Submissions to the Artyfacts arts enewsletter
Items for Artyfacts now need to be submitted via this web form by the 20th of the month.

Did you inspire the 48 hour book?
As the 48 hour book was being written, the public were invited to contribute their ideas via Twitter and the ideas board in Northants Central Library.  Here are a few extracts that inspired the writers – can you recognise your idea?

“One by one slowly all the children disappear” … “Taking a ride on the Big Wheel and suddenly at the end of the ride the wheel stops with your carriage at the top” … “A girl’s mum left her dad when she was six and he hasn’t come back ever since” … “magic running through Northampton, secret places like Potter/London! Racecourse got history!” …”wizzing busy fuzzball hair.”

See how your contribution may have shaped the 48 hour book here:

The 48 hour book – a great success!
The 48 hour book: Writing Futures launched at Northamptonshire Central Library on World Book Night (5th March 2011) with the 48 hour book project; an ambitious event that brought together a group of writers to create a new piece of work over a weekend. The 48 hour book offered an exciting opportunity to write in an entirely new way. Working in collaboration with other writers, against the clock, was a creative challenge designed to inspire spontaneity and experimentation. Together the writers began to write a digital book, exploring the possibilities of a new form and expanding the boundaries of the book as we know it.

48 hour book

From left to right – Mehran Waheed, Ben Elijah, Mike Davies, Polly Brown, Lisa Shepherd, Judith Allnatt (seated), Nicola Peacock, Amy McCormack, Sue Bentley (seated), Tom Harding, Donna Scott, Chris Ringrose.

See how the 48 hour book is shaping up here: See more photos and video clips of the 48 hour book via Facebook – search for ‘Literature Northants.’

Writing Futures workshops: The 48 hour book will be followed by a series of workshops at Northamptonshire’s libraries that will build skills around using technologies such as social media for creative ends. Further details on these workshops can be found here:

Many thanks to all the writers who took part and made the 48 hour book such fun and great achievement.  Thanks also to those who submitted their ideas via Twitter and the ideas board in Northants Central Library.

Writing Futures: Writers, libraries and the internet connect to spark electric writing
Writing Futures is an exciting new project from Northamptonshire Libraries that will cement the position of technology and creativity at the heart of local libraries. Writing Futures will use the library as a creative hub, connecting writers in situ and via the web in order to create fabulous literature. It will showcase the potential of the modern library to lead thinking on how creative people can make the best use of the web. This project has been developed by Northamptonshire Libraries in collaboration with acclaimed author of The Poet’s Wife Judith Allnatt and local writer Ben Elijah.

Get involved with Writing Futures!
Facebook: Search for ‘Arts Northants’ – see video clips of the 48 hour book here.

New work from local author A. M. Keen
‘Tales of Averon: The Dark Army’ is the first in a series of books by emerging author A. M. Keen. The most vicious fox hounds to ever engulf the countryside are pursuing Streak, a cunning and clever fox relentlessly across the Great Vast Open. They are the Dark Army, and their leader Baal is the most feared hound in their violent history. When the Dark Army’s hunt is suddenly called off, Streak escapes in to a strange, new forest known as Averon, where he is rescued by fellow foxes Doran and Tali. However, no fox ever escapes the wrath of Baal…

As the Dark Army rises and prepares for its final attack, the foxes of Averon must find a way to defeat them. Aided only by a small group of animals living within the great forest, will Streak and the animals of Averon be able to unite in time to outwit and overcome Baal’s deadly Dark Army, before they are once again released to hunt them all…?

To buy via Amazon, click here. For further details on the book and the author visit

Prestigious shortlisting for author Judith Allnatt
Judith Allnatt’s latest novel ‘The Poet’s Wife’ has been shortlisted for the prestigious East Midlands Book Award  The book is available in paperback and is being promoted in Waterstones 3 for 2s.  It has been favourably reviewed by The Times, Daily Mail and Times Literary Supplement.

The shortlist shows the quality of prose and poetry being created in the East Midlands … at a time when the publishing business seems to be more and more London-centric, it’s great to see the so-called regions (or are they the provinces?) leading the way in new writing.   To see the full shortlist go to :

Shoes, Ships and Cadavers: Tales from North Londonshire
Twelve tales of Science Fiction, Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and Horror. A publication from the Northampton Science Fiction Writers Group. Introduction by Alan Moore.

