Sunday 17 July 2022

Newsletter 41


Hello again.

Here's Danny Kruger MP writing in The Times on 12th July 2022.

"... the culture war isn’t just a series of skirmishes over flags, statues and changing rooms. We need a counter-march through our institutions, to drain the toxin of progressive intellectualism that is doing such harm to our identity as a country and to young people’s sense of themselves." 

Daniel Rayne Kruger MBE is a British Conservative Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Devizes in Wiltshire since 2019. He's the son of writer and property developer Rayne Kruger and restaurateur and television presenter Prue Leith, and was educated at Eton College, subsequently studying history at the University of Oxford. The years of struggle behind him he overcame his disadvantages and was Prime Minister Boris Johnson's political secretary between August and December 2019. He is, you'll be unsurprised to hear, an evangelical Christian.

The Glue Factory champions to progressive intellectualism and is proud to nail its colours to the mast - progressive intellectualism gives the likes of Danny Kruger MP the willies and this is how it should be.

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

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 you're also invited to our live online gathering on Sundays at 7:30pm UK time. It's free to join (but donations to The Trussell Trust or your local equivalent outside the UK are appreciated). Details of this week's gathering are in this newsletter and you'll get a unique Zoom link at around 6:30pm. Do join us.

And let’s stick together.



Newsletter contents

1.   Aid for Ukraine

2.   This week’s online gathering

3.   Indie press news



        Hoxton Mini Press

        Peirine Press


        Reaktion Books

4.   Word Factory event with Eley Williams

5.   J O Morgan's Appliance

6.   'How it works' - a new short story by David Hayden

7.   Galley Beggar Press short story prize 2022

8.   Next week's online gathering

9.   Nudge



1.  Aid for Ukraine

It still drags on and on, although there's less and less coverage in our media. 

Please give what you can: the most far-reaching programme is the British Red Cross Ukraine Crisis Appeal. You can donate quickly and easily here.


2.  This week's online gathering

Two absolutely outstanding works of non-fiction were published this week. Unblinking, honest and harrowing accounts of chronic pain and illness, and the horrors of being a child raised in a fundamentalist evangelical cult. We'll be joined by both authors and their guests

Neither Weak Nor Obtuse: a conversation with author Jake Goldsmith and his guests, 

Barbellion Prize winners Riva Lehrer (in Chicago) and Lynn Buckle (in Ireland). 

The Last Days by Ali Millar - readings and conversation with activist Jason M Wynne (in Galway).


3.  Indie press news


Bedford writer David Wheldon died suddenly in January 2021. He made his name with his early novels, including The Viaduct which won the Triple First award in 1983, was highly praised by Graham Greene and William Trevor, and was republished in the USA.

His posthumous short story collection is published this week by Confingo. His short stories are often described as Kafkesque, although he had written early drafts of two of them before he first read Kafka. 

One of the stories, 'The Automaton', previously appeared as a Nightjar Press single, and several others have appeared in Woven Tale Press and Confingo.

Hoxton Mini Press

If you can spot the mistake, it could be you! 
If you cant then please don't apply

A teeny bit abotu the role
If you’re as passionate about the image as you are the written word, have at least three years' experience in a similar role (especially in lifestyle books) and you are keen to oversee 10–15 of our books per year in a small team where we all discuss new titles and fix the printers, then apply below.
Apply here

Applications close: 10pm on Wednesday 3rd August

Start dates: September 2022 (or as soon as you’re able to)
Location: A rather nice office by London Fields

Peirine Press

This excellent Bath-based indie has just launched a Summer Sale with a generous 50% off all Peirene titles, with over twenty books to choose from.

All books available here


PROTOTYPE is an annual anthology of new work published in July each year. By taking out a subscription you will be the first to receive each issue, at a discounted price, and your payment will be taken automatically so you don’t need to remember to resubscribe.

By taking out a subscription now, the first copy you receive will be PROTOTYPE 4, which features work from Glue Factory contributors Chiara Ambrosio, Alan Fielden and Jay Gao (our guest on The Glue Factory next Sunday).

New subscribers can also order PROTOTYPE 1, 2 and 3 for only £8. JUST ENTER THE CODE ‘prototype-sub-offer’ ON CHECKOUT.

Reaktion Books

From this leading indie press, specialising in non-fiction, comes The Art of Verbal Warfare by Rik Smits. I like the sound of this:
'We use salty or artful language to win arguments, slander, cheat and bully, as well as to express feelings of joy or frustration and blow off steam. Rik Smits delves into the magic of oaths and profanity, art and advertising, probes the lure of fake-news and propaganda, and explores invective and off-colour jokes the world over. The Art of Verbal Warfare shows why conversation dies in crowded lifts, what drives you to curse at your laptop and what makes some political bigshots fall, but not others. This is, when all is said and done, the story of how we get through life without coming to physical blows.'

