I’m very much looking forward to this event. Here you will get to meet the editors of Digbeth Stories, hear their thoughts on the state of publishing in the UK, why they’ve chosen Digbeth and what makes a good piece of writing as well as hear from Kit de Waal who will be submitting a brand new story to the anthology. As well as all the above it’s an ideal opportunity to meet other writers and to pitch your story ideas to the editors. See you there.
You have two chances to hear me read from my latest book, Submerged, next week.
First up is City Voices in Wolverhampton. It all starts at 7:30 at The Lighthouse a few minutes walk from the train and bus stations. City Voices is one of the Midlands’ finest spoken word evenings and never fails to delight with its range and quality of work on offer. I will be selling books.
Secondly, will be the official Birmingham launch of Submerged, and it’s going to be a corker, but don’t just take my word for it check out the line-up here.
The keen eyed of you have noticed that Submerged is now out. That means you can go down to your local bookshop, check out the Mantle Lane online store, or search your favourite online retailer and get yourselves a copy.
Those of you who are more outgoing can meet me and some bloody excellent writers for an evening of stories and booze when we launch Submerged on May 15th at The Birmingham Whisky Club.
We’d all love to see you there.
The flyer says it all, but I can’t stress enough how great the other writers are and how wonderful an evening it promises to be. If you like fiction you’re in for a real treat.
The Birmingham Whiskey Club, 76 Vyse St, Birmingham B18 6HA.
There are easy train and tram links to the Jewellery Quarter station from which we are a few minutes walking distance away.
You can also walk from the city centre, which will take you approximately 20-30 minutes.
The following buses stop in the Jewellery Quarter: 16, 60, 87, 8c, 276 & 9.
There is on street pay & display parking available which is free from 6pm. Or the Jewellery Quarter parking garage is a short distance from us if that is your preference.
Another quick one – I just don’t have the time at the moment. This is a view of the south end of Coniston in the Lake District. It’s all fibre tipped pen and is actually black on white paper. The image is a sepia brown due to me taking the pic on my phone for speed.
I did do a little tinkering in Affinity Photo to add the sepia splashes of cloud.
I’m hoping to get a bit of time at the weekend to do some longer drawing and some writing. That will hopefully be on Sunday once I’ve got my reading at Birmingham Literature Festival out of the way and finished working with my young writers group on the Saturday. I’ve set Saturday evening aside for watching crap with the family and drinking beer.
If you’re in Birmingham this Saturday morning (October 6th) come along to Birmingham REP, the Mezzanine, and hear some great stories from a bunch of wonderful writers. Hell, you could even buy some books.
For those of you who are of a creative or aquatic bent, you may be interested to know that I will once again be leading canal based creative writing workshops. Those crazy fools at the Birmingham Literature Festival have asked me to lead dusk till dawn writing sessions as part of this year’s festival.
I don’t have a lot of details yet, but I guess that they will be similar to the ones I ran back in April as part of the pop-up festival. Back then, we started from Birmingham’s historic Roundhouse and explored the canals via canoe and kayak. It was a real eye-opener for me. There are parts of the city you can only explore from the canal. Deserted glassworks, industrial loading bays and the Victorian red brick of disused warehouses stand beside the canal, and their decaying shells now home a multitude of wildlife and their walls canvases for graffiti artists and frustrated lovers.
We will spend at least an hour on the water and then back inside the relative, although not guaranteed, warmth of the Roundhouse I’ll put you through your paces with some short, focused writing exercises that will nudge you towards creating longer pieces of work.
Paddling and writing along Birmingham’s canals
Ever thought of combining canoeing and writing? Well, now’s your chance. On April 23rd, Jo Bell (poet,) Alyse Fowler (gardener/writer,) and I will be doing just that. We’ll be taking groups down the industrial canals of Birmingham and using this unique perspective to inspire creative writing. Check out the press release below for full details and booking info:
£20/£16 (concessions), children £10
Need some inspiration to get writing? Want to explore hidden Birmingham?
Look no further than our series of creative walks, bike rides and canoe trips developed in partnership with the Canal & River Trust, National Trust, Birmingham Roundhouse, British Canoeing and Big Birmingham Bikes, and delivered by five fantastic writers.
Take to the waterways of Birmingham by canoe for a unique perspective on the city, returning to dry land for a writing workshop at The Roundhouse led by Alys Fowler (10am-1pm) or Jo Bell (2pm-5pm). Workshops for young people at both sessions will be led by Garrie Fletcher. Canoes and instruction supplied free of charge from British Canoeing and B-ROW.
Please dress comfortably: we advise that you don’t wear jeans, you do wear trainers, bring waterproof coat and trousers, and a complete change of clothes. The canoes have a weight restriction of 17.5 stone.
Drinks are provided free of charge but please bring a snack to sustain you.
