Showing posts with label hannah kate. Show all posts
Showing posts with label hannah kate. Show all posts

Sunday, 1 December 2019

OUT NOW: Nothing (Hic Dragones, 2019)


Bleak landscapes, empty hearts, insignificant lives, dystopian futures, extinction, limbo, uncertainty, death. A beautiful void or a horrific state of being. The simple complexity of nothingness.

A new anthology of short stories, edited by Hannah Kate, that take place when everything has gone, in the empty spaces that are left, and with the people that cling to a last deceptive semblance of something—anything—in the face of the void. Embark on a journey to nowhere, with no one, meaning nothing.

Contents:

'Four Blank Pages' by Daisy Black
'Nobody' by K. Bannerman
'Nothing but Darkness' by Patrick Lacey
'A Banquet of Stars' by Anthony Cowin
'The Empty People' by Amanda Steel
'Ashes' by C.V. Leedham
'State of You' by Jeanette Greaves
'Projection' by Ackley Lewis
'The Experiment' by Sally Davies
'Mrs Frankenstein's Void' by Valentine George
'The Forever Sea' by Melanie Stott
'The House Lights Dim' by Tim Major
'Trap Street' by Hannah Kate
'White Stone' by Rue Karney
'The March' by M. Raymond
'The Sum of our Memories' by Sara L. Uckelman
'Traps' by David Turnbull
'The Hole is Waiting' by Tony Rabig
'Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Square' by Nancy Schumann
'Blisters' by Sarah Peploe

For more information, or to get a copy of the book, please visit the Hic Dragones website.

Friday, 29 November 2019

A Guest Post About Nothing: Kim Bannerman

On 29th November, we’re having a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of short stories I edited for Hic Dragones (writing as Hannah Kate). In the run-up to our not-quite-a-launch party, I’ve invited some of the authors whose work is included in the book to tell me a bit about their story.

Today’s guest is Kim Bannerman, author of ‘Nobody’, one of the stories in Nothing.

Nothing & Something (But Not Everything)

There is no greater tragedy than losing oneself in love.

Imagine, if you will, two sparks of light coming together in the universe. Maybe they’ll combine and grow together into a flame, but what if they don’t? What if one consumes the other, until all we see is the light of the stronger fire? Does the weaker spark simply vanish, eclipsed by their combination? Does it wither into nothing?

When two people meet, they might balance each other and make each other greater than before, but there’s a risk, too, that one life might eclipse the other. No one wants to wither into nothing.

And yet, the concept of nothing has a kind of power of its own.

‘Nothing’ gives ‘something’ form. Without nothing, there would be no way to measure the volume, the shape, the size, the texture of the items that stand in its opposition. There has never been a time when there was not nothing, because there must be things to recognize something for nothing to be, and we are here, providing the universe with our minds to contemplate both the notion of nothing and the notion of time. Our nature of being means that the concept of nothing exists.

There doesn’t necessarily have to be everything, though. You can hold a piece of something in your hand without holding the whole. So while nothing is critical to the existence of something, something doesn't necessarily need everything. We are more capable of visualizing the concept of all than the concept of none, and yet some does not require all in the same manner that all requires none to define its form and function.

Perhaps nothing can be visualized as the state of not-being. A difficult concept to comprehend, it’s true, as we’re all very comfortable in our state of being. But who were we before we were born? Do you possess memories of your interactions with the universe before you gained a corporeal form? If not, was this a state of non-being? Does a contemplation of our experiences before we had the senses to experience allow us insight into our brush with nothingness?

If nothing was here to experience something, then the idea of nothing would not exist. Ex nihilo nihil fit.

Perhaps love is like nothing, too. You can’t experience the feeling of losing love without once possessing love and giving love. The absence of love is only made possible by the existence of love.

And even when love changes us, the act of connection helps to define us, for better or worse.


Kim Bannerman lives on Vancouver Island, Canada, where she writes short stories, novels and screenplays. Her novels include the cosmic-horror-romance Love and Lovecraft (2018), the werewolf tale The Tattooed Wolf (2014), and the historical murder mystery Bucket of Blood (2011)). She’s also host of the weekly podcast, Northwest By Night.

The Belated Birthday Party for Nothing is on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. It’s a free event, with readers from the authors and launch party discount on the books. For more information, or to book a ticket, please click here.

Sunday, 17 November 2019

A Guest Post About Nothing: Nancy Schumann

On 29th November, we’re having a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of short stories I edited for Hic Dragones (writing as Hannah Kate). In the run-up to our not-quite-a-launch party, I’ve invited some of the authors whose work is included in the book to tell me a bit about their story.

Today’s guest is Nancy Schumann, author of ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Square’, one of the stories in Nothing.

How do get your ideas?


Every writer gets asked that question. It’s common that people want to know where the ideas for stories come from. The truth is that ideas are everywhere. Ideas are the easy part. Turning the idea into a story is what makes writers writers.

Publishers make things interesting by putting out calls for stories on occasion. So what you get is a short brief for a themed collection that doesn’t exist yet. It’s a tantalising challenge asking you to come with a story that fits under that theme (while also fitting a more or less specified format).

