Category Archives: News update

Summer news: publishing deals for Heather and Ali

Hello fellow writers and readers and apologies for being off the scene for a while. However we have some excellent news to report and can also give you the heads-up for our next  event in October, part of the annual Bristol Litfest extravaganza.

First, the good news.
In between all that short story action last year, our members were labouring over their long-term projects, two of which have come to highly satisfying fruition.

heather_cFirst up for a round of applause is Heather Child‘s debut novel Smartface recently acquired by  Little, Brown Book Group imprint Orbit via the Julie Crisp Literary Agency.

Heather’s book is a high-concept thriller that tells the story of a woman whose virtual assistant takes on the personality of her missing sister.

When her sister vanished, Freya’s life seemed to stop. Eight years later, she is hearing Ruby’s voice again as a ‘Smartface’, so alive and real it seems she could be out there somewhere, feeding updates into the cloud. But should Freya trust this intelligent assistant, which is programmed to give her everything she wants?

The novel examines what happens when smart becomes too smart, when people accumulate so much data online that they can be recreated as data ghosts and lives can be changed by the information they’ve left behind. The book will be out in spring 2018.

Heather, who joined us a couple of years ago, has already been published in MslexiaUnder the Radar, the Storgy 2014 Short Story AnthologyHerCircle, the Bristol Post and Notes from the Underground online. We’ve loved hearing excerpts from the book at our feedback meetings – I can’t wait to read the whole of this fabulously written  novel which takes a compelling and disturbing look at what might be just around the corner.

Ali_ason 4896x3672Hard on the heels of Heather’s success comes Ali Bacon who has signed with Linen Press Books. In the Blink of an Eye is a re-imagining of the life of Victorian artist and photographer David Octavius Hill. This collection of sixteen stories in ten distinctive voices bring together history, fiction and biography. Ali says:

I was doubtful a mainstream publisher would commit to something that crosses so many of the usual boundaries. I was thrilled when Linen Press snapped it up straight away.

You may well have heard Ali reading excerpts from her work-in-progress at Novel Nights in Bristol or at Stroud Short Stories.  In June of this year Ali also won first prize in the Evesham Festival of Words Short Story Competition with one of the chapters from her book.
In the Blink of an Eye will be published in mid-2018 when we’ll get to read all of the stories one judge said  ‘knocked his socks off’.

 

And finally! (cue blood-curdling scream)

 Night of Crime_cropped

Get out those diaries and sharpen your pencils in preparation of our next Story Sunday which will be A  Night of Crime on October 22nd.

Submission details coming shortly here or on Twitter @bww_unchained

Then there were 10: our line-up for next Sunday

Thanks to all the wonderful people who have talked, tweeted or written about us (not to mention all those who sent something in) we are delighted to announce our line-up for Sunday 21st which looks like being as spinetingling (in a slightly different way) as our November event. 

Our readers will be (not necessarily in this order):

Emily Koch (Bristol)
Writer & journalist, newly in possession of a masters degree – and, hurrah! –  an agent

John Holland (Stroud)
Short fiction writer, events organiser and, we hear, obsessive …

Patrick Widdess (Newport)
Writer, poet, photographer & journalist (who likes where he lives)

Mark Rutterford (Bristol)
Stokes Croft Writer and performer (expect more than words)

Debbie Young (Hawkesbury Upton)
writer, broadcaster, festival organiser, champion of the independents

Dan Gooding (South Glos)
Library guy, student, TV and film extra. You wanted to hear him in Stroud? You can now.

Louise Gethin (Writers Unchained)
writes Anecdotes of Love and Death (especially death)

Shirley Wright (Writers Unchained)
prize-winning poet, novelist, choco-and cato-holic

Sally Hare (Writers Unchained)
plotter of allotments, teller of stories, banger of drums,

Ali Bacon (Writers Unchained)
updates websites (yes this one), brings people together, occasionally writes

 

Come along and see what they’ve come up with for our #lovehangover theme.

St V Day Hangover event flyer

 

Submissions open for Story Sunday on Sunday Feb 21st

louisesouthbankFebruary seems a long way off but we’re delighted to confirm Southbank Club is booked for another of our story events on Sunday February 21st.

Like last time (described by Claire in this blog post) we’ll be inviting local writers to submit short fiction of up to 1500 words to be read on the night.

 

broken_heart_clip_art_22500Theme? Well it’s close to Valentine’s so let’s say love may figure, although maybe not in the way you expect. Love’s hangover? Broken hearts? The end of the affair? Something tells me that Happy Endings will be the exception rather than the rule! 

