Thursday, October 01, 2015

Used to Be published


Yesterday I was at my mum's for the day. 'When is your book coming out?' she asked me. I told her it was due back from press any day now, but I couldn't check on my phone to see if it had come yet, as where she lives there's no signal whatever of any kind - well, there is a bit of phone signal, but not great enough to hold a decent mobile phone conversation! So it wasn't until I was on the train back to Manchester that I discovered that Used to Be had arrived from the printer's at Chris and Jen's, along with Jonathan Taylor's novel Melissa, and Roddy Lumsden's poetry collection Melt and Solve. Don't they all look fabulous? (And isn't that a beautiful clock on their mantelpiece?)

I'm holding an event to celebrate the publication of Used to Be at Deansgate Waterstone's, Manchester, on Thursday 29th October (7 pm), and I'm making it a celebration of the short story, with additional readings from three brilliant short-story writers, two of whom are also key players in the recent rise of the short story. Ailsa Cox is Professor of short fiction at Edge Hill University and founder of the Edge Hill short story prize, and was co-editor with me of the one-time short-story magazine Metropolitan. She is the author of numerous prizewinning short stories and the collection The Real Louise and Other Stories (Headland). MMU lecturer Nicholas Royle, has edited numerous short story anthologies and now edits the Best British Short Stories series (Salt) and publishes short story chapbooks under his own imprint, Nightjar. He founded the Manchester Fiction Prize for a single short story. His own stories have been shortlisted for the Edge Hill Prize and he is the author of several novels, including the latest, First Novel. (He was also a valued contributor to Metropolitan.) Also reading, I am thrilled to say, will be Carys Bray, whose debut novel, A Song for Issy Bradley, has been such a resounding success, and whose collection of stories, Sweet Home, won the Scott Prize.

And there will be wine! (Gotta celebrate, yeah?)
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