Friday, 27 May 2011

Walking to the mail

In which Alec wishes he had a much snazzier camera on his telephone.

For today there was post, and it was good. I'm now clutching the advance proof of the anthology. Okay, I'm not clutching it right now, because I'm typing, but it's very near. Because a picture tells a thousand words (although I don't know if the MA marking scheme would accept fifteen photographs in place of a dissertation), here are pictures, hopefully not accidentally including any of my cat.

These are the covers, looking like a book. Unfortunately the right-hand side of the front cover has been slightly dodgily trimmed, so some of the text is, like an embittered television detective, close to the edge. Not sure if there's anything that can be done about this.

Look, it has three dimensions! Just like a conventional visual perception of the universe.

Pages can be read using eyes and turned using hands. Yes, that is a pile of change in the corner of the first photograph. It's my desk, and I am male. Therefore.

A real human thing reading the anthology. I have it on good authority that he enjoyed it. 

The anthology, on a bookshelf, looking like a real book alongside some arbitrarily selected novels that I'm sure bear no connection to the Manchester creative writing MA.

Sorry about all that. I'm quite excited.

In other news, the full set of author pictures and biographies has been added to the blog, so you can browse our lovely people here.

Monday, 23 May 2011

Jeremy White

Jeremy White grew up on a farm in the southern United States. Before moving to Manchester, he received a bachelor’s degree in English from the University of Georgia and worked in book publishing. ‘Don Juan’s Harem’, featured in the anthology, is an adapted extract from a longer work-in-progress.

jeremykwhite AT

Barnaby Walsh

Barney Walsh has a master’s degree in theoretical physics and a bachelor’s in English literature. He lives in the north of England.

barneywalsh AT

Jane Verity

Jane Verity grew up in Armley, Leeds. She studied English Literature at Durham University and worked for three years as press officer at West Yorkshire Playhouse. Her short story ‘Sunday’ was shortlisted for the Cadaverine Ilkley Literature Festival Young Writers Award 2009. She took part in West Yorkshire Playhouse’s So You Want To Be A Writer? scheme in 2009.

jlverity AT

Emily Talbot

Emily is 21 years old and lives in London. She first came to writing creatively during an undergraduate degree in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick. Her passion grew from there, and after obtaining high marks for a number of pieces of work she applied for the MA in creative writing at Manchester, where she is currently studying. She enjoys writing social realist fiction and her particular passion is capturing, in essence, how people interact with each other. Emily is working on a novel, based on life in post-Second World War Ireland.

etalbot89 AT

Colin J Stewart

Colin J Stewart has had stories, poetry and articles published in half a dozen obscure writing journals. He has won or placed in equally obscure contests for fiction, speeches, slam poetry and math. His greatest literary achievement was having a poem framed on the wall of a $1.50-a-slice pizza joint in Vancouver. His first novel, A Question of Extremes, is about utilitarian vigilantes; he self-published it in 2007. His second novel, to be released at some point in the future, is about a man’s jealousy for his wife and son.

Claire Snook

Claire Snook is a journalist-turned-writer who rebels against the day job by penning stories in her breaks. Her interests lie in writing contemporary fiction, historical fiction, and fantastical stories with a twist.

She is currently writing her first novel, under the mentorship of acclaimed author Jenn Ashworth. Claire’s story explores the different concepts of love and relationships by following a couple and their friends and families over several years and continents.

Claire has been published in Ink, Sweat and Tears, Six Sentences Volume 3, Million Stories Anthology 2009, and The Pygmy Giant.

clairesnook AT

Holly Ringland

In 2009, Holly quit life as she knew it in Australia, emptied her bank account, abandoned her career and kissed her family goodbye before boarding a plane on her own, Manchester-bound. She has since survived two English winters, lost all natural tan, learned to drink whiskey in the morning, and greet people with, ‘You alright?’ This excerpt is one of Holly’s posts from Little Bird Stories, which was shortlisted for Best Personal Blog in the 2010 Manchester Blog Awards. Holly’s first novel is, of course, in-progress.

Angus Prior

Angus Prior was born in Portsmouth and grew up in rural Hampshire. He studied English Literature at the University of Manchester, graduating with first-class honours. He works as a marketing copywriter and is writing his first novel.

angusprior AT

Alun Evans

evansalun AT

Dai Parsons

Dai Parsons was born and raised in South Wales but now lives in York. He works as a community psychiatric nurse for a busy crisis team. He had a joint collection of short stories published with Skrev Press in 2003 titled Solipsism for Beginners and his first collection of poetry was published in 2009 titled Love Is A Fat-Arsed Cow Waiting To Happen, once again with Skrev Press. He regrets the latter title!

