Lilly-Ann A. Newman reads her short story “Hotel Fuori Strada” featured in Fincham Press student anthology “All That Glitters”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Lilly-Ann A. Newman reads her short story “Hotel Fuori Strada” from Roehampton University’s seventh creative writing student anthology All That Glitters.

Lilly-Ann studied Creative Writing and Journalism at the University of Roehampton. She is the founder and former editor of Fresh Media, an online student magazine, and a former intern at Fincham Press. Her literary influences include Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler. When not writing or battling the dreaded writer’s block, Lilly-Ann is a connoisseur of tea, biscuits, and all things Alice in Wonderland.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of All That Glitters now.

Rebecca Bardsley-Ball reads her poem “You Never Did Anything Wrong featured in Fincham Press student anthology “All That Glitters”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Rebecca Bardsley-Ball reads her poem You Never Did Anything Wrong from Roehampton University’s seventh creative writing student anthology All That Glitters.

Rebecca lives in South London and will forever dislike the people who say she’s from Kent. Despite previously claiming to hate poetry, her first publication, You Never Did Anything Wrong is a poem. She sees the irony. The ending of the poem is supposed to be bittersweet; they’re out of the relationship, but forever affected by it.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of All That Glitters now.

Kate Griffin reads her short story “Ancara” featured in Fincham Press student anthology “All That Glitters”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Kate Griffin reads her short story “Ancara” from Roehampton University’s seventh creative writing student anthology All That Glitters.

Kate is a third-year Creative Writing student. “Ancara” is her first published short story, she hopes this will be the start of many. She can be found on Instagram at @itskategriffin.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of All That Glitters now.

Jacob Bathgate reads his poem “How To Write A Sonnet” featured in Fincham Press student anthology “The Box”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Jacob Bathgate reads his poem How To Write A Sonnet from Roehampton University’s sixth creative writing student anthology The Box. 

Jacob studied Creative Writing at the University of Roehampton. He lives in London and splits his time between cycling, building Lego, procrastinating, writing lists and talking about himself in the third person. He is not to be trusted.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of The Box now.

Jon Call reads his short story “The House of Chicken Wire” featured in Fincham Press student anthology “All That Glitters”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Jon Call reads his short story “The House of Chicken Wire” from Roehampton University’s seventh creative writing student anthology, All That Glitters.

Jon lives in Chicago, Illinois. He was born and raised in a small town in Wyoming and prefers mountains to skyscrapers. He has the literary guilty pleasures of an edgy frat boy, including Bukowski and Hunter S. Thompson, but he truly loves reading different slices of Americana, from Carver to O’Conner. He graduated from Lake Forest College with a bachelor’s degree in English and is pursuing an MA in Teaching.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of All That Glitters now.

Haley Jenkins reads her poem “Home Is A Place She Cannot Find” featured in Fincham Press student anthology “The Box”

In preparation for the upcoming Hidden Treasures book launch of Fincham Press’s two student anthologies, The Box and All That Glitters, students whose work is featured in the anthologies read their work.

Haley Jenkins reads her poem Home Is A Place She Cannot Find from Roehampton University’s sixth creative writing student anthology The Box. 

Haley published her first poetry collection Nekorb in 2017 (Veer Books). She has been published twice by Fincham Press, in Guttural magazine, Tears in the Fencepainted spoken, The Journal of British & Irish Innovative PoetryPlaster Cocktail, and others. She runs Selcouth Station Press, an online imprint committed to new writers.

Get your ticket to attend the upcoming free double book launch event of The Box and our newest anthology All That Glitters.

Or order your copy of The Box now.

Video: Aidan Chambers discusses ‘The Age Between’

An interview with Aidan Chambers about his 2020 Fincham Press book The Age Between can now be watched in full online

On 4 November 2020, Aidan Chambers’ most recent critical work The Age Between: Personal Reflections on Youth Fiction (Fincham Press, 2020) was launched online at the inaugural YA Studies Association (YASA) conference. At the event – which was co-organised by Fincham Press, YASA, and the National Centre for Research in Children’s Literature (NCRCL) at the University of Roehampton – Chambers was in conversation with his editor, Dr Alison Waller (Reader, NCRCL). This discussion, which covered everything from the theory of ‘youth fiction’ that Chambers elaborates in The Age Between to his long, illustrious career as a widely acclaimed novelist and theorist, can now be watched in full below, or on Vimeo.

