Two book launches in the last month! It’s been a bumper summer for Writers Unchained members.
A Forbidden Love
Kerry Postle launched her fabulous second book A Forbidden Love at Max Minerva’s Marvellous Books in Bristol this July. The audience were fascinated to hear about where Kerry’s research had taken her – into the intricacies of the Spanish Civil War and, in particular, the experiences of women caught up in it. We’re all looking forward to reading this gripping and heart-rending historical novel.
This was followed in August by the launch of Heather Child’s second novel The Undoing of Arlo Knott (Orbit), about a man who has an ‘undo’ button for life, at Storysmith books. At this sold-out event, Heather talked about themes of regret and hindsight, snakes and ladders and quantum physics.
A round-up of our summer adventures – and it’s only July!
Heather Child: ‘Uplit’ at Edgelit
As well as an appearance at the Dark Societies dystopian book club in London, Heather was in Derby last week running a workshop and speaking on a panel at the popular sci-fi, fantasy and horror event EdgeLit 2018.
The recent boom in dystopian fiction was the topic of discuss
ion, though with political decisions made in the last couple of years starting to bed in, it seems the incoming trend is ‘uplit’, or more uplifting fiction. All events were well-attended and people enjoyed meeting their favourite genre authors and getting books signed.
Heather is also at this week’s lunch-time lecture at Bristol City Library on Thursday July 26th at 12.30 in the old library foyer. It’s free, so get there if you can!
Jean Burnett in the Dragons Den
Jean pitched her unpublished novel to the Chudleigh Dragons at the Chudleigh LitFest last weekend in Devon – and won the prize!
Her cosy crime novel wins a critique from novelist Sophie Duffy from Legend Press.
Jean is also working n a new historical novel and looking forward to a writing retreat in Greece.
Ali Bacon around and about
Having survived a book-selling trip to France, Ali set out for Suffolk where she was part of the Wickhambrook literary lunch in late June.
As well as talking about In the Blink of an Eye she had lunch with afternoon speakers Nicci Gerard and Sean French and has been name-dropping ever since.
She is now emerging from a stint on the golf course to do a book signing at Books on the Hill in Clevedon this Saturday 21st and dropping in to the Flash Fiction Festival on Sunday in Bristol.
Scottish readers should also check out her website for news of Scottish shenanigans in September and October.
And yes, our next Story Sunday will be in the early autumn, so please watch this space and keep writing!
Though we say it ourselves, our Crime Night Story Sunday went particularly well and we are grateful to all of our readers and the enthusiastic audience who made it such a friendly and entertaining evening ( pictures at the bottom of the page!)
We still have to decide on next year’s programme but will keep you up to date here with our plans, or contact us to go on our mailing list for events and submission opportunities.
Meanwhile we’ve been busy at other Bristol Literature Festival Events, including the first ever Book Busk on Bristol Harbourside and at the notoriously raucous (and testing!) Flash Slam where we fielded two teams but still had to give way to Stokes Croft Writers (don’t miss their next Talking Tales evening) when it came to top prize!
Coming up is an event hosted by theatre group Bristales. Both Dawn and Ali have been selected to take part in an evening of readings on the theme ‘memories’. Catch them at The Room Above at the White Bear on St Michael’s Hill on Friday Nov 24th at 7.30. (Don’t be late. Ali is first up!)
And just in time for Christmas you can find us on December 9th with our jolly book stall,
this time at the Southbank Christmas Market
MANY STALLS – LIVE MUSIC – HOT SNACKS – FREE ENTRY
BAR OPEN – IT’S INSIDE at Southbank Club, BS3 4DB
Yes we sell books as well as write them. Bargains may well be found!
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.
From 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.
At 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!
On 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!
This 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.
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.
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/
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.
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.
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!
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.