Paul Coulter takes a nostalgic look at the HillmanImp motor car built in Linwood, Scotland from 1963 until 1976. The Hillman Imp was a rival to the Mini and had many innovations that were soon adopted by other motor manufacturers.
The Imp however met an untimely demise. This book takes a brief look at the history of the Imp and focuses on its success as well as recording fond memories of Imp owners past and present. If you owned a Hillman Imp, knew someone who did or are just fascinated by the story of this little car then “Our Hillman Imp” is a light-hearted must-read. Available from Argyll Publishing. Amazon and other outlets.
“ I just thought I would drop you a line to say thank you to all the committee for running the Wegie Wednesday event. I am pleased to say that my book has now been published but this probably wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t come along to the WW event and met some great contacts. Firstly Charlie McGary was a great source to speak to as a first time author who had been there and done it, and then Caron Macphearson, your guest speaker, provided good information on how to sell and market a local title like mine. Argyll Publishing finally decided to run with it and it is now off to print and will be published on 15th April.
Hopefully I can pop along to your Wegie Wednesday event sometime soon, in only 10 months my project has gone from an idea to a published book, the speed of which I am astounded by, due unquestionably to great enthusiasm from like minded people.”
Find out more about Paul Coulter
Find out from Mark MacNicol what crowd funding is all about.
“I was asked by the lovely people at Weegie Wednesday to do a blog on my experiences relating to crowd funding. On a personal note I would like to publicly thank everyone involved with WW. After writing my novel I came along (on my own) not knowing anyone. Not only was I made to feel very welcome I made some fantastic industry contacts.
So let’s have a look at this crowd funding carry on then. It’s huge in the US and is now starting to grow rapidly in the UK. Quite simply if it wasn’t for this resource my play ‘Serve Cold’ wouldn’t have gone to Fringe 2012 and I wouldn’t be pitching my new TV pilot ‘The Last McCool’ in LA.
We all know about the diminishing number of opportunities (across the mediums) for established Writers. So if you fall into the emerging or aspiring category as I do a bit of outside box thinking (like crowd funding) may be what you need to get projects out there. It’s not for everyone, but it has certainly worked for me.
One of the most important factors when considering crowd funding a project or product is your reward packages. This is the foundation of the model. It is vital that you construct reward packages people will be drawn to (including complete strangers). It’s also important you genuinely believe in their worth and value for money, it’s you who has to sell them.
Have a look at what other projects are offering and try to be creative and imaginative. If my pilot does sell in LA, the people who helped me get there will get a range of goodies including invitations to special events on both sides of the Atlantic. I’m also sending them an exclusive video diary that no one else will see. It’s important to me the 64 individuals who have made LA possible know how special they are to me, and I mean that. Incidentally some of my Fringe crowd funders from 2012 went on to fund the LA trip so it obviously pays to look after people.
I can’t emphasize enough how crucial the rewards are. Have a look around. Be creative. Pitch your rewards to some non-friend/family contacts who are likely to give you honest feedback on rewards they like/don’t.
I don’t have enough space here to give you different analysis of the many crowd funding companies out there. I can tell you who I used (Sponsume for the Fringe & Kickstarter for LA). The main reason I switched to Kickstarter was that Sponsume couldn’t take payments from people in the US at that time.
I started working facebook/twitter/my website immediately after self-publishing my novel ‘Coconut Badger’. Without a publisher pushing the book I knew self-promotion would be vital. I am my own highly energized PR company. I work for free. I have one client. The more twitter followers, facebook likes, website traffic you have, the easier crowd funding will be. There’s no point having sexy rewards if you have no mechanism for getting the word out there.
I hope this has helped give you a taster of what crowd funding has to offer and good luck.
Last weekend saw the 44th Conference attract busloads of writers. Perhaps with the freezing weather sledges would have been a better mode of transport. However, they did arrive in droves to enjoy a fantastic weekend packed with interesting speakers, innovative workshops, and the results of the annual competitions.
If you are a member of a creative writers group affiliated with the Scottish Association of Writers, you can look forwards to joining them in March 2014 for their 45th conference. The venue planned for next year is at Westerwood hotel Cumbernauld. The conference takes place over a weekend: Friday to Sunday and is packed full of activities and opportunities to network with other writers.
If you are not a member of a Creative Writers group why not consider joining one near you or as a postal member. Find out more about Writers clubs.
Waterstones Sauchiehall St Glasgow.
Thursday 21st March 2013 6.30pm.
An eminent British writer returns to the resort hotel in the Japanese mountains where he once spent a beautiful snowed-in winter. It was there he fell in love and wrote his best-selling novel, The Waterwheel, accusing America of being in denial about the horrific aftermath of the Tokyo firebombings and the nuclear destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. As we learn more about his earlier life, however – as a student in Bloomsbury, involved with a famous American painter – we realise that he too is in denial, trying to escape past events that are now rapidly catching up with him.
