I have found membership of The Society of Authors very useful – legal advice, interesting guest speakers, communicating with other authors – and much else. I recommend it to all writers.
Wednesday, 29 November 5-7pm – Waterstones Greenwich
Both John Wilks and I have been tutors to this remarkable group who have now produced an anthology of their work – short stories, flash fiction, poems – including pieces by John and me. Barbara Ward, a member of the group, has been the driving force behind this project.
John and I met when we were students on the MA in Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, University of London. It has been a great experience for us to have been part of the Greenwich Creative Writing Group.
All profits go to the Greenwich Foodbank.
60 authors, 60 stories. Each story is no longer than 360 words long. Witty, poignant, entertaining, this anthology includes some of the best short short fiction writers around, including Lydia Davis, Roddy Doyle, David Gaffney and Gemma Seltzer. There is one by me too! Edited by Peter Blair and Ashley Chantler. The perfect little Christmas gift – and all money goes to Comic Relief.
This is a promotional video made by Unbound for the above. Thanks to Unbound for permission to use this. If any publishers like the idea of this collection, please get in touch! As you know I am now looking for another publisher as this project did not work with the excellent Unbound (see previous posts). The image here is of Alan Ross (on the left) and Ian Fleming at Fleming’s home in Jamaica in the early 1960s.
A few months ago I had an interesting meeting with Sarah Marsh from the Arts Council about the possibility of receiving a grant for a collection of stories from the London Magazine during the time Alan Ross was editor (1961-2001). The collection would also include new stories, selected through a competition. In this way, established writers would be shown alongside new voices.
The excellent Maura Dooley, Reader in Creative Writing at Goldsmiths, has also been very helpful. I am still looking for the right kind of publisher….
It soon became clear that crowdfunding with the excellent unbound was not the right path for this project.
I am now exploring other ways to publish this fantastic collection of London Magazine stories.
London Magazine: Selected Stories 1961-2001. Editor, Jeremy Worman with an introduction by William Boyd.
Help back a new collection of brilliant stories from Alan Ross’s London Magazine by pledging to my crowd funding campaign. Alan, the gifted editor of this literary and arts journal for forty years, died in 2001. He was also a poet, cricket correspondent for The Observer, reviewer and traveller. In the Second World War he served as a naval intelligence wireless operator on arctic convoys. In the late 1950s he became friends with Ian Fleming, whose last James Bond novel The Man with the Golden Gun includes a character called ‘Commander Ross’.
No one knew better than Alan what makes a good short story. Among those he published for the first time were Graham Swift and William Boyd. Harold Pinter, William Burroughs, Nadime Gordimer, William Trevor, Ruth Prawer Jhabvala and many other fascinating writers were also published there and are brought together for the first time in this collection. This publication is essential reading for anyone interested in London’s literary life – but it can’t happen without your help.
I owe a particular debt to Alan, since my first short story was published by him in the London Magazine. Support my crowd-funding campaign so that he at last gets the recognition he deserves, and you can enjoy these memorable stories.
What do you get if you pledge? A beautiful book at the very least, but there are various other rewards (see Unbound website). Every subscribers’ name goes in the back of every edition; once the funding target is reached, Unbound publish a special book for you – but if there are not enough subscribers, all money is refunded.
Unbound has been going for five years and is a success story. One of their writers, Paul Kingsmith, was long listed for the Man Booker 2014 Prize and Bookseller Book of the Year. Jonathan Meades and Erica Wagner have recently published with Unbound. ‘The Good Immigrant’ by Nikesh Shukla was BBC Radio 4 Book of the Week last month, and has just won the Reader’s Choice Prize for the Books Are My Bag Awards.
So please – spread the word – and pledge!
I am delighted to be the representative of Cinnamon Press at the launch of Will Kemp’s new collection of poetry, The Painter Who Studied Clouds: 7 pm on Friday 7 October at Keats House, Hampstead, London NW3 2RR. Will won the 2016 Keats Shelley Prize for Poetry. I shall be introducing Will who will read some of his poems — and he is an accomplished performer of his work.
He also won the 2015 Cinnamon Press short story prize with ‘The Day I Met Vini Reilly’. I was the judge for that competition. The short story anthology, The Day I Met Vini Reilly, including other prize-winning stories, was in the Waterstones short-story top-seller list for months.
It will be a great event at the lovely Keats House on 7 October. For reservations email@example.com
On a windy February day I was pleased to be invited to read a sketch, ‘The Isle of Wight Festival, 1970′. You can watch a video of the piece here.
The opening chapters of Michael Ignatieff’s brilliant study of the Kosovo war deal with the situation at close range. His reportage from the Balkans includes interviews with key participants and moving reflections of the bombed Belgrade. The control of the material is striking.
The chapters that follow reveal Ignatieff’s moral thrust, as he explores the concept of ‘virtual’ war’, when only the enemy are killed, the Allied Command is in another continent and the media provided ‘a light show for Western TV audiences’ who’ve never had to face the body bags of their own sons and citizens. He deconstructs the rhetoric of the war — ‘precision violence’ — and convincingly argues that democratic decision-making was virtually bypassed (a theme taken up by Tony Benn, but few others).
The coherence of this multi-layered critique of ‘the first postmodern war in history’ makes Virtual War deeply disturbing and hugely impressive.