I love those, not the format specs, the themes. Hic Dragones have come up with a few great ones. None more so than this recent collection: Nothing.

What a marvellous title for a book. What a great title for a story. A word literally describing the absence of anything opens endless possibilities for what that story could contain. I read that title for the collection and immediately started thinking ‘nothing’ for days.

In my head ‘Nothing’ was the title of my story, but there wasn’t a story yet. There was just this beautiful word dancing around in my head waiting, trying to make contact. Because ideas are easy. Writing is not. So ‘Nothing’ existed as an idea long before it was a story.

Now, my story that is now in the anthology Nothing has a different title. It’s called ‘Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Square’. One, and possible the only real reason, for that is that, well, Hic Dragones had chosen Nothing to be name of the book. Can’t very well steal that title for a story within that book then. And I really did want to have a story in this anthology both because of its beautiful title and because of the lovely people that are Hic Dragones.

So how did that nebulous idea turn into a story? Well, I went on a little holiday. I stayed in a very nice hotel. The bathroom of our room had an interesting design. It was a bit like stepping into a very stylish disco. The walls and floor had black tiles that sparkled is if there was a disco ball spinning from the ceiling. There was no disco ball, just to be clear on that point. The effect looked quite stunning to be fair. It was also kind of irritating. Wherever I looked in that bathroom things were sparkly. Also, the wall and floor tiles looked the same. I had to really concentrate on stepping out of the bath carefully to not fall over, to not feel dizzy.

You may have guessed from that pretty long paragraph about a hotel bathroom that those tiles did take their toll on me. All that pretty sparkliness kept me entertained for days. And on one of those days there was one particular sparkle on one particular tile. I expect it was nothing but the position of the light in relation to the position of myself, really, but that little sparkle kept sparkling right at me. As if it was trying to communicate. Of course it wasn’t. Not really. It couldn’t. It’s just a bit of silver in a black tile. It’s nothing.

Nothing. There it was. Right there, ‘Nothing’ turned into a story. Well, I didn’t know where the story would take me yet but I did know where it started. So I got out my trusty laptop and started to write about that little, sparkly spot in the bathroom. Much to the amusement and irritation of the friends I was with, who couldn’t help but observe that I’d started writing. Well, yes, I am a writer. It’s kind of what I do. I was furiously typing on, not letting the conversation interrupt me. I didn’t react when the furious typing was commented on. The conversation continued, as the next observation followed, that clearly an idea must have struck me just prior to my starting to write. At this point, I started to threaten dire consequences to my mood for the rest of the day should I not be left alone to finish my writing.

Well, my threat was never realised. We are still friends and the story was finished, albeit not all in one sitting in that hotel room. Once the idea found words, the story flowed onto the page without so much as making conscious contact with my mind. I just told it until it was finished. And then, then, I spent a really long time trying to come up with a name for it that was not ‘Nothing’. That, in the end, was probably the hardest part, all things considered. It was the last thing I finished before the submission deadline. It was the thing I definitely expected I’d be asked to change about the story if it was accepted. But there you are, the story did get accepted and the title wasn’t changed. It’s one of my favourite stories that I’ve written, because of its odd creation story and because I really like what became of it. I’m happy and proud to be a part of the finished anthology that now is Nothing. Happy belated book birthday!


In addition to academic texts on female vampires, Nancy Schumann enjoys writing fiction in both German and English. A number of poems have been published in a variety of books and magazines, such as the Frankfurter Bibliothek des zeitgenössischen Gedichts, annual German poetry collection from 2000 to present, and Gothic II and III. Short stories include ‘The Hostel’, published by Hic Dragones in the Impossible Spaces anthology, and Fanged Flowers (available for Kindle). Nancy also does translations between German and English.

The Belated Birthday Party for Nothing is on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. It’s a free event, with readers from the authors and launch party discount on the books. For more information, or to book a ticket, please click here.

A Guest Post About Nothing: David Turnbull

On 29th November, we’re having a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of short stories I edited for Hic Dragones (writing as Hannah Kate). In the run-up to our not-quite-a-launch party, I’ve invited some of the authors whose work is included in the book to tell me a bit about their story.

Today’s guest is David Turnbull, author of ‘Traps’, one of the stories in Nothing.

Happy belated birthday to the editors and all the authors featured in Nothing.

My story in the anthology is called ‘Traps’. It’s about the traps the main characters set and the traps they get caught in. It takes place in the bleak, ash covered landscape of a post-apocalyptic world.

I have a penchant for post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, both reading it and writing it. I could cite dozens of influences, ranging from iconic works by George Orwell and Aldous Huxley and more recent classics by Margaret Atwood and Cormac McCarthy.

But I wanted to take this opportunity to sing praises of a reasonably well-known author who is not widely recognised as being one of the pioneers this type of fiction. Namely, Jack London.

As a fiction writer, London is best known for nature-driven adventure novels such as The Call of the Wild and White Fang. He is equally known as a political essayist and campaigning social commentator, particularly with The People of the Abyss, a 1902 exposé of poverty in London’s East End.