A chance for new writers of children’s fiction – published and unpublished – to learn about writing to be published from two senior editors -
Louise Bolongaro (picture book texts 0 to 6) previously with Macmillan and Penguin, now Nosy Crow and Catherine Coe (fiction 5 to 12) previously with Hodder and Orchard Children’s Books
and three of Scotland’s top literary agents –
Lucy Juckes from Jenny Brown Associates
Lindsey Fraser and Kathryn Ross from Fraser Ross Associates
Saturday 26th January 2013
The Dovecot Studios, 10 Infirmary Street, Edinburgh EH1 1LT (10 minutes walk from Waverley Station, 15 minutes from Edinburgh’s Bus Station)
10am to 5pm
Cost £75 including lunch
The children’s book market is lively and vibrant – but highly competitive and exacting. Publishers and Literary Agents receive hundreds of unsolicited manuscripts every month. Of those, only a few will get as far as a publisher’s Acquisitions Meeting, let alone a bookshop.
It is no secret that finding a publisher is tough, so it is vital that writers are well-informed if they are to break into this fascinating, crowded industry.
How can you ensure that you give yourself the best possible chance of becoming a published writer? Catherine Coe and Louise Bolongaro have worked on a wide range of best-selling books and they will share their views on what editors are looking for from children’s writers today. Plotting, point of view, readership, character arc, structure, consistency, pacing, language, page turns, beginnings and endings, settings, perspectives, genres – a writer’s best and most original ideas are nothing without a firm grip on the mechanics of writing. Lucy Juckes, Lindsey Fraser and Kathryn Ross will talk about the Literary Agent’s role in the professional lives of their clients. All those attending will be invited to make a submission for assessment by the Literary Agents.
Michael Malone April 24 - Michael Malone was born and brought up in the heart of Burns’ country, just a stone’s throw from the great man’s cottage in Ayr. He has published over 200 poems in literary magazines throughout the UK, including New Writing Scotland, Poetry Scotland and Markings. His debut novel, Blood Tears (published by Five Leaves, June 2012), won the Pitlochry Prize from the Scottish Association of Writers. He has since published a non-fiction work about successful modern-day Scots – Carnegie’s Call (Argyll Publishing, Oct. 2012). He is a regular reviewer for the hugely popular crime fiction website: CrimeSquad and his blog, May Contain Nuts .
J David Simons March 13 -
J. David Simons was born in Glasgow in 1953. He studied law at Glasgow University and became a partner at an Edinburgh law firm before giving up his practice in 1978 to live on a kibbutz in Israel. Since then he has lived in Australia, Japan and England working at various stages along the way as a charity administrator, cotton farmer, language teacher, university lecturer and journalist. He returned to Glasgow in 2006 where he currently lives with his partner Sofia.
His first novel, The Credit Draper was published in May 2008 by Two Ravens Press and was short-listed for The McKitterick Prize in June 2009. His second novel The Liberation of Celia Kahn, was published – along with a re-print of The Credit Draper – by Five Leaves Publishing in February 2011.
He has been the recipient of a Writer’s Bursary from the Scottish Arts Council (now Creative Scotland) and awards from the Robert Louis Stevenson Fellowship and the Society of Authors Foundation. His latest novel An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful is due to be published by Saraband in March 2013.
STOP PRESS: Click on title to watch video preview of An Exquisite Sense of What is Beautiful
Sara Sheridan February 13th – Sara Sheridan is the author of a range of novels including The Secret Mandarin, Truth or Dare, Brighton Belle, I’m Me, and the Mirabelle Bevan Mysteries.
Shari Low 13th February – Author and columnist for the Daily Record. Shari’s wit and skill are displayed in her many novel including, Friday night with the Girls, Temptation Street, What if?, Why Not, My Best Friend’s Life and A Brand New me.
Barry Gornell January 16 - Barry Gornell is a debut author of The Healing of Luther Grove.
Kirsty Logan January 16 – Kirsty Logan is a fiction writer, journalist, literary magazine editor, teacher, and book reviewer. She recently finished her first novel, Rust and Stardust, and a short story collection, The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales. She is now working on her second novel, The Gracekeeper.
Fledgling Press author, and Treasurer of Weegie Wednesday, Moira McPartlin has been shortlisted for the 2012 Saltire Society Scottish First Book of the Year Award for her debut novel The Incomers, released in March 2012.
She faces stiff competition from a shortlist that includes Bilean an t-Sluaigh by Maighread A. Challan, The Last Highlander by Sarah Fraser and Tony Hogan Bought Me An Ice Cream Float Before He Stole My Ma by Kerry Hudson.
The Incomers is set in a small mining village in Fife where Ellie Amadi has settled with her husband after leaving West Africa. Set in 1966, the local population display their ignorance of outsiders and the story follows Ellie’s struggle to adapt and survive in this hostile environment.
Moira McPartlin is delighted to be nominated and will be attending the awards ceremony. The winner will be announced on 30th November at the National Library of Scotland.
Don’t miss Weegie Wednesday’s guest speaker for November:
Take the chance to hear one of Glasgow’s most unique Crime Writers and to socialise with other guests.
The Second Coming
It’s a perverse and sometimes silly business, and that’s before you even get to the sex scenes.
