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.



  1. The early skeptics better find somewhere to hide lol. Many congratulations to all, especially your good self, Leanne x

  2. Thanks, Michael. Uber-congrats to you, too, on your release on Kindly of The Dallas Mercenary!

  3. There's been so much good news lately from the programme. It's really uplifting and great to be part of it all!

  4. It's quite amazing, isn't it? A real talent pool. :) Thanks, Ruth.

  5. Incidentally, I should own up. Eiry put the compilation of Flitwit photos together. Yet MORE talent! Thank you, Eiry :)

  6. Brilliant stuff, Leanne! It's so good to see it all compiled this - makes me even more inspired :)

  7. It certainly does, doesn't it? It also goes to show that we've all been around a bit (in the nicest possible way) and are therefore very much aware of the current publishing climate. George, don't forget to let me have links to any of your pubbed shorts. OK?

  8. It’s an honour nay a privilege and an honour to be part of the BWA Publishing Programme. It’s a real education and at the same time like being part of a greater extended family. Love it. You’re all so supportive and inspiring. X

  9. Thanks for all the hard work you put into your forums, Leanne. You're doing rather well yourself and I'm looking forward to reading all about YOUR successes here too.
    You're always there whenever I need a push, a shove or someone to share good news with. There's so much positivity coming through now and that is so uplifting.

  10. Thanks, Claire. You are trail-blazing. But then you have a great book and are prepared to put in so much hard work. We're all right behind you, willing you on. :)

  11. With all the negativity around trying to get published, Eiry, how refreshing is the positivity? Negative drags you down. Positive lifts you up. We’re like the Flitwits, floating. And how fabulous is it to have our “extended family” behind us, after so long in the solitary isolation that writing can sometimes be? :)

  12. I thought I'd share the fact that the children cheered so much when I delivered them a thank you letter today, that it took me totally by surprise. I mention that only because I couldn't help thinking of the negativity I have encountered in the past, such as you mention, Leanne.
    Lyrical writing for children is so difficult to bypass editing firms, let alone agents, in order to interest publishers. The final judges are the children and so it should be. If my project succeeds, I hope that it might help, even just a little, to change the situation. I'll step off the soap box now.

  13. The photos we posted up are but a few. From what I've seen overall, Eiry, the children delighted in the lyrical aspect - acting it out on stage! Wondeful! - and the teachers see the project as a valuable learning tool.