BOOKFAIR

Annexe Magazine held its second Interrobang Festival last Saturday, hosting music, comedy, book-making workshops and readings from Inua Ellams, Akiho Schilz and Claire Trévien. I was there trialling some new work in the afternoon alongside James Brookes, Nick Murray and Gary from Leeds, co-editor of The Alarmist: ‘eavens to Betsy. The festival was also holding a book fair in the Free Word Centre next door, allowing space for a number of independent and small press publishers including Penned in the Margins, Emma Press, Belle Park Pages and Influx: a good way to fling your pay packet directly at 30sq metres of Farringdon. Many thanks to Nick, Alex and Hannah for their behind-the-scenesing, and for a warm audience.

Hosted by Royal Holloway University of London, the Generative Constraints practice-based conference was held on 16th November at C4CC. Saturday saw fantastic papers, performances, exhibitions and addresses from Prof. Jane Rendell, Tim Etchells, Matthew Goulish and Lin Hixson, Amanda Beech, Bryan Eccleshall, Eleanor Rees, Sotirios Varsamis, Richard Barrett, Sarah Cole, Sophie Hope and Jenny Richards, Madeleine Walton, Heather Pennington, Daniel Oliver and Mr Ferris, Gareth Damian Martin, Rachel Smith, Ron Herrema, Steph Driver, Tom Jenks, Laura Burns, Johanna Linsley and R. Justin Hunt, Pema Clark, Deborah Pearson, Andrew Johnson, Annabel Frearson, Annie Runkel, Georgie Grace, Ghazal Mosadeq, Katy Connor and Mark Peter Wright. A long list that’s testament to a full day of text, art, music, restraint and a programme of big-thought much-make.

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With thanks to Kingston University for their select financial assistance; if you are interested in practice-based studies and its outcomeliness, do follow the work of their research unit.

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Thanks too Dr. Kristen Kreider and Jane Gawthrope for their assistance and encouragement, and congratulations to the committee of bustaguts comprising Deborah Pearson, Jayne Lloyd, Kate Potts, Nik Wakefield, Prue Chamberlain, Diana Damien Martin and Nisha Ramayya: find a Big Top and let any one of them lead the ring. Follow the (dedicated) Publication and visit the (dedicated) Gallery to keep abreast of all aspects explored during the conference. Thanks again to all involved.

Susan Gray, Emma Venables, Ishita Mandrekar and I are hosting an evening with Picador author and member-of-my-Creating-Writing-MA-year Liza Klaussmann.

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“With sultry prose and a sure hand for suspense, Liza Klaussmann expertly weaves a vivid tale of glamour and despair, fidelity and betrayal, secrets and abandon. Tigers in Red Weather will have you furiously postponing all human interaction until its gripping finale.” — Maria Semple, author of Where’d You Go, Bernadette

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Whenever I had to scramble across London to get to RHUL’s campus on Egham, for a good four months I passed this advertisement. Motivational visual aid right there. Many thanks to Liza for her time, and to my fellow readers.

Listed as one of Foyles’ Magazines of the Week, I have a short story in Belleville Park Pages No. 10. Pocketsized and Paris-wrought, you can scoop yours up with a bumper wee fold-out work ‘Halves’ by Sophie Haigney for a mere £2. Here are both, modelled first by a good-looking man:

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and second by my sister who picked up a copy in situ at Shakespeare & Company bookshop LIKE A CHAMPION.

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Written & Composed

02/11/2013

On the first of the month I performed two pieces as part of ‘Written & Composed’, a showcase event with members of Royal Holloway’s creative writing and composition departments.

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It featured fiction readings and literary/musical pieces commissioned for the evening. My two collaborations were with composer Zoi Dachri and an Oulipan skit with Ishita Mandrekar. It was a great evening, with thanks to Susan Gray, Lucy Harrison, Leda Kalogeropoulou, Ishita and Zoi, Preti Taneja, Emma Venables and Tom Wilson for their work and for pulling the evening together.

Visual Verse

01/11/2013

My short story ‘Scutiform’ is up on the great Visual Verse site, a journal recently launched at the Writing Platform fair and conference 2013. Edited by Preti Taneja and with patrons including Ali Smith, Andrew Motion and Bernadine Evaristo, writers were asked to respond in one hour to a set image: in our case, this photograph of a Galapagos shell by Marc Schlossman.

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What I found particularly interesting when reading the submissions were the shared associations that had been clearly ploinked out by the exercise and the image: the word ‘coracle’ and recourse to dictionary definitions are two cases in point. With a roster of different images to come, the journal wants your work too – submit to them here, and read contributions from Nisha Ramayya, Sophie Mayer and others.