So, without further ado, let’s cheer on the girls!
Blurred lines – after the bad news here’s the good
The stats on the coverage of work by female writers in the mainstream media can make for depressing reading. Whilst more women than men write (and read) fiction there is still a tendency within the industry to overlook their work.
But, thankfully, it’s not all bad news. There are plenty of blokes out there – like Nik here – who are cheering the girls on. Founder of new publisher Blinding Books, Richard Penny, is another. Blinding Books has just released an anthology of prose and poetry by women writers: My Baby Shot Me Down.
Ten years ago, when I was editor of writing and reading ‘girlie’ project – hagsharlotsheroines.com – I met Tony Cook and encountered ABCtales. Back then, I wasn’t a fiction writer; I was a voracious reader, a copywriter and sometime journalist. ABCtales was three years old, launched in September 2000 by John Bird (The Big Issue), along with Gordon Roddick (The Body Shop) and Tony (Chairman of Red Pepper and co-owner of the award winning independent TV production company Praxis Films). The idea then, as now, was to offer a forum where writers could share their work, critique their peers and grow their talent. It was, and is, brilliant, so when I began to tentatively pen my own stories in 2007 it was natural for me to post my work on the site. After all, I’d been a member, enjoying others’ work, for years.
It was at an ABCtales event in London that I met Richard. I’d admired his work on the site, as he had mine, and we stayed in touch. In email dialogue last year he mentioned his ambition to publish an all-female anthology. Intrigued, I asked why. He’d been bowled over by the exceptional work posted by authors on ABCtales, he said, and quickly realised that the best work on offer came predominantly from women. I was delighted when he asked if he could include a couple of my stories in the anthology that went on to become My Baby Shot Me Down.
Having said all this, it’s important to say that the anthology isn’t meant to be read exclusively by women. There’s enough action, suspense and humour to appeal to all. After all, the work was selected by a bloke. You can ask Nik what he thinks too; he has a review copy!
Thanks for having me over again, Nik, and good luck with your latest, the super lovely, utterly gorgelicious Beautiful Words. I love it, and know others will too.
Laura is a writer, reader, wife and mother to ginger boys. After hedonistic years in Manchester and London, she moved to Brighton. As well as writing fiction, she works as an editor for literary consultancy, Cornerstones.
Laura has published short stories in magazines, digital media and anthologies, and three novels, with another scheduled for publication this year. Public Battles, Private Wars, (Accent Press)is the story of a young miner’s wife in 1984; of friends and rivals; loving and fighting, and being the best you can be. Two of Laura’s short stories appear in My Baby Shot Me Down, an anthology of work by women writers published by Blinding Books on 29 April 2014. For more information, visit: laura-wilkinson.co.uk or follow her on Twitter @ScorpioScribble.
And this is her eye
About My Baby Shot Me Down
Ten new women writers showcase an exceptional collection of poetry and prose in My Baby Shot Me Down. An incendiary blend of cerebral and visceral, this anthology presents a broadened view of the personal, political and social spectra. The unsettling beauty of the language is rendered sharp and transgressive, shot through with high-calibre comedy. Expect full-bodied and full-blooded. Grey areas of the gender-jungle and identity are explored alongside matters of love, family, relationships and sex, making for stark writing that is vital, refreshing and life-affirming.
Available at all good bookshops – online and off. Here’s one link: http://www.amazon.co.uk/My-Baby-Shot-Me-Down/dp/0956781136/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1399835940&sr=1-1&keywords=my+baby+shot+me+down