News and updates about Cinnamon Press and the web site.

Launching Under the Pipal Tree in Greenwich

The audience before the reading began
Anjana shares a joke with the audience during her introduction
Anjana laughing with the audience
Anjana explaining an aspect of the novel during the questions session afterwards
Anjana talking with her hands
Anjana laughing

Anjana Chowdhury launched her novel, Under the Pipal Tree at an event organised by the wonderful Irene Hill of in-words. West Greenwich Library was filled to capacity by a very enthusiastic audience who were thoroughly enjoyed what was a warm and captivating launch.

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Cinnamon Press at York Literature Festival

The panel of authors and their audience
Jane, Jan and Marg share a joke during the talk

As part of this year's York Literature Festival, three of our novelists took part in a panel discussion about historical novels set during the First World War. Jane Austin (News from Nowhere), Rebecca Gethin (What the Horses Heard) and Marg Roberts (A Time for Peace) joined Jan Fortune to talk about their novels, the process of creating historical fiction and to read extracts from their work before a large and rapt audience.

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The London Launch of News from Nowhere

Jane talks about the book as Rowan Fortune watches
Jane listens to questions from the audience
The audience talk over the book

Jane Austin's gipping World War I novel, News from Nowhere received a warm welcome at its London launch on 15 March. Rowan Fortune introduced the reading — a novel he knows very well as he mentored it as a part of the Cinnamon mentoring programme — talking about the family letters that inspired the book and about the central character, Bronwyn's, development as a result of the upheavals caused by the war.

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Ruth Bidgood at The Hours, Brecon

Ruth and Mary share a laugh before the reading begins
Ruth reading from Land-music
Ruth reads as a rapt audience listens
Mary, Ruth and the audience as Jan introduces Mary's part of the reading
Mary introduces one of the poems as Ruth listens
Jan talks about Land-music at the end of the reading

It was a delight to travel down to Brecon last Friday (10 March), to be with Ruth Bidgood as she read at The Hours bookshop, as part the Brecon Women's Festival, coinciding with International Women's Day. Ruth was once again joined by Mary MacGregor and our own Jan Fortune, to read selections from her wonderful Land-music/Black Mountains collection. The audience hung on her every word — a wonderful reading and a great afternoon.

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Jane Austin & Jan Fortune at Hen Bost

Jan talks about News from Nowhere as Jane Austin watches
Jane pauses in the middle of her fascinating presentation
Jane giving an impassioned reading from one of the letters that inspired her book
Jane reading abother extract
Jan talking about the book at the start of her reading
Jan glancing up at a dramatic moment
Jan in mid-flow

It's always nice to be able to do a launch at our local bookshop, Hen Bost in Blaeneau Ffestiniog, and last Friday's (24 February) was particularly enjoyable event, with excellent readings by Jane Austin, from her remarkable First World War novel, News from Nowhere, and Jan Fortune, reading extracts from her exquisite new novel, This is the End of the Story.

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Jan Fortune & Sarah Watkinson at The Albion Beatnik

Jan talks to the rapt audience
Jan reads by the light of a standard lamp
Jan reads to the packed audience
Sarah at the start of her reading
Sarah and the packed audience
Sarah at a dramatic pause in the reading
Jan leads the applause at the end of Sarah's reading

Last stop on our mini-tour last week was The Albion Beatnik (Saturday, 11 February), Oxford's best bookshop and most charming landmark, where Jan Fortune gave another great reading from her new novel, This is the End of the Story to a packed audience, and Sarah Watkinson read from her wonderful debut pamphlet, Dung Beetles Navigate by Starlight. Many thanks to The Albion's head beatnik, Dennis Harrison, and to everyone who came a long to this very special evening.

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Launch at The Big Green Bookshop

Omar and Edward discuss poetry as Jan prepares the evening's introductions
Edward talking to a packed Big Green Bookshop
Edward in the midst of his performance
Edward gesturing at a dramatic point
Omar reading from his latest collection
The view from the back row of the bookshop
Omar receives a round of applause

Last Friday (10th February) was pretty chilly in London, but we had a warm welcome at The Big Green Bookshop, Wood Green, where we launched both Edward Ragg's second collection, Holding Unfailing, and Omar Sabbagh's latest, To the Middle of Love. Our thanks to the staff of the bookshop and to everyone wo came along to listen to these two remarkable poets.

