Things I'm doing (2)


I've got quite a few things coming up over the next couple of months so I thought I'd gather the info together here...

Firstly, because if you fancy it you need to book a place by the 16th September, I'm going to be running a guide to online publishing workshop with Litfest on Saturday the 1st October. Here's the proper blurb:

The internet provides an exciting platform for creative literature projects, putting the tools for low or even no-cost publishing into everyone’s hands. This workshop will help you to put together ideas for setting up a magazine, blog or other online writing project and introduce you to the open source platforms and social networking tools you’ll need to bring your ideas to fruition. You’ll take part in a variety of creative exercises that will help with planning, design and writing content for web pages.
Saturday 1st October, 10am-4pm
Cost £40 (£30 concs.)
Book by 16th September. 
To book:
by phone: call us on 01524 62166
by cheque: post cheque to Get Writing, Litfest, The Storey, Lancaster LA1 1TH, with course name, ticket price and your full contact details
online: on this page of the Litfest website
I've also got some readings coming up. I'll be reading twice during the Didsbury Arts Festival. On Monday 26th September I'll be taking part in Murmurations: Authors on Stage, at which several writers will be reading their stories from Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories about Birds, edited by Nicholas Royle. The book is due to be published on the 31st October and will be raising money for the RSPB. It features reprints of stories by writers like Anna Kavan and Daphne du Maurier alongside new stories specially commissioned for the anthology. You can pre-order it now (with free P&P in the UK) from the brilliant independent publisher Two Ravens Press (and it's best to support them by ordering it direct rather than from a certain online book giant).

On Wednesday 28th September I'll be at the launch of Flashtag Manchester's first anthology, Quickies. This is an anthology of filthy flash fiction (although my story is honestly very tame and is mostly about books and my penchant for abusing them!). Lots of people will be reading and it should be an entertaining evening. The anthology is available to buy here.

*addition to original post* On Monday 3rd October I'll be reading at a Bad Language & Nightjar Press event, which is the launch of Christopher Kenworthy's new Nightjar chapbook 'Sullom Hill'. Tom Fletcher, Graeme Shimmin and Duncan Lockhart will also be reading.

This is a little way off, but I also know I'll be reading at the Story Forum live literature night at the Novel Cafe in Lancaster on Tuesday 8th November. The Story Forum events raise money for the Lancaster based arts publication Back&Beyond.

And I should also mention that I have a story in the latest issue of the fantastic A cappella Zoo. The print version is available to buy here and the web version will be released in October.

Things I'm reading
Just finished: The Existential Detective, by Alice Thompson — a strange and engaging mystery that takes place in a wonderfully depicted run-down seaside town. I'd definitely recommend it. And Days Between Stations, by Steve Erickson — I'm not quite sure where to start in describing this so I'll just admit that I couldn't bring myself to read anything else for a week after I'd finished it. It's one of the best novels I've ever read.

Just started: The Lost District and Other Stories, by Joel Lane. I saw Joel reading and talking at a very good Urban Horror event at Deansgate Waterstone's recently and so much of what he said about our lives in the bizarre urban environment we've constructed for ourselves made sense to me. I've been drawn straight into these dark, beautifully written stories. I should have read this collection sooner.

I'm also...

putting together the library-themed second volume of Paraxis with my co-editor Andy Hedgecock. It's due out at the end of September and I can promise you fantastic stories, intriguing essays, a large collaborative online collage and beautiful artwork.

celebrating the handing in of my dissertation by working my way through the Twin Peaks box set.

trying to resist the urge to buy new stationary that still hits me every September.

last September's pencil case

*I took the photograph at the top of the post whilst standing in the glass stacks in one of my favourite libraries, the John Rylands in Manchester. I went on a photography tour of the building which allows you to visit parts of the library the public can't normally access. The glass stacks are actually a storage space where glass walkways are suspended between the bookshelves. I hardly took any pictures on the tour because I was too busy ogling. Luckily I went with my dad, who is a photographer and who did get some good pictures which will be going into the Paraxis library collage.