He is lesser known, however, for his forays into what would now be considered the science fiction genre. The two Jack London novels I want to mention here are very much precursors of how later writers would develop the post-apocalyptic and dystopian themes he explored.

The Scarlet Plague is a short novel first published in the London Magazine in 1912. It’s set in San Francisco in the year 2073 and takes place in the aftermath of a global pandemic which has depopulated the world. The main character is a former English Professor who survived the scarlet plague and is travelling through an overgrown and transformed landscape with his 2 grandsons. He attempts to recount what life was like in America before the coming of the plague, but this all seems extremely far-fetched to the boys who have grown up in a primitive society with limited language skills and no access to technology.

Released 4 years earlier, The Iron Heel, is also set in San Francisco.

A much longer novel than The Scarlet Plague, its structure is quite unique in that the main story takes the form of a manuscript introduced by a scholar living in a socialist Utopia in the year 2600. The manuscript itself has a female protagonist, Avis Everard. It depicts the struggles of herself and her husband in the underground resistance during the terrifying rise to power of a totalitarian right-wing dictatorship in the two decades from 1912 to 1932. Like his contemporary H.G. Wells had managed in novels such as The Shape of Things to Come, London in The Iron Heel eerily predicts events that would actually come to pass. The rise of Fascism, Japan’s conquest of South East Asia, and Indian independence to name but three.

Given both these novels were written over a century ago it’s both surprising and frightening that their central themes are so close to our gloomy present-day reality. Both novels have stood the test of time and remain enjoyable and thought-provoking reads.

So, if you are looking to go back to the beginning and trace the lineage of both post-apocalyptic and dystopian fiction, I would recommend giving Jack London’s classic science fiction outings a read. Who knows? They may inspire you to either predict your own bleak version of the future or even destroy civilisation in some unique and original manner.


David Turnbull hails originally from Scotland, but now resides in London. His short fiction has appeared in dozens of anthologies, magazines and online sites, as well as being performed at live events such as Liars League, Solstice Shorts and Alt Fiction.

The Belated Birthday Party for Nothing is on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. It’s a free event, with readers from the authors and launch party discount on the books. For more information, or to book a ticket, please click here.

Wednesday, 13 November 2019

A Guest Post About Nothing: Tony Rabig

On 29th November, we’re having a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of short stories I edited for Hic Dragones (writing as Hannah Kate). In the run-up to our not-quite-a-launch party, I’ve invited some of the authors whose work is included in the book to tell me a bit about their story.

Today’s guest is Tony Rabig, author of ‘The Hole is Waiting’, one of the stories in Nothing.

It’s been a while since ‘The Hole is Waiting’ inched its way out of the keyboard. Did I write it with the Nothing anthology in mind? I don’t think so; as I recall, it was already in progress, either partially written or in the notion-bouncing-around-the-brain stage, when I ran across a mention, I think in James Everington’s blog (and if you haven’t read his stuff, you’re missing one of the good ones), that Nothing was in the works and open for submissions. Dark, they wanted. Bleak, they wanted. Sounded like my kind of book. So I submitted the story and another, also dark and bleak and simmering on the back burner around the same time as ‘Hole’, called ‘The Death Machine’, waited a while, got the emails back, was not at all surprised to see that ‘The Death Machine’ was rejected, and was gobsmacked to see that ‘The Hole is Waiting’ was accepted. I read the email twice before it really registered that, hey, wait a minute, this is an acceptance, not a rejection.

And for me, this was where things got a little interesting.

Why was I a) not surprised by the rejection and b) gobsmacked by the acceptance? Because I’d expected two rejections – that’s just the way things worked. On the infrequent occasions when I’d written something that I thought good enough to submit to a magazine or book publisher, it would invariably be rejected. Invariably. Failure wasn’t an option, it was a given.

Now, that wasn’t something that worried me much. I didn’t punch my wife or kick the cats or put away a fifth of bourbon every other hour. It was simply a fact of life and one that really wasn’t all that hard to live with; after all, I had a ‘real’ job that paid the bills. Writing was something done on the side, and when self-publishing for Kindle took off, I put some of the stories out there and some of them sold a few copies to, and were favorably reviewed by, people who were not friends or relatives (only strangers’ money counts in this game) and that was nice.

So there were some stories out there, as singles and in a collection, and a novel, and there were more stories and another novel in the works when I submitted those two stories to Nothing.

The acceptance came in, and I dried up. The other short stories I was working on suddenly seemed idiotic beyond belief, or too similar to stories already done, or both. The novel hit the one-third-mark wall and fell apart. Everything begun since that point (a few stories, a different novel) fizzled almost before I’d started.

So what was going on? Beats me. But only in the last month or two has anything I wrote begun to seem worth trying to complete. What I said in the author’s note for ‘Hole’, ‘… does not get enough writing done, but he’s working on it’ is still the case. I’m hoping that the year-long dry spell that followed acceptance is finally over and that a couple of the aborted projects filed away on the computer will see completion in the not-too-distant future, or that newer projects will work out. Of course that’s assuming they don’t start looking too stupid to me about halfway through.

