Christmas anthology writers!
In my last post I mentioned that myself and fellow author, Kelly Creighton, were publishing an anthology of Christmas stories this year through a new organisation we’ve set up (Sesheta). The publication is kindly being funded by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, which means that we can pay each writer a fee for their story and can also cover the associated publication costs. We had lots of submissions for the book – which made selecting our writers incredibly difficult – but we now have our final list of contributors!
In no particular order, the writers we chose are:
- Gary McKay
- Angeline Adams and Remco van Straten
- Eddy Baker
- Stacie Davis
- Morna Sullivan
- Samuel Poots
- Sharon Dempsey
- Stuart Wilson
- Jo Zebedee
- Simon Maltman
There will be more details on the book over the next few months, as we prepare to launch it in November and of course, the cover will be revealed along the way too. For now, however, we’d like to congratulate the ten writers above and just say thank you again to everyone who submitted their work for us to read.
I have to say, sitting on the other side of the fence as one of the people tasked with choosing the stories for this project has been a great reminder that when you submit your work to publications and agents etc. rejection doesn’t necessarily equate ‘not good enough’. We had lots of submissions for the anthology and ten slots to fill, so you can imagine how tricky it was whittling them all down. To do this, the quality of the writing and the stories was key, but we also had to balance out the genres of the work we were including as well.
As such, it’s good to remember that it really does pay to keep submitting your writing and not to get too downhearted when you get those rejections, which we all have along the way.
Which leads me onto my own recent submissions, as I too, have been sending some work away and am currently awaiting news of rejection or acceptance for a short non-fiction piece and a couple of short stories. We shall see what happens!
In terms of my novel-writing, I may be publishing my third middle-grade children’s novel in the coming months but, realistically, I think it will be early 2021 when that will be available. There’s a lot of other stuff going on over the next few months with various work projects and family things, but I will keep you updated as things progress. One of those other projects is a mini biography like the one I wrote last year. I find these really interesting to write as I love hearing about people’s life stories and turning their lived experiences into books they can keep for their families.
Anyway, as you may have noticed, my sub-heading here says ‘novels’ plural, which means that – yes – another new book is in the pipeline! What’s more, this one is not a children’s novel and that’s about all I’m going to say at the minute. 🙂
NB My short stories are always predominantly written for an adult audience and I did also write a manuscript or two for adults years ago (which have never seen the light of day and are still in notebooks somewhere!), so writing an adult novel is something I’ve always thought I’d do at some stage. Having written three children’s novels, however, I would like to make it clear that no, I did not write those first as a way to ‘work up to’ writing a book for adults. There’s a big misconception amongst many adult readers (and authors) that writing a children’s novel is somehow easy and not on par to writing an adult book. Not so, my friends. Writing children’s books isn’t a way of ‘warming up’ to an adult book – a novel is a novel and they are all of them hard work to write! (And let me tell you, an audience of 10 year-olds will not hold back when they read your book.)
Anyway, I just felt that needed to be said! I still intend to write more children’s fiction too, in the future. 🙂
GC Book Club
On to book club and we had our June meet-up last night, via Zoom, of course. Our book was a thriller called Distress Signals by Irish author Catherine Ryan Howard, who also kindly joined us for a chat about the book and her writing. (See pic, bottom right).
This was Catherine’s debut novel from around 2015 and we all enjoyed it, agreeing it was well-paced and kept you reading on, as a good thriller should. She has a few other books published and her latest, The Nothing Man, will be available in August, so keep your eyes peeled for that one!
Our July book choice is a novel in translation and is Eva Luna by Isabel Allende. I found a variety of lovely book covers for this online and the book itself sounds very interesting, so hopefully it will go down well!
Anyway, that’s all the bookish chat for now. More as I have it. 🙂