Fifty Flashes Of Fiction

Fifty Flashes Of Fiction is here! FFoF Front Cover 2014The new anthology of Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe’s Flash Fiction competition is now available. This much awaited book was well-received at the launch in Worcester 30th November 2014. The audience were treated to readings from the first and second prizewinners and many other flash fashionistas. Get your copies via PayPal: UK customers: btn_buynowCC_LG

An eBook version is available

The Results: The First Ever Black Pear Press Short Story Competition!

Announcement

The winners of the first Black Pear Press Short Story Competition are:

First: Rebecca Burns with ‘Seaglass’

Runner-up: Pam Plumb with ‘Sleeping Dragons’

Congratulations to the winner of the Black Pear Press Short Story Competition, Rebecca Burns, with her entry ‘Seaglass.’ For the judges Seaglass stood out for the writer’s ability to show rather than tell the story. This short story evokes a glassmaker’s life through a few well-written scenes.

Rebecca is a writer of short stories. Her debut collection, ‘Catching the Barramundi’ was published by Odyssey Books in 2012 and longlisted for the Edge Hill Short Story Award in 2013. Rebecca was nominated for a Pushcart Prize in 2011; winner of Fowey Festival of Words and Music Short Story Prize in 2013. Profiled as a writer on the Grassroutes Project, an Arts Council-funded project overseen by the University of Leicester, which showcases the best transcultural writers in the county. Read more of her work at www.rebecca-burns.co.uk

Congratulations also to runner-up Pam Plumb with her story ‘Sleeping Dragons’. The judges were captivated by the characterisation and setting of this story.

Pam is a writer of flash fiction and short stories, based in the North East of England. One of her stories, Seven Breaths, was included in the 2014 National Flash Fiction Day Anthology ‘Eating My Words’. Other writing can be found online in the third ipamphlet from PaperSwans, as well as on Paragraph Planet, among others. pamjplumb.wordpress.com

Congratulations to all ten short-listed entrants:

A New Life             MEGANNE HEARNE
Fly Joe                   JACKIE BUXTON
Liar! Liar! Pants on Fire!    JOANNE DERRICK
No Cause For Concern    ALISON WASSELL
Pseudonym            RICHARD ANTHONY DUNFORD
Seaglass                 REBECCA BURNS
Sleeping Dragons         PAM PLUMB
Stopping In                   DIANE SIMMONS
The Faraday Cage        GRAEME HALL
The Jogger in the Park  KEVIN BROOKE

Judge and award-winning writer, Alison May, said ‘In general the standard of the shortlisted stories was good. I was impressed with the range of stories and styles. The most successful stories were those which evoked a strong sense of character and situation, bearing out the well-worn adage that writers should ‘show, not tell.’

‘The second placed story, Sleeping Dragons, was strong in this regard. The characters, especially the grandfather, felt real and the setting was well-drawn. This was a fraction away from being a winning story, but, for me, the ending didn’t quite feel as satisfying as the rest of the tale.

‘The winning story, Seaglass, also stood out for the writer’s ability to resist the urge to overtell. I was impressed with the way in which the story evoked a whole life through a few short episodes. I also felt that this story stood up well to repeat reading.

‘One small piece of advice that I would offer to all the entrants: only submit a story to a competition or publisher when it is as complete and polished as you are able to make it. Even amongst the shortlisted entrants there were…unnecessary repetitions and redundant words… These are the linguistic equivalents of cracks in the walls of the writer’s imaginary world. Keeping the reader within the world of the story is a magic trick of sorts and niggling technical errors jar the reader out of that world. If the reader is distracted by the mechanics of the trick, the magic doesn’t work.

‘Overall though I enjoyed reading the shortlisted stories. They created ten different worlds, peopled with different characters, experiencing different challenges. It was an honour to be able to visit them all.’

Celebrity Chef in First Novel

Lovers of good food and a good read will be coming back for more after devouring Frances Bennett’s first thriller Seeds of Destruction.  The novel features celebrity chef, Hester, whose orderly life is thrown into chaos by her stepson,
Simon.
Hester views Simon with maternal affection, unaware that he harbours a dangerous obsession.
The seeds of destruction have their roots in Simon’s bitter and lonely childhood. On the death of his grandfather he becomes wealthy enough to abandon his teaching job and, with ruthless determination, plans to remove anyone who stands between him and the attainment of his dream. Gradually losing all touch with reality, his behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, with terrifying, destructive consequences.