As to any ideas, influences, or inspirations behind ‘The Hole is Waiting’ – well, I’m not sure I have a lot to say about that. I’ve just hit 70, and there’s a constant awareness of time passing, chances missed, and roads not taken; some of that is there in that story and in a number of others I’ve written. Considerations like that are never very far away at my age; they go with the territory. But then, I’ve always loved a good downer, so ‘The Hole is Waiting’ is the kind of story I’d have expected myself to write.

And I’ll probably write more downers if and when I get back up to speed. That year-long dry spell might actually provide some material. Why dry up like that? Some comic-book psychological quirk telling me that I can take myself out of the picture now? Is that just an individual thing, or does it work on a species level too? (We landed on the moon 50 years ago, so why aren’t there already manned colonies on Mars? And why are we seeing articles these days suggesting it would be better if the human race went extinct?) Maybe there’s a story there. Something dark. Something bleak. A good downer. Something I might actually finish in time to submit to Nothing 2. It could happen…

I’ll have to start playing around with that, or with some of the other stalled projects tucked away on the computer, and get myself back on track. After all, time is short and getting shorter, and the hole is always waiting.


Tony Rabig is a transplanted Chicagoan now living in southeast Kansas; he is a former bookstore clerk, former librarian, and an almost-but-not-quite retired computer programmer. When not programming, he annoys his family and tries to catch up on his reading; as noted above, he doesn’t get enough writing done, but he’s working on it. Other titles available: The Other Iron River, and Other Stories, Doorways: A Novel, ‘The Death Machine’ (a short story).

The Belated Birthday Party for Nothing is on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. It’s a free event, with readers from the authors and launch party discount on the books. For more information, or to book a ticket, please click here.

A Guest Post About Nothing: Amanda Steel

On 29th November, we’re having a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of short stories I edited for Hic Dragones (writing as Hannah Kate). In the run-up to our not-quite-a-launch party, I’ve invited some of the authors whose work is included in the book to tell me a bit about their stories.

Today’s guest is Amanda Steel, author of ‘The Empty People’, one of the stories in Nothing.

It might have been the first time I wrote a story for a specific theme. Before writing ‘The Empty People’, I used to adapt stories I had already written to fit whatever the theme was for a submission call. That might be why I never had much success.

I remember thinking of ideas to suit the ‘nothing’ theme.

At the time, I was working in social media and liked a guy I worked with, despite getting mixed signals from him. I thought it would be great if I could just forget about the guy I worked with, because like most things (or people) you try to forget about, you end up thinking about them even more.

That’s how the idea for my story began. It was around the time I’d just self-published a novella called After the Zombies. I combined the two ideas of a zombie apocalypse and people having their individual memories removed. Of course, it all goes wrong and although they don’t become zombies, they are very much like zombies in the way they can no longer think for themselves.

Since writing this story, I’ve written several novels and short stories. I’ve self-published some, had a publisher take on one of them (my YA book First Charge), and I’ve had various poems and stories in anthologies and online publications. I even had a short horror story recorded on a podcast. That was a surreal experience, to hear my story read by professional voice artists. I also met someone who I didn’t want to forget about, and we’ve been together for almost three years now.

When I wrote ‘The Empty People’, it helped to meet Hannah Kate (on her radio show, Hannah’s Bookshelf) and get a sense for what she might want in the anthology. Writing for a specific publication is something I’ve continued to do and seems to be how I get most of my acceptances. ‘The Empty People’ was also my first taste of the editing process, which prepared me for having a full-length novel accepted by a publisher and working on that with an editor.

It’s strange to look back at my short story now. Not only has my writing changed and expanded since then, but when I was writing the story I couldn’t imagine ever standing up and reading it (or anything else) in public. I wouldn’t even have considered reading an extract in public. Now I’ve gone on to perform at several regular open mic events, try out new nights, and I’ve even done a reading in my hometown of Bradford. So it doesn’t seem too daunting.

If you’re wondering how ‘The Empty People’ ends… you’ll have to read the book. I can tell you that my characters don’t end up winning the lottery and riding to Disneyland on a unicorn.


Amanda Steel is a multi-genre author based in Manchester, UK. Her books include: First Charge, After the Zombies, Not Human, and Love, Dates and Other Nightmares. Amanda is the author of Lost and Found (under the pen name Aleesha Black). She co-hosts Reading in Bed, a monthly book review podcast. This is available on Bandcamp and Mixcloud. Her books are available on Amazon and various e-book platforms, including Apple, Kobo and Nook.

The Belated Birthday Party for Nothing is on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester. It’s a free event, with readers from the authors and launch party discount on the books. For more information, or to book a ticket, please click here.

Friday, 8 November 2019

Launch Party for Nothing Anthology (Hic Dragones)


Join Hic Dragones for a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of dark fiction edited by Hannah Kate, on Friday 29th November, 7pm, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation in Manchester.

Bleak landscapes, empty hearts, insignificant lives, dystopian futures, extinction, limbo, uncertainty, death. A beautiful void or a horrific state of being. The simple complexity of nothingness.

A new anthology of short stories that take place when everything has gone, in the empty spaces that are left, and with the people that cling to a last deceptive semblance of something—anything—in the face of the void. Embark on a journey to nowhere, with no one, meaning nothing.