Northampton: A town that sits at the heart of England. A town that has played host to kings, saints, parliament, public hangings, and hot air balloons. A place steeped in history, laden with mystery, and bursting with wonders just waiting to be realised.

Let us be your guides…“The writers represented in Shoes, Ships & Cadavers: Tales from North Londonshire have crafted visions of the town that are distinct and separate, covering a generous and sweeping arc of this tiny and yet deceptively expansive area of spacetime… I read this in a single sitting, something that I can’t remember managing with an anthology for a considerable while. I don’t expect to read a book this year that is more personally satisfying or a greater cause for optimism. Passionately recommended.” – Alan Moore, from his introduction.

Established in 2002, the NSFWG exists to enable local writers of genre fiction to learn their trade and hone their skills. The group includes both established novelists and exciting new talents. This volume features twelve original stories set in Northampton and showcases their work.

Sarah Pinborough * Ian Watson * Ian Whates * Mark West and more

Available as a limited edition (of just 50) dust-jacketed hardback, and an A5 sized paperback. 12 stories, 256 pages, 80,000 words of intrigue, humour, magic, terror and conjecture. Paperback edition: £9.99 (ISBN: 978-1-907069-18-5). Hardback edition: £15.99 (ISBN: 978-1-907069-16-1). Available to pre-order at:

Orion signs Northants Writer McQueen
From The Bookseller: ‘Orion Publishing Group has signed a two-book deal with Alison McQueen for her novel The Secret Children and a second, untitled work. Genevieve Pegg, senior commissioning editor, bought UK and Commonwealth rights in a deal conducted by Fletcher & Co.’s Grainne Fox for an undisclosed sum.

This will be McQueen’s first novel under her name but she has previous works published by Macmillan under a pseudonym. The book, which is based on the author’s own family history, will be published in early 2012. It is set in 1920s Assam, and follows the story of two girls growing up “caught between two worlds and belonging to neither”.

Pegg described her as “a writer of incredible talent and insight”. She said: “The Secret Children is a story that will transport you to a different place and time and leave its magic with you long after you finish the book.” She added: “It’s an amazing window into the lives of the countless children born to Indian mothers and colonial British fathers. It’s a story of love, secrets and the stories we tell ourselves in order to survive.” ‘

Book deal for Northants author Adrian Magson
South Northants writer Adrian Magson has recently signed not one, but TWO 2-book deals, both for series thrillers. The first – ‘Red Station’ – (Severn House) is a contemporary spy thriller, featuring MI5 officer Harry Tate, who is banished to the remote Red Station, in Georgia, following the fatal shooting of two innocent people during a drugs intercept operation. What his bosses don’t tell him is that the Russians are coming… and he isn’t meant to come home again. ‘Red Station’ is out on August 26, and the sequel in February 2011.

The second, a 1960s French-based police series, begins with ‘Death on the Marais’ – (Allison & Busby), and features Inspector Lucas Rocco of the Paris police. Transferred to the rural scenery of Picardie, northern France, as part of a nationwide policing initiative, Rocco soon finds that it is no picnic, as he stumbles over a dead woman in Gestapo uniform, lethal explosives in leafy woods, and dangerous echoes of the Resistance and the war in Indochina. ‘Death on the Marais’ is out in September and the sequel in September 2011.

The Northampton Writers Group Anthology, is now available.  36 pieces of fiction and poetry crammed into 128 pages and all for just £5! (postage & packing free in the UK).  The stories and poems in this collection were originally read by their authors at meetings of the Writers Group. We liked them enough to risk seeking a wider audience for them. We hope that you will like them too!

Please e-mail Nick Hamlyn at if you would like a copy.

Success for Northants writer David Chase
David Chase’s three act play, As Fair As You Were, has just been accepted and published by New Theatre Publications, a company with offices in both the UK and the US. It was premiered in April 2009, at the Evening Star Grange in Dummerston Center, Vermont, and tells the story of Maggie and Walt’s late-life marriage over a weekend at her family’s lakeside cottage. The story is about family – not the idea of family as a permanent institution, but the reality of family – that we lose people and new people come in. The weekend fires up Maggie’s two daughters’ long standing feud which then forces the family to confront their former lives and move on. A poignant, often funny play, As Fair As You Were suggests that sometimes letting go and loving can be the same thing.

New Theatre Publications represents hundreds of plays which are offered to theater companies, both amateur and professional, around the world. They can be found at


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