Tag Archives: Bridge House Publishing

I am still here!

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Still very much alive and kicking!

This is probably the longest I have not blogged since I set this writing blog up.

I just wanted you to know it’s just the new programme at the gym (very early mornings!) and lots of lovely work commitments that have made me decide to post only sporadically. This will be for at least another week or two and then I should be back on track with my writing advent countdown, so all things writerly! Yay!

I am currently busy with more editing for other people than writing right now but that’s okay and it will change for sure in December! I am ready to work on Chutney (renamed now too). Yeah!

So, in other news…

Earlier this year, I was asked by my lovely business partner, the FAB Gill James, to contribute a short story to a new Bridge House collection. This time it was commission only, and it was a kind of Brexit reaction about identity. The collection is called Citizens of Nowhere.

This collection is finally out TODAY  (whoop!) and so I am sharing the link with you all. While the remit was stories of about 3000 words this one is the one that ended up being closer to 12K. Yikes. But Gill liked it enough to still want to publish it — thankfully. That makes it the longest short story I have in a collection to date! It’s called Boarding House. I guess you could call it a kind of half-way house for lost souls! It is a bit different!

So, this year has seen me in four collections no less… including the Canvey Writers one we launch this Friday! Wow! It is an incredibly busy week for me! But, mid-Cornerstones ‘interim report read’, I decided to have a quick break and that I needed to touch base!

I will be back and blogging about the book launch later this week and will share photos etc. next week… still time to come if you’re local! Or not so local! Use this link to reserve your eTicket. This is the first time a lot of the group have read like this and I know some of them are nervous but I am sure people will appreciate that and I know they will all do FABULOUSLY!

Here’s the link for tickets and to find out more!


Poster Upper Room

And here are the book links for you… HOT off the press…

Citizens of Nowhere

Buy me!


And this one below that we launch on Friday! It’s all happening! Get it for £5 special price at the launch! Or use the link to get your copy from Amazon!


Buy Me


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Being The Writer

One of the things we writers have to work on is confidence when it comes to sharing our work. The first time I did this was at a writing group meeting. I had just joined the year or so after I lost Lee. So personally I have to say I was lacking in my usual drive and some of that came from grief. Some of that also came from never really knowing if the writing was any good. But in the end I did read out, I was receptive to feedback and that in the end led to success.

I think the first time I had to read at the launch of my first publishing success (Making Changes, Bridge House Publishing, 2008) I was pretty scared because now there were a lot more people than in the writing group meetings. But you know, only you know how your work should really sound and therefore you know how it ought to be read.

The more successes I had, the more I was able to share and read my work until that day when my novel was launched and there was I having to read (just me in the spotlight) and in an African Amercian accent don’t ya know! Now I do enjoy reading and have done so many times and with a microphone! The more we do it, the easier it becomes. But I know one or two writers who still suffer with nerves, but they are also at the beginning of the journey and it will get better 🙂

So let me share some photos of the fab writers who read from Baubles and The Best of CafeLit at the launch in London this past Saturday… and brilliant they all were… I have not used the word brilliant for a long time I have to say!!!


Gallery… not in the order they read…


Chris Bowles


Dianne Stadhams


Margaret Bulleyment

mary-bevanMary Bevan


Mike Olley


Paula R C Readman


Penny Dale


Waiting for the guests…


Buy our books!


Don’t be scared, Paula…


Yvette Gyles greeting writer, Clare Weze


What is a collection of writers called?


Dad… with writer Elizabeth…


Writing Tweets and sharing tips!


Thanks to all those who came to celebrate the launch of our books!

And the theme for next time is Gliterary Tales! Opens for submissions January 1, closes March 31st


Also check out www.cafelit.co.uk always open for stories!

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Baubles, Bangles and… Book Launches!

Well, what a wonderful weekend it was and many many thanks to all those who came along to the launch of the new Bridge House collection Baubles and The Best of CafeLit 5! And this year no stolen handbag! That always helps!

The event took place in the Prince of Wales Pub not far from Chalk Farm tube and we had the room upstairs. It was altogether a much better venue than last year and everyone agreed we ought to book it again for next year!

