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Help Arachne Press to create a regular live literature event, four books of short stories and poetry, and a book tour
Help Arachne Press to create a regular live literature event, four books of short stories and poetry, and a book tour
18 backers pledged £1,523 to help bring this project to life.

About

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Beyond Solstice Shorts

£1,523

18

Who we are

Arachne Press has been publishing short stories and poetry for just over four years, supported and enlivened by our LIVE events, The Story Sessions and The Solstice Shorts Festival.

Why we are asking

We recently got funding from Arts Council England, to support the publication of four new books, take them on tour (we really wanted to get out of London a bit) and revitalise both our live event strands, by being able to pay expenses to our writers and to pay for professional actors where for whatever reason the author can't read their own work. This included British Sign Language interpretation of our big event, The Solstice Shorts Festival. Part of the deal with Arts Council England is that we raise some of the funds ourselves, which means an absolute minimum of £1000. We are aiming at £1500 to cover costs of production of rewards and Kickstarter fees, and a couple of other projects we have on the go that could use some help.We couldn't wait to get started because we are committed to many dates, so some of this has already happened or is in train now....

What we will spend the money on

In the main this will be utterly prosaic and pay train fares and the occasional overnight stay for writers/actors for the tour, and the same for Tom Dingley''s Oucome exhibition, plus some incidental printing costs for  replacement photographs as they get worn out or damaged being carted about the place. We have just about enough in the bank to pay for the remaining book printing costs for these projects, but promoting them through (for example) putting them on Netgalley, and attending book fairs is currently not covered. I know, boring isn't it! But it's the notty gritty of getting the show on the road.

Why would you support this?

Most importantly, although it's lovely for the audience, these books and events are about supporting emerging writers, and really supporting them - not just shoving a book out and hoping it sells. This tranche of books is our way of finding new writers (the anthologies and The Story Sessions) and showing faith in people we've already published (Jennifer A McGowan and Liam Hogan)  by giving them a chance of a solo outing.

We run workshops for writers on what it takes to make it - marketing, giving interviews, reading in public, and give them opportunities for their work and them to shine.

It is incredibly hard work, and costs a fair bit of money, and we couldn't do it at all without the Arts Council and we can't finish doing it without your help - it takes 6 months for trade book sales to reach our bank balance, so there is a major cash flow issue in that we are spending money with nothing coming in - We know there's around £1000 for sales so far of Liberty Tales and Shortest Day, Longest Night, but we won't see that until June, and of course, the Arts Council hold on to a proportion of their funds until after the project ends.

The Books

Liberty Tales Stories and Poems inspired by Magna Carta an Anthology

(Published, and touring)

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Shortest Day, Longest Night Stories and Poems from the Solstice Shorts Festival 2015 & 2016

(Published, just! Touring...)

With Paper for Feet by Jennifer A McGowan poems inspired by myth legend and folklore.

(Due end of February 2017)

Foraging by Joy Howard (not part of the Arts Council funding - a separate project entirely)

 

Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed by Liam Hogan 'Deliciously Twisted', sometimes dark, fantasies.

(Due April 2017)

The simplest way you can help is, of course, to buy the books! You can do that here, without getting involved in the crowd fund at all.

The Tour

Much to our delight our modest tour of 4 dates for each of the 4 books has grown massively and we now have up to 9 dates for each book, which of course means more costs than we had bargained for, so the more money we can raise the better.

Tour dates include London - South, West and North; and Oxford, Newcastle-on-Tyne, Bradford-on-Avon, Cheltenham, and various Essex libraries. Not every book is going to every venue, but a complete list is available here - do come along if we are going to be near you.

In addition, Outcome, our LGBT portrait book has (at least) two more exhibitions set up - in Horsham and in Lancaster from mid January to mid February, and more in the offing, so there are costs involved there too, so if you are more  of a visual person, you might like to support us to get that off the ground.

The Festival

We ran out of time to get this crowd fund live before the festival (Oh, how we tried, but organising the festival had to take priority) Still it shows we mean business, doesn't it? go to the blog on our website for videos of what happened, we are posting one a day until the middle of February.