Kathryn Pallant

Kathryn Pallant is thirty-six and lives in Bolton. She is also at home on the Gold Coast, Australia, where she grew up, and in London. After twelve years in public relations, Kathryn is devoting a year (and maybe longer) to creative writing and completing an MA at the University of Manchester. She is the author of For Sea or Air, her first novel, for which she is seeking a publisher. She is now working on short stories and her second novel. Kathryn loves roses, chocolate and having a room of her own.

kpallant AT

Lou Minns

Lou Minns worked as a teacher of English and drama for a ten-year period, most recently as an English tutor for Keele University ISC. She writes both adult and children’s fiction and has three children of her own. She is now working as a freelance writer. One of her screenplays is in collaborative production as a short film. Lou Minns is currently working on her first adult novel, Somewhere, Nowhere.

louminns AT

Simon Messenger

Simon Messenger was raised in Scarborough, North Yorkshire. After graduating with a degree in classics he moved to London to work as a chef, before returning to Yorkshire to take up an editorial role at a newspaper. He writes short stories, blogs about cooking, and is working on a novel. He currently lives in Manchester.

semessenger AT

Luis Enrique Mendez Angulo

Luís Enrique Méndez Angulo is a poetry and prose writer with interests in expanding children’s resources in the arts. He has appeared in The Hartford Courant and The New Britain Herald newspapers, in the United States. He currently lives in Manchester, but grew up in San Juan, Puerto Rico and Hartford, Connecticut, United States. He has served as assistant editor for Helix Magazine, at Central Connecticut State University, and has been published therein. His goals are to write in a common style that talks to the issues relevant to an urban, immigrant society. He is currently writing and editing a novel and a grouping of poems.

mendez.angulo AT

SJ Luddem

SJ Luddem lives in Stockport. She is married with two children and is currently working as a part-time librarian and freelance writer. The anthology features an extract from Getting Away With It, her novel-in-progress.

susan AT

Ming Liu

Ming Liu is a writer and journalist whose work has been published in the Financial Times, The Sunday Telegraph, V Magazine and China International Business. She has also featured on programmes such as the NBC Today Show. Her first short story, ‘1801’, was published in January 2011 in the Asia Literary Review, and was featured alongside work by the Chinese dissident and Nobel laureate Liu Xiaobo as well as the novelists Xiaolu Guo and Yiyun Li. She is working on her first novel, about Chinese-Americans in China, parts of which are extracted in the anthology.

Sarah Leigh

Sarah Leigh used to work in publishing and as a literary agent before becoming a full-time mother.  Her work has previously appeared in London Magazine. She is currently working on a novel.

Jodie Kim

Jodie Kim was born in Seoul, Korea and moved to the United States when she was seven years old. When she was twelve years old, her father taught her how to make ice cream. Since then, she has helped run her family-owned ice cream parlor for over a decade. Jodie received her BA degrees in English and Studio Art from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. In 2010, she received a fellowship from the Centre for New Writing to fund her MA. The following is an extract from her novel-in-stories.

jodie.kim1 AT

Katherine Khorey

Katherine Khorey grew up in the United States and completed her BA in English literature and Russian language at the University of Notre Dame in 2010. She is currently pursuing various avenues of employment following the completion of her MA at Manchester and Bloodstone Creek, her novella-in-progress. Katherine also reads fiction submissions for Apex Magazine online. Works of her own fiction and non-fiction are slated for publication in several projects in the near future.

kkhorey AT

Laura Ellen Joyce

Laura Ellen Joyce has published stories and poetry in Succour Magazine. Her story ‘Painful Hard Ectoplasm’ is out later this year in Murmurations: An Anthology of Uncanny Stories About Birds. Her first novel, The Museum of Atheism, is forthcoming from Salt Publishing’s new crime imprint. She has worked as a creative writing tutor at Prestwich Psychiatric Hospital and interns as a fiction assistant at African Writing magazine. She is beginning her DPhil in Creative and Critical Writing at the University of Sussex this year, and now lives in Brighton.