About the author

Frances Bennett was a war baby, born in Dorset. Due to her father’s work, she moved home frequently until she was around ten years old. Her brother, nine years older, was away at boarding school and then worked in London, so Frances felt very much on her own. She was a solitary child and a voracious reader of Dickens, Thackeray, Kipling and more. They gave her an immense love of words and the separate world we enter when lost in a gripping story.

Frances had varied careers including those in antique jewellery and restaurant management; had a family, divorced, remarried happily to an artist but was widowed three years later.

Main sources of enjoyment for Frances include reading, writing, classical music, theatre, cooking, eating out and socialising with family and friends. She lives near Worcester Cathedral.

Frances says she’s been writing on and off for twenty-five years. She’s completed four novels, several short stories and ‘some poetry’.  Seeds of Destruction is the first novel to be published.

Seeds of Destruction was launched Sunday 12 October, 16:00-18:00 at St Swithun’s Institute, to considerable acclaim.

Front Cover Seeds_edited-1

Also available as an eBook

UK customers can get the paperback via PayPal: btn_buynowCC_LG

Cricket is the Answer

Kevin Brooke’s book launch at The Hive, Friday 26 September, saw a full house listening avidly to extracts from this story about a boy.

Jimmy is fifteen. His parents have been killed in a motorway accident. When he’s forced to move over a hundred miles to live with his nan, Jimmy struggles to cope with the upheaval in his life. His one real friend, Dean, has even bigger problems than Jimmy, and together they can’t seem to stay out of trouble. Then they are arrested for shoplifting. While all this is going on, a girl called Dayla arrives on the scene to complicate things further. When Mark, his family support worker, involves Jimmy in a bereavement club with a difference, he is given the chance to find some stability at last. The question is—will he take the opportunity?

Kevin Brooke’s recent successes include both highly commended and runner-up in two separate national short story competitions.

We asked Kevin to tell us something about his new young adult (YA) novel.

‘There’s no more exciting yet terrifying time in your life than early to mid-teens,’ he said. ‘Seen through the eyes of the main character, Jimmy Latham, this story shows how teenagers can, with the right support, survive just about anything. Set just after Jimmy’s fifteenth birthday and a year after the death of his parents in a car accident his life is in disarray. But then…he’s given the chance to focus on something positive.’

‘Would you tell us more about the main character and the story?’ we asked.

‘Does he get himself into trouble along the way? Oh yes. Does he get involved with things that he shouldn’t? Of course he does. Does he fall in love? Try and show me a teenager who doesn’t. Does he finally, with the help of those around him, sort himself out? Well, you’ll just have to read the book and find out the answer!’

Although aimed at teenagers, Black Pear Press is convinced ‘Jimmy Cricket’ will be successful as a crossover book; a spokesperson said, ‘It’s a rare opportunity to support a local author who knows his target audience so well. When we read Jimmy Cricket we couldn’t put it down; it has great ‘PTQ’ (page turning qualities).

‘I think adults will enjoy the story as well,’ Kevin added. ‘It may even give the parents the opportunity to find out what their sons and daughters are really getting up to…’

Jimmy Cricket front cover

UK postagebtn_buynowCC_LG

Also available as an eBook

Barred

Barred outer covers and spine artBarred – Tim Cranmore

Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2013, Tim Cranmore, launched his book of poetry ‘Barred’ at the Old Rec in June this year. Black Pear Press are pleased to confirm that the book is available via PayPal or from Amazon as a paperback or an eBook, see below.

Tim Cranmore was born in Worcestershire, England, and originally trained as a biochemist.
After a period in clinical research, he started making recorders at the Guildhall School of Music. He now travels the world with the recorders he makes and sells. Tim also runs courses on recorder making, he says that he and his colleagues ‘now feel that it is time for us to share what we know, and pass on the fruits of, in my case, 30 years of experience to anyone who wants it.’

Tim says he likes the idea of the 18th century musician producing a slightly worn instrument from the depths of his frock coat, and playing with his friends in the local coffee house. He is well known for his ability to make a recorder from a carrot and has entertained many with his demonstrations of doing just that!

Well known on the spoken word circuit, Tim became Worcestershire Poet Laureate in 2013. This, his first collection of poems, celebrates his time as Poet Laureate and includes poems about his carrot, plus favourites such as the beautifully melodic The Mermaid And The Mason and Tim’s humour in On My Bidet – For Catherine.

Tim holds a performer’s diploma in recorder, and has supplied many instruments to professional and amateur players all over the world during thirty years as a maker. His instruments have been used by leading players and are featured on a number of acclaimed CDs.

To purchase your copy from the publisher, please use the PayPal links below

For UK customers:

btn_buynowCC_LG

Also available as an eBook

The First Ever Black Pear Press Short Story Competition!