 

Solstice Shorts is a time themed festival  marrying short stories and poems with music, on the shortest day of the year, (short story day) on the Prime Meridian in Greenwich London. Now in its third year, our theme was Shortest Day, so we had flash fiction of 1000 words or less, and poetry, and this year we integrated the music element more, so instead of curating songs against stories, we had a second round where writers and musicians inspired each other and to some extent collaborated to produce new work, so we had some original songs being performed too.

The festival was on 21st December 2016, from 6pm to midnight.

Starting with poetry and music at Made in Greenwich Gallery, a wassail procession led by Vocal Chords Choir then took the audience round to West Greenwich Library for the main story and song event, hosted by Sophie Aldred. Then from 10pm-12 midnight there was a facilitated event for writers, Write through the Night, with poet Ruth Steadman.

Performances were free and performed by professional actors: Katy Darby, Ray Newe and Patsy Prince, hosted by Sophie Aldred and BSL interpreted by Paul Michaels and Martin Fox-Roberts.

The Story Sessions

The Story Sessions is the live lit event that thinks it's a folk club. Held in a Deli in Brockley, SE London, it is where we try things out, and get the audience involved. Invited headliners read themed stories and poems, we have a resident actor/ singer, Annalie Wilson, and we have both a 'test bed session' where writers can try out a new piece and get feedback, and the Flash From the Floor session where audience members get up and read 100 words on theme: written specially, happening to fit, or scribbled in the interval. Organised mayhem often ensues, but it's a lot of fun. We have found really good writers as a result who have been invited back to read in the more civilised slots.

The first date was in November, and the recordings are up on the website.

We have 3 further dates booked 

Wednesday 18/01/2017 WINTER Tales

Wednesday 15/03/2017 RETELLING Tales (esp Myths/legends) Wednesday 17/05/2017 Fantastic tales

- and if we raise enough money we can continue on and on..!

What's in it for you?

Here's what we have to offer as rewards (see the full list to the right):

Books! (Well, we are a publisher)

 Pictures by our cover artist Kevin Threlfall (With Paper for Feet, Weird Lies, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed) :

 

Badges...

 

Our photographic portraits book Outcome, £25 + Postage (ONE signed copy also available)

Become an arachne friend - get a badge, and your name in our next published book, & a copy of that book all for £100


CDs

limited number of CDs from our Solstice Shorts Collaboarators, Zachary Gvirtzman and Vocal Chords

Book and Badge Making workshop with Poet/author Jeremy Dixon

 

Or specialy for writers, critiques/ editing from Arachne Press editors Katy Darby and Cherry Potts.

We hope to add other rewards later in the crowdfund period, so if there's nothing here that grabs you, keep coming back to check.

Risks and challenges

We've been doing this a while, so we are fairly comfortable we know what we are up to. We have an excellent relationship with our printers, who have already provided the first two of our Arts Council funded books and are printing the third as I write.
Our SECOND biggest risk has already materialised in that we have more tour dates than we catered for, if we raise enough money that ceases to be a problem.
Our next biggest risk is an author getting ill and not being able to fulfill a tour date - this is why we have the actors involved, on one level as a just-in-case full back position, but also to provide a more polished event with a variety of voices.
The other risk that always makes us sweat, is - No one comes! It's never actually happened, and in fact, as last year, Solstice Shorts was over subscribed, but it would be very demoralising to ship writers to a venue and have no one show up!

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge £1 or more About US$ 1.27

    Our undying appreciation

    A warm glow of satisfaction that you helped us, a thank you email from us!

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    Arachne Badge

    Arachne badge: we produce a limited run of badges for each of our books. they are 25mm across. We have at least 10 of each design left. They are hand cut so designs vary slightly. Take a look in the gallery and we'll do our best to send you what you ask for.

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    SolShorts Shortest Day Poster

    We have a few posters left over from this year's festival A3, heavy paper, black and orange/white. UK only as awkward to post!

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    Foraging

    Copy of Joy Howard's forthcoming poetry collection, poems of nature, human nature, love, loss and humour

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    back list Short Story Anthologies

    One of Arachne Press' short story anthologies - you can tell us which you would like.
    London Lies (stories set in London), Lovers' Lies (stories for romantic cynics), Weird Lies (Fantasy & SciFi - winner of the Sabotage2014 award for best anthology), Solstice Shorts: Sixteen Stories about Time (the winning stories from our Solstice Shorts Competition, plus stories from judges, Imogen Robertson, Robert Searman, Alison Moore & Anita Sethi).