In the thoughtful set of essays that comprise The Age Between, acclaimed author and critic Aidan Chambers presents his manifesto for youth fiction, weaving together insights from literary history, stylistics, narrative theory, and other fields. Chambers brings a freshness to the analysis 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, and thinks aloud about the shape, purpose, and future of youth fiction in a lively interview with Deborah Cogan Thacker.

Copies of The Age Between are available for purchase directly from Fincham Press or on Amazon UK

Hidden Treasures: Double Book Launch

After a pause last year, Fincham Press is releasing its two latest student writing anthologies together this May. Readers can hear from the authors in a series of online public readings from May 10, leading up to a live online panel event on Tuesday May 25.

The two collections, All That Glitters and The Box, were held up by the pandemic shut-downs of the last year, but they are now going ahead, with the joint theme of Hidden Treasures. The final event on May 25 will take place via Zoom from 18.30h to 20h, when our special guests Clare Bogan and Giselle Leeb will explore the delights of the anthology as a format.

Clare Bogen is the founding editor of 3 of Cups press, which started in 2017 in the hopes of creating a more equal literary landscape. 3 of Cups have released four anthologies of short stories and creative non-fiction, and are currently working on a poetry anthology to be released later this year. Clare is also the publicity director at Fitzcarraldo Editions.

Giselle Leeb grew up in South Africa and lives in Nottingham. Her short stories have appeared in over forty publications, including Best British Short Stories 2017 (Salt), Ambit, Mslexia, The Lonely Crowd, Litro, and Black Static. She has been placed or shortlisted in competitions including the Ambit, Bridport and Mslexia prizes. She is an assistant editor at Reckoning Journal and a Word Factory Apprentice Award winner 2019, and was recently chosen to attend the David Higham Associates New Writers’ open week. Her story, ‘Scaffolding’, is forthcoming in MAINSTREAM, an anthology of stories from the edges, from Inkandescent.

It is a special delight to bring these two books into the world and reward the patience of their student contributors.

‘I’m thrilled to hear that All That Glitters is finally being published, and my poem, ‘The Last Time’ will be included,’ says Annabel Black, who is studying creative writing and drama, theatre & performance studies.

You can order the two books here. Meanwhile we invite you to follow Fincham Press on social media (see links below) for the latest updates about the Hidden Treasure book launch.

Book your free ticket to the Hidden Treasures book launch here.

Leone Ross: teacher, editor, author – and cover girl

It is with both pride and sadness that we say farewell to Leone Ross, who has been editor of the Fincham Press student writing anthologies since they first appeared seven years ago.

Leone, formerly Senior Lecturer on the Creative Writing Programme, left the University of Roehampton ahead of the April 19 launch of her novel, This One Sky Day. It follows two previous novels, All The Blood Is Red and Orange Laughter, as well as a collection of short stories, Come Let us Sing Anyway.

In an interview with photographer, writer, and podcaster Naomi Woddis, Leone talks about what compels her to write. ‘There’s always private stories going on underneath the surface of people … I write about that, that’s what I’m most intrigued about.’

Her latest work emphasises these layers. The story takes place during one day on the island of Popisho, where everyone is born with magical gift – but one that may not be as helpful as it seems. Xavier, a chef, and Anise, a healer, bring the reader into this world and promise that you won’t leave it the same as when you arrived.

‘As long-time colleagues, Leone and I had the kind of mutual trust that makes collaborations a joy, and brings out the best in the students’ work,’ says Susan Greenberg, publisher of Fincham Press, Senior Lecturer on the Creative Writing Programme and Convener of the MA Publishing. ‘We aim to continue with the same high standards.’

