Tag Archives: Unthank Books

The Best of All Possible Things

Last night Dad and I went to, wait for it… The Society Club in Soho which bears the subtitle: The Best of All Possible Things and last night it was. Set in a quiet back lane in a busy corner of London’s fast-paced Soho, it describes itself as a literature society where the arts have always been integral to its bohemian history — it’s a private club. They specialise in twentieth century literature,  counterculture, art and visual culture from modernism to the contemporary. Sounds very arty doesn’t it. And it is. It’s small and it’s got some real collector’s books on its shelves, a cocktail bar one side of the room and down a pokey flight of stairs to the loos where the wallpaper was: interesting. Reminded me of the design on the plates in BirdCage with Robin Williams if anyone’s seen it. And am I really talking about the toilet wallpaper? So a kind of exclusive bookshop by day and a cocktail bar by night. Quirky.

We arrived about 7 and met with the lovely Robin Jones from Unthank Books and his counterpart Jane Ormerod from Great Weather for Media based in New York. What I hadn’t quite realised until I got there was it was a read-off between three Unthank writers: myself, the lovely Gary Budden and Roelof Bakker and for Great Weather for Media we had Jane Ormerod and Martin Ouvry; sadly Victoria Hattersley was poorly but someone else did offer a reading who attends the club, apologies to him that I don’t have his name.

Complete with high tech ‘clapp’ app: a seen better days sliding cardboard scale (hmm) clapometer at its best, we read our hearts out and I opted to go first. Had a lovely reaction reading from my story Open Windows. We then alternated in our readings with Robin’s somewhat dubious clapometer sliding! All well read and all getting great reactions. LOVE Gary’s and Roelof’s stories in particular of course, but can’t take away from the other team. Some great pieces. Announcing at the end the other side won which was well and truly a fix of course! The Unthank Team did good, baby. (Did I really use that phrase?!!)

I am not sure we sold many books on either side but it gave me a chance to meet writers again and having previously met with Gary and Roelof to catch up with new friends 🙂 Always nice to see Robin; our paths meet again and I am always grateful for them publishing my work.

So a red wine or two supped, plenty of laughing, the best of literary indulgence (in the short story form and a piece of performance poetry) and a dubious defeat Round 2 of Project U meeting of twinned publishers came to an end.

Was it the best of all possible things?

Of course it was. (But we should’ve won.)

Have a great weekend all.

Didn’t take photos but sure there will be some somewhere to share.

Did I say we should’ve won?

Buy the book. Got it.

Unthology 7 cover

BUY ME

We should’ve won.

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Being a Writer

Tonight I don my writer’s hat (possibly literally) and will be reading from Open Windows my short story in London at Project U!

Amongst the extreme busyness that appears to have taken over my life again, an interlude for the evening and some networking. Also other writers will be sharing their work so if you’re close, do come along!

I will blog about it tomorrow.

September 3, 20 Ingestre Place, Soho, London, W1F 0JF FREE

September 3, 20 Ingestre Place, Soho, London, W1F 0JF
FREE

 

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Project U and Norwich

It’s been a much needed four days off and now I am at my computer and raring to get going.

This time, unlike the fleeting visit when we launched Unthology 3, I managed to spend some quality time in Norwich, with my mum as well, and to take part in Unthank Books Project U with the launch of Unthology 7.

After arriving mid-afternoon, lovely hotel, we strolled the fifteen minutes into Norwich and sat soaking up the atmosphere of Market Square before heading to the venue, the old library now a bar and restaurant and also a great place for book launches…

Our Hotel

Our Hotel

Hotel Garden

Hotel Garden

The Old Library Bar and Restaurant

The Old Library Bar and Restaurant

We met some friends for dinner and then moved upstairs to the room where the event was taking place, all thanks to Ashley and Robin of Unthank Books.

There was a packed line-up of six readers, and another 2 of the authors from the collection were there, so it was lovely meeting some fellow Unthologists…

Dan Powell reading first

Dan Powell reading first

Elaine Chiew up second...

Elaine Chiew up second…

Gary Budden

Gary Budden

Adrian Cross kicking off the second half...

Adrian Cross kicking off the second half…

Me!

Me!

To finish Elizabeth Baines

To finish Elizabeth Baines

Everyone read so well and I do recommend you get yourself a copy of this amazing collection if you can…

It was a great evening and I want to thank Ashley and Robin at Unthank Books for publishing another of my stories and for giving a chance for the writers to all come together like this to share our work.

I will be interviewing some of the writers about their stories soon, so I hope to whet some appetites for the collection.

With some of the writers then heading back towards London, Mum and I had planned a couple of days sampling the delights of Norwich.

