Adapting a well-loved childhood classic is always a risk, but in the case of Theatre by the Lake’s Christmas production of Arthur Ransome’s Swallows and Amazons, the risk pays off. Helen Edmundson’s script, directed by Stefan Escreet, brings the novel to life for a new generation, while not losing the magical and nostalgic feel of the [...]
Ann Healey writes about two books from Ink Pantry Publishing: – x – This is the story of two books. Sea of Ink and Fields of Words. Once upon a time, there were several students from all over the UK and Europe, who were enrolled on a creative writing course run by the Open University (OU). [...]
Writers Wendy Storer, from Kendal, and Sheffield-based Kate Hanney, are the brains behind new publishing imprint Applecore Books, specialising in realistic contemporary fiction for children and young adults. To help spread the word, they’re running a competition for 9 to 18 year olds, and the first prize is a fabulous Kindle Fire.
It may have missed out on the T.S. Eliot Prize, but Jacob Polley’s latest has received mostly positive reviews since it was published last November. Here’s our pick of the best of them by Ben Wilkinson, Miriam Gamble, John Field and Steve Matthews, plus links to poems from the collection published online and a recording from the T. S. Eliot Prize reading in London.
“Grace and Mary is not a book about dementia, BBC broadcaster Melvyn Bragg is keen to point out. Nor it is about his own experiences. Yet without either influences, his latest novel would not exist in the form it does.”
Melvyn Bragg talks to the Liverpool Daily Post before appearing at the city’s In Other Words festival on 11 May, just after the publication of his new novel. Cumbrian audiences can catch him in Wigton on 18 May and Carlisle on 6 June. (See our Calendar pages for details). Read more >>
A book can take fifteen years to write but be out of print in no time and pretty much forgotten – a shameful state of affairs for Angela Locke’s novel Dreams of the Blue Poppy, according to fellow Cumbrian author and newbie independent publisher Kathleen Jones.
Originally published by Robert Hale in 2007, the novel – a historical romance with a botanical twist – has been re-released in an electronic edition by Kathleen’s Book Mill imprint. Read more >>
The anthology we’ve all been waiting for! The Cockermouth Poets 1700-2012 is a labour of love by poetry activist and editor extraordinaire Michael Baron, bringing together 85 poets who have all either read publicly in the town, were born there, or passed though and breathed its sweet air. It’s an idea inspired by disaster, arising out of the ‘River Poets’ shop window poetry trail (also a Baron brainchild) to mark the first anniversary of the great flood of 2009.
Net proceeds from sales of the book – priced £8.50 – go to Cockermouth Mountain Rescue and Save The Children. Read more >>
It’s National Short Story Week, which is a good time to be telling you about two new collections of stories by Cumbrian authors. A publisher – Pewter Rose Press – has at last had the sense to gather up a bunch of Brindley Hallam Dennis stories and put them between a pair of soft covers. Talking to Owls is the result.
Elizabeth Stott has been messing about with Kindle software and has released a trio of her tales – This Heat – as an e-book, available from you-know-where. Read more>>
Carlisle-born Margaret Forster (pictured) is one of the UK’s most prolific, respected, and possibly underrated authors. Back in 2003, Cumbrian biographer Kathleen Jones published a pamphlet-length essay by way of introduction to her work. Now, she’s updated and expanded it into a new book issued as a Kindle edition.
Cumbrian writer Ian Hill’s submission to Lancaster Litfest for a special publication of new work inspired by Lancashire landscapes is one of three pieces that make up The Language of Footprints, the latest ebook from the festival’s Flax imprint.
‘Instar’ explores and celebrates the liminal landscape of Leighton Moss and Morecambe Bay, where land and water continually change places and struggle for dominance. Read more>>
Cumbrian poet Jacob Polley is one of ten poets shortlisted for what Andrew Motion once called ‘the prize most poets want to win’. Polley is in the frame for his latest collection, The Havocs, due to be published by Picador on 8 November.
Ulverston writer Paul Kingsnorth is aiming to publish his first novel, The Wake, through the ‘revolutionary’ reader-funded publishing outfit Unbound. Set in the three years after the battle of Hastings, The Wake will tell the story of a fractured band of guerrilla fighters who take up arms against the Norman invaders.
If you like the idea of the book – the author’s ‘pitch’ – you pays your money and you takes your chance. Paul has 35% of the ‘pledges’ he needs for the book to happen. Have your credit card handy and find out more>>
“This is the book that deep down I always wanted to write”, says Keith Richardson at the beginning of the foreword to his latest book, The Greta. It’s a labour of love and a hymn of praise to ‘the greatest little river in the world’, lavishly illustrated with superb photographs by Keith’s longtime collaborator Val Corbett.
The pair launch the book at the Theatre by the Lake on Sunday, and you can read the rest of the foreword here>>