A HUGE thanks to my business partner and friend, Dr Gill James, for organising it, and for the input from daughter, Yvette Gyles, who did a great talk on marketing!

The speed dating at the start that makes you move table, and talk to other people was a great idea again. We also shared news, tips, wrote dynamic tweets and had some fab readings which I live-tweeted photos of!

So here are the books for you to rush out and order online and please please post reviews to raise the profile of our little books!


Buy me


Buy Me

And tomorrow some photos of the event!

And I will tell you more about the Bridge House theme for next year!

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The Bearer of Good Tidings…

I have said on here before how much I love it when I get to say YES to people — especially writers.  As one myself, I have waited on news and seen my stories accepted for a number of collections. It’s a great feeling! So this weekend I got to don my editor/publisher hat and share the news with the writers we have accepted for inclusion in the 2016 Bridge House Anthology 🙂 Yay! BIG SMILEY FACE.

With a busy past few weeks, and a busy weekend, also helping people celebrate life milestones, I had to find the time to let the writers know the news and to update the Bridge House website (link below). We had chosen by the end of June deadline but with so many good ones we still had some on our ‘maybe’ piles that Gill and I had to choose from. So it took an extra week of re-reading and discussion but we got there in the end. We have a great collection, yippee!

If you sent us a story and it wasn’t chosen this time, do make sure you look at the story again, tweak if need be and re-submit to another competition or publisher. Bear in mind that while some stories are rejected because we don’t feel the writing or the story is strong enough, sometimes it’s rejected because it doesn’t quite fit the selection — so all kinds of factors come into play. We can’t offer personal feedback as we have too many for that, but I always dealt with rejection by then re-examining the work, changing if I felt it needed it and re-submitting 🙂 I have had rejected stories accepted or WIN competitions like that. So please don’t be too disheartened.

But for the ones who did make it in — very well done folks! Contracts have been sent out with acceptance emails and we have a party to plan for December! We usually launch this collection at the same time as the next Best of CafeLit, so we will be choosing those soon too!

And you know, while we have just passed the half-way point of 2016, we are now going to be in full gallop towards the 2016 Christmas celebrations (paused for scared face… no on second thoughts make that ‘excited face’ as personally that will be the party of all parties if my plans all go right!) the launch will be here before we know it!

Bridge House Link

So above is the link and please start the week passing on good wishes to all the successful writers… oh and another celebration this weekend was for Murray! WELL DONE THAT MAN!

That is all, may life’s celebrations fill your week!


Celebrate everything! It’s great to be alive!

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When Writers Meet

Just a short post this morning after a weekend of fun… and frustration.

Saturday saw the annual Christmas get together for Bridge House and CafeLit where we launched both collections at Waxy O’Connors pub off Leicester Square in London. This was a different venue for us as our usual was booked and what a quirky place with all kind of cubby holes and nooks, a bit Harry Potterish! I stood at the door and lead people around to our cordoned off section as I was sure people would be walking around in circles, as I was when I first arrived, looking for Gill!

The place had a great atmosphere although we discovered that the acoustics were a challenge for reading, and a thoroughfare to the kitchen meant a little busy. However it was wonderful seeing so many writers, some I knew, some I was meeting for the first time! I just think it’s important to bring writers together to celebrate their successes. I did try to get some good photos but with my phone they were a little dim but some shared here anyway.

photo 1 (1) photo 1 photo 2 photo 3 (1) photo 3 photo 4 (1) photo 4


The only dampener on the day (apart from acoustics) was the theft of my handbag which stupidly I left on the table with my books and notes when we talked… since the area was reserved for us I thought it was safe but not so… so I had to cancel all by cards (that someone tried to use) and lost house keys, sentimental things like pens that had been gifts and keyrings, my business cards (thankfully bearing no home address) and reading glasses which was the stinger as has cost me a fair bit to order new ones. However, and this is important, there are far worse things going on in the world right now so a little carelessness was a lesson to me and this time next week will be remembered just as that. Yesterday I was treated to a new handbag, replaced my favourite lippy, ordered new glasses, ready readers in the meantime… and well, all will be well. In time the keyring and pens will be replaced and I needed new business cards anyway!


But just a word of warning to be careful…

That is all!