 

We hope this is enough to get you interested!
For our very simple rules on how to submit please check here

Keep in touch via Twitter @bww_unchained or our Facebook page.

 

 

Bristol Litfest is here again. Book bazaar and our first ever flash slam

book bazaar

Nina looks after our wares

We’re delighted that a bunch of us got to the Book Bazaar in the Green Lab on Saturday and Sunday to have some good fun and share the wise words with local authors and publishers.

Here’s old friend Nina who came from Wales to join us and you can check our Facebook page for a few more photos of us and our wares. I was sorry not to be there myself but good to know we had a presence and made some useful new contacts.

Nikesh Shulka - be kind!

Nikesh Shulka – be kind!

We’re also delighted to be taking part this Friday in the Flash Slam at Crofter’s Rights with Nikesh Shukla in the chair.

Five teams, four rounds – sounds like a blast!

More Litfest events are here. 

 

 

 

And don’t forget. If you have a spine-tingling story in your pocket and want to submit it for our Spine-tinglers event, the deadline is looming. Send it by Wednesday 10 pm please!

Meet the writers, buy the books!

Really looking forward to Saturday 5th September when we’re off to Corsham Creative Market where Jo Lambert will be joining the usual gang  to run a book stall with great variety and lots of bargains at Springfield Community Campus.

corshamcornerFor those who don’t know Corsham, the old town centre is a real gem (and recently masqueraded as Truro in BBCs Poldark) but is also blessed with some very tempting tea and coffee shops.

Springfeld Community Campus – with its spanking new library and leisure centre – is only 5 minutes walk away with a cafe all of its own, so no need to go hungry or thirsty.

Hoping to see some old and new friends on the day.

corshamcreativeposter2-page-001

 

Crowdfunding Pulp Fiction

A new topic for Bristol Women Writers, and a new guest on our blog who is – yes,  a man. (Our first in blogging terms!) But how can we refuse column inches to Richard Jones – our long-time supporter, organiser of the Bristol Flyer’s Word of Mouth evenings and, also, as director of Tangent Books, our publisher! Right now he has a new project. 

Richard writes:

Richard JonesThe continuing struggles of the High Street and the relentless global domination of Amazon mean that the independent publishing model has to change. So I’ve launched my first crowdfunding campaign to re-publish Catacombs of Terror! by Stanley Donwood. There are various rewards you’ll receive in return for your support and we’ve produced a highly entertaining video to publicise our campaign.

Catacombs of terror cover

Existential pulp spy thriller of doom!

Crowdfunding is an interesting process, it’s empowering and frustrating in equal measures. We decided to do the crowdfunding campaign with Fundsurfer because they are local – they are based at Temple Meads and about a 20-minute walk from the Tangent office at Paintworks. Fundsurfer seem to offer all of the benefits of the big crowdfunding organisations, but there’s a lot of personal support. Using Fundsurfer is very much a case of ‘Think globally, act locally’.

For any crowdfunding campaign to be successful, the backers need to play as active a part as possible by sharing and promoting the project. So please share FB and Twitter posts and tell people about the campaign. Please share the video and the link to the Fundsurfer page.

I should add that the book will be gorgeous and is a limited edition.

Here’s the link. Please share.

https://www.fundsurfer.com/project/catacombs-of-terror-by-stanley-donwood

Thanks Richard for alerting us to this and to the other work of Stanley Donwood whom most of us know through his work with the band Radiohead. Of course crowdfunding (or ‘publishing by subscription’ as it used to be known!) is becoming more and more popular. Lots of authors locally and farther afield have been down this route and it seems particularly suitable for limited editions like this. Good luck with bringing it into the world!

 

 

 

Book launch and exhibition : Vice & Virtue, the history of Old Market

We may not have taken on any new group projects lately, but our members have been as busy as ever.

ViceVirtue_Cover-300x301Since last year Louise Gethin, has been proud to be involved in Vice and Virtue, an initiative exploring the history of Old Market with the book launch and exhibition happening on July 16th 2015 at Trinity Community Arts Centre. http://www.bristolbooks.org/news/launch-of-vice-virtue-book-a-history-of-old-market/

Everyone is welcome to see the outcome of what sounds like a fascinating community arts project.

Do contact the organisers if you would like to attend.

ViceVirtue_Invite

Louise is also working with illustrator Beth Hawkins on a pamphlet called In Sane Moments, five short fictional pieces exploring elements of Mental Health, which should be ready as a one-off limited edition in time for the Bristol Festival of Literature (BFL)  in October.

Watch this space for more BWW member news and other events at this year’s BFL, now in the planning stages.