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Jan Fortune at Greenwich

Jan reads to a spellbound audience
Jan shows the audience the cover of the book
Jan looks up as Irene Hill listens
Jan and the audience under the library's ornate cupola
Jan reads from the novel, framed by the cupola and the back of an audience member

Jan Fortune launched her gorgeous new novel, This is the End of the Story (described by one reviewer as: "incredible … one of the finest examples of experimental contemporary fiction I have read") at an event organised by the ever-firendly, ever-wonderful Irene Hill of in-words. West Greenwich Library formed the backdrop for this spellbinding reading, which kept a small but very appreciative audience thoroughly gripped.

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Cinnamon Mini-competition: Utopia

We had a wonderful assortment of prose and poetry pieces for our most recent mini-competition, on the theme of "utopia". Thanks in particular to:

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Cinnamon Press Debut Poetry Collection Prize, 2016

This year's Debut Poetry Collection competition was one of the toughest we've had to adjudicate.

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Ruth Bidgood at Hay-on-Wye

Jan introducing Ruth's book
Ruth reading from Land-music
Ruth pauses between poems
Jan taking a turn to read from Land-music
Mary explains some of the background to a poem
Ruth listens as Mary reads from Black Mountains
Matthew Jarvis discusses the Black Mountain poems with audience members
Poet Christopher Meredith talks poetry
Ruth chatting as she signs another copy of Land-music
Ruth Bidgood as she finishes the launch

After launching John Barnie's new book, we headed across country to Hay-on-Wye and The Poetry Bookshop, to launch Ruth Bidgood's new collection Land-music/Black Mountains on a chilly 5th November evening. A packed audience thoroughly enjoyed readings from ends of this back-to-back double collection, hearing not only Ruth, but her friend Mary MacGregor, and Jan Fortune.

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John Barnie Launching Wind Playing with a Man's Hat

Jan introducing John's book
John reading on the stage of the Studio
John playing guitar and singing
The trio in mid-song
John gesturing as he reads another poem
The three members perform another song

Seems like a long time ago — perhaps it is! — but we thoroughly enjoyed the launch at Aberystwyth Arts Centre's Studio room of John Barnie's new collection, Wind Playing with a Man's Hat, on 3rd November. John was joined by fellow members of Hollow Log (Dilwyn Roberts-Young on harmonica and Richard Marggraf Turley, guitar) for a great evening of poetry and country blues.

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Moorings Reading

We're happy to hear that Kathleen M Quinlan will be reading from her debut collection, Moorings on 9 November, 2016 at Loose Muse, the Sun Pub, 21 Drury Lane (on the corner of Betterton Street only a few yards from the Poetry Café), London, WC2B 5RH.

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2016 Debut Novel/Novella Prize

Many thanks to all those who entered this year. It was a difficult one to adjudicate, with 20 long listed novels and 4 short listed. The short list entrants were:

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Penrith Poetry with Jacci Bulman

Jacci and the poets at the festival

On Saturday, 20 October, Jacci Bulman, author of A Whole Day Through From Waking, organised a great poetry festival in her local town, Penrith, Cumbria. A grand total of 17 poets came along on one evening to read their works, share a delicious buffet and mix and meet each other. The event also raised funds for "Forward UK", a charity supporting women in Africa and the UK opposing female genital mutilation, and a local group "Support Uganda", who provide sanitary care for Ugandan schoolgirls, so they can stay in school all month long. The event raised £147, plus great fun and awareness. Jacci said she was inspired to set up the event after reading herself at the "Poetry Swindon" festival, where the friendliness and great atmosphere between poets was something she wanted to bring "up north"! She will be reading next at Keswick WBTW Festival on 7 March, 2017, where she is inviting 8 other great local poets to read with her.

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Launching Entertaining Angels and The Truth in Masquerade

Carole reading from her novel
Carole holding the audience enthralled
Petina's dynamic presentation watched closely by the audience
Petina always in motion
The audience enjoying the readings
Carole and Petina pausing in the midst of signing more copies of their books

The last launch of October took place at the wonderful A Likely Story bookshop in Tywyn, with both Carole Strachan reading from The Truth in Masquerade and Petina Strohmer launching her novel Entertaining Angels.

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Launching A Time for Peace

Marg and Jan chat before the reading begins
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

Martin Zarrop reading to the audience
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

Michelle Pashley chatting with guests
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

signing books
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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