Order The Art of Verbal Warfare here:

Reaktion Books Autumn 2022 catalogue


4. Eley Williams at The Word Factory

This is an online workshop limited to 15 participants and hosted by Word Factory Director Cathy Galvin (

From the press release:

'Any attempt to define 'the short story' requires a consideration of brevity. This might imply that abruptness or concision is central to the reading and writing of short fiction, but some of our most treasured stories are important to us precisely because of the resounding nature of what is experienced or enacted on the page, lingering in our imagination long after the first reading. A story's apparent 'suddenness' might be due to the impact of a specific image or line of dialogue, an economy of language or sense of narrative structure: how is it that one author can illustrate a relationship's worth of emotion in prose that can be read in under a minute, and another seems able to evoke a complexity of landscape, history or community in a matter of paragraphs? Ali Smith described short stories as 'consum[ing] you faster', while William Trevor compared them to 'the art of the glimpse'. Through discussion of potential overlaps with prose-poetry and flash fiction, featuring guided exercises and close-reading, this masterclass invites us to examine how fiction writers can make the moment momentous, and stage our own brief encounters through text.'


5. J O Morgan's Assurance

On a sweltering Tuesday night this week I joined the audience at the Institute for Advanced Studies in University College London for a reading by J O Morgan of his second novel Appliance (Jonathan Cape), an event prompted by his selection as a finalist in the 2022 Orwell Prize.

This is one of the fiction highlights of the year and I could bang on about it for the rest of this newsletter BUT practically anything I say could be an unwitting spoiler. 

So I'll simply tell you that a brilliantly original idea is developed in the most unexpected ways; that Morgan's virtuosic skill when it comes to polyphonic dialogue is unmatched, that his invention never flags for a moment in a novel that spans decades and continents, that he is perfecting the genre (what he calls 'altopian fiction') that he introduced in his previous novel Pupa (Henningham Family Press);  that it's a haunting parable of our times and one that demands and repays repeat readings. 

Like his poetry (and Morgan has published six book-length poems of trailblazing originality), his prose is rewardingly unstable, by which I means it's shape-shifting and is never quite the same thing twice. It's an uncanny talent. Find out for yourself.

Here's a terrific review by Stuart Kelly (literary editor of The Scotsman

Incidentally the dustwrapper to Appliance (designed by the author) is among the most beautiful I've ever seen, and worthy of Faber's in-house genius Bertholde Wolpe.


You can buy Appliance from the LRB bookshop

PS Small Things Like These by Claire Keegan and My Fourth Time, We Drowned: Seeking Refuge on the World’s Deadliest Migration Route by Sally Hayden won the Orwell prizes for political fiction and writing.


6. David Hayden klaxon

Hot on the heels of 'Good Pizza' (Piece of Paper Press) published earlier this month, here's a link to another new short story by David Hayden, 'How it works'  appearing in the current issue of GRANTA. What better way to start a Sunday?


7. Galley Beggar Press short story prize 2022

Entry to the prize is just £10. And it's easy to do so. See here.

That tenner helps cover running costs for the Prize and it also helps subsidise 200 free places every year. On top of which an extremely generous (anonymous) donation means that this year there are 225 free entries

Says Galley Beggar's Sam Jordison:

'These are no questions asked about these places. We want to trust people. We don’t need explanations - we just want to see great stories from people who might not otherwise be able to enter a competition like this one. So if you need a free place, drop a line to and if there’s still one available, we’ll allot it to you.'

There's more. The writer Kit De Waal has generously donated another 10 places specifically for carers. Four of those places have been snapped up on Twitter already, but the organisers very keen for the others to be filled. So if you are a carer, just drop the Press a line, mention Kit’s name, but please don't feel obliged to tell more. 


Once again, full details about the competition and how to enter are available here.


8. Next week's online gathering

To mark the imminent UK publication of W H Auden's Complete Poems (the final two volumes in the magnificent Complete Works edited by Edward Mendelson) we'll have a rare screening of Don Owen's luminous short film RUNNER, a poetic documentary about the Canadian athlete Bruce Kidd, with a poetic script by Auden. Plus more news about the exciting collaborative novel by 18 contemporary writers and some thoughts about Stan Barstow's short stories.


9. Nudge

Here's James Butler in the latest London Review of Books: 

'after twelve years of Conservative government, Britain is run-down, stagnant,               

expensive, underpaid, unequal, corrupt, socially fractured, backward-looking, hungry,         tired and fearful.'

And here's Jeremy Corbyn, on Twitter:

        "Boris Johnson is the 3rd Tory PM in 10 yrs & leaves behind him 14m in poverty, a            record number of people going hungry, a severe mental health crisis, more billionaires         & gross levels of inequality.  Every candidate vying to succeed him is promising to            make the situation worse."

In the Bullingdon Club timeline we're at the stage where the honking chaotic drunks start to trash the venue. What can we do about this?

Well a few pounds to The Trussell Trust can help those in need. 

Whether on not you're tainted with the toxin of progressive intellectualism, please donate here:


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