After a year and a half indoors and restricted to our own parts of the country, the Northern Fiction Alliance is back on the road with an in-person showcase of five of our publishers and their new and forthcoming authors.
Our Summer Showcase will take place in London at Partizan Brewing on the 17th August, 7-9pm, with author readings and publisher introductions from And Other Stories, Bluemoose Books, Comma Press, Dead Ink and Saraband.
We wanted to take a minute to introduce the authors we’ll be showcasing on the night to let you know what you can expect (hint: they’re all very good).
You can buy your tickets here – numbers are limited to ensure social distancing.
And Other Stories introducing Tice Cin
Tice Cin is an interdisciplinary artist from north London. A London Writers Award-winner, her work has been published by Extra Teeth and Skin Deep and commissioned by places like Battersea Arts Centre and St Paul’s Cathedral. An alumnus of Barbican Young Poets, she now creates digital art as part of Design Yourself – a collective based at the Barbican Centre – exploring what it means to be human when technology is changing everything. A producer and DJ, she is releasing an EP, Keeping the House, to accompany her debut novel of the same name.
Offering a fresh and funny take on the machinery of the North London heroin trade, Tice’s debut novel Keeping the House lifts the lid on a covert world thriving just beneath notice: not only in McDonald’s queues and men’s clubs, but in spotless living rooms and whispering kitchens. Spanning three generations, this is the story of the women who keep their family – and their family business – afloat, juggling everything from police surveillance to trickier questions of community, belonging and love
And Other Stories publishes some of the best in contemporary writing, including many translations. We aim to push people’s reading limits and help them discover authors of adventurous and inspiring writing. And we want to open up publishing so that from the outside it doesn’t look like some posh freemasonry.
Bluemoose Books introducing Heidi James
Heidi James is a writer, her most recent novel, The Sound Mirror, has been described as ‘An exhilarating, heart-rending work’ by The Irish Times and as ‘An exceptional novel’ by The Guardian. She’s the host of First Graft, a podcast to inspire and support all creatives with their first draft anxieties.
Tamara is going to kill her mother, but she isn’t the villain. Tamara just has to finish what began at her birth and put an end to the damage encoded in her blood. Leaving her job in Communications, Tamara dresses carefully and hires a car, making the trip from London to her hometown in Kent, to visit her mother for the last time. Accompanied by a chorus of ancestors, Tamara is harried by voices from the past and the future that reveal the struggles, joys and secrets of these women’s lives that continue to echo through and impact her own. The Sound Mirror spans three familial generations from British Occupied India to Southern England, through intimately rendered characters, Heidi James has crafted a haunting and moving examination of class, war, violence, family and shame from the rich details of ordinary lives.
Bluemoose Books is an award winning independent publisher based in Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire. Kevin and Hetha Duffy started Bluemoose in 2006 and as a ‘family’ of readers and writers we’re passionate about the written word and stories. Stories are transformative and as publishers we delight in finding great new talent. If you’re looking for orange headed celebrity books, you’ve probably come to the wrong place. But if you want brilliant stories that have travelled from Hebden Bridge, across the border into Lancashire, down to London across to Moscow, Sofia and Budapest and into the United States, Australia, India, Colombia and Greenland, Iceland and Bosnia Herzagovina then Bluemoose is the publisher for you.
Comma Press introducing Courttia Newland
Courttia Newland is the author of eight books. His latest, A River Called Time, was published in 2021. He was nominated for the Edge Hill Prize, The Frank O’ Conner award, and numerous others. His short stories have appeared in many anthologies and broadcast on Radio 4, and he was a writer for Steve McQueen’s ‘Small Axe’ series. He is a contributing author to Comma’s forthcoming anthology, The Cuckoo Cage.
