Launch of Carrots, Cream and Death

The 2021 edition of Worcestershire LitFest Flash Fiction Anthology, ‘Carrots, Cream and Death’ launched in December 2021. Super short, short stories.

Carrots C and D Front cover snapshot

Engaging stories of no more than 300 words – well-written and entertaining – order now as birthday or any sort of celebratory gift.

Please note: we are unable to despatch to destinations outside the UK.

UK deliveries only:

Single copy: £5 +P&P buy-now-paypal

x2 copies: £10 +P&P buy-now-paypal

x5 copies: £25.00 +P&P buy-now-paypal

Sing Ho! Stout Cortez

Michael W. Thomas presents Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, a blend of novellas and stories. You are invited to an online launch event starting at 4pm Sunday 12 December 2021, you can see full details and, on the day, a link to the event here. From big picture to the smallest detail, these are compelling journeys through lives and places, studies of the human heart in all its richness.

Sing Ho - front cover

About Sing Ho! Stout Cortez:

All of these pieces were written between 2014 and 2020. The earliest, Esp, was shortlisted for the UK Novella Award, 2015, and enlarges on the experiences of Henderson Bray, first encountered in ‘Misshapes from Cadbury’s’ in Thomas’s story collection The Portswick Imp.

Ted Eames, poet, traveller, member of the Borders Poetry Writing Group, and cover designer for Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, considers this ‘… a wonderfully entertaining collection of novellas and short stories in Sing Ho! Stout Cortez. Thomas has the rare ability to combine good, satisfying storytelling with a poet’s judicious eye for the telling phrase and the vivid metaphor. He is especially skilled in the use of convincing dialogue between the various characters we meet. This collection, which takes the reader from familiar places to the Caribbean island of Grenada, is full of fine writing and rewarding, witty tales that warm us with their deft humanity.’
Ted Eames

Order your copy of Sing Ho! Stout Cortez, by clicking on the ‘Buy Now’ link below.

Please note: we are unable to despatch to destinations outside the UK.

UK only £8 +P&P


Solace in the Silence–Amanda Bonnick

This book is a delightful mix of poetry and prose written during Amanda’s time as Poet in Residence at Worcester Cathedral.

Solace - front cover 4

It is a highly personal reflection on her experiences during that time, a ‘pilgrimage’.
The poems cover her profound faith, her interviews with the groups making up the Cathedral community…and her love for the building itself, which she describes as ‘a place of solace and refuge and beauty’. They tell their stories straightforwardly, without self-indulgence or overstatement, and relate not only to the Bible but to today’s everyday life…
At the launch event in November 2021, which took place at the Undercroft of Worcester Cathedral, Amanda was joined by nine other actors to voice the two main series of poems in the book: Philip Leach, Philip Ward, Susan Davidson, Leah Adkins, Alan Davidson, Ruth Stacey, Jenny Hope, Steve Quick, and Matthew Brockington.

Dr Charlotte Barnes PhD, known to most of us as Charley, gives her thoughts on Solace in the Silence:

‘Amanda Bonnick’s ‘Solace in the Silence’ truly is something special. A walk through a city’s iconic structure – Worcester Cathedral itself – and the time that saw the Cathedral doors close – the Covid-19 pandemic. Bonnick treats both elements with respect, bringing an artistry that explores the time and place, and her changing relationship to the latter through the former. Bonnick’s own documentation of her times in residency at the Cathedral are thought-provoking and commendably honest, and they have here paved a rich avenue into the writing insights behind this collection.

‘Throughout, there are flavours of religion and its many interpretations. Far from sermon-like, though, the facts of religious celebration are brought about throughout poetic device and distinct eyes for detail. Bonnick’s ‘How I’d Start a Church’ was a personal favourite – the wonderful use of short lines making for an instructive feel – alongside ‘The Size of Everything’, the first lines of which still linger with me now. The poet pinpoints dates in the Worcestershire calendar, with a nod to various events in the city, as well as moments in the religious calendar, handling both with care.

‘The poetic works are sandwiched around Bonnick’s experiences of working within this special space add both feeling and a personal touch, giving us a taste of the true voice of experience behind the book. This is the personal alongside the universality of recognised religious practices, and the two make for excellent bedfellows.

‘Humorous, tailored and expertly delivered, ‘Solace in the Silence’ is a gem of a publication from Worcester and one of Worcester’s talents. In all, a beautiful new release from Amanda Bonnick.’

Dr Charlotte Barnes, Author, Poet, and Academic


Available now (UK only): £7.00 +P&P

More reviews…

More accolades for Black Pear Press authors, the latest for Sunita Thind’s poetry collection, The Barging Buddhi and Other Poems by Neil Leadbeater for ‘The High Window’ which publishes poetry reviews quarterly – click here for the link and note that you need to scroll down to find the relevant review, and one for Polly Stretton’s collection Growing Placesclick here to read three reviews, from ‘Write Out Loud’, ‘Mad Hatter Reviews’ and from the USA.

Carrots, Cream, and Death – Flash Fiction From The Worcestershire Literary Festival 2021

Carrots C and D Front cover snapshot

The online launch for this year’s Flash Fiction anthology is booked for 4pm Sunday 5 December – details will appear on the Facebook event page on the day, or contact

The 2021 Worcestershire LitFest & Fringe publication featuring flash fiction from around the world. The competition opens at the start of the year and an anthology is produced at the end of that year, this is the tenth such publication. Look out for next year’s competition on

Engaging stories of no more than 300 words – well-written and entertaining – pre-order now for Christmas gifts.

UK deliveries only:

Single copy: £5 +P&P buy-now-paypal

x2 copies: £10 +P&P buy-now-paypal

x5 copies: £25.00 +P&P buy-now-paypal

Launch of Poet Laureate collection

Leena Batchelor invites you to the launch of her Worcestershire Poet Laureate collection of poems, Pearl Blades and Painted Silks: The Language of Fans 1pm Sunday 19 September 2021 – a celebration of poetry written in her Worcestershire Poet Laureate year. Leena and her guests plan an entertaining afternoon. Leena says ‘There will be fizz along with some goodies for those who buy a book on the day’ – no charge to come along! This will be a blended launch i.e., come along to The Great Hall at The Commandery in Worcester or join us on Zoom. The Zoom link will appear here on the day.

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Leena Batchelor holds a fascination for fans. The former Worcestershire Poet Laureate 2020-2021 is proud to announce her poetry collection celebrating her tenure. It also celebrates the beauty of fans, the blades and silks, tassels and glorious artwork they often hold. She describes the meanings of the ways in which they’re held, the waves, flutters, closures and expansions, and the impact that these movements can have. Leena says that this is like a daydream to her, ‘I’ve always wanted to write a collection of poems about the language of fans.’

Available to pre-order direct from Black Pear Press at £7+P&P

UK P&P buy-now-paypal

Thank you

A big thank you to Mad Hatter Reviews for the review of Polly Stretton’s ‘The Alchemy of 42’. Always good to see a review in which the reviewer has read and clearly understood the contents of a poetry collection 😊 So, thank you to Beth O’Brien. We’re glad you enjoyed ‘The Alchemy of 42’. You can see the full review by clicking here, and get your copy by clicking here.

Front cover snapshot final

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