Aidan Chambers’ personal reflections on youth fiction are now available to Dutch and Italian readers
Fincham Press capped a series of online events with a panel discussion on May 25, to mark the release of our two latest student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters.
The panel discussion, focusing on the importance of anthologies for authors and publishers, featured guest speakers Clare Bogen and Giselle Leeb, and was moderated by Odhran O’Donoghue, a research student at Roehampton and part of the book launch team.
‘We’re always happy when we can put a new book out into the world, but especially this year, after all the obstacles,’ said Susan Greenberg, Senior Lecturer at Roehampton and Publisher of Fincham Press, who led the event team.
Clare Bogen is the founding editor of 3 of Cups press, which has released four anthologies of short stories and creative nonfiction and is currently working on a poetry anthology, to be released later this year. Giselle Leeb is an author whose work has appeared in over 40 publications. Her story ‘Scaffolding’ is forthcoming in Mainstream, an anthology of stories from the edges, from Inkandescent.
Clare and Giselle brought their thoughts on how to bring more voices into the publishing industry and the process of writing for an anthology. We also heard an excellent debate about the pros and cons of publishing an anthology, which collects the work of different authors, compared to something written by a single author.
The evening was topped and tailed by readings from the two books. Cleo Thomas began with her creative nonfiction piece ‘W-Oh Men O Pause’ and Lisa Gaultier read her short story ‘La Grosse Flora’. Closing the event, Katie Oliver gave a reading of the title story ‘All That Glitters’ and Wilma Lång the flash fiction ‘The Houseboat’. All four pieces are from All That Glitters. Readings from The Box can be accessed as videos from our Linktree page.
Thanks to all who attended and spoke at the event, and to team members Odhran, Jessie Hedstrom, and Angelos Drakopoulos, who worked hard to put the launch together. Special shout-out to Susan for putting the team together and for all of her efforts to make this launch happen after Covid delayed the initial launch.
You can purchase copies of All That Glitters and The Box separately for £8 each, or get them both in our special Hidden Treasures book deal of two for £12.
We’re delighted to be publishing Aidan Chambers’ new book, The Age Between: Personal Reflections on Youth Fiction.
This series of essays explores the history and form of classic texts such as J. D. Salinger’s The Catcher in the Rye, Anne Frank’s Diary, and Robert Cormier’s The Chocolate War. Chambers also examines his own fascinating experiences of reading and writing youth fiction, weaving these together with fresh insights from narrative theory, anthropology and neurology. The book includes a lively discussion between the author and Dr Deborah Cogan Thacker. Chambers is well known for his young adult fiction and critical writings on the craft of fiction, publishing, and young people reading.
To everyone planning to come to our March 25 book launch and writing soirée – sadly that event is now cancelled. Like others, we are following best advice on social distancing to avoid any contribution to the Covid-19 pandemic.
However we do have plans for an alternative virtual event, which we will announce shortly, along with full results from the Writing Competition. Please keep an eye open for updates.
Meanwhile, we hope you are all taking care of yourselves, and we look forward to seeing you in person at a future date.
It is the start of a new decade. New Year resolutions for another ‘productive’ beginning have been tried, tested and dismissed. University classrooms vibrate with inspiration – and stress-inducing deadlines. But there is at least one event coming up at Roehampton which provides a chance to shake this year into shape.
That event is the Soirée on March 25, hosted by the Creative Writing programme and Fincham Press. Every year, a new group of students submits work to a writing competition, for the chance to be included in the next annual anthology. This year, the Soirée is combined with a launch of the anthology The Box, showcasing last year’s work. The keynote address is by Sara Collins, the 2019 Costa Competition First Novel winner.
A team of staff, students and alumni have been working hard to create an event that will delight and surprise. One member of the team, Steph Elliot Vickers, graduated from the BA Creative Writing with a first in 2018. A five-times anthology author, she won the Editor’s Choice Award for best submission at the 2011 Soirée, and has attended the event every year since then. Steph delights in seeing nervous student writers find their feet on the stage when they perform their work, and in striking up working relationships with industry guests.
The opportunities provided by the annual writing competition, and the support of Fincham Press, have kickstarted her career as a published writer, says Steph. The event provides ‘a unique chance for students, staff, alumni and industry professionals to come together and celebrate Roehampton’s next generation of talented writers’.