Leone’s last two Fincham Press anthologies – All That Glitters and The Box – are being launched this May and news of the double-book launch will be posted here soon. Meanwhile, you can go ahead and order copies from the the university e-store,: either singly (see Glitters and The Box) or as a launch package.

Free ImprovBot.ai Stock Illustrations for Reuse

Free Image downloads

Hundreds of illustrations by Fincham Press cover artist Rudolf Ammann are now available to download and reuse, with licensing that lets you take, remix, and play, for free!

In spring last year I was invited to join an unusual comedy project which trained artificial neural networks on several years’ worth of historical Edinburgh Fringe festival programmes to generate new virtual show listings. My brief consisted in developing the brand identity and building the website, but, having familiarised myself with the project, I suggested that the purely textual show listings should also be accompanied by illustrations, which I’d be happy to create and supply. Eventually, ImprovBot.ai went live at the start of the Festival in August, and for three weeks kept churning out a dozen illustrated AI-generated show listings a day. The images are now available for creative re-use as non-restrictively licenced stock Illustrations. Here’s some very brief discussion and a few pointers to the various ways of getting hold of the images.

Producing digital illustrations by the hundreds requires a certain serial approach to their manufacturing, so it helps to have archives on hand that can be drawn on for visual elements to tweak and recombine. I have documented some of the elements in the ImprovBot.ai series elsewhere. In this post, let me just point out some areas of overlap with my book cover artwork for Fincham Press.

As a designer and a visual artist I have been collaborating with ImprovBot.ai’s project lead, Melissa Terras, for more than a decade. Prior to ImprovBot.ai (see Melissa’s account of her recent adventures in AI, incidentally), we’ve worked together on a variety of projects, including her book published by Fincham Press, The Professor in Children’s Literature, which I typeset and whose book cover I designed. This cover, based on a drawing by W. Heath Robinson, is among the elements I’ve remixed repeatedly as part of the series’ ‘extras‘ (fig. 1).

Professor Branestawm and Lehrer Lämpel
Fig. 1: Book cover remix: Professor Branestawm and Lehrer Lämpel

The extras, as their name suggests, are perhaps not very central to the ImprovBot.ai series. By contrast,  ‘moresque patterns‘, an ornamentation style that was in wide use across Europe for much of the Renaissance and Baroque periods, are a core element. They appear frequently, often occupying a middle ground that holds a composition together. 

For many pieces in the series, I passed historical moresque patterns through algorithmic deformation filters, thus experimenting further with an imaging technique I had first used on the cover of a recent Fincham Press anthology, In which Dragons Are Real But (see full cover art).  

Many instances in the series (e.g. fig. 2) resemble the initial Dragons cover in that the computationally deformed moresque patterns remain the dominant element.  

Fig. 2: Relatively simple composition dominated by moresque patterns

Some of the illustrations are more complex in their composition, featuring moresque patterns along with other elements, such as mojibake and glitch captures (e.g. fig. 3).

Fig. 3: A more complex composition with several elements conjoined

Availability

The whole set of Improvbot.ai illustrations is available for reuse and can be picked up individually from the project website and the Twitter feed. The images , briefly reviewed by category on a separate page, can also be browsed by these categories. The categories most suitable for re-use are probably these:

Moresque | Capture | Dataviz | Base64 | Network | Hardmod | Mojibake | Noise | Extras

Also available, but perhaps less suitable for reuse might be these categories:

Identity: ImprovBot | Identity: Improverts | The Bot, incl. Multiples Edinburgh and Multiples Shakespeare |

A zip archive of the full illustration set is available for downloading from Zenodo.org, and a subset of individual illustrations is distributed via Pixabay.com.

Legal

The illustrations are distributed under the CC-BY-NC licence, the image set on Pixabay under even less restrictive terms.

Reuse? Feel free to let us know about it!

Some of the images might be suitable for book cover art, a blog post illustration, or they might inspire you to simply play with them and produce a few remixes of your own. If you find a use for them, feel free to drop us a link and let us know via any of the Fincham Press social media presences!