Sunday, 15 May 2022

Newsletter 32 

Every Sunday The Glue Factory 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 an invitation to the live online gathering on Sundays at 7:30pm UK time. They are always free to join (but 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

    Urgent news

    Bluemoose Books

    CB editions 


    Galley Beggar Press

    Reaktion Books

    Sagging Meniscus Press

4 J O Morgan's Appliances

5 Spiracle Audiobooks launch

Critical reading, critical writing with Sam Jordison

7 Plug plug pluggity plug

Institut français

9 Ulysses at the Abbey Theatre

10 Class in Publishing and Print

11 National Poetry Library

12 Isabella Streffen klaxon!

13 Nudge (and rant)


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

This week's online gathering (starting at 7:30pm) will feature Norman Erikson Pasaribu, the winner of the Republic of Consciousness Prize 2022 for Happy Stories, Mostly, translated by Tiffany Tsao and published by Tilted Axis Press. Join author and translator in conversation with Prize founder Neil Griffiths. This has been pre-recorded as the three paticipants were in Bali, Sydney and South London.

Also, Weatherglass Books author Jonathan Page will talk about and read from his striking debut novel Blue Woman, Kevin Boniface will introduce his new short film A Postman’s Diary March 2020-March 2022,followed by a screening. Then, staying in Yorkshire, DC on the re-issue of Stan Barstow's great 1960 novel A Kind of Loving. 



3. Indie press news

In red (because urgent): 

Print and paper costs are going through the roof and this week brought terrible news -  a price increase of around 40%. This poses an immediate existential threat to all publishers and most of all to independent presses. 

This is a terrible blow to the sector and, of course, to writers and readers. So please, if you can:

- buy books direct from the publisher (NOT from Amazon)

- buy more books than you can possibly read

- join one of the indie subscription schemes, like this one

- keep doing so!

Thank you!


Bluemoose Books

Independent publisher Bluemoose Books, based in Hebden Bridge, Yorkshire, will be taking over Leeds Central Library for the month of June, as part of a new initiative to spotlight indie publishing in libraries, and grow the readership of their titles.

Throughout June there will be a Bluemoose exhibition in the Library featuring a history of the press, prints of their beautiful covers and much, much more. Rumour has it that Eric may put in an appearance, and there might be geese, and even time for a brew. 

Events include a publishing panel with fellow indies Peepal Tree Press and Fox & Windmill; author talks with Colette Snowden and Anna Chilvers and the launch of Ghost Signs by Stu Hennigan, which is Bluemoose's first foray into non-fiction.

Stu will be on The Glue Factory soon, and the Leeds launch of this important new book will be on Thursday 23rd June, when the author will be in conversation with @heidipearljames. Details and free tickets here

Could this be the start of a new thing? Indie publishers-in-residence running promotional events in flagship libraries? I'm in!



A gloomy tweet earlier this week from Charles Boyle, founder of CB editions and arguably the best-loved, admired and respected of all publishers. He says:

The book is Simple Annals, the author Roy Watkins. He was a guest on Carthorse Orchestra last year, with a pre-recorded reading from this book. It's wonderful.

You can buy Simple Annals direct from the publisher 

And while we're at it, CB editions offer a very generous discount if you sign up to their subscription offer:

For £70, you’ll receive one CBe book per week in the post for a period of 10 weeks. (£7 per book, free delivery, and sometimes Charles will throw in two books rather than one.) UK addresses only. You can specify which titles you'd like to receive, or if you prefer poetry or fiction. All titles listed on the publisher's site are available, including the new ones.


Fitzcarraldo author Joshua Cohen has been awarded the 2022 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction for The NetanyahusThe Prize is awarded for distinguished fiction published in book form during the year by an American author, preferably dealing with American life.

The Netanyahus
 was lauded by the committee as ‘A mordant, linguistically deft historical novel about the ambiguities of the Jewish-American experience, presenting ideas and disputes as volatile as its tightly-wound plot.

Galley Beggar Press

This Norwich indie announced plans this week to extend their 'Limited Edition Buddy' scheme to 600 members, so that more of their readers have a chance to get hold of their covetable black-wrappered precious editions. 

