Fletchski has a new site!

Greetings all you wonderful Lobsterites.

I’ve a lovely new blog over at http://fletchski.wordpress.com Why don’t you pop over and have a look at all the stuff I’ve been up to lately?

Cheers.

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Volume: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair

I just grabbed this straight from the Writing West Midlands newsletter. It looks like a great opportunity for independent book publishers. I know there are a lot of great books out there produced with love and care by independent publishers, but I’m sure I’ve only seen the tip of the iceberg. I think it would be great to see as many of them as possible, all under one roof, in the stunning new Birmingham Central Library.

If you are an independent publisher, or know one, get them to check this out, I’d love to see them there.

Opportunity for Publishers to exhibit at first Library of Birmingham Art, Book & Print Fair in December 2013
Stalls available at the first Volume fair: Birmingham’s Art, Book & Print Fair at the Library of Birmingham. 
December 5 – 7, 2013.
Writing West Midlands is helping to curate this wonderful weekend of panels, workshops and stalls focusing around publishing, printmaking and art and all points in between. This will be an event of international profile and ambition, including speakers, panel discussions, workshops and a fair, selling books, prints and artwork from an international selection of independent publishers, printworks, artists and organisations. The event aims to showcase and celebrate the very best in independent publishing, artist books and zines, whilst also interrogating issues central to publishing culture.
Stalls cost £60 for two days (Friday & Saturday) and are located in the stunning new Studio Theatre space within the Library of Birmingham. If you are interested in taking up a stall at the fair, email admin@capsule.org.uk.

Midsummer Poetry Picnic.

 

Blimey, I’ve been invited to read again this summer!

This time it will be at the gorgeous Martineau Gardens in Edgbaston, Birmingham, for the launch of a Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen collaboration entitled,’Sea of Brightness,’ published by Cinnamon Press.

An oasis in the city.

An oasis in the city.

The Martineau Gardens really are wonderful, an oasis in the middle of the city and a fine venue to hear some great poetry.

There are some excellent poets on the bill,including the mighty fine Charles Wilkinson. I’m in the same writers group as Charlie and he’s an excellent orator as is Jacqui Rowe and Meredith Andrea. I don’t know Joan Poulson but I’m sure she must be good.

Below is the invitation.

 

 

Invitation

‘Screen of Brightness’ is a poetic collaboration by Meredith Andrea & Fiona Owen, published by Cinnamon Press. It will be launched on Sunday 16th June at

A Midsummer Poetry Picnic

in the beautiful Martineau Gardens
27 Priory Road, Edgbaston, Birmingham, West Midlands, B5 7UG

2 – 6pm, with poetry readings from 3pm. Cakes & drinks provided – bring a picnic and listen to Fiona & Meredith
supported by guest readings from
Garrie Fletcher
Joan Poulson
Jacqui Rowe
Charles Wilkinson

All welcome – RSVP jan@cinnamonpress.com

To find out about Martineau Gardens and how to find them click here.

To read about ‘Screen of Brightness’ click here.

My take on the Martineau Gardens can be found here.

 

Kowalski

T-34

T-34 Russian Tank.

I had some rather wonderful news today: my short story Kowalski has found a home. Those wonderful people at Unthank Books will be including it in their marvellous Unthology anthology either this November or summer next year. So in honour of that I thought I would post a picture of a T-34 tank which makes a cameo appearance in the story. Also I really should get my finger out and write a review of Ashley Stoke’s excellent short story collection The Syllabus of Errors which is very good indeed.

Check out Unthank Books.

 

 

 

Unthank-Books-Unthologies

Previous Unthologies.

5 Reasons Cormac McCarthy’s The Road Should Be Taught In Schools

I’ve just read a rather good post on why schools should teach Cormac McCarthy’s The Road and thoroughly agree. The Road is a beautifully poetic and challenging book, exactly the kind of thing teenagers should be reading to help them to think about what is important in their lives.

Lucas Flanagan wrote the piece on the What Culture blog and you can read the post what culture and you can read my review of The Road the road review

The Nao of Brown

The Nao of Brown by Glyn Dillon

Great cover.

Great cover.

Why am I writing about this book? I’m writing about this book because I’m jealous of how wonderful it is. Not only can Dillon tell a moving tale with warmth and honesty but he can tell it in an engaging and innovative way. So why am I jealous? I can also weave a story that lives with you long after you’ve read it so… Well, the reason I’m jealous is because not only can Dillon craft words into a tight narrative but he’s also a bloody good artist. Seriously just check out the Nao of Brown website for peeks inside:

The Nao of Brown

I was rather excited to see that you could also buy toys that were featured in the story there! I haven’t bought any, yet.

Dillon is an excellent draughtsman; he uses very clean, economical lines and then washes over them with breathtaking watercolours. This isn’t your traditional comic book art, this is art. Each page could be framed and put on the wall it really is that good.

 

The story concerns Nao Brown an Anglo-Japanese woman who wants to find love but is afraid her   neurosis will put those she cares about at risk. Nao has urges, very similar to Tourette’s Syndrome, in that she will think of the worst, most horrific, thing to do in social situations, visualise the consequences of them and then have to employ a range of coping strategies to stop herself from doing them. One of these strategies is Nao’s attendance at the local Buddhist temple, which as you’d expect, is serene and calming, that is until she notices the teacher’s penis is poking out of his shorts!

nao bike

There are lots of wonderfully comic moments throughout the book but that doesn’t mean it’s a comedy. Her relationship with the sage like washing machine repair man is gentle and accommodating until, well I don’t want to spoil it.

My wife does not read comics but I went on and on about how wonderful this book was that she sat down and read it from cover to cover and thoroughly loved it.

I spotted The Nao of Brown on the shelf in Nostalgia Comics in Birmingham, it was £16.99, I did a quick scan on the phone and discovered I could save £6 at tax dodging amazon. I pondered and pontificated and then snatched it off the shelf. I’m so glad I did, it was one of the best £16.99s I’ve ever spent.

So if you never buy comics, or you rarely do, make sure you buy this one, you won’t regret it.

Gorgeous art work.

Gorgeous art work.

10 to 1 Survival of the Lit(est)

Pigeon Park Press have set themselves a challenge: to produce a novel using ten authors over a year. Starting in May 2013 each of the ten authors will write a 1000 words on their character and each month a character will be voted off until only one is left.

20130121-164325.jpg

This sounds like a very interesting project indeed, Big Brother meets Pulp Fiction (the cheap fiction magazines of the early 20th century not the Tarantino movie,) something that could be great fun and quite manageable, at only a 1000 words a month, the trick will be not getting voted off. So its a popularity contest for writers? Maybe not writers but definitely for writing. I imagine who ever writes the most engaging prose, with the most intriguing character, will win, although organisers have said that ‘cliff-hanger’ endings, to get readers voting for the next instalment, will not be allowed.

pigeon Park Press tested the water with this idea when they produced Full Fathom Five another collaborative novel that should be out early this year.

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I think I’m going to throw my hat into the ring for this one, it sounds like fun and you never know I could be last writer standing?

Check out the Pigeon Park Press site for details and give it a go.