Fifty Shades of Grey. Yes, it’s hit the genre like an earthquake.
This is not the space for questioning the book’s qualities. In fact, I hesitate to describe Fifty Shades of Grey (FSOG) as a book anymore. It’s a phenomenon, a Black Swan, one of those dreamlike jawdroppingly enormous things that gathers so much momentum as it unstoppably rolls downhill that it hoovers up all sorts of tangential subjects.
How has it impacted erotica? The genre has been dragged out of its candlelit boudoir and thrust into the limelight. I see friends quoted in the papers, interviewed on TV. Everyone suddenly wants to know the ins and outs of smut. I’ve been asked to contribute this very column to the apparently bottomless debate.
It’s a curious sensation – one’s normally unspeakable livelihood being discussed in supermarket queues, over coffee with friends’ mothers, on public transport, on facebook, everywhere. Suddenly everyone wants to crack a joke about sado masochism or ask how lucrative it actually is, writing Mommy Porn1. It’s been odd and a little thrilling.
It hasn’t all been pretty. There has been resentment and bitterness. I’ve watched publishers limp onto the bandwagon. The thought of all the upcoming FSOG imitators, wave upon grey wave of them, gives me a sad, hopeless ache. Monochrome still-life covers are already starting to look cliché. So many of the stars in the erotica firmament will never receive the respect and audience that they deserve.
People reading, thinking, dreaming, talking about sex. It may not be the kind of sex you (or I, or they, or anyone) think they want or ought to be having.
The buzz of spilling unexamined, wholehearted fantasy onto the page. Sexual desire often doesn’t care much about sentence structure, or even morals. It’s dangerous that way.
FSOG bypassed the whole lumbering, over-informed, market-consulted, focus-grouped many-tentacled print-and-pulp-and-print insanity of the book world. E.L. James wrote what she wanted and sold it herself. Derivative at best, wrong in so many ways. Yet maybe precisely that reckless, spontaneous riding of a pop current meme-fest is what democratically empowered consumer masses want. The figures would suggest it. There’s an odd kind of fairy dust that seems to work no matter how baldly manipulative it is. Stick a mention of FSOG on something, anything, right now, and it helps sales. But even this raging trend will pass.
The fastest selling book since records began.
The explosion of anonymously purchased ebooks, allowing us to explore ideas, fantasies, desires that might still be called shameful, has tapped into this huge hidden sea of secret want. Who knows if this will eventually lead to mass liberation or mass dumbing down – or even just more of the inevitable mass debates (and weak jokes)? It’s all too soon to call.
Perhaps people will explore some of the other directions to which erotic writing and romance might lead. Perhaps the erotic genre will become just another shelf in the bookshop, instead of hiding its face while flaunting its t & a.
Oh, my inner goddess, I certainly hope so.
Nikki Magennis is a writer and artist. She writes dirty stories, love stories and even sometimes erotic stories. Author of two novels, Circus Excite and The New Rakes, and editor of FeatherLit.com – an online zine for the literary erotic – she has recently published in PANK, Gutter and Best Erotic Romance. She has no plans to read Fifty Shades of Grey. Find her here: www.nikkimagennis.com
1 A rant on the term ‘Mommy Porn’ here: http://nikkimagennis.com/2012/04/11/mommy-porn/
I used to be one of those writers who believed writers’ block was a myth. How was it possible to not have the urge to write? I walk out in the morning and even though it is raining there is still a bird on the wire willing to sing for me. There might be a plane flying overhead for me to wonder about. There are always face book posts to make me smile, rage or sigh. Inspiration is everywhere. But I am in a period of being unable to write or at least unable to write what I should be writing – my new novel, that article I should have finished, the letter to send out with another article.
The block came during the period of high activity around my debut novel, The Incomers, publication. I was appearing in festivals, in book stores, in libraries. The publicity was going well, articles and reviews were being published. I was at last a published author and was enjoying all that went with that.
I admit, I was already struggling to write my new novel while trying to work on the debut’s publicity. Every event I went to, people would ask what I was working on.
Most days I would sit at my the desk and pluck each word out with a tweezer. But I have always said one word in front of another eventually leads to a chapter so I kept at it.
Then two major change events happened in my life and it all stopped – the publicity and the writing. It was the first time it had happened to me and I was worried.
I wrote my list of things I should work on each day. A list always works, except this time it didn’t.
I laid out piles of work on the table as a reminder of where my focus should be. That normally works. Nope. I walked away from it and tried to ignore the fact that the pile needed dusting.
I read inspirational writing works like Brenda Ueland’s If You Want to Write. Very interesting but it made me feel worse.
Then I went to Weegie Wednesday and I asked the advice of other writers. They all said the same; ‘Leave it, it will come back.’ ‘Don’t force it, it will come back.’ ‘Do you have a deadline, no? Then what are you worried about?’ ‘Put it aside and do something else, it will come back.’
So I have scrubbed out my list and I am taking their advice. I will read well and concentrate on other things that matter in my life.
I have to trust my friends and fellow writers and wait for the day when ‘it will come back’. I just hope it doesn’t take too long.