Was great to see so many people there!


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A Bridge Between Two Worlds

I am a writer: first and foremost that is what I am. But I remember when I first started to submit thinking how little I really knew about the world I was trying to dip my toe into. It almost felt like an invisible barrier I placed between what I wanted and what I was. Rejection, while serving as the fuel to drive those dreams harder, also made that barrier stronger, until I  found a way to break it down slowly and walk tentatively across.

Working for a small publisher and then actually editing for a larger one later taught me, that like anything, experience, tenacity and hard work are key to success. The more you write the better you become, so long as you get feedback and keep at it. I still have much to learn and often stand on the bridge between the worlds thinking about who I really am and what I really want to happen next. But now I realise anything is possible, with a lot of hope, determination and sometimes a sprinkle of fairy dust. Just don’t give up.

That world we seek isn’t really so far away and that bridge isn’t really so long. Just make sure you’re prepared for the journey. Find out about what lies the other side before you take that tentative step.

Yesterday I watched with excitement as they announced the short list for the Bath Short Story Award, now into its third year. I was proud to win the first one, the inaugural award and have not entered since as you can’t beat that, so now I am looking forward to seeing who wins this one.

And yesterday I also had the pleasure of finalising the selection of stories for the new Bridge House collection. Gill and I worked together sharing our favourite stories and thinking about how they’d work together in a collection called Snowflakes, literally and also metaphorically, stories with intricate layering. All the successful authors should now have been notified and the list of names will appear on the website too. I guess I also straddle both sides of that bridge as well, both submitting and being the writer as well as being the giver of good news as the publisher (albeit a small press) and also the editor. When you work in both worlds, the bridge seems shorter.

No mountain cannot be climbed.

No story cannot be written.

No dream cannot be realised.

Have a wonderful day.


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Publisher Hat on and Workloads!

I now have some editing work after a bit of a slow time and some more due in soon so I hope things are picking up!

But in a way is has meant I have been able to devote my working time almost exclusively to the various publishing projects in the current proverbial pipeline! The end of the year for me as a publisher is a busy time.

After selecting and editing my chosen stories in the Bridge House Collection the book is now in its final proof ready for the printer — thanks to Gill and Martin. I am bogged under with proofing so thank goodness the authors also get to check their stories as my time is limited. Great job guys!

With Paws I have two books: Wild n Free Forever which needs a proof read before I upload it to the printer, I am alone on that one so anyone fancy proofing, shout! Don’t all shout at once! It’s all for charity of course and I can only give a free book for your help!

The Poetry book has been a lot of work and has taken a lot of time as we are up against it with the process taking longer than I thought, so it is now with Bridge House’s designer who has offered to set it for free, but since it’s just under 100 poems, 32 illustrations, 7 photos and logos, book covers in ads, there is a lot of messing I fear! But I know we will get there!

My biggest fears are getting the names wrong when you have to spell so many unusual names from around the world, and with poems editing and checking layouts etc meant individual emails to all, it’s great but a LONG process! The good news is we are getting closer…

I love the small press things I do, they taught me not only about writing itself, but copy editing, proofing, layouts and I feel, that with tiny presses, it’s what they do at the big publishing houses, just on a smaller scale! And you get to learn process! Project management I guess. Love it!

Of course we do all of this for free and while I lose money with Wild n Free projects (hence having a break after this year — boo) I do it for love and the proceeds go to a good cause! With Bridge House we get a free Christmas dinner every year. But as I have said before, it’s not always about the money. Do it from the heart.

So this isn’t intended as a rant, when I see those children at the two launch events holding their books I will know it has all been worthwhile! Same with the adults at the Bridge House event, in fact I will be at a lot of events!

BTW: still tickets to the Bridge House Launch Party £16 a ticket in London, buffet and one free drink included. We will be talking all things publishing in a panel discussion, power to the short story, so if you fancy it, here’s the link: December 6th (Saturday):   LINK

And there are still places on my free Wild n Free Forever party for the children here: LINK

Have a great Thursday!

Here’s the cover by the way! Cover artist, Year 8’s Morgan Joy Ashby from Scotland!

Wild n Free Forever Cover (Final)


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