Limited Edition Buddies receive:

  • Limited edition ‘black-cover’ collector versions of our front list titles for the duration of their subscription (these editions are printed in a one-time-only run of 600, exclusive to Limited Edition subscribers).

  • Your name included in an acknowledgements section at the back of their books.

  • A 20% discount code for ongoing use in Galley Beggar's online shop.

  • Free ebook versions of each of your subscription titles (upon request)

  • Invitations to launches and Galley Beggar events throughout the year

  • Where possible Buddies will also be offered advance proof copies or PDFs of titles, just as soon as they become available, alongside special updates, news bulletins, and other benefits.

It costs just £3.50 a month, can you believe? GBP have. a brilliant roster of authors and there are new novels coming from Alec Pheby, Paul Stanbrdge and illustrious others here

Reaktion Books

The swallows have arrived so it's officially still Spring and not yet Summer, but we shouldn't be surprised by the arrival of publishers' catalogues for Autumn and Winter 2022. 

Among the best of these is the leading non-fiction indie Reaktion Books, and you can brows their wonderful catalogue here

Sagging Meniscus Press

Coming in July from New York's finest indie: Neither Weak Nor Obtuse by Jake Goldsmith.

Glue Factory regulars will know Jake, who has already made his mark as founder of The Barbellion Prize. This brilliant, powerful unclassifiable memoir/polemic/monograph defies easy summary or description but it will change the discourse surrounding disability and chronic illness. I'm proud to have contributed a modest blurb, and to share a publisher with this remarkable writer. Ot's published on 15th July and you can pre-order here

We'll feature the book on the Glue Factory live gathering on Sunday 17th July


4. J O Morgan's Appliances

I had hoped to welcome J O Morgan to this week's Glue Factory gathering to mark the appearance of his second novel - and ninth book - Appliance (published by Jonathan Cape on 19th May), but for various good reasons we've had to reschedule this to later in the series. But do order and read this astonishing altopian novel as soon as you can.


5.  Introducing Spiracle Audiobooks

Spiracle are a new curated audiobooks service. They have been set up to offer “ambitious, imaginative, original audiobooks, selected by authors and small publishers, fed by years of delighted reading.”

They’ve just put out Insignificance by James Clammer and they’re going to release Playthings by Alex Pheby soon too. Both, you'll notice, Galley Beggar Press authors. There are plans for more to come.

They’re also selling superb audio books from indie publishers including Fitzcarraldo Editions, Eland Books, Peirene, Parthian and more. 

Have a look at this fine new website.

Thanks to Sam and Ellie of Galley Beggar Press for the heads-up


6. Sam Jordison again

The ‘Critical reading, critical writing’ course is online class taught by Galley Beggar co-director and literary journalist Sam Jordison. Places will be hosted on Zoom, limited to 20 people per class, and the course will run for a six-month period, with six classes to a course (running for two hours per session). 

All classes run on Tuesday evenings from 19:00 to 21:00. 

Says Sam: 'I just love running this course. I learn so much about the books from everyone. It’s enlightening, eye-opening and often, and crucially, opinion-changing. Plus, these are some great novels. Even the research is fun.'

For the summer / winter courses (beginning 2nd August 2022 for Class 1, 9th August for Class 2), the titles are: 

Tim O’Brien, The Things They Carried; 

Zora Neale Hurston, Their Eyes Were Watching God; 

Denis Johnson, Jesus’ Son; 

Mary Shelley, Frankenstein; 

Hanif Kureishi, The Buddha of Suburbia; 

Beryl Bainbridge, Master Georgie.

Please sign up here.

One place per course will be made freely available to a writer on a low-income. The organisers do not ask for proof of income or any other information, and in the first instance you should simply email, with ‘Critical reading’ in the subject line. Do be advised that these sessions, again, will be offered on a first come, first serve basis, and are likely to fill up swiftly.


7. Multiple Joyce launch events

Did I mention before that I've got a new book coming out next month? 

Multiple Joyce: 100 short essays about James Joyce's cultural legacy is published by Sagging Meniscus Press and there are a few events by way of launch:

Thursday June 16th Hodges Figgis bookstore in Dublin. A Bloomsday gathering in Dublin's leading bookshop (which gets a name-check in Ulysses). I'll be joined on the night by Nuala O'Connor (author of NORA, the brilliant novel selected as this year's One Dublin One Book campaign), with readings by Stephanie Ellyne and other guests. Free, and there will be drinks. From 6pm onwards. All welcome.

