How to be innovative, independent and quit social media

People warming their feet around a fire
Breakfast table with a steaming pot of slow filter coffee

As a writer and a publisher, it seems self-evident that I should be on social media. Yet recently, I've been questioning this.

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We'll always have Paris

Flyer advertising Jez Noond's contribution to The Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction

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2018 Poetry Pamphlet Prize Adjudication


Thank you to everyone who entered the 2018 pamphlet competition.

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More Cowboy

Front cover of The True Story of Cowboy Hat and Ingenue

As something of a follow-up to last September's blog — and to (gently ☺) remind you it's on its way, Maria Jastrzębska has posted an interesting article on her upcoming book, The True Story of Cowboy Hat & Ingénue, which will be out in October but can be pre-ordered now.

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Where There's Method...

Front cover of The Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction
Front cover of Tamsin Hopkin's Shore to Shore

Ahead of the official launch of The Cinnamon Review of Short Fiction in Paris at the end of the month, here's an extract from Tamsin Hopkins' fascinating and revealing article in the Review investigating her approach to writing short fiction…

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Twelve Days of Editing at a Sri Lankan Cabin

Ahead of the publication of Undressing Stone, author Hazel Manuel gives an insight into the novel's editing.

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Marking your card . . .

Front cover of Rotterdam

Don't forget poet David Batten will be launching his second full poetry collection, Untergang at Kyffin Café on Friday, 11 May. Fiona & Gorwel Owen will be on hand to give a few songs and Dave will be reading with some bloke called Adam Craig, whose latest novel is apparently In Dreams the Minotaur Appears Last ☺ I'm looking forward to the next T. Lobsang Rampa, myself … hem-hem.

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Pamphlet Triumph

We're very excited to announce that our very own David Mark Williams (author of The Odd Sock Exchange), has won the Hedgehog Press inaugural "Slim Volume of One’s Own" Collection Competition 2018.

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Wheel of the Year Mini-competition Results

This as been a big, ambitious undertaking, in eight sections through the past year, with a big response to read and consider. But we're proud to announce that the results are now in — hearty congratulations to the following writers, who have been chosen to appear in the forthcoming special, limited edition pamphlet Wheel of the Year:

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Putting it out there — reflections on launching Wristwatch

Guest blog by Jay Whittaker.

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Debut Poetry Collection Prize, 2018

Thank you to everyone who entered the Debut Poetry Collection Prize this year. We had a very strong long list — congratulations to everyone who made it on to it — which was narrowed down to ten excellent entries from eight poets (2 submitted two entries that were each strong). The short list was:

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Why we don't want to publish good books

towering bookcases merging into the sky

At Cinnamon Press we love books. We adore poetry and fiction, literature that defies genre and books that take risks. We find writers with distinctive voices who have something real to say exciting to work with. So what would make an independent press in love with words and story declare we don't want good books?

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Landeg White

We were extremely sorry to hear that Landeg White passed away in the early hours of Sunday, 3 December. Born in South Wales in 1940, Landeg was a gifted writer, academic, novelist and poet, who published two of his novels with Cinnamon Press, most recently Ultimatum, which will be launched in February.

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Recounting Our Time Away

notebooks, pens and breakfast things lit by sunlight

The twice-yearly writing courses at Ty'n y Coed, near Conwy, has become a firm fixture in the Cinnamon calendar. This November's autumn course was fantastic example of why the courses are so important to our ethos: eight writers coming together to find support and inspiration, each of them making a breakthrough with the work and leaving with a stronger commitment to writing than they had are the start of the week. But don't take my word for it. Here's Diane Woodrow's take on her time at Ty'n y Coed this November.