So on Friday we did plenty of shopping and enjoying the little back lanes and some great coffee places, indulging of course in a cream tea. In the afternoon we visited the cathedral…

Norwich Cathedral

Norwich Cathedral

Cathedral 2

Cathedral 3

We chilled on the grass outside, scoped the peregrines nesting on the top and generally soaked up Norwich 🙂

After that we returned to town for a lovely salad dinner before walking back to the hotel where we chilled some more in the lounge.

Saturday morning started with a good breakfast (the best bit about staying in a hotel, right?) and then we walked back into Norwich to finish the last morning before we headed back to Essex in the afternoon.

It has been lovely. Yesterday was also off and spent some time with the family, and now… here we go, all ready to write.

Unthology 7 coverIt’s great being a writer!

 

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The Buzz of the Story

This is the last day blogging for a whole four  days; count them four days! I might have to say that again: FOUR days! Tomorrow I am off to Norwich for the launch of Unthology 7! This really has been a few days all about short stories and my copy of Jon McGregor’s short story collection is ready for the trip! I have just about finished reading the amazing Unthology 7 and can’t wait to meet fellow Unthologists tomorrow.

If you’re in the area we will be at the Old Library in Norwich from 7.30 🙂

If you don’t read short stories I encourage you to get hold of a collection. Next week I’ll be sharing photos and talking about Unthology which is rapidly becoming a recognised platform for the more unusual and the more experimental expressionism. The book is eclectic and so not all stories will appeal to all readers, but they all have something special in their own way.

I can still feel the buzz of the London Short Story Festival and I am so glad to find this renewed passion. Every now and then we need to remember why we’re doing it.

I am also very close to finishing the first draft of Chutney, it’s knocking on 100,000 words now and I imagine the final draft will tip over 110 but I will get it back to 90 with the edit I am sure 🙂

Well, that’s me until next week when I will be talking all about it! Try stopping me!

Unthology 7 cover

 

Buy Me!

 

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Gearing up for the London Short Story Festival

… just a quick post to say I am looking forward to the weekend. On Saturday I will be at the London Short Story Festival and in the same room with some of the best short story writers there are. So excited.

 

If you live in or near London have a look at their events, some free, some you need to book. I have a full list of things to do! I will be blogging all about it next week!

That is all!

 

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A Pinch and a Punch

Welcome to June! This month sees me at the London Short Story Festival on June 20th attending various events including Unthology and then a week later a weekend in Norwich where I will be celebrating the launch of Unthology 7 with some of the other authors and reading my short story! June 25th if you live local!

I also hope to finish or be close to finishing the first draft of the new novel.

And even though I am mad busy I am looking forward to lunch and a walk with a lovely writer friend and her friend tomorrow!

I love the squeaky clean feel of a new month. Don’t you?

Unthology 7 cover

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Open Windows

An extract of my short story published in Unthology 7 as promised and I hope to share some other stories from writers in this lovely collection…

 

Open Windows

 

All children except one grow up.

                                                                        J.M Barrie

We change the world just by being here.

Your words; but not scribbled on the Post-it notes that cling to everything in your bedroom, fluttering like yellow butterflies.

Nor are they the words posted on Facebook or Twitter or that blog of yours, a testament to a life that, for all its restraints, had more freedom than ours.

And nor are they the words sprayed in electric blue on a sea wall.

No.

These are the words that hang unspoken on our brandy-coated lips as we reach for our coats. These are the words that pound in time to our heavy footsteps as we march from your nan’s to the seafront. And these are the words that rattle like dice and when they settle form other words like: how can you be gone, yet be everywhere?

But it’s not these words we remember now as we pull our coats tighter, braced against the chill of the sea air.

No.

The words we remember now are the very first ones.

 

I remember you shaking that can of spray paint; the clicking, the rattling. I remember the smell; aromatic, intoxicating. I remember the hiss as you reached up tall (no wheelchair then) and staked your claim on a tiny corner of this island; on the side of that old café, while we all looked on hoping no one would see.

Those first words are long gone – faded by sea air and then painted over when the café was refurbished. Yet somehow they remain.

Over time you refined the lettering, more artistic, the D in your name enlarged, reversed like a mirror image, your trademark (stolen from your hero and namesake – Adam Ant). I remember you scribbling it over and over, trying to perfect it, because you said everyone needs a unique signature. I did try to tell you you needed to invent your own then; not copy the Ant.

But thing is, it was you. It is you.

Only you.

As we turn the corner the lights on the oil refinery look like the New York skyline (if you squint) and I know we will all look for that signature on the wall and remember those first words we watched you write, thinking we were so grown up, about to start at the big school. Terrified of being caught.

Those first words might have gone but they speak the loudest of all.

Adam woz ’ere.

Buy the book to read more…

©Debz Hobbs-Wyatt, published in Unthology 7, Unthank Books, 2015 (Release June 20). This extract can not be reproduced without permission of the author and/or publisher

 

Canvey Sea Wall

Canvey Sea Wall

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