I’m just home from London. There’s so much going on down there of course but my friends there are incredibly impressed with the amount of literary activity we have on offer here in Cumbria. Coming up later this month is the Kendal Yarns Festival of New Plays. This amazing project has invited anyone who would like to have a go to write a 15 minute play with a Kendal theme with the promise that it will be performed. 58 plays were submitted! They will be performed for free in a variety of venues between 25th and 30th July. What an opportunity for aspiring playwrights. Don’t miss this amazing event. You can check performance dates and venues on kendalcommunitytheatre.org.
We are hard at work preparing Handstand Press’s next publication.
KAY’S ARK is the lovingly told story of Kay Callaghan who escaped London for the Lake District in 1950. With three children, no money, a failing marriage and abandoned acting career she began a new life, opening up her home – Rosewood – on the banks of the River Brathay at Skelwith Bridge – as a café and a haven for all. The author, Kay’s daughter and prize wining poet, Kerry Darbishire, writes beautifully without over-sentimentalizing of a past era in a Lake District community and the impact made on it by this charismatic woman.
Author Angela Locke writes…
‘This is a love letter from a daughter to a mother, one we would all like to receive. Told with a fine poet’s eye, it shows a fascinating glimpse into the world of a small community in the South Lakes in the ‘50s…..Beautifully written and full of evocative descriptions.’
Angela Locke author of Dreams of a Blue Poppy.
KAY’S ARK will be published in late summer.
I spent a great morning with students from Settlebeck School in Sedbergh last week. Their inspirational English teacher, Sally Ingham, invited me to give a talk about publishing – in particular how Irvine Hunt’s novel The Drover’s Boy was published. The highlight of it all was linking with Irvine on SKYPE. It’s the first talk I’ve given like this and I was pretty nervous but in the end it was all very enjoyable – the students were such a lively group, bursting to ask all sorts of interesting questions.
Handstand Press was founded in 2005. Its aim was to publish Cumbrian books by Cumbrian authors, but chiefly to produce a new history of Ulverston. As a bookseller in Ulverston I had lots of enquiries from locals and visitors to the town and there was nothing in print. So at last, ten years on, Handstand Press is publishing ‘Ulverston – An English Market Town in History’. Its author, Helen Shacklady, has done a remarkable job showing how Ulverston, a typical market town, has developed over the centuries in response to events in British history. Her research has been thorough and her writing style is wry. I think it’s a winner and I hope that all who have looked forward to a new and comprehensive history of Ulverston will enjoy this book as much as I have enjoyed producing it. Liz
Publication will be in August 2015. ISBN: 9780957660946