Come and join us for a belated birthday party for Nothing, an anthology of bleak and anxious fiction from Hic Dragones. There'll be readings from contributors, free drinks, discounts and some party surprises - there's really nothing left to do but party.

Readings from Hannah Kate, Valentine George, Amanda Steel, Melanie Stott, Jeanette Greaves, Sara L. Uckelman and Daisy Black, plus a special contribution from K Bannerman.

Friday 29th November, 7-9pm
International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY
Free event - booking required.

Wednesday, 23 October 2019

Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester


A new show for North Manchester FM!

I am very pleased to announce my brand new show on North Manchester FM - Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester. Every Wednesday at 10pm, I will be sharing a new and original piece of fiction, written by yours truly exclusively for North Manchester FM.

The nights are drawing in now, and there's a bit of a chill in the air. Perfect weather for old-school ghost stories on the wireless. Ten Tales very much belongs to the classic tradition of spooky stories for the season... but with a uniquely North Manchester flavour. From Crosslee to Crumpsall, Hollinwood to Harpurhey, these stories draw on settings and history from around the local area.

Essentially... imagine if M.R. James had visited Dam Head instead of the British Library...

Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester begins on Wednesday 23rd October at 10pm. The first story is entitled The Threat of Blossom. It's set on the Crosslee estate in Blackley, where the cherry trees have blossomed early...


Episode List

The Threat of Blossom (Wed 23rd Oct)
Turkey Red (Wed 30th Oct)
Help the Poor Struggler (Wed 6th Nov)
The Singular Disappearance of the Old Man from Jumbo (Wed 13th Nov)
Corporation Pop (Wed 20th Nov)
The Occultation of Saturn (Wed 27th Nov)
The Lost Map of Doctor John Dee (Wed 4th Dec)
Tinker's Gardens (Wed 11th Dec)
At Booth Cottage (Wed 18th Dec)
Christmas in Gotherswick (Wed 25th Dec)

You can listen to Ten Tales: Ghost Stories for North Manchester every Wednesday at 10pm on 106.6FM (if you're in the North Manchester area) or online (if you're further afield). Episodes will also be available on the station's 'Listen Again' service for a limited time after broadcast.

Draw the curtains, make some cocoa, try to ignore that rapping, tapping at your chamber door, and tune in the wireless for a brand new story every Wednesday night... only on North Manchester FM 106.6.

Sunday, 15 September 2019

3 Minute Scares is back for its fourth frightful year!


North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate wants your scary stories for Halloween! She’s asking people throughout Greater Manchester to submit their scariest 3-minute stories for her annual creative writing competition. Writers keen to be crowned Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith can submit a recording of their mini-tale via Hannah’s website, with the best entries being broadcast on the Halloween edition of Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday 26th October.

This year’s 3 Minute Scares competition will be judged by novelist Andy Remic and Emily Oldfield of HAUNT Manchester, with the writer of the best entry receiving a prize from Breakout Manchester, the real-life escape room game. Entries need to be 3 minutes long, meaning a word count of around 350-400 words. The judges will be looking for style and originality, as well as how scary the story is. The deadline for entries is Thursday 17th October, at midnight.

Last year’s competition was won by Keri Moriarty, who impressed the judges with a stylish but unsettling tale. North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate says: ‘Keri’s winning story was really well-written – she got so much atmosphere into such a short space of time. Each year, I’m impressed with the different ways writers handle the constraints of telling a story in just three minutes. There’s a lot of talent out there, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people across our region submit for this year’s competition.’

All writers need to enter the competition is a computer with a microphone… and a good story. Entries can be recorded via Hannah’s website. More information and rules of the competition, including information for people unable to submit a recording, can also be found on the website.

Friday, 30 August 2019

Clayton Hall Dark Fiction Writing Course


Fancy the opportunity to develop your creative writing in atmospheric, inspirational and unique setting of Clayton Hall (once home to Humphrey Chetham)? One of Manchester’s hidden heritage gems is offering a six-week dark fiction writing course… with me (the Hall’s writer-in-residence)!

Reasons you should consider this course? (1) Clayton Hall is an unusual and evocative location, easily accessible on the Metrolink. (2) In addition to the workshop sessions, we’ll also be having a reading and performance night… just in time for Halloween! (3) We have a guest workshop by the absolutely amazing Rosie Garland as part of the course!

Find the course on Facebook or Eventbrite… or keeping reading for more info…


Writer-in-residence Hannah Kate leads a six-part weekly writing course (with performance night) in the unique and evocative setting of Clayton Hall. Learn techniques for creating atmospheric and evocative writing, workshop your ideas, and share your work in a friendly and supportive environment. This course also includes a guest workshop from Manchester author Rosie Garland, and an optional extra workshop at another heritage site in Manchester.