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    With Paper for Feet

    A copy of forthcoming poetry collection by Jennifer A McGowan- myth magic and folklore taken in unexpected directions and given new voice

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    Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed

    A copy of Liam Hogan's forthcoming fantasy short story collection 'Deliciously Twisted' tales of the unexpected.

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    other books

    One of our other books: Devilskein & Dearlove* by Alex Smith (YA fantasy nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2015)
    or Mosaic of Air, Short stories by Cherry Potts
    or our best selling anthology: Stations - Short Stories inspired by the Overground Line.
    *We can't send D&D to South Africa because it is published there by a different company.

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    Father Tongues CD

    New CD from Zachary Gvirtzman, our main muical collaborator on the Solstice Shorts Festival

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    Ticket to Ride CD

    CD from Vocal Chords Choir, our regular collaborators on Solstice Shorts

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    SIGNED Devilskein & Dearlove

    Devilskein & Dearlove, with bookplate SIGNED by Alex Smith.
    Sorry, We can't ship to South Africa as D&D is published by someone else there.

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    An Epic Fantasy

    Copy of Cherry Potts' mammoth fantasy epic, 'The Dowry Blade'. UK only, it's a big book!

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    Liberty Tales or SDLN- SIGNED

    A copy of either Liberty Tales or Shortest Day, Longest Night, (you choose!) signed by as many of the authors as I happen to see between now and the end of the tour(s)

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    With Paper for Feet

    A SIGNED copy of forthcoming poetry collection by Jennifer A McGowan- myth magic and folklore taken in unexpected directions and given new voice

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    Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed

    A SIGNED copy of Liam Hogan's forthcoming fantasy short story collection 'Deliciously Twisted' tales of the unexpected.

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    Signed Epic Fantasy

    signed copy of Cherry Potts' fantasy epic 'The Dowry Blade'. UK only, it's a big book

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    Outcome book

    A copy of our photographic portrait book, Outcome, by Tom Dingley. 80 LGBT portraits. UK only, it's a heavy book.

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    SIGNED Outcome book

    A SIGNED copy of our photographic portrait book, Outcome, by Tom Dingley. 80 LGBT portraits.signed by many of the subjects at the launch Only One Copy!! UK only, it's a heavy book.

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    Fiction Critique from Katy Darby

    Katy Darby is co-editor of our Three 'Lies' books and runs Live Lit event Liars' League. She will give you a professional critique of your fiction at £50 for 5000 words - (Electronic delivery ONLY, please don't send paper) so if you want her to critique something longer, pledge more times! OPTION: personal face-to-face critique (30 min) in London for an extra £25 as an add on- you can pledge more than the £50 through the site, just let us know that's what you want.

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    Kevin Threlfall print

    One of three unique prints on canvas by our cover artist (Weird Lies, With Paper for Feet) Kevin Threlfall, printed especially for us. 60x40cm. UK only as postage costs would be prohibitive elsewhere. If you are outside the UK and really really keen get in touch and we'll work something out!

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    Invitation to a launch

    Invitation to the launch of our next books: With Paper for Feet and Foraging, Keats House Nightingale Room London 23rd February

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    Arachne Friend

    Become a friend of Arachne: you get:
    a special 'friend' badge, automatic invitation to all book launches, your name in the thank you list in the next book we publish (Happy ending NOT Guaranteed, April) after you join (unless you wish to be anonymous) and one free copy of that book. (Obviously if you arent in the UK, the launch invitation is of limited value, but you can nominate someone else to receive your invitation if you like)

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    Have your writing edited by us

    have your short story or 1st chapter of your novel professionally edited and critiqued by Arachne Press editor, Cherry Potts. Maximum 5000 words, sent electronically only.

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    Artist book/badge making workshop

    A practical 2-3 hour workshop delivered in your home by Poet/artist Jeremy Dixon (Liberty Tales & The Other Side of Sleep). You will learn to make: a one sheet book; a zig-zag book; a pamphlet-stitch book; and a stab-stitch book; plus your own 25mm pin-backed badges using found images or designing your own. All materials will be provided and Jeremy can run the workshop for up to six people at a time, so invite your friends and family along to share a fun and enjoyable experience.
    Available weekends to kitchen tables within easy reach of Cardiff and the M4 corridor (as far as London)!

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Funding period

- (30 days)