Cinnamon Press blog

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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2016 Debut Novel/Novella Prize

You may have noticed, the Cinnamon web site has been suffering from gremlins the last couple of days … in fact, it was suffering from not being there at all when what should have been routine alterations to the web server turned into a crisis and a search around half the globe for the one man who could help us fix the probelm (I kid you not — and a big thank you to Armin Osmancevic for taking time from a holiday in SE Asia to bale us out).

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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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2016 Annual Short Story Prize

We're to announce that the annual short story prize has been adjudicated. The competition attracted a large number of entrants, so deliberations have been long but enjoyable, with many fine stories to consider and weigh up. This year's judge, Cinnamon's own Adam Craig, had a tough struggle deciding the top places, but he's made his decision, and here it is:

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'a taste of ...' Mini-competition Results

Thank you to all those who entered our last mini-competition, on the theme of 'a taste of …'

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New Mini-competition

We're launching a new mini-competition today — on the theme of "utopia"

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Last Event of the Season

Just one more Cinnamon reading before the summer break and it promises to be a particularly good one: Ian Gregson reading from his novel The Crocodile Princess and Omar Sabbagh reading from Via Negativa — both great books and both authors highly entertaining in person. Promises to be a standout evening … so why miss out?

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New releases from Liquorice Fish Books

Cover art for This is the End of the Story
Cover art for What rain tells us
Cover art for What Lies Within

If the year so far has been relatively quite (on the publishing front, at least — see our latest blog for a flavour of what else we're about), early next year promises to be a busy period for LF/B.

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Liquorice Fish Books: a future in an uncertain world?

Liquorice Fish Books logo

The result of the EU referendum has left many people frightened, bewildered, and deeply confused as to what is going to happen to them, their families and livelihoods, this country, and Europe as a whole. The Artuo Ui-meets-Père Ubu rise of Trump as US presidential candidate only mirrors the Absurdist figures of England's Farage and Johnson and creates an inescapable sense that the world, once again, has gone insane. In the face of these uncertainties and threats, can one, small imprint respond? Can, and should, Liquorice Fish Books, even attempt to continue, or should it bow to the scale of these changes, admit its irrelevance, and disappear?

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We say: Stay in

At Peirene Press, Meike Viervogel has been gathering signatories from literary and cultural organisations in support of Britain staying within the EU. There is a range of arguments on whether to stay in or leave Europe, but at Cinnamon Press we are with Meike and her colleagues in maintaining that any isolationist impulse is culturally destructive.

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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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Launching Via Negativa

A photo of Omar Reading

It was a tremendous pleasure to return to the Made in Greenwich Gallery last Wednesday (16 March), not least to hear Alex Josephy reading from her pamphlet, Other Blackbirds, but also to see Omar Sabbagh as we officially launched his extraordinary novella, Via Negativa. Alex brought a roomful of people to support her and they all stayed on, listened attentively and were utterly won over by Omar's reading – they bought plenty of books, by both authors, too. So, congratulations to Alex, but most especially to Omar. A wonderful evening.


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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A View from Ty'n y coed

The view from the hills above Ty'n y coed, looking towards Conwy

As some of you probably already know, Cinnamon holds writing weeks in the idylic surroundings of Ty'n y coed, in the Conwy valley, every spring and autumn. To give a flavour of this year's spring sessions, here are the impressions of one of the writers who attended the course, Nick Jones:

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'Dark Interiors' Mini-competition Results

The theme 'dark interiors' brought in a diverse and intriguing selection of microfictions and poetry, with a huge contingent that focussed on painful memories and disturbed childhoods. The strongest pieces were the subtlest; those that took an oblique look at the subject and produced something fresh.

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Celebrating Writing @ the Mentoring Residential

In the depths of a cold North Welsh January, replete with storms, fourteen writers and three tutors met at Ty'n y coed in two consecutive groups of seven students to celebrate a year of intensive mentoring and to look at how far the work had come over that year.

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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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