Seriously though, Burdall’s Yard is a great little venue, with a convivial bar and an intimate ‘Cavern’ style performance space. The evening was held together (as quoted in the programme) by Christie Cluett and Thomas David Parker. We were treated to acts of highly entertaining word-art, written and preformed by writers affiliated to the various Bristol writing groups.

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Heather and Jean recover from hell going into administration with a nice cup of tea

Such a diversity of work, I couldn’t begin to describe without lauding each and every piece, and its author, but I will give a special mention to our own Heather Child and her wickedly funny “Hell Goes Into Administration” read for us by Jean Burnett.

The evening was rounded off in suitably irreverent Bristol fashion by Stoke’s Croft Writers’ Mel Ciavucco and Christopher Fielden with “Zombies on a Boat”.
Yes. Zombies on a Boat. You had to be there! Perhaps just as well we didn’t have too many Bonnets in the audience as it turned out.

It was an illuminating evening, and I hope those who hadn’t experienced the Bristol writers thing before might hop on over for the next Talking Tales event back on SCW’s home turf!

Bring it on!

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Thanks to Stokes Croft Writers. Who needs bonnets anyway?

It’s all happening at Unchained Towers (yes it really is!)

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Emily Koch reading Scratching at the Grey

Any minute now we’ll be opening submissions for our next Story Sunday event whose theme is Midsummer Madness (submission details here) but here’s a quick run down on what we’ve been up to since the Love Hangover evening which as hangovers go was a whole lot of fun.

We had great stories and performances from all the writers who came from near and far. Sadly none of the rest of us remembered a camera, but thanks to guest writer Debbie Young you can see a few more snaps on our Facebook page.

And?

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Louise Gethin starred at Bristol Old Vic

Since then we’ve had quite a few adventures, starting in February when Louise Gethin performed Ship’s Diary – a short fictional piece inspired by a visit to the SS Great Britain and narrated from the Ship’s point of view – as part of the Bristol Old Vic Open Stage event. If you want to catch Louise again, she will be one of the poets and writers reading on the 9th June at Life, love and Mortality: A Literary Night. For further information: http://www.skylightrain.com/life-love-and-mortality-a-literary-night/

 

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Shirley in Teignmouth

Meanwhile Shirley Wright enjoyed a visit to the seaside when she took part in the Teignmouth Festival and came second in the Teignmouth poetry prize then ran a poetry workshop at  Hawkesbury Upton Literature Festival which was hugely appreciated.

Jean Burnett and Ali Bacon also took part in the Hawkesbury festival  where Jean had the Georgians voted second in the ‘My era’s better than yours’  historical fiction panel. More pictures of the whole day are on Ali’s blog.

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Ali reads at Stroud

No prizes (so far)) for Ali whose short story Silver Harvest has been listed in more than one competition, but she did enjoy reading it at the Stroud Short Stories spring event on April 24th. Here’s a great review of the whole evening by Leah Grant of Good on Paper which really captures the atmosphere – and reveals some enticing news for Stroud Short Stories fans.

What’s next?

Our next ‘outing’ before or own Story Sunday will be at the Talking Tales evening in Bath on June 5th.  ‘More Banksy than Bonnets‘ is a chance for Bristol writers to go large in the sedate (?) city which is our neighbour, so thanks to Stokes Croft Writers for inviting local writing groups – and watch out Bath!

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Eleanor Matthews

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Heather Child

Perhaps best of all, we’ll be joined at upcoming events by new members who’ve recently joined our Writers Group. We’ve been enjoying their work immensely, so please take a look at  Heather‘s and Eleanor’s websites and join with us in giving the a warm welcome.

Like I said, it’s all happening 🙂

 

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