Suitable for adults and children aged 8 and over. Children under 16 must be accompanied by an adult.
Workshop 1 – 10am – 1pm (Alys Fowler)
Workshop 2 – 2pm – 5pm (Jo Bell)
Jo Bell is a former Canal Poet Laureate and currently appears on Nationwide’s ‘Voice of the People’ ads. Her poetry collection Kith is published by Nine Arches Press. She is co-writing a handbook for poets – How to be a Poet – and lives on a narrowboat.
Alys Fowler is an award-winning journalist, regular presenter of BBC Gardeners’ World and Guardian columnist. Her new book Hidden Nature charts her journey through the canals of Birmingham by canoe.
Garrie Fletcher writes short stories, novels and poems. His collection of short stories, Night Swimming, has just been published by Mantle Lane Press. He leads the Birmingham Young Writers’ Group for Writing West Midlands.
How to Book:
Please contact The BOX to book tickets on 0121 245 4455 or you can book online by clicking the button below.
My first collection of short stories, Night Swimming, is almost here. It’s still not really sunk in. But on Saturday, March the 11th, I will finally hold a copy in my hands – that should do the trick.
To be able to look at the cover of my book and flick through the pages, pages covered with words that I typed, deleted, retyped, crossed out, scribbled over and screamed at should fill me with joy, or at least a deep sense of satisfaction.
However, this isn’t ‘job done.’ Now starts the long process of promotion, of convincing people to buy my book. The first step, along the road of self-promotion, will be taken on Saturday at this year’s States of Independence in Leicester. I will be reading a short extract from, Night Swimming, as part of the Mantle Lane Press launch. I’ve read my work at many events over the years, but this will be the first time that I’ve had a ‘product’ to promote. At the moment, I’m reading through the stories and trying to decide which one will tantalise the most and leave an audience wanting more.
If you’re in Leicester, or fancy a day out there, please come along to States of Independence. Here’s some info and details from their website:
States of Independence
Independent publishing | Independent writing | Independent thinking
A book festival in a day
This year’s States of Independence is our eighth. It’s a book festival in a day, a marketplace, a conference, a chance to relax and listen to some readings, an opportunity to argue about issues in the industry and to meet with independent presses from across the region.
States of Independence supports independent thinking, independent writing and independent presses. Join us for the day or an hour. Attend lots of events – you will be spoiled for choice – or just one, or simply come along and browse through the twenty or so bookstalls to see what the independent sector is publishing.
As always there are poetry and fiction readings and industry panels discussing current hot topics – this year focusing on independent literary magazines. Non-fiction wanders from British Palestine to John Clare’s escape from an asylum, via the political power of music, reminiscences about being gay in the 80s, and how to talk about poetry
States of Independence is a free event, underwritten by Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham and the Centre for Creative Writing at De Montfort University, with the support of over fifty writers and over thirty presses.
All sessions are free, no tickets required.
Just turn up and stay for an hour or two, or the whole day.
States of Independence is organised and funded by Five Leaves Bookshop in Nottingham and the Creative Writing Team at De Montfort University, Leicester.
My collection of short stories, entitled: Night Swimming, will be launched on March the 11th, at States of Independence in Leicester. States of Independence is a gathering of independent publishers. There will be workshops, readings, panels, seminars, book launches, bookstalls, independent presses, regional writers and much, much more. I think it’ll be based at De Montfort University, but I’ll let you know the full details when I get them.
If you’re in Leicester, or fancy a day in that fine city, then please come along and say hi. Previous events have been free of charge and there’s plenty to see and do
Book Cover Uncovered
Those wonderful people at Mantle Lane Press have chosen and they have chosen well. The artwork for my forthcoming collection of short stories, Night Swimming, will be provided by Gabriella Marsh. Here’s a text free glimpse of what’s to come.
Artists wanted, Birmingham, Birmingham Literature Festival, Book Cover Art, Book cover designers, Graphic Design, Great opportunity, Mantle Lane Press, Night Swimming, short story collection, Submissions wanted
Calling all artists/photographers/graphic designers.
There’s a great opportunity at Mantle Lane Press for book cover designers.
There are three books that need covers including my own short story collection, Night Swimming. Please check out the link below for details and share this on your own networks.
You can also hear some of the writers of the latest Mantle Lane Press Anthology read from the collection at this year’s Birmingham Literature Festival.
What Haunts The Heart is a new collection of short stories by brilliant writers from across the Midlands, presenting a host of haunted characters: a waxwork-maker, a doomed puppeteer, an isolated writer… What Haunts The Heart weaves together tales of lost love, regret, bad decisions, madness, secrets, obsession and redemption.
Come and hear a selection of these fantastic stories performed live by writers including William Gallagher, Liza Kershaw and Fiona Joseph.
Tickets are £3 and available here.