Wednesday, January 04, 2012

2012 - forthcoming events and publications

A great deal has changed in my circumstances in the past year. In September I took up a post as Lecturer in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University. This meant leaving Edinburgh, where my wife and I have been so happy, but Manchester is a vibrant place and we're excited to be establishing a new life here.

The teaching post - my first permanent one at a university - is part-time, so I hope to continue working on my next novel, The Devil's Highway, as soon as I have found my feet in this(excellent) department.

Other writing and editing projects continue to take up my time. I recently completed a short story for Comma Press's forthcoming collection, Biopunk, and am working on another Comma commission for a second collection of original stories, provisionally titled Ten Years Asleep. I will post more about both books in the coming months. Comma Press is a truly brilliant small publishing house that focuses on the short story, and I'm delighted to be working with them.

In September this year, the boldly independent Oneworld will be publishing Out of Chaos - stories for our shared planet: a collection of specially commissioned short stories, written by major UK authors, responding to our ecological crisis. Royalties on the sale of the book will go to the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition. I am editing this book, and will post about it and its creation at length. Suffice for now to say that, after five years' work on the project, I and Mike Robinson, CEO of the Royal Scottish Geographical Society, are delighted to see publishing light at the end of the tunnel. The book's contributors include A.L. Kennedy, Toby Litt, Joanne Harris, Alasdair Gray, Liz Jensen, Janice Galloway, Adam Thorpe and Lawrence Norfolk.

As well as seeing Out of Chaos into the shops, I will be launching a book of my own. The Lost Art of Losing is a collection of aphorisms written in a fit of enthusiasm (for the form, and doubtless my own opinions) in 2010. Vagabond Voices, another brave independent publisher, plans to bring the book out in May. More anon; but to tide any blog visitors over, versions of what will appear in print can be sampled here.

On the public appearances front, I look forward very much to discussing literature and climate change at TippingPoint in Newcastle on 22 February. I will also be teaching a course on 'ecological writing' at the Peak Districts's Quaker Community in Bamford between 7th and the 12th May. If a combination of nature walks, close reading sessions and writing classes appeal to you, why not book a place and join us? You don't have to be a Quaker, though the chance to experience the community adds to the experience.

The above is a somewhat rushed summary of my professional hopes and projects for 2012. I hope the year proves a fruitful and peaceful one for all of us.


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