Course outline:
Wed 18 Sep (7-9pm): Welcome to Clayton Hall and Writing Dark Fiction
Wed 25 Sep (7-9pm): Ghosts of Manchester, pt. 1
Wed 2 Oct (7-9pm): Guest workshop by Rosie Garland
Wed 9 Oct (7-9pm): Darkly Descriptive Writing
Wed 16 Oct (7-9pm): Ghosts of Manchester, pt. 2
Wed 23 Oct (7-9pm): Creating Character and Writing Dialogue

Reading and Performance Night:
Wed 30 Oct (7-9pm): A chance to read work produced on the course in the atmospheric setting of Clayton Hall

Optional Extra Workshop:
Sat 19 Oct (am): Additional ‘on-site’ workshop delivered at another Manchester heritage site (tbc)

Hannah Kate is writer-in-residence at Clayton Hall. Hannah is a North Manchester-based poet, short story writer and editor, and she presents a weekly literature show on North Manchester FM. Hannah has run numerous creative sessions for organizations including Commonword, Oldham Coliseum and Write Like a Grrrl, and has delivered workshops a number of heritage sites and museums, including the V&A and Manchester Museum.

Rosie Garland is a poet, writer and performance artist. She is the author of The Palace of Curiosities, Vixen and The Night Brother, as well as a number of poetry collections and short fiction. Rosie is currently writer-in-residence at the John Rylands Library.

Book your place on the course by clicking here or using the form below:

Thursday, 22 November 2018

OUT NOW: The Black Room Manuscripts Volume Four, ed. by J.R. Park and Tracy Fahey (The Sinister Horror Company, 2018)

A new collection of tales of terror, including 'Planning Permission', a story of municipal horror from yours truly...

Some words are born in shadows.

Some tales told only in whispers.

Under the paper thin veneer of our sanity is a world that exists. Hidden just beyond in plain sight, waiting to consume you should you dare stray from the street-lit paths that sedate our fears.

For centuries the Black Room has stored stories of these encounters, suppressing the knowledge of the rarely seen. Protecting the civilised world from its own dark realities.

The door to the Black Room has once again swung open to unleash twenty four masterful tales of the macabre from the twisted minds of a new breed of horror author.

The Black Room holds many secrets.

Dare you enter… one final time?

Contents:

Foreword by Michael David Wilson
Prologue by Tracy Fahey and J.R. Park
That Thing I Did by Tracy Fahey
Eating the Dream by K.A. Laity
A Clear Day in a Season of Storms by Simon Avery
The Hanging Boy by Gary McMahon
Mam's Girl by J.L. George
Tears of Honey by John McNee
Deciper by Daniel Marc Chant
Tap, Tap... by Marie O'Regan
Black Silk by Benedict J. Jones
Dragged Down by Ramsey Campbell
Palace of the Damned by C.L. Raven
Brooks Pond by Mark West
Planning Permission by Hannah Kate
Shrivelled Tongues of Dead Horses by Erik Hofstatter
Death Wish by Margrét Helgadóttir
Size Isn't Everything by James Everington
Pain Has a Voice by Stephen Bacon
Swimming Out to Sea by Penny Jones
Reanimation Channel by Mark Cassell
Craft Ail by Duncan P. Bradshaw
Dr Zwigli's Last Paper by Elizabeth Davis
Laurel by Terry Grimwood
Tide Will Tell by V.H. Leslie
The Last Horror Story by Tracy Fahey and J.R. Park
Epilogue by Tracy Fahey and J.R. Park
Afterword by Jim Mcleod

All proceeds from the sale of this book will be donated to Refuge. For more information, or to buy a copy, please visit the Sinister Horror Company website.

Friday, 7 September 2018

Clayton Hall’s New Writer-in-Residence


Historic Clayton Hall in Manchester is welcoming its first writer-in-residence! North Manchester writer and poet Hannah Kate joins the team at Clayton Hall Living History Museum from September 2018 as writer-in-residence.

Hannah is the author of numerous short stories and poems, many of which are inspired by her love of Manchester’s history. Often dark and strange, her fiction includes ‘Nimby’ and ‘Knotweed’ (both set in North Manchester parks) and ‘Lever’s Row’ (a sort of love song to Piccadilly Gardens). Her most recent published work is ‘Dust to Dust’, a horror story inspired by Hollinwood’s Hannah Beswick, also known as the Manchester Mummy. Hannah is also the host of long-running radio shows ‘Hannah’s Bookshelf’ and ‘A Helping of History’ on North Manchester FM.

During her residency at the hall, Hannah will be running events and activities for both beginner and more experienced creative writers. She’ll also be writing and performing some original pieces inspired by Clayton Hall and its long and unique history. Watch this space for details of upcoming activities and opportunities to get involved!

Clayton Hall is a Grade II*-listed building and a rare example of a moated, medieval site. Standing on a scheduled ancient monument it is situated in Clayton Park, Manchester. The original hall was built for the Clayton family in the twelfth century. It later passed into the hands of the Byron family, of which the poet Lord Byron was a member. The Byrons lived at the hall until they sold it to two London merchants, George and Humphrey Chetham. Humphrey is famous for founding Chethams School and Library in the centre of Manchester.