BPP black text

Short Story Competition 2014 – CLOSED

  • The first Black Pear Press (BPP) Short Story Competition is now open
  • Closing Date Friday 26 September 2014
  • Send us your short story maximum 1500 words
  • Entry fee: £5 per story
  • For rules see below
  • Judges: Authors Rod Griffiths, Tony Judge and novelist and award winning short story writer Alison May

The first ever Black Pear Press Short Story Competition!

We’re looking for short stories of 1500 words or fewer to be submitted to us before 26 September 2014.

Competition Rules

  1. Closing date is 26 September 2014.
  2. The maximum word limit is 1500, not including the title (no minimum).
  3. Authors may submit as many stories as they wish.
  4. Submitted pieces must not have been published elsewhere, must be the entrant’s own original work and available, if selected, to be published in the anthology.
  5. Translations of anyone else’s work are not eligible. Copyright remains with the writer.
  6. Entries may be published on the BPP website and may be included in an anthology.
  7. Entries must be in English.
  8. Submit entries by email to pr@blackpear.net
  9. The subject line of the e-mail must read: BPP Short Story.
  10. Entries should be attached as a Word or an RTF document. Give your name and contact details in the body of the email, as well as the title and word count of your submission(s) and a circa 50 word profile of the writer in the third person. If you are paying by PayPal, your receipt no/transaction code should be included. Do not put your name or email address on the entry itself. Entries should be single spaced, in a clear font, 12pt.
  11. The winners and runners-up will be announced on the BPP website and on the BPP Facebook page.
  12. There is no theme. All styles and genres are welcome.
  13. No correspondence will be entered into regarding the outcome of this competition.

Entry into the competition is taken to be acceptance of these rules.

All entries will be judged anonymously.

Judges: Rod Griffiths, Tony Judge and novelist and award winning short story writer Alison May

Results announced 14 November 2014.

First prize: £75
Second prize: copies of two BPP publications

Please note that entries sent without the entry fee will not be considered and stories should be submitted only once.

All entries will be acknowledged within 48 hours of receipt of your payment. If you have not heard from us within a week please contact us. It is your responsibility to confirm your entry has been received.

No alterations can be made after receipt, nor fees refunded. The judges’ decisions are final and no correspondence can be entered into. No entrant may win more than one prize.

Due to the anticipated number of submissions, we cannot accept any that do not follow submissions guidelines and rules.

Good luck!

Enquiries may be forwarded to ps@blackpear.net

Seeds of Destruction

The seeds of destruction have their roots in Simon’s bitter and lonely childhood. On the death of his grandfather he becomes wealthy enough to abandon his teaching job and, with ruthless determination, plans to remove anyone who stands between him and the attainment of his dream. Gradually losing all touch with reality, his behaviour becomes increasingly bizarre, with terrifying, destructive consequences.

The story unfolds through the eyes of Hester, a celebrity chef whose orderly life is thrown into chaos by her stepson, Simon. She views him with maternal affection, unaware that he harbours a dangerous obsession.

Frances Bennett launched her first novel, Seeds of Destruction, in 2014 and launches her second, Something Wicked, in 2019.

Front Cover Seeds_edited-1

Coming Soon! Jimmy Cricket

The newest title from Black Pear Press, Jimmy Cricket, will be published soon, so watch out for the launch date.

Jimmy Cricket front cover

Jimmy Cricket by Kevin Brooke is about that exciting and yet terrifying time in life, the early-to-mid-teens. Seen through the eyes of the main character, Jimmy Latham, this story shows how teenagers can, with the right support, survive just about anything.  Set soon after Jimmy’s fifteenth birthday and a year after the death of his parents in a car accident, his life is in disarray. He joins a bereavement club with a difference, where they play cricket as a form of emotional release, and he’s given the chance to focus on something positive.

Feedback from readers of the story so far includes:

‘A gripping read, I was drawn into the character as if I knew him. Very descriptive, thrilling and in some parts humorous. I would recommend this to my friends. Can’t wait for the next book (no pressure Kevin).’ Tom Bailey, aged 14

‘From start to finish it was exciting – I was desperate to read on. The main character was fun and mysterious.’ Genevieve Brown – aged 12

Although aimed at teenagers, Black Pear Press are convinced ‘Jimmy Cricket’ will be successful as a crossover book, a spokesperson said, ‘It’s a rare opportunity to support a local author who knows his target audience so well. When we read ‘Jimmy Cricket’ we couldn’t put it down, it has great ‘PTQ’ (page turning qualities).

Watch this space!

Jimmy Cricket front cover

%d bloggers like this: