Saturday, 7 May 2022

The Glue Factory newsletter 31

Sunday 8th May 2022

Every Sunday The Glue Factory newsletter will bring to your attention the kind of things you need to know.

I welcome suggestions from authors, indie publishers, press agents and creative practitioners of all kinds, in any medium, so please email me with anything you’d like to share with our readers in future issues. 

And don’t forget that if you receive this newsletter you’ll also get a link at 6:30pm to the live online gathering on Sundays which start at 7:30pm UK time. They are free to join (so donations to The Trussell Trust or your local equivalent outside the UK are appreciated).

Let me know if you’d rather not receive this regular update and I’ll happily stop bothering you.  

Let’s stick together.



Newsletter contents

1 Aid for Ukraine

2 This week’s online gathering

3 Indie press news

    Charco Press

    Peirine Press


4 Short Story Boot Camp with Ruby Cowling

5 Niven Govinden at the LRB bookshop

6 A Zoom of One's Own

7 David Hayden short story klaxon

8 European Poetry Festival

9 Consumer corner

10 Trigger warning


11 Next week’s online gathering

12 Nudge


1. Aid for Ukraine

You’ll have many calls on your time and generosity when it comes to supporting the people of Ukraine and the ghastly term ‘compassion fatigue’ has been circulating. This weekly newsletter will continue to highlight some of the less visible initiatives but the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate here.


2. This week’s online gathering

The esteemed psychotherapist Andrew Jamieson joins us to discuss and read from his latest book MIDLIFE: Humanity’s Secret Weapon (published on 10th May by Notting Hill Editions). Andrew draws on years of study and research to realise that the midlife crisis isn't some superficial, modern dilemma that we can laugh off: rather there is an actual evolutionary purpose behind this rite of passage and it is part of the reason why humans are the dominant species. 


We’ll also be joined by the poet Astrid Alben who will be discussing ands reading (in Dutch and English) from her new book Little Dead Rabbit; our roving reporter Melissa McCarthy will tackle the subject of graffiti; Peter Chrisp & Lisa Wolfe will share some first reviews of Finnegans Wake and I’ll says something about the American film-maker Mary Ellen Bute.


You’ll get a unique Zoom link at 6:30pm BST. Log into the waiting room in good time for the programme, which starts at 7:30pm. Do join us for 90 minutes of cultural cavorting.


3. Indie press news


Charco Press

Exciting news from this enterprising indie press this week. Julián Fuks's novel Occupation, translated by Daniel Hahn, has been long-listed for the Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize 2022.

Details of the complete longlist here.

The Oxford-Weidenfeld Prize is for book-length literary translations into English from any living European language. It aims to honour the craft of translation, and to recognise its cultural importance. It was founded by Lord Weidenfeld and funded by New College, The Queen’s College and St Anne’s College, Oxford.

Peirene Press

Also on the Oxford_Weidenfeld Translation Prize longlist is John Litell's translation of Andrea Lundgren's Nordic Fauna, published by Peirene. John's achievement is particularly impressive because Nordic Fauna was his debut literary translation, completed at the height of lockdown, while working full time as a doctor in intensive care. 

Nordic Fauna is a collection of six short stories by the Swedish writer Andrea Lundgren, set in a liminal space between town and wilderness where human consciousness meets something more animalistic. From foxes to whales to angels, the creatures that roam through this collection spark a desire for something more in their human counterparts: a longing for transformation.  Click here to find out more. 


The most industrious of indie presses Fitzcarraldo is
 running a spring sale! 20 per cent off everything on their website (including subscriptions) until Sunday 8th May (that's tonight) at midnight GMT. Enter the discount code MAY2022 at checkout:


4. Short Story Boot Camp with Ruby Cowling

Author Ruby Cowling took part in last week’s online gathering, reading her short story from the new anthology Waiting for the Gift.

She will be leading an online course in short story writing between 17th May and 18th July, a course is aimed at those who are serious about their short stories, whether you are yet to be published or already have some publication record. You can read some feedback from writers on Ruby’s previous courses here.

Course Outline

  • Two rounds of critical feedback from your tutor on a draft story of up to 5,000 words
  • Three assignments, including reading material, discussion prompts and writing exercises
  • Discussion of assignments, exercises and work-in-progress (optional) with your peers
  • One set of peer feedback on work-in-progress or writing exercise
  • Story surgery and submissions advice – creative and practical help from your tutor
  • An online writing community, lasting beyond the end of the course

This course is nine weeks long and asynchronous (so you can log in and add to the discussion whenever you want). You will submit a story of up to 5,000 words before the course starts, to receive detailed critical feedback from the course tutor. You’ll have time partway through the course to work on your story, and submit it to Ruby for a second read and feedback. There will be the opportunity to polish your story and share with the group at the end of the course.

Throughout the course, Ruby will upload three assignments to work through. These will include texts to read and discuss, teaching from Ruby, and writing exercises. You will also be able to discuss these, and share your work with fellow writers if you would like to.

Click here for more details


5. Niven Govinden at the LRB bookshop

On February 27th last year author Niven Govinden curated a Carthorse Orchestra gathering to celebrate the publication of his novel Diary of a Film, and a great time was had by all.