Patchwork Poem


Help create a Patchwork Poem at Clayton Hall this Saturday! Meet the hall’s new writer-in-residence Hannah Kate at the Heritage Open Day on Saturday 8th September, 11-4pm. Hannah will be collecting words, phrases and lines of poetry from visitors to the hall – any little scraps and patches people share during their visit. Hannah will be taking these pieces and stitching them together to create a Clayton Hall ‘Patchwork Poem’. If you’re visiting the hall on Saturday, please do say hello to Hannah and leave us a few of your words!

3 Minute Scares is back for its third terrifying year!


North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate wants scary stories for Halloween! She’s asking people throughout Greater Manchester to submit their scariest 3-minute stories for her annual creative writing competition. Writers keen to be crowned Greater Manchester’s Spookiest Wordsmith can submit a recording of their mini-tale via Hannah’s website, with the best entries being played on air on the Halloween edition of Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday 27th October.

The Halloween flash fiction competition will be judged by Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlaínn and Dr Xavier Aldana Reyes of MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies, with the writer of the best entry receiving a prize from Breakout Manchester, the real-life escape room game. Entries need to be 3 minutes long, meaning a word count of 350-400 words. The judges will be looking for style and originality, as well as how scary the story is. The deadline for entries is Monday 15th October, at midnight.

Last year’s competition was won by Fiona Cullen, with a rather squeamish little tale about a college biology lesson. North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate says: ‘I loved Fiona’s story – it was so dark! Over the past couple of years, I’ve been really impressed with the way people can tell so much in just three minutes. There’s a lot of talent out there, and I’m looking forward to seeing what people across our region submit for this year’s competition.’

All writers need to enter the competition is a computer with a microphone… and a good story. Entries can be recorded via Hannah’s website. More information and rules of the competition can also be found on the website.

Hannah’s Bookshelf is North Manchester FM’s weekly literature show, and it goes out live every Saturday 2-4pm. The show has been running since January 2015 and has featured guests including Rosie Garland, Ramsey Campbell, Tony Walsh and Gwyneth Jones. The show broadcasts on 106.6FM for North Manchester residents and through the ‘listen online’ feature for the rest of the world.

OUT NOW: The Spooky Isles Book of Horror, edited by Andrew Garvey and David Saunderson (Dark Sheep Books, 2018)

A new collection of stories and articles about the UK and Ireland's horror and folklore, including a short story and essay about Hannah Beswick, the Manchester Mummy, by yours truly...


From The Spooky Isles, the UK and Ireland's favourite horror and paranormal website, this first volume of the Spooky Isles Book of Horror features 20 stories and essays from 18 different authors. Well-established dark literary voices and new writers explore the UK and Ireland's darkest horror and folklore, from long-dead serial killers to malignant fairies, evil cults, spontaneous human combustion, vengeful ghosts and black dogs...

... welcome to the Spooky Isles!

Contents:

Sparks by Michael Connon
The Black Dog by Tracy Fahey
Letters from a Toxic Heart by Ed Burkley
Lambs to the Slaughter by Chris Rush Havergill's Fetch by Catherine Shingler
Hunger by Ann O'Regan
Jackfest by Phil Davies
Dust to Dust by Hannah Kate
Am Fear Liath, the Grey Man of Ben Macdui by Kevin Williams
The Handfast Wife by Áine King
Ring Around the Rosie by Barry McCann
Churchgoing by Kevin Patrick McCann
The Ear by Jaki McCarrick
Creatures of Rath and Bone by Rachel Steiner
The Final Answer by Will Graham
Camp 46 by Petula Mitchell
Stranger than Before by Barry McCann
The Pied Piper of Essex by Ra Goli
Spoor by DC Merryweather
Come Away by Tracy Fahey

For more information, or to buy a copy of the book, please visit the Spooky Isles website.

Monday, 12 February 2018

Performers Wanted for Live Poetry Special


On Saturday 17th March, Hannah's Bookshelf on North Manchester FM will be hosting a live poetry special. I'd like to invite poets and spoken word performers to come along and perform their work on the show.

The Hannah's Bookshelf Live Poetry Special will be going out live from the studio in Harpurhey, North Manchester at 2-4pm. It will be broadcast on 106.6FM (in the North Manchester area) and online (for the rest of the world). Performance slots are 6 minutes long.

Whether you're a veteran performer or new to reading your work, I'd love to hear from you. Drop me a line via email, Twitter or Facebook if you'd like to perform. Slots will be allocated on a first-come-first-served basis.

Please share this with anyone you think might be interested!

Sunday, 10 December 2017

OUT NOW: The Darkest Midnight in December, edited by Storm Constantine (Immanion Press, 2017)

A new collection of seasonal ghost stories, including 'Log', a tale of festive foliage by yours truly...


The ghost story is a Christmas tradition; shadows looming over the brightly-lit tree in a room where logs crackle in the hearth, and the smell of spice and brandy fill the air. Outside the weather is chill; perhaps snow is falling. The house is far from town – lights twinkle in the distance. And over the festive season, as people gather to celebrate and welcome in the New Year, eerie breath might be heard in a dark corridor, hurrying footsteps overhead, a sigh in the depths of a stairwell. When all are supposed to be happy and secure, the intrusion of fear, grief or sadness are alien, and yet bizarrely integral to a time of celebration whose roots lie in ancient, pagan festivals. What stirs in the darkness?