Monday June 27th Irish Literary Society in Bloomsbury, London. I'll be in conversation with Rónán Hession (who wrote the very generous foreword to my book, which just goes to show that no good deed goes unpunished). Also music. Details and tickets here.

Other dates and venues to be confirmed.

There will also be a modest online launch during our regular Sunday online gathering on Sunday 12th June. 


8. Institut français 

Starting tomorrow (Monday): a one-week literary festival sure to appeal to Francophones and Francophiles.

From 16th to 22nd May, the Institut français in South Kensington goes Beyond Words to cross borders and genres and takes us on a literary journey through lively discussions, powerful readings and inspiring live performances and screenings. Audiences can expect the latest and hottest publications from both sides of the Channel and a great line-up including acclaimed authors and new voices. This year, their programme gives centre stage to feminist novelists in particular. It also pays tribute to Proust and Molière, and marks the 60th anniversary of the Independence of Algeria with several debates and films.


9. Ulysses at the Abbey Theatre

2022 marks 100 years since the publication of one of the greatest modern novels  the greatest modern novel, Ulysses by James Joyce.

Acclaimed actor Barry McGovern has celebrated this famous text for over 20 years, reading excerpts from the novel every Bloomsday.

Now, in this centenary year, he takes to the Peacock stage in Dublin to read the complete book over seven consecutive days, ending on Bloomsday, Thursday 16th June.

Tickets are €12 (€10 concession) per session, or you can purchase a bundle ticket for all sessions for €40. Where there is more than one chapter per session, there will be short breaks between each chapter.

  • Friday 10th June, 10am – 1pm: Telemachus, Nestor, Proteus
  • Friday 10th June, 2pm – 6pm: Calypso, Lotus Eaters, Hades
  • Saturday 11th June, 10am – 1.20pm: Aeolus, Lestrygonians
  • Saturday 11th June, 3pm – 4.30pm: Scylla and Charybdis
  • Sunday 12th June, 11am – 12.45pm: Wandering Rocks
  • Sunday 12th June, 2pm – 4pm: Sirens
  • Monday 13th June, 10am – 1pm: Cyclops
  • Monday 13th June, 2pm – 4pm: Nausicaa
  • Tuesday 14th June, 10am – 1pm: Oxen of the Sun
  • Tuesday 14th June, 2pm – 5pm: Circe (part one)
  • Wednesday 15th June, 10am – 1pm: Circe (part two)
  • Wednesday 15th June, 2pm – 4.30pm: Eumaeus
  • Thursday 16th June, 10am – 1pm: Ithaca
  • Thursday 16th June, 2pm – 4.30pm: Penelope

More details and tickets


10. Class in Publishing and Print

This free one-day conference at the University of Reading brings together academics, writers, publishers and agents to explore the relationships between publishing genres, printing, national and regional diversity, readers, business decisions and social class.

Keynote Speakers:

  • Professor Katy Shaw, Northumbria University
  • Dr Lisa Blower, Wolverhampton University
  • Professor Dave O'Brien, University of Sheffield

Social class has long been a barrier for writers from working-class backgrounds to getting into print. From D. H. Lawrence to James Kelman, Buchi Emecheta to Pat Barker, working-class writers have been told to edit and revise dialect, style and characters to get their work published in the literary mainstream.

Thanks to austerity policies and the erosion of the welfare state, barriers to entry in the creative industries are higher than ever (see Panic! Social Class, Taste and Inequalities in the Creative Industries by Brook, O’Brien and Taylor, 2018). Prompted by today’s inequalities and the systemic barriers to entry in the cultural and creative industries, interest in contemporary working-class writing is at a high and publishers are trying to address the “class ceilings” and regional biases in their own workforces.

The conference will take place in-person with some blended panels. 

Registration is free but places are limited and will be available on a first come, first served basis

Friday, 20th May 2022  10am – 4pm BST

University of Reading, London Road Campu

4 Redlands Road

Reading RG1 5EX

For more details and to book a free place click here


11. Job alert!

Applications are now open for two new teaching and research posts in Creative Writing at Queen Mary University of London @QMULse, to join the current team of Isabel Waidner, Nisha Ramayya, Brian Dillon and Michael Hughes. 

