Articles and comments by Cinnamon authors.

Letters from the Somme

Photo of Glyn Roberts
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 talking with Omar Sabbagh
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

happy people with Jacci at her launch
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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