The superhero of comic books and blockbuster movies might be a State-side phenomenon, with its conservative notions of ‘truth, justice and the American way’. But the cultural DNA of the superhero arguably lies in a much older, more progressive, British tradition: the folk heroes of British protest history. In this unique experiment, twelve authors have been charged with resurrecting this tradition: to spawn a new generation of present-day British superheroes to bring the fight back to these shores, and to more progressive causes. From the statue-toppling Bristolian with otherworldly powers, to the Essex resident protecting public spaces and parks, these characters prove that it is possible to create a new breed of superhero in ways that capture essential truths about the society we live in
Comma Press is a not-for-profit publisher specialising in the short story and fiction in translation. It is committed to a spirit of risk-taking, and aims to put the short story at the heart of contemporary narrative culture. We publish collections by new and established authors, interdisciplinary collaborations between authors and experts, and translation commissions devised to identify cutting-edge (often marginalised) voices from across the world.
Dead Ink introducing Harry Gallon
Harry Gallon is a London-based author and ghostwriter, represented by Imogen Pelham at Marjacq Scripts. He has an MA in Creative and Critical Writing from the University of Winchester, is the longlisting reader for The Bridport Prize first novel award, and a contributing editor for Minor Lit[s]. Harry’s work features in numerous publications, including Forward Poetry, Open Pen and The London Magazine. His debut novel, The Shapes of Dogs’ Eyes, was published in 2015, its follow-up, Every Fox is a Rabid Fox, in 2017. His third, Small Rivers, came out in 2021.
Toby and Angelica are back at their father’s farm.
He is at the end of the worst year of his life.
Struggling in every way, and in desperate need of help with work, Frank hires Jerzy, a Polish worker, who now lives on the farm with his pregnant wife, Irena. Previous worker Damien convinces himself that his home and job have been stolen from him by migrant workers. Jerzy and Irena keep noticing Damien’s menacing presence, but Frank, Toby and Angelica are too wrapped up in their own problems to help; tensions run high as they try to find a new normal.
Examining the cultural fractures in Britain at the end of 2016 and the impact of the EU referendum on rural farming communities, Small Rivers explores grief, trust, national identity and xenophobia, asking how we can reconcile the relationships between people and place.
Supported by Arts Council England, we’re focussed on developing the careers of new and emerging authors. We believe that there are brilliant authors out there who may not yet be known or commercially viable. We see it as Dead Ink’s job to bring the most challenging and experimental new writing out from the underground and present it to our audience in the most beautiful way possible.
Saraband introducing Jill Hopper
Jill Hopper has a background in newspaper journalism and magazine editing. A member of writers’ collective 26 Characters, she has taken part in projects with the Imperial War Museum, Wildlife Trusts and the Bloomsbury Festival. Jill lives in London with her husband and son. The Mahogany Pod is her first book.
When Jill Hopper first met Arif, they were living in a shared house on the island of Osney in the River Thames. Surrounded by willow trees, birds and reflections, it was an idyllic home. But no sooner had they begun to fall in love than Arif was given the news that he had only a few months to live. Everyone told Jill to walk away, but she was already in too deep. Years later, Jill rediscovers Arif ’s parting gift – an African seedpod – and finally sets out to trace the elusive patterns that shaped their relationship. The Mahogany Pod is a tender and vital account of what it means to live, and love, fully.
We publish authors with deep knowledge of the culture, local landscapes, wildlife, folk traditions and history in regions around the UK. Our fiction includes literary, historical and contemporary stories reflecting UK and international perspectives – some with a sense of humour, some gritty or dark, others thought-provoking – all engaging and vital. From our inception, we have provided a platform for underrepresented and marginalised voices that are often overlooked. We’ve championed diversity and inclusion as part of our wide-ranging commitment to excellence – and to our readers of all ages, backgrounds and personal identities, wherever they may live.
Partizan Brewing, 34 Raymouth Road, South Bermondsey, London, SE16 2DB
Closest Tube is Bermondsey Station on the Jubilee Line. Closest Overground is Surrey Quays. Closest National Rail is South Bermondsey Station.