Friday, 9 June 2017

Mother's Milk books newsletter

With tips for short story writers and Leeds Big Bookend, here is the latest Mother's Milk Books newsletter:


Mother's Milk Books baby reaching out to open books
June 2017
Hello again!
And a huge welcome to those new to this newsletter. :-)

Nondula, Short Story Tips, Baby X & A New Pamphlet

I can’t quite believe that I sent out the last newsletter 2 months ago. The reason for that gap in time is mainly because of the following:
At last, Nondula by Ana Salote, the sequel to Oy Yew, has a publication date – 12th June, and it is currently available to pre-order at the discounted price of £6.99. Ana and I have been working very intensively on the last edits for the past couple of months, and, as usual, I have typeset it myself and proofread it over and over so that I can give it the Mother’s Milk Books stamp of approval. At this stage of a book’s life, I know it so well that it seems obvious that people should buy it and read it and love it. But then I remember that others haven’t examined every line of the manuscript over and over so I guess I should tell you something about it!
Well, just like in Oy Yew, there is a brilliant baddy to boo at. Her name is Bominata; she eats uncooked, unpeeled kingfisher eggs like sweets and she smells overcooked. There are, as ever, the goodies to root for – Oy is as empathetic and kind as ever, Alas as sharply-focussed, Gertie as bookish, and this time round Gritty gets to have her own nailbiting adventure. Do I need to say more? If you’d like to read the blurb and the fine endorsements from Candy Gourlay and Liz Brownlee please do head on over here.
Short Story Tips
In Other News – note the capitalization (it seems strange to me that other things have been happening besides the production of Nondula!), I was at the Northern Short Story Festival in Leeds last Saturday, where I sat on a panel to discuss the short story form. Jamie from Valley Press managed to get a recording of the event, so if you’d like to hear about what editors look for in a short story, please do head on over to Facebook and have a listen. But if you’re short on time, I’ve pulled out 5 useful tips from the talk:
1.        Editors disagree over what’s more important: character or plot. Make sure you have the right balance of both.
2.        Don’t forget about ideas or the milieu! Jamie McGarry reinforced the importance of ideas in a short story. (Read more from Orson Scott Card when it comes to the MICE – milieu, ideas, character, event – quotient.)
3.        Endings are important. Becca Parkinson from Comma Press advocated thinking carefully about your ending when planning your story.
4.        There are many opportunities for short story writers. If you’re short on cash enter free competitions or calls for submissions from lit mags or small presses that don’t charge. Lots here from my author, Cathy Bryant:
5.        Keep going! If you really want to write and get published, you will do it!
All in all, it was a fantastic day. I loved getting the opportunity to meet with writers also in love with short stories and fairy tales, and it was a pleasure, as always, to chat to my fellow publishers, and to catch up with my author Becky Cherriman who hosted the panel (as well as catching up with some of those published in The Forgotten and the Fantastical 3). I can’t believe it was February 2016 since I published Becky’s debut pamphlet Echolocation.
Me casting a ‘fine writing spell’ on the audience. ;-)
Photo credit: Izzy Brittle and the Leeds Big Bookend Festival
Baby X
Lastly, Baby X by Rebecca Ann Smith is now officially an award-winning book. Not only did it win an Eric Hoffer Da Vinci Eye award for ‘superior cover art’ by Emma Howitt, but it also scooped the Eric Hoffer First Horizon award for superior work by a debut author AND it was the winner of the commercial fiction category. Huge congratulations to both Rebecca and Emma; I’m incredibly pleased that you both received recognition of your work, and it makes me very proud to have played a role in producing and publishing this incredible book.
Right, I’d better get off and start typesetting the new pamphlet, Inheritance by Ruth Stacey and Katy Wareham-Morris – to be launched at Ledbury Poetry Festival on 9th July. Details to be found here.
Wishing you all the best,
Love, Teika and Helen xx
p.s. Writers! Don’t forget that submissions are still open for The Forgotten and the Fantastical 4. Guidelines can be found here.
p.p.s. I’m also planning on attending the Breastfeeding Festival in Manchester on Saturday 24th June. If you’re planning on going, do come along to the stall, say hi and buy a book or card!



No comments:

Post a Comment