Wonderful News! Seaglass And Other Stories is here!

The anthology of the first Black Pear Press Short Story Competition is available direct from Black Pear Press and also from Amazon as an eBook or a paperback, click here.

Seaglass front cover

Taking its title from the winning story ‘Seaglass’ by
Rebecca Burns, and consisting of twenty varied and marvellous short stories, this book is the perfect gift throughout the year. Get your copy direct from Black Pear Press via PayPal:

UK customers:

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An eBook version is also available

Here’s some information about our winning writers:

Rebecca Burns 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

Runner-up Pam Plumb’s story ‘Sleeping Dragons’ captivated the judges with its characterisation and setting.

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

The ten short-listed writers:
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
and the ten selected entries:
As A Moat Defensive To A House BRIAN COMBER
I Have Put Away Childish Things BRIAN COMBER
Meteors JADE CHEN
Starry, Starry Night MEGANNE HEARNE
The Art Expert’s Child JENIFER GRANGER
The Expediter JAMES STARK
The Missus SUE THOMAS
The Price Of Love JOSEPH GOVAN
The Snip CLAUDIA CRUTWELL
Unfinished Business COURTNEY JENNINGS
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‘Tales From The Forest’–a great read

Front Cover TalesA successful playwright, Mark Billen has turned his hand to short stories. He says ‘You won’t find The Forest, Whytteford, Humbury, Salchester, or any of the villages, on a map.’ His wonderful locations in which ‘Tales from the Forest’ is set include Whytteford, with a church in ‘a rather isolated spot in a hidden valley,’ and Brookford, where Great-Aunt Brenda lived.

As a successful playwright, Mark continues to have his plays for children such as ‘Cinderella’s Sisters’ and ‘The Love for Three Oranges’ performed worldwide.

You can get copies of Mark’s first book of short stories direct from Black Pear Press here:

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An eBook version is also available

Mark’s other works include the stories of Henry and Fred, two teddy bears, and are enjoyed by children everywhere. Mark is very proud that the bears’ hard work has raised over £2000 for Action for Children.

Email Mark at: marksplays@yahoo.co.uk
See his plays here: http://www.schoolplayscripts.co.uk

Writers Of The Future–Young Writer Anthology 2014

YW anthology cover_fractalsWorcestershire LitFest and Rotary D1100 eClub’s first anthology of the Young Writer entries in this year’s June competition was launched at St Swithun’s Institute in December 2014.

Competition prizewinners read their stories of up to 300 words based on the theme Before the War or A Prelude to War.

All but two of the shortlisted entries in the competition were present:

Lizzie Austen The Canteen
Amelia Davies High School Armageddon
Anton De Vos The War Of Entoonville
Matt Hall Prelude To War
Charlotte Morgan All’s Fair In Love And Fashion

These stories are the first in the anthology followed by entries selected by the editors.

You can get your copy direct from Black Pear Press here:

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The book is available as an eBook.

The judges asked us to say how impressed they were by the quality of the entries and said that there was little to choose between the winning and other highly placed entries in each category.

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

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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

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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

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