Thursday 20 October 2016

Delight in putting books together

I have several projects on the go at the moment and they’re all filling me with delight. I’ve a couple of on-going calls for submissions, too. So, watch this space ….


This of course is the annual Bridge House anthology. We’ve a lovely selection of stories this time. The inside of the book is almost ready for final proof-reading and we’re working on the cover. I’m busy too, putting together a book trailer.

Don’t forget, we’re holding our annual celebration on 3 December in London. It is free of charge and there will be a few copies of the anthology on sale. We do ask you to sign up, however. You can do this here.

Come and chat to us editors and to our authors and see whether you might be able to write for Bridge House.

Flash fiction collections

I’m busy working on three of these at the moment. One is my own, January Stones. Currently, I have that a as blog. That will be taken down apart from a few excerpts once the book is out. Do take a look here. This will give you the flavour of the type of thing I’m looking for.

We aim to produce small square books. They will be good to hold and will make suitable gifts. I’m hoping that our authors will be proactive in offering readings. I’m currently thinking of fairly plain covers, rather like some French books. Perhaps a tweet-length blurb on the front and a short author bio on the back. I’ll allow the authors to select the colour each time.

At the moment I have signed up Allison Symes and Neil Campbell.

Here are tasters from them:



I never believed in hell. Of all my mistakes in life, I never thought that would be my biggest. But it is.
There are no flames. There’s no smell of sulphur. I am surrounded by furry animals of differing sizes. So where is the problem?
Not only am I allergic to fur so I spend most of my time sneezing my head off, I spent my time on Earth shooting furry animals. Not with a camera either. Somehow I thought hunting animals only for fun was macho.
Guess who are holding the guns now?



Corned Beef went to his local in Burnage to ease himself out of the day with pints of bitter. For years he did this until at one stage he began to see scratches on his face in the bathroom mirror in the morning. Usually they were on his forehead but sometimes on his cheeks. He washed away the thin lines of dried blood and then got on the 197 to work as usual.
     The scratches began to develop into cuts and one morning he woke to see blood across the pillow. He felt for his forehead and his forefinger squished into a gash. He went to the bathroom mirror and took a plaster from the cabinet, placing it across his forehead. In work that day, below a staircase in a dark chamber within the neo-gothic splendour of Manchester Town Hall, he sat with the other porters at break time drinking coffee from his flask.
     ‘Hey, Corned Beef,’ said Bungalow, ‘what’s with the fucking plaster?’
     ‘Cut me head.’
     ‘How did you manage that?’
     ‘Don’t know.’

You can find the full call to submissions here:

The Red Telephone call for submissions

I’m looking for the next great young adult book. Will it be yours? Submission guidelines here.
Right- now back to more book making!

Thursday 6 October 2016

A plea for patience

I will be thoroughly frank with you. I grow impatient with some writers’ impatience. If you have a contract and I’m editing your work, you will get it when it is ready. If you chase me about it I’ll probably ignore you. If there is a delay – and most times there isn’t – it will grow even longer as I stop to answer your email.

Everything takes longer

It does seem that no matter how long we allow, everything takes longer than we first thought. What are some of the things that delay us?
  • Webs sites working more slowly than usual
  • Odd formatting appearing form nowhere in a text
  • A missing bio
  • An author not returning an edit or a proof read on time (Yes, we give a tight deadline on this and it may seem that we are taking forever to do our work – but believe me, we never really stop. As I’m a writer as well I’ve been on the receiving end of this and know how it feels though I understand why it happens)
  • We’re suddenly offered a fabulous marketing opportunity and we daren’t ignore it for all of our sakes.
  • We get ill, have family crises and technical breakdowns also.

What can you do to help?

  • Follow submission guidelines to the letter. We ask for a certain type of formatting because that makes it easier for us to produce the photo-ready copy.   
  • Don’t ask for major changes at the third stage of editing or when proof-reading.
  • Trust us.  
  • While you’re waiting just get on with your next piece of writing.   

We’re all on the same side really

Yes, we are. We all just want to produce a superb book. So let’s just get on with it. And with the next project.