Trout Fishing in America Shorty made it to the Moon.


At his best, Brautigan was “a connoisseur of the perfect moment”, with a talent for “coaxing something amusing from the mundane”. When the Apollo 17 astronauts discovered a small crater on the Moon, they named it Shorty after a character from Trout Fishing in America. One can conceive of no finer tribute to an authentic American lunatic.

Source: TLS.

Using Google+ for video/chat/online readings.

Signing up with Google+ for its chat and Skype-like facilities (“Hangouts”) is worth thinking about, especially as you can hold conversations with up to 9 people at a time. Hangout sessions can be recorded and posted to YouTube. There are definite possibilities there for online readings.

Google+ For Dummies.

Shirley’s ‘Jury Service’ story to be included in forthcoming anthology.


Congratulations to Shirley Bell, whose story, ‘Jury Service’, got an Honourable Mention in the recent Darker Times Fiction Competition. It will also be included in a forthcoming Darker Times Anthology.

More about Shirley on her blog.

Remix Culture and the Literary Mashup – Alluvium Journal.


2009 saw the release of the first mainstream literary mashup – Pride and Prejudice and Zombies by Seth Graeme-Smith. This particular book has produced a prequel (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dawn of the Dreadfuls, published in 2010) and a sequel (Pride and Prejudice and Zombies: Dreadfully Ever After, published in 2011), effectively turning Austen’s classic into a commercialised franchise opportunity. All of this raises the question as to whether this particular genre of fiction can be classed as serious, or whether it is just another excuse to create a profit. Indeed, some sources have stated that ‘Quirk Books is planning to capitalise on the popularity of the genre’ (Flood par. 6). In this article, I am taking the term “literary mashup” to refer to a piece of fiction which has combined with a completely different literary genre to create a new narrative – essentially a hybrid text.

Jacob Murphy in Alluvium.

Also check out Kirby Ferguson’s video series, Everything Is A Remix.

Self-publishing and hybrid authors.


Joanna Penn, author and writer of the The Creative Penn writing and publishing advice website, spoke to a meeting of Women In Publishing recently about her experiences of self-publishing. Penn first self-published in 2008, a time when the Kindle was only available in the US and the infrastructure that we now take for granted wasn’t yet in place. Although her first book was a non-fiction title, she has since written three novels which have sold 60,000 copies, mostly in America.

Source: Forbes.

Photos of The Drift and Symposium.

Ah Books!

Arty Farty Tree Sky

Obligatory Swan

Bike in Window


Church Wrapped

Cubist Child


Lovely Colour

More Bloody Swan Stuff

Shop Window 1

Shop Window 2

Stuffed Foxes Stuffing

Watch This Space


Many thanks for Sam Hawksmoor for coming to talk to the group.

Sam Hawksmoor

They Buy BooksThey buy books. Laura, Sam, Ian and Matt.

Class of 2013

(Matt Ellis, Laura Clipson, Phil Redpath [tutor], Tina Daley, Mido Elwaheidi, Stewart Norvill, Shirley Bell, Cassie Cash, Ian Turner, Rosie Temple). Mr Steve Blissett absented himself but we shall find another picture of him.



W S Merwin named first recipient of Zbigniew Herbert Prize.


W.S. Merwin has been named the first recipient of the International Herbert Award, which recognizes outstanding artistic and intellectual literary achievements on the world stage that relates to the values espoused in the work of  Zbigniew Herbert.  The first award will be presented during a ceremony on June 3 2013, at the Teatr Polski (Polish Theatre) in Warsaw, Poland.

Source: The Merwin Conservancy.