November Joy: New authors, events
Fly on the Wall Press signs thirteen dazzling writers, traversing the literary and the gothic in 2024
Good morning Scribblers,
This November has been filled with events, and has really proved to me the saying that you have ‘find your tribe’. I had the pleasure of visiting Stirling and Glasgow to launch Liam Bell’s fourth novel, psychological thriller ‘The Sleepless’ and Donna Moore’s third, historical crime ‘The Unpicking’. The booksellers in Scotland have really championed Fly on the Wall Press since the start (back in June, Glasgow Sauchiehall St’s Luna made my year when she curated a table specifically of ‘Sylvia Plath Watches Us Sleep…but we don’t mind’ by Victoria Richards and a novella by Faber), so it such a joy to thank them in person.
We also had a giggle seeing Bell’s ‘Man at Sea’ (published by us in 2022) on a ‘Best of Scottish Writers’ table, as he discovered that he was, indeed, a great writer, bookseller approved! Watch the TikTok here. The audiences for both Donna and Liam were brimming with specific and engaging questions – definitely the super fans we all look for as writers!
On the other hand, we went to Novacon, a science fiction convention in Buxton. I wanted to try a convention as we will be publishing our first science fiction novel, ‘New Gillion Street’ by Elliot J Harper in January (see below for our 2024 authors!) and I had been told by other publishers that conventions bring local audiences, who love to spend money on books haha! But I turned up on the Saturday and was informed by other publishers that Friday had produced no sales for any publisher… And the day proceeded to be me smiling at potential readers and intimidating them so much in that effort, that they squirrelled away… A marketing book I once read said ‘your art is not for everyone’ and that is kinder to people’s time NOT to pitch as though your work is for them, and indeed, everyone. Wise words! I left early with thoughts of coffee and cake in mind… But I did get to catch up with the lovely Teika (formerly the managing editor of Mother's Milk Books and now an Editor-at-Large at Valley Press) - so that was a highlight!
I’ve been chatting with 2024 authors to think about blurbs and covers and all the wonderful discussions which start the journey to publication. We’re publishing slightly less books in 2024, and will be producing bigger PR and marketing campaigns, and holding more events instead!
Before I showcase our 2024 list to you below, we do have three events this December that we’d love you to come to.
Thursday 7th of December, 6.30pm: Blackwells with Dr David Hartley and ‘Fauna’! We will be showcasing along with other Northern Fiction Alliance publishers. Tickets are free but limited. Sign up here! I will be bringing mince pies and drinks for you lovely lot, and books will be 10% off.
Rachel will be performing a brand new Christmas chapter so that we know where the brave Professor Wendowleen Cripcot and her loveable Wolf went next! Make yourself a mulled wine and grab a seat for a very special reading. Tickets here.
Our host will be our lovely intern Louisa Wagstaff, so do come and support her first event for FOTW. Five exciting contemporary FOTW poets offer invaluable industry insight to polish your poetic craft and smooth your path towards publication
Now for a 2024 preview…
Fly on the Wall Press is delighted to have signed eight books and thirteen writers for publication in 2024. With a literary edge, the selection of novelists, short story writers and poets explore identity, religion and disability, with wit and heart, through genres of the uncanny, psychological thriller and science fiction.
The 26th of January 2024 sees Leeds writer Elliot J Harper release science fiction novel ‘New Gillion Street’, in which politicians really are extra-terrestrial. Albert Smith, who would rather be drinking tea in his garden on this new planet, post-Earth, is forced to save his family from a power-hungry mayor.
On the 28th of March 2024, Manchester editor and writer Isabelle Kenyon publishes her debut psychological thriller, ‘The Dark Within Them’, in which faith-healer Amber discovers the Mormon church will do anything to hide its secrets, after the sudden death of her daughter in their new home in Lehi, Arizona.
In May and July, the winners of the Aryamati Poetry Prize, which seeks poetry on the theme of social change and peace, will be published. Scottish Makar Morag Anderson’s pamphlet, ‘And I Will Make of You a Vowel Sound’, will be released on the 24th of May 2024.
Ricky Ray’s collection, ‘The Soul We Share’, will be released on the 26th of July 2024, following his Laurel prize longlisted chapbook, ‘The Sound of the Earth Singing to Herself’, in 2020 with Fly on the Wall Press.
On the 27th of September 2024, Wakefield short story tutor SJ Bradley publishes her much-anticipated debut short story collection, ‘Maps of Imaginary Towns’. Experimental in form, many of the dystopian stories emerged from her experiences of working in the public sector during the period of austerity under the leadership of Boris Johnson.
On the 11th of October 2024, Fly on the Wall Press continues their curated anthology series with ‘Modern Gothic’, consisting of six international short story writers, updating gothic tropes for a modern audience. Encounter landlords with sinister requests, ethereal housemates, and a glass-encased jungle built by an eccentric father. Writers featured are: Lerah Mae Barcenilla, Lauren Archer, Michael Bird, Pete Hartley, Rose Biggin and Edward Karshner.
On the 18th November 2024, Newcastle novelist and lecturer Laura Fish presents her third novel, ‘Lying Perfectly Still’, a gripping work of literary fiction which explores exploitation by aid workers in Eswatini (formerly the Kingdom of Swaziland) during the height of the 90s AIDS crisis. We travel with twenty-three-year-old Koliwe from her home in Oxford to her ancestral Southern Africa, as she embarks on a role as a development worker.
Finally, Fly on the Wall Press is delighted to have signed a second uncanny short story collection from Kerry short fiction writer Katie Oliver. ‘Ingrown’, out on the 2nd of December 2024, follows the success of ‘I Wanted to be Close to You’ in 2022 and its stories explore where the everyday collides with the unexpected – from a teenage swimmer grappling with an ingrown hair that takes on a life of its own, to a town besieged by uncontrollable moss growth.
We’re really excited to share these titles with you!
Have a lovely weekend Scribblers,