Laura can be contacted via her agent Antony Harwood at mail AT

Alec Johnson

Alec worked in publishing until he ran away to Manchester to become a student again. He has a BA in English literature from the University of Oxford, and was once paid to write an article about why cats shouldn’t be kept in flats.

Greeks Bearing Gifts is a novel about the Cyprus conflict and the perils of growing up half-Cypriot, half-Scottish, and entirely confused.

alecijohnson AT

Alicia Higgins

Alicia Higgins was educated at Marlborough College, Wiltshire and graduated from UEA with a first-class degree in English and Creative Writing. 'The Grange' is an extract from Alicia’s first novel.

Alicia_c_higgins AT

Percy Herbert

Percy started writing over ten years ago, initially finding a creative seam through expansive complaint letters. He has since had travel articles published, worked as a music journalist, a commercial copywriter and as editor of a guide to Manchester – a job that largely involved going to parties for a living. He has always written fiction and now concentrates all of his energies on that. He is working on his first novel, the beginning of which you can find in the anthology. It’s a story about a boy called Theo. It’s about curiosity and death, oddity and life.

percyherbert AT

Helen Guthrie

Helen Guthrie is a 23-year-old born and raised in Greater Manchester. Among other things, she has an interest in science fiction, a first-class BA in English Literature and Creative Writing from Aberystwyth, and an e-mail address: helenvguthrie AT

MP Grogan

Michael was born in Leicester and graduated from Royal Holloway, University of London with a BA in French and Italian Studies. Since then he has moved around the country, working as a bookseller and gradually selling all of his possessions on eBay. His writing has previously been awarded a Midlands-wide prize from The Literary Consultancy.

His anthology piece is taken from Dolly, a novel-in-progress. The narrative is set over a 24-hour period and follows the interweaving lives of an economics student, a construction worker and a 14-year-old girl.

tantcefeu AT

T Garrett Gibbon

T Garrett Gibbon was born in Philadelphia and educated in New England. His work has appeared in McSweeney’s Internet Tendency, Modern Humorist, and The Onion. He is working on a novel, an excerpt from which is in the anthology. He lives in Wales with his wife and step-rabbit. 

tggibbon AT

Mark Gardner

Mark Gardner is 22. He read English Literature at Manchester before joining the MA course. Originally from Preston, Lancashire, Mark now writes and works in Withington, Manchester. He enjoys blood sport, black coffee and dry humour – in that order. He has also owned, over the course of his life, three pet pigs. This will be his first published work. He’s currently working on a novel.

markgardner2 AT

Alys Conran

Alys Conran writes both fiction and poetry. Having published several short stories, she is now working on a novel and a collection of short fiction. She previously studied literature at Edinburgh University and Barcelona’s Universitat Autonoma. Examples of her short fiction can be found in Nu: Fiction and Stuff published by Parthian Books and launched at the Hay Festival, and in Cut on the Bias: stories about women and the clothes they wear, published by Honno Press. She lives in Gerlan, North Wales. 

alysconran AT

Ben Colley

Ben Colley was raised and educated in North Yorkshire before studying advertising at Buckinghamshire New University. He lived in London for two years working as a sandwich deliveryman, comedy club stage manager and copywriter. He now lives in Manchester, where he is writing a novel. He was a finalist in the 2011 NYC Midnight short story competition. 

muchobenny AT

Nicola Bowerman

Nicola Bowerman was born in 1984 and grew up in York. After a BA in Philosophy and Literature at the University of Warwick she completed an MA in Critical and Cultural Theory at the University of Cardiff. She lives in Manchester, where she’s working on her first novel, about what happens if you apply Hegel to your sex life.

Owen Clements

Owen Clements writes about animals and detectives and films. His work has appeared at The Cadaverine. He is writing a novel. He lives in Leeds.

o.clements AT

Monday, 16 May 2011

Done, done, done!

The Manchester Anthology is now being painstakingly copied out and illuminated by a crack team of specially trained monks. Give it a couple of weeks and it will be time for the fun Tetris-style game of working out where to keep the cartons of books in my little student room. Or I could just sell the buggers. There's a plan, eh?

Anyway, now it's off to press I'm going to start updating the author biographies on this site, and by the time that's done with any luck the book will be out and I'll be trying to work out how to set up an ordering system. It is unlikely to be technologically advanced. Can you e-mail money by folding up fivers and sticking them in the CD drive?

Other things to come:

- Electrobook version!
- Distribution!
- Drinking!

As you were.