The book appears in paperback later this month and there's an event at the LRB bookshop in Bury Place, Bloomsbury, on Thursday 19th May, when Niven will be in conversation with Gareth Evans to celebrate his 'outstanding, luxurious novel'. 

This event is in-person only (not available via Zoom). More details and tickets are available here


6. A Zoom of One's Own

Since May 2nd there have been changes to how Zoom works. 

These will not effect The Glue Factory as I have a full Zoom package which gives me (as host) un limited screen time and a few extra features, none of which I can exploit efficiently. My Zoom sub is the main overhead when running the gatherings. 

But, if you have the Basic Zoom package (which is free and will remain so) there will no longer be unlimited one-to-one/group calls, and these will be limited to 40 minutes maximum. This may not effect you, but if you need more than this you should look at the alternative Zoom packages (having said which the Free Basic bundle is an astonishing giveaway and I'm surprised it hasn't already been monetised)

What can I do if I need more than 40 minutes for my meetings?

There is no limit to how many meetings a Basic user can host; however, if you prefer to avoid a meeting timeout at 40 minutes you might upgrade to a Pro account to remove the 40-minute limit from all future meetings.

I am a free user but I attend meetings hosted by a Licensed user. Will my presence in their meeting affect the time duration?

No, the maximum meeting duration is determined by the account type of the original host of the meeting. The account types of the meeting's participants do not affect the maximum meeting duration.

So - to repeat - this will not make any difference to your ability to access Glue Factory gatherings because as host I am not restricted by this policy change and neither are my guests.



7. David Hayden short story

'How it works' is a new short story by David Hayden, published by Granta.

'Dinner plates empty in front of me, and the present softens and melts, and I’m sitting in a cab headed for Facets in Chicago with an overdue VHS tape of Věra Chytilová’s Daisies. It’s an eight-dollar ride and I have six and change. I will get out early and walk. The night is shining black; it’s wet, it’s beautiful. No one talks. I hand over the money, open the door and step into my own kitchen.'

Read the whole story here


8. European poetry Festival

From June 15th. All free, all good! More than 150 poets at 15 events. Details via the links below and also here.



8. Consumer Corner

British tax-payers: you might not know this, but the HMRC helpline costs £3.60 per minute so (for instance) being kept on hold for 26 minutes will cost you £90 and you’ll have absolutely nothing at all to show for it. 

You might not know this either, but the Everyman Cinema chain imposes an unpublicised surcharge on Bank holidays so a couple of tickets that would normally cost £26 actually cost £35. The good news is you can replicate the entire Everyman experience at a fraction of the cost by sitting in a greasy spoon caff surrounded by chomping, slurping punters while watching something on a tiny smartphone screen.


9. Trigger warning

Michael Caines, writing in the TLS this week, reports on The Brooklyn Public Library literary prize, founded in 2015, and, “generously supported” by the Peck Stacpoole Foundation. It claims to “recognize” writing that captures the “spirit of Brooklyn”. It’s worth $5,000 to the winners, such as (last year) New Yorkers by Craig Taylor and The Wild Fox of Yemen by Threa Almontaser. The selections are made by “librarians and library staff”.

Those selfsame librarians received an email last month informing them that they were not to think of themselves as “arbiters of quality and taste”. According to the library’s Office of Neighbourhood Services, your neighbours may mistake you for such makers of taste if you include the fatal word “literary” in the name of your prize. 

Despite being hobbled with that alarming adjective, the Brooklyn Public Library literary prize has “always stood for breaking down barriers and honoring innovative and inventive books”. “Literary”, however, “is a term that has come to represent an elitist view that may lead to missing out on some amazing titles.” Worst of all, “literary” is a word that “puts the focus on quality of writing rather than how exciting and important those ideas are”.

The upshot is The Brooklyn Public Library literary prize is now the Brooklyn book prize.

If this is just another witless skirmish in the so-called culture wars so important to the far right include me out. But if ‘literary’ is really regarded by librarians as an expression of an elitist view, then what about the word ‘library’ itself? An interest in literature may be a minority activity, but that doesn’t make it elitist. So nuts to the Brooklyn Public Library Office of Neighbourhood Services, I say. 

I’m reminded of the sour view that the Brexit referendum was like watching your own library being burned down by people who can’t read. That's not quite right. As (I think) Jeremy Noel-Todd pointed out, Brexit is more like watching your own library burned down by people who have their own library. 


10. Next week's online gathering

Join us on Sunday 15th May for a very special literary gathering.

We'll have the winner of this year's Republic of Consciousness Prize (announced next week) for conversation and readings, and we'll be joined by debut author Jonathan Page

In the second half we'll be launching J O Morgan’s forthcoming (and wildly original and brilliant) novel Appliance (Published by Jonathan Cape on 19th May), with readings by the author.

All this, and a bit more.



11. Nudge

Last week The Trussell Trust shared the grim news that the food banks in their UK network gave out 2.1 million food parcels to people facing hardship between April 2021 and March 2022.

830,000 of these were given to children.

It’s now easier than ever to donate to The Trussell Trust (the UK’s leading food bank charity). You can do so here.

The weekly Glue Factory newsletter and associated live online gathering are free to all subscribers every week, so donations are appreciated, no matter how large. 

Thank you.


And that’s it from The Glue Factory for another week. Thank you all for your continued interest and support. Please spread the word, and let’s stick together in these dark times. 


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