Articles and comments by Cinnamon authors.

Launching A Time for Peace

Launching A Time for Peace
Marg chats with two of the audience members
Marg and the audience share a laugh at the start of her reading
Marg reads from her novel
Marg reads from her novel
Marg and Nigel reading the second extract
Marg and Nigel reading from their scripts
Jan congratulates a happy Marg on her reading
Marg autographing a copy of her book

The middle of October saw us in Leamington to launch both Marg Robert's impressive First World War novel A Time for Peace. The upstairs of the local Waterstone's was quite packed by the time things began, an attentive and enthusiastic audience enjoying two extracts from the book, the second reading featuring local poet Nigel Hutchinson as a second voice in a very compelling presentation.

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Launching Moving Pictures and Turn/Return

Launching Moving Pictures and Turn/Return
Martin Zarrop in front of an attentive audience
Martin Zarrop reading one of his poems
Martin Zarrop under the library's domed ceiling
Jan Fortune reading at the lectern
Jan reads to a packed room
The audience at the Portico during Jan's reading
Jan in mid-flow
Jan reads in the impressive surroundings of the Portico Library

It seems like a long time ago but it was only the beginning of October when we were back at the Protico Library, Manchester, to launch both Marton Zarrop's Moving Pictures and Jan Fortune's Turn/Return. It was a great evening, with a fantastic audience who listened closely to both poets and gave them a warm and appreciative welcome.

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Launching Black Sheep Cottage

Launching Black Sheep Cottage
Michelle Pashley chatting with guests
Watching the reading begin
Jan and Michelle
Michelle reading from the book
Michelle reading from the book
Michelle and guests during the reading
Michelle reading from the book
Michelle and a guest after she has signed a copy of the book

We launched Black Sheep Cottage, the debut novel by Michelle Angharad Pashley, last night (Friday, 30 September), practically on Cinnamon HQ's doorstep, at the Hen Bost Bookshop in Blaenau Ffestiniog. A sizable and enthusiastic crowd packed the shop to hear Michelle read extracts from the book, share a drink and a chat, and, of course, get their copies of the book signed by the author.

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Launching Lockdown at Greenwich

Launching Lockdown at Greenwich
signing books
signing books
signing books
reading from Lockdown
reading from Lockdown
reading from Lockdown
reading from Lockdown
audience aplauding
Jane and Jan after the reading

Jane McLaughlin launched her excellent debut poetry collection, Lockdown last Saturday, 24 September, at the ever-friendly Made in Greenwich gallery. There was a handsome and very enthusiastic turn-out, the audience enjoying not only two extracts from Jane's book, but a couple of sets from singer-songwriter Bernadette Reed. As ever, our host, Irene Hill, was welcoming and eternally helpful, and we'd like to offer our thanks to her as well as all who came along to this wonderful, special evening.

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Letters from the Somme

Letters from the Somme
Photo of Jane Austin standing beside Glyn Roberts' grave
Photo of soldiers and civilians paying tribute at the Royal Welsh Fusiliers' memorial at the Somme

Exactly 100 years ago this month, Welsh Fusilier, 21-year-old Glyn Roberts fell at La Boiselle in the opening incursions of the Battle of the Somme. His battalion, the 9th Royal Welsh Fusiliers, engaged in an attack 'regardless of loss'. Glyn was killed on 3rd July 1916, days before the ensuing battle of Mametz Wood. A collection of moving letters home to his mother and sisters are the inspiration behind Jane Austin's debut novel, News from Nowhere. To honour the memory of her great uncle, Jane journeyed with the South Wales Western Front Association to the Somme battlefields for a memorial ceremony on the centenary of one of the bloodiest battles in British military history. The emotional trip resulted in Jane receiving, for the first time, a message that never reached her family at the time. This is her account of the extraordinary pilgrimage …

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Forging Alone: Some Thoughts on why Art Matters

As the memory of two world wars and Hiroshima — great crimes against humanity on any, on every scale — slips into chapters of just more unbelievable history, it seems my generation, which has only known the voluntary expeditionary wars of our times, has decided to forge alone.

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Ian Gregson and Omar Sabbagh at Kyffin

Ian Gregson and Omar Sabbagh at Kyffin
Ian Gregson reading from The Crocodile Princess
Omar Sabbagh reading from Via Negativa

We had a great evening with Ian Gregson, reading from his novel The Crocodile Princess, and Omar Sabbagh reading extracts from his novella, Via Negativa, at the Kyffin café, in Bangor, last night (6th July).

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Launching A Whole Day Through from Waking

Launching A Whole Day Through from Waking
Jacci signing books

My book launch-party was a truly happy celebration, which meant I could 'launch' my book almost like pushing a boat out to sea, at last, after years of hard preparation and literal crafting. It went with a good crash of the bubbly! Creating this collection has been about not just editing so carefully every word and comma — with the invaluable help of Jan, as my editor — but also making the poems work together, in a sequence that hopefully flows into each other.

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Entering Competitions

Sheila Wild's long-awaited debut collection, Equinox will be released shortly. Here, Sheila talks about the process of entering writing competitions.

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Baby

Patricia Debney's powerful and personal narrative sequence, Baby will be with us soon. Described by Jane Monson as mirroring with a precise and unflinching hand the stuff of life at its most human, Baby is an honest and striking examination of relationships and our struggle to both navigate and make sense of them. In this post, Patricia candidly discusses the work's origins and the process of its writing

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Via Negativa

Omar Sabbagh's extraordinary first prose work, Via Negativa: a parable of exile is launched this month. Subtle, layered, filled with beautiful prose and imagery, the novella is both an evocation of its central location, the city of Beirut, and a remarkable display of literary prowess that, nevertheless, never lets its verbal and thematic dexterity overwhelm the human and humane story at its heart. A truly beguiling and stunning debut novella, here Omar discusses the work's themes and influences.

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The Origins of Stuff

One of the books we're really looking forward to publishing this year is Stuff by novelist Charlie Hill. Here, Charlie gives an insight into how the story came to be written.

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"Walking The Via Francigena"

Our recent course Ty'n y coed had a lot of memorable moments but one that particularly struck us was hearing Tamsin Treverton Jones reading the following article about her own pilgrimage along the Via Francigena. Cinnamon will be publishing more of Tamsin's work in future years but, meanwhile, here's her account in full …

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Tenth Anniversary Jet Lag

Home again after an extraordinary — and extraordinarily intense — few months out and about, celebrating Cinnamon's Tenth Anniversary. Thursday, last, saw us installed in the Arts Centre Bookshop, Aberystwyth, with a grand line-up of authors (Maria Apichella, John Barnie, Mark Charlton, Matthew Francis, Ian Gregson, Hazel Manuel, Kathy Miles, Elizabeth Porter, Susan Richardson, plus Jan and, er, me!) for a marathon reading to an appreciative and enthusiastic audience — as you can see for yourself by going to the YouTube vid of the evening. It was a great way to round off our celebrations and a tremendous credit to Jan, who has guided, shaped, and nurtured Cinnamon Press into the respected and valued force it is.

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Writing Guides for Innovative Fiction

We're just back from a stunning week-end at Cinnamon's 10th anniversary bash at the NN Gallery, Northampton. I was lucky enough to lead a workshop on the last day, for a very attentive and enthusiastic group of writers, on the topic of non-linear narratives. During a general discussion of innovative (or "experimental" — you pays your money and takes your choice) writing, I mentioned a couple of books that I'd found helpful and promised to do a short list of titles I've found useful in a future blog. So, without further ado:

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The Vitus Dreams Acid Test

Actually two acid tests in the same week and neither of them having anything to do with Ken Kesey.

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