Another alumnus who couldn’t stay away is Joseph Shafique. He graduated in 2019 with a BA in Journalism and Creative Writing, and has stayed at Roehampton to pursue a MA in Publishing. In the meantime, along with some fellow students he has set up Cottage House Films, and is now writing and producing two upcoming films for the company.
Joseph says the team is ‘hoping this year exceeds the high standards set by previous soirées’, which for him include the highlights of ‘mingling with industry guests and enjoying the entertainment’.
One of the newest additions to the team is Lilly-Ann Newman, a third-year undergraduate student of Creative Writing and Journalism and founder-editor of Fresh Media, an online magazine created with Roehampton’s Student Union.
The talent and dedication of her peers makes her proud to be a part of the team, she says: ‘I have enjoyed every soiree over the past three years and jumped at the chance to be a part of the team who create them. We have been working very hard to provide another amazing evening. These events are a brilliant opportunity to hear the work of peers and talk to industry professionals, who were once in the same position I am, and to learn from their experiences.’
Working as a volunteer, the third year Creative Writing and Film undergraduate Lisa Gaultier expresses optimism about the upcoming event: ‘I hope it will make everyone attending even more passionate about their craft. The soirées are inspiring events. Seeing people who are students, just like me, read out their work makes me feel confident in my position as a writer. And it’s a great time to meet people, both from the university and the industry.’
Fincham Press and the Creative Writing programme at Roehampton are combining forces for a joint book launch and writing competition soirée on the evening of Wednesday, March 25.
The soiree will be held in the Digby Stuart Chapel on the main campus on March 25, with doors opening at 6:30pm. The evening features readings, a keynote speaker, and a spread of food and drink.
The first half of the evening will focus on our sixth creative writing anthology, The Box, which includes work from last year’s competition – you can buy a copy on the night (for cash) or at any time from the university e-store.
The second half gives a stage to writers from this year’s competition, which has just opened. Authors who have been shortlisted have the chance to read their work to an audience of peers, agents, editors and published writers.
The deadline for submissions to the competition is 11pm on Monday, February 24. Submissions must come with a completed entry form which can be found at the top of the Moodle page for the BA Creative Writing or downloaded here. The guidelines are here. Enquiries can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The official launch, originally scheduled for November 26, has been postponed until the new year, as it fell in the period of planned strike action. But a new date will be confirmed and announced here, before too long.
We’re happy to announce the launch of Melissa Terras’ open-access volume The Professor in Children’s Literature: An Anthology on 4 December at the University of Roehampton, London SW15!
The Professor in Children’s Literature gathers and reprints a selection of twenty-six illustrated stories for children originally published in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, offering a brief introduction to each of them. The volume complements the author’s book-length study Picture-Book Professors: Academia and Children’s Literature; both works are open access, available as free downloads. Get your copy of The Professor in Children’s Literature in EPUB or PDF format!
The book launch will take place in the Portrait Room at Grove House, starting at 5.30pm.
- 5.30pm: Reception with drinks and nibbles
- 6.00pm: Very brief introductions by Dr Susan Greenberg (Fincham Press) and Dr Alison Waller (National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature), then talk by Prof Melissa Terras
- 6.30pm: Questions and closing statements
- Until 7.30pm: final mingling
On WEDNESDAY, 28 NOVEMBER, we are holding a double event to launch two books: our new journalism anthology, The Rook: Citizens of Nowhere, and our new creative writing anthology, In Which Dragons Are Real But.
This free event will take place in the Portrait Room, Grove House, University of Roehampton, starting at 7pm. It will involve a drinks reception, author readings from both anthologies, and, of course, an opportunity to buy the books. We are looking forward to seeing you there!
To help with planning, please do visit this Eventbrite page to indicate your attendance.
Also, for your downloading pleasure, there is an A4-size event poster [PDF] available.
Edited by John Doyle and Juan Pérez González, the collection features journalism by current and former students of the University of Roehampton. Here, they share their unique experiences from all over the world: from the beaches of Bali to the cities of Europe, they reveal the secrets of places such as Russia and Havana, and shed new light on more familiar territory.
They are citizens of the world, traversing land and sea, and trying to find a place they can call their own. A place called Nowhere.