Friday, 17 June 2011

More News from the Talented Brit Writers!

Sinead Gillespie ~ Brit Writers’ Awards Publishing Programme Group 1 ~ is holding her second Scriptwriting workshop in Bridgewater. Sinead tells us a little about it below:
Thanks to the previous success writing and performing my one-woman show (From Within), I was asked to run a couple of Scriptwriting workshops at the oldest (as in first) UK Arts Centre in Bridgwater, Somerset.  Called “From Page to Stage”, the project is linked with an autumn event in conjunction with another centre at Taunton: a scratch night. A scratch night is where actors take scenes of brand new writing to the stage so the writer and audience can see how well it works in action. It’s very exciting for new writers to see their words come to life. I have been through the process as both actor and writer so I am very pleased to be involved in a different role this time; inspiring new playwrights to develop their work.

The first workshop was so much fun the participants requested an extra date. So this Saturday at 10.30am we will be doing a session on Character. Our final session, the scratch night, will be on July 9th when we’ll be working on Plot. It gives me a real buzz to be able to share creative journeys with other writers. It is always a two-way street (as those of us on the BWA publishing Programme have learned from one another). We all educate one another in our different approaches, methods, and motivation.

I’m really looking forward to the next two sessions, and I suspect the actor in me may just have to get involved in the scratch night too!
Claire Kinton ~ Publishing Programme Group 1 ~ has been getting herself in the Lincolnite News! 
Creative writing: Claire Kinton, a local author of popular teenage novel Dead Game, is encouraging her teenage readership to get involved.
Georgina Kamsika ~ Publishing Programme Group 1 ~ has a short story up at Romance Flash in time for their one year anniversary: Acceptable Suitors at
Georgina Kamsika delivers again with another wonderful romantic flash fiction piece!

Michael Oren ~ Brit Writers’ Awards Publishing Programme Group 2 ~ has his book THE DALLAS MERCENARY (on general release July 2011) out now on Kindle! 

A little bit about the author, by the author: First and foremost, I am a writer. Then I'm a novelist, journalist, commentator, poet, entertainer, a Londoner and an African in no particular order. I strive to write quality works of fiction, most of which transcend genre. I try to inform and educate whenever I can, but my main aim in writing fiction is to entertain, keep my readers tearing through the pages.

You can find out more about Michael and read extracts from The Dallas Mercenary here: Michael E. OrenWhile you’re there, take a look at the blurb for Michael’s upcoming book Dudlham Sings, which promises to be equally as thrilling as Michael’s first book. 

NOW ON KINDLE. Paperback version available for pre-order

At the initial signs of some skirmishes over the disputed elections in Kenya, a young English woman sets off to save her 12-year old friend from a possible threat of civil war. The trip turns into a long journey through the underbelly of the Third World that will leave her questioning whether these people ever really had peace in the first place.

WELL DONE GUYS!  Brilliant stuff.  BWA participants forging a path forward.

Tuesday, 14 June 2011

Goodreads Review - A HEARTBEAT AWAY written by Michael Palmer

A Heartbeat AwayA Heartbeat Away by Michael Palmer

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I’ve just read reviews from both ends of the critical spectrum. I have to say I lean toward the most favourable. I, too, thought the premise was simple and brilliant. Scarily believable: The release by terrorists of a bio-weapon originally home-grown by order of the president. This is where I detract from the opinion of the more critical reviewer. OK, I’m a UK reader, so perhaps less informed on the inner workings of US politics, but, to me, the President seemed very convincing. I could picture him, so he must have been. I did wonder a couple of times where Griff found his physical strength from – given his incarceration – but then I remembered what was at stake… and human beings can tap on extraordinary resources when faced with… well, the annihilation of the population of the US? The world? Disaster anyway. I liked that I didn’t question Michael’s (necessary) scientific descriptions. (A big plus. If it bores me or blinds me with science, I can’t read it, and this didn’t). Hands up, I admit I love dogs, totally. I foster disabled dogs, so there you go. Griff’s reasons for not wanting to go the animal testing route were very touching – without being soppy, and believable. Overall, I loved A Heartbeat Away. It has stayed with me, beckoning me to write this review. This is the fist Michael Palmer book I’ve read and I’m a fan. A Heartbeat Away

View all my reviews

Friday, 3 June 2011


I can’t keep up with the Brit Writers’ Awards Publishing Programme participants’ achievements.  There is no stopping these people.  They’re not knocking on doors anymore.  They are breaking them down!

With huge congratulations to the authors, I’ve summarised briefly below:

First off: David Logan, an author on the BWA two year Publishing Programme, has won the Terry Pratchett debut writers’ award for his darkly atmospheric book, Half Sick of Shadows!  David was chosen as joint winner for the inaugural Anywhere But Here, Anywhen But Now prize: £20,000 to split with Michael Logan (no relation) and a publishing contract with Transworld Publishers.  Excellent!
Terry Pratchett reveals winners of his debut writers' award | Books |

Claire Kinton – on the one year BWA Publishing Programme - has earned a fabulous review in The Guardian UK for DEAD GAME, a mystical, compelling story of Lance Corporal Archie Fletcher’s journey through transit.  Well done, Claire!

Ruth Heald was invitedto give a talk at the first ever Bangkok Literary festival, organised by the Neilson Hays library, where she spoke about the challenges and the opportunities presented by the new publishing landscape.  I know Ruth was nervous, rubbing shoulders with other high calibre speakers – including Ken Hom, Stephen Leather and Christopher G Moore, but apparently the audience was extremely receptive and her talk went down very well. The bottle of wine Ruth received by way of thanks was most appreciated.  Great stuff, Ruth!  Back at her desk and hard at it, Ruth has now launched launched the Five Stop Story latest short story competition. 
We’re pleased to announce Five Stop Story’s third short story competition. The theme is “travel” and we’re looking for publishable, proof-read stories of 1,500 to 2,500 words.

Eiry Rees Thomas, author of THE FLITWIT CAPERS, was invited along to Palmerston Primary school to participate with the children in Flitwit Friday, an inspired idea to bring fun into learning.  Eiry says, “The children were absolutely brilliant.  I owe them and their teachers so much. Matthew, my illustrator, and I were presented with a magnificent show, DVD, professional calender, giant portfolio of the children's work, a superb tea and friendship pebbles etc.” 

Eiry was joined by her husband, who dressed up for the day (and who apparently can't recall ever having such a fun day during his long teaching career).  To Eiry's surprise, fellow authors Spencer Ratcliff and Bel Roberts also turned up to lend their support, along with Zareen Roohi Ahmed from the Brit Writers’ Awards.  Looks like Flitwit Friday might be here to stay!

Hopefully, I’ll bring you news of other participants exciting adventures next time, including a bit about Sinead Gillespie’s Saturday morning scriptwriting workshops.   

As for myself, I’ve just been offered a contract by Safkhet Publishing for a rom com with a very Unique Selling Point.  Preen. Preen. 
Safkhet started as a company providing text work to other publishers. It evolved into a publishing house that is truly honest with its authors, freelancers and business partners to create a fantastic work environment bringing high quality books that make a difference to the world.