Closing date 5th June - links to both are in the replies.

The first post, for a published writer with expertise in Black British, and/or British Asian, Anglophone African, Anglophone South Asian, Anglophone Caribbean writing and related histories and practices

The second post, encouraging applications from those whose writing and/or research engages with experimentation, interdisciplinary practice, hybrid forms, writing and the visual arts or publishing and/or new platforms

These are both part-time posts, 0.5FTE. That means the contract is to work half the week across the full year, i.e. 2.5 days, and you should divide the pro rata salary in half.


12 Isabella Streffen klaxon!

From Tuesday 17th to 28th May, the artist Isabella Streffen has a show at the Bermondsey project Space in London, with a private view on 18th May 6-9 (all  Glue Factory subscribers are welcome).  

Included in the show is a piece commissioned by Susanna Crossman as the cocktail course at her 'Dinner Party Reloaded' event for Carthorse Orchestra last June. It's a group show with work by Mark Kusamovic, Mary O'Neill and Matthew Gill. Isabella has three works on display, as follows:

A Speech Radical and Two Fires (three digital videos, with sound, looped)

These three short video works made between 2020 and 2022 for online events consider how important it is to make contact, to correspond, to touch despite fears of contagion and collapse, to create intimacy and pay attention in the midst of difficulty.

The sharing of images connects us to each other, shows how we make sense of the strangest and most dislocating elements of our electronic communications as we navigate the aftermath of extended isolation, and long for greater proximity. Suggesting new figures of love in our times, A Speech Radical and Two Fires leaves us space to find it.

Individual works:

 Feu d’artifice : a paeon for Sophie
was commissioned by Susanna Crossman for The Dinner Party Reloaded, and asked each guest to propose a toast to a woman they much admired. It was premièred at The Carthorse Orchestra online salon in 2021.

Cyanometer for my heart
was made for an event due to be held in London in March 2020 that was cancelled. It uses a cyanometer, meteorological observations, and a social media scraper to construct a framework for the emotional weather.

Timeline Moons for Proxy Touching
records the exchange of visual images between two protagonists across social media platforms as they search for ways to be remotely close while separated by borders and travel restrictions. The moon that touches me, also touches you, they say, snatching an image and sharing in the same moment, improvising personal gestures in the shared public space.


12. Nudge (and rant)

Food banks in the Trussell Trust's 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.

Lee Anderson Conservative MP for Ashfield says there isn't a massive need for food banks in the UK, it’s just that people “cannot cook properly, they can't cook a meal from scratch, they cannot budget.” (Lee Anderson claimed £208,491 in expenses last year, on top of his MP salary). Here he is:


                                                 Lee Anderson, MP

And here's Jack Monroe @BootstrapCook, speaking for us all:

You can’t cook meals from scratch with nothing.

You can’t buy cheap food with nothing.

The issue is not ‘skills’, it’s 12 years of Conservative cuts to social support.

The square root of fuck all is ALWAYS going to be fuck all, no matter how creatively you’re told to dice it.

You can’t ‘budget better’ when rents are fixed, private rents are extortionate, poverty wages are rife, benefits aren’t rising in line with inflation, energy bills are through the roof, UC payments are deliberately delayed forcing people to take on debts to the DWP, etc etc etc.

For a party so keen to push personal fiscal responsibility back onto the most vulnerable individuals, the Conservatives are remarkably reticent to take any degree of responsibility for deliberately pushing those people into such difficult desperate situations in the first place.

                                                                                                                                     Jack Monroe

She's right. Lee Anderson is very wrong. Jack is far smarter than Lee, far more articulate and informed, far nicer than he is.

Food banks aren't the answer, but we have to support them because the Tories are dismantling the welfare state. The Tories like foodbanks because they hate Socialism, and they hate Socialism because they're Tories.

                         10/5/22. Tory councillor and Tory mayor having a right old laugh
                                          as they open a new food bank in Dartford (and it was followed by a buffet, can you believe?)

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 this week. Thank you all for your continued interest and support. Please spread the word, and let’s stick together. 


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