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Don't Find Your Purpose, Create It

Jan walking along a gas-lit back lane
The cover of Jan's novel, This is the End of the Story
The cover of Jan's novel, A Remedy for All Things

The notion that you are here for some purpose; that all you have to do is discover the one thing hidden deep in the recesses of your soul or psyche in order to fulfil your life's goal or nature or some other externally determined objective, is a pervasive one. An Internet search will bring up many and various ways to discover your purpose with the assumption that there is an esoteric 'very reason why you exist', more colloquially 'what you were put on earth for'. Yet not only are these supposedly deeply-embedded purposes hard to find, most of them seem to be described in sweeping statements so general as to become meaningless. Things like being here 'to bring peace' or 'radiate light'.

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Dream or Drudge?


An irresistible sleeping sickness had Perl in its grip.

Hard to imagine two more different people than Alfred Kubin and Eric Basso. Kubin: print maker, illustrator of the works of Poe and E.T.A. Hoffmann, sometime associate of the Blaue Reiter. Basso a novelist, poet, playwright and critic, a modernist in the best sense of the term, a man located far off the mainstream. Yet, they've both offered visions of societies collapsing under the grip of plagues of sleeping sickness. In Kubin's 1908 novel, The Other Side (quoted above), the sickness gradually overruns the city of Perl, a strange, failing utopia located outside customary space and time. In Basso's 1977 cult classic, The Beak Doctor, the sickness has already consumed an unnamed town whose deserted streets are choked by swirling fog and which teeters on the verge of collapse:

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2017 Debut Novel/Novella Prize — The Results

a candle burns beside an open book

It's never easy judging a competition and this year's entrants to the Debut Novel Prize were a particularly knotty group to unpick. But, at last, we managed to decide on a 15 strong long list to go over — and over — to arrive at the final short list of:

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Nine Essential Ingredients for an Awesome Book Launch

Close up of the book's cover, Tracey Iceton in the background
Jan reading as the seated audience listen attentively
John gesturing, eyes closed, as he reads

I've attended 4 book events in 4 countries in the last ten days and although each one has been completely different from the next, they've all been excellent experiences. From the launch of Landeg White's Ultimatum in iconic Lisbon bookshop, Ler Devagar, to an upstairs room in a pub in the Welsh border town of Presteigne, where myself and Susan Richardson read from several of our poetry collections; from an art-space café/bar in Edinburgh for the launch of Jay Whittaker's debut collection, Wristwatch, to the cosy and well-stocked Drake's bookshop for the launch of the second in Tracey Iceton's Celtic Colours Trilogy, Herself Alone in Orange Rain, there were key ingredients that meant the audiences were delighted, moved and engaged. And books were sold. So what is the magic list that makes a book event work?

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From Lisbon to Hay

A view of the bridge in the distance
Landeg White signing books at the launch of his novel, Ultimatum
Interior of the Libson bookshop where Ultimatum was launched

Lisbon is sleepy and quiet at 8.30 in the morning when I set out in search of breakfast after a good night's sleep in a tiny apartment on Rua Amadeu de Sousa Cardoso. Back at the LS Factory, a complex of restaurants, boutique shops and Livraria ler Devagar, where we launched Landeg White's novel, Ultimatum, last night, the cobbled street between former industrial warehouses and factories is totally deserted. There's a light on in the one café offering breakfast, but they don't open till 9.30 and I've got a plane to catch this morning, so I wander a little further down the hill.

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Launching The Kim's Game and In the Cinnamon Corners

Liz Hayward reads from In the Cinnamon Corners
Liz reads one of her poems
The audience listen as Stephanie introduces her novel
Stephanie holds up a snow globe similar to the one featured in the book
Stephanie explains an extract from the book
Stephanie's husband, Adrain reads an extract in the voice Hal, the book's central character
Adrian reads as the audience watches attentively
Jan Fortune leads the applause at the end of the readings

Another weekend, another Cinnamon launch? Almost. Well, hardly. It looked as though Liz Hayward wasn't going to make it at all, rushing in just in time — thanks to them wonderful English roads — but she didn't let the flusters get in the way of a great reading from her contribution to In the Cinnamon Corners.

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