Contents:

An Eye for an Eye by Rosie Garland
On the Loop Line by Misha Herwin
Holly and Ivy by Fiona Lane
The House with the Gable by Nerine Dorman
When He Comes Home Through the Snow by Storm Constantine
Bethany's Visit by Jessica Gilling
The Supernatural Stocking by Rhys Hughes
Log by Hannah Kate
Driving Home for Christmas by Fiona McGavin
Gift from the Sea by Adele Marie Park
Kindred Spirit by J.E. Bryant
A Midwinter Nightmare by Suzanne Gyseman
Spirit of the Season by Rick Hudson
The Shadow by Wendy Darling
Jay's Ghost by Louise Coquio

For more information, or to buy a copy of the book, please visit the Immanion Press website.

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

3 Minute Scares is back for its second year!


North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate wants you to scare her this Halloween! She’s asking people throughout Greater Manchester to submit their scariest 3-minute stories for her annual creative writing competition. Writers keen to be crowned Greater Manchester’s spookiest wordsmith can submit a recording of their mini-tale via Hannah’s website, with the best entries being played on air on the Halloween edition of Hannah’s Bookshelf on Saturday 28 October. Winners will also have the chance to read their story at the Boggart Hole Clough Halloween Lantern Parade later that evening.

The Halloween flash fiction competition will be judged by horror author Simon Bestwick and Dr Sorcha Ní Fhlaínn of MMU’s Centre for Gothic Studies, with the writer of the best entry receiving a prize from Breakout, Manchester’s real life escape room game. Entries need to be 3 minutes long, meaning a word count of 350-400 words. The judges will be looking for style and originality, as well as how scary the story is.

Last year’s competition was won by Ian Peek, with a terrifying little tale about Jack o’Lanterns. North Manchester FM presenter Hannah Kate says: ‘Ian set the bar pretty high with his winning entry last year, but I’m looking forward to seeing what this year’s competition brings. The standard of entries from all over the region last year shows that there’s a lot of talent for terrifying out there.’

All writers need to enter the competition is a computer with a microphone… and a good story. Entries can be recorded via Hannah’s website. More information and rules of the competition can also be found on the website.

Hannah’s Bookshelf is North Manchester FM’s weekly literature show, and it goes out live every Saturday 2-4pm. The show has been running since January 2015 and has featured guests including Rosie Garland, Ramsey Campbell, Tony Walsh and Gwyneth Jones. The show broadcasts on 106.6FM for North Manchester residents and through the ‘listen online’ feature for the rest of the world.

Monday, 20 March 2017

OUT NOW: Into the Woods (Hic Dragones, 2017)

http://www.hic-dragones.co.uk/product/into-the-woods/

A new collection of eighteen sinister sylvan tales, edited by Hannah Kate. Available now in paperback and eBook.

“They were only trees, after all. Only trees.”

A magical place steeped in mysticism. A foreboding place of unspeakable terror. The forest is a place of secrets, a place of knowledge, a place of death, and a place of life. What resides within its shadows? Demons, fair folk, that man the adults warned you about… and the trees. The trees are everywhere. Is it safer to stay at home? Or are you ready to take a journey… into the woods.

Contents:

'In the Dirt, Under the Trees' by Megan Taylor
'The Collectors' by Jaki McCarrick
'Forgotten Falls' by Cameron Trost
'The Crying Tree' by Patrick Lacey
'The Trees on Bundam Hill' by Rachel Halsall
'What's Mine is Yours' by Magda Knight
'The Green Road' by Tracy Fahey
'Dear Hearts' by Jessica George
'In the Trees' by Ramsey Campbell
'Long Stay' by S.A. Rennie
'In the Hidden Hollow' by Ross Smeltzer
'Where You End and I Begin' by Martin Cornwell
'A Winter's Tale' by Nancy Schumann
'Cord' by Jan M. Flynn
'Guests' by James Tawton
'Knotweed' by Hannah Kate
'St Erth' by Tim Major
'I Bury my Bones' by Jane Bradley

For more information, or to buy a copy, please visit the Hic Dragones website.

Saturday, 11 February 2017

Into the Woods Launch Party

Come and join us at the launch party for Into the Woods, a new collection of short stories from Hic Dragones.

Friday 17th March 2017, 7-9pm
International Anthony Burgess Foundation
3 Cambridge Street
Manchester M1
United Kingdom

FREE EVENT

Into the Woods - eighteen sinister sylvan tales

A magical place steeped in mysticism. A foreboding place of unspeakable terror. The forest is a place of secrets, a place of knowledge, a place of death, and a place of life. What resides within its shadows? Demons, fair folk, that man the adults warned you about… and the trees. The trees are everywhere. Is it safer to stay at home? Or are you ready to take a journey… into the woods.

“They were only trees, after all. Only trees.”


Join us at the launch party on Friday 17th March. Readings by: Ramsey Campbell, Tracy Fahey, Jane Bradley, Magda Knight, Martin Cornwell, Hannah Kate, Megan Taylor and Nancy Schumann

Free wine reception, giveaways and launch discount on the book.