The Syrian refugee crisis is a woefully underrepresented event, both in the media and in fiction. For ‘Piano Wire’, what research and inspiration did you undertake to create this very moving tale?
The inspiration for Piano Wire came from a moment which profoundly affected me emotionally. I was running an experiment in my lab whilst watching the BBC News reports of the battle of Aleppo in summer 2016. The reports from Syrian civilians who were caught in the middle of one of the bloodiest battles of recent history (which claimed over 30,000 lives) were devastating. The Professor I was working with came into the lab as I was watching a video call by a young girl trapped in Aleppo. It took me a few moments to compose myself before I could talk to him.
From then on, I wanted the voices of the Syrian people to be heard in the west, but I was in no position to tell their story. Six months later, I met two Syrian students at the University of Surrey, who were both from Aleppo and who had come to the UK to study. It was only then, after listening to their own stories and memories of home, that I started to write.
How long have you been writing, and is ‘Piano Wire’ part of your typical genre set?
I’ve been writing for seven years now and I mainly write realistic fiction (although my first novel is an environmental fantasy adventure novel set on a coral reef and I’ve just finished a story about a talking dog). Most of my stories focus on real-world events and socio-economic injustices. The novel I’m currently working on is about dealing with loss, addiction, social immobility and class issues in the UK, and I often write stories which place my characters in vulnerable situations. These situations emphasise the human capacity to endure, find beauty in and even flourish in difficult circumstances.
The first novel I wrote was essentially a self-help novel, with an environmental aspect to it and I believe mental health and climate change will be two of the most defining challenges my generation will face. I have confidence in the power of literature to educate readers about such issues, on personal and universal scales, but also as a medium for highlighting the beauty which is real and present within any situation, no matter how hopeless it may seem.
The theme of musicians and the power of music is strong within this story. Can you tell us how that thematic choice came about?
Music is a very big part of my life and all my stories have music and the arts as themes within them. But there are many reasons I use music within my stories.
Firstly, for Piano Wire, I wanted people to see the Syrian war not just as a news story but as something which affected people who are just like them in appalling ways. What better way to plant the seeds of empathy and understanding in a story than a mutual appreciation of music between our characters and the reader?
Secondly, I find you can learn a lot about any character by discovering what sort of music or art they might like, if any. When I start fleshing out a character, before writing, I always ask questions like, What would this person have for breakfast? What would they listen to on a Sunday morning, or on a day when someone close to them dies, or on the day a world war was over? What painting would they want to steal from the National Gallery, if they could? Would they like the work of a particular artist, musician or poet if someone introduced them to it? These sorts of questions help me to know a character before I write a word of their story. I feel music reflects the soul in a way that actions sometimes do not. I also find that showing what sort of music/art a person likes or dislikes is a very good way of teaching the reader something about a character in a ‘show the reader don’t tell them’ way.
Thirdly, if we imagine a tune played by the right hand of a pianist, then whatever the left hand does changes the way we experience the tune of the right hand. Using this left-hand note as a backdrop, we can vary the feeling behind the right-hand tune from peace to tension, from joy to sadness. Now we can apply this notion to our writing. If we have a scene which ends with a character who is called to action, and we have our character hear the song ‘Here Comes the Sun’ by The Beatles on the radio, this will leave the reader with a totally different feeling to the same scene ending, than if they heard ‘Hello darkness my old friend’ from The Sound of Silence by Simon and Garfunkel. Thus, hearing and playing music is a useful way of providing motion, light and darkness in a story, and adding texture to it to make it feel multi-dimensional.
What does a typical writing session look like for you?
I go through periods of writing with the Graham Greene method, which is to try to write 500 words a day. But often, because I’m busy with planetary physics or music, I end up having mammoth writing sessions where I turn out ~8000 words in two to three days, whenever I have free time to do so. My favourite place to write is the Radcliffe Camera in Oxford, but I find myself writing pretty much anywhere there is silence. I’m one of these people who cannot write to music or anything else which may distract me, so I must be somewhere quiet. I also always write digitally, using my laptop, as I have all my ideas stored in a huge file called my ‘Mind Bible’ and prefer to be able to access my ideas using a search bar instead of trawling through hundreds of pieces of paper that I’ve spilled tea on. Oh, that’s another thing. Unless I’m in the Radcliffe Camera (no drinks allowed!), I almost always write with tea beside me.
What inspired your decision to also include the perspective of an English teen in your story?
This goes back to the idea of bridging the gap between the comfortable west (i.e. the boy in the UK) and the Syrian war. The Syrian People are not just numbers on a news story. They are real people with lives and loves just like the London teen watching the news. This is why I added the keyring to the story and is also why Rima ends up in London and the father of the house she arrives at is the surgeon of the English teen. These provide tangible connections between the characters. Liam’s almost banal experiences provide a Ying to Rima’s Yang within the story, and his chapter slows the pace before the ending, hopefully increasing the power of the last few paragraphs.
‘Piano Wire’ contains some beautifully penned but also quite stark and shocking images of real life war and conflict, which we don’t often see in YA fiction. Do you think it’s important that we should see more of this in future?
As I mentioned earlier, it is important to portray the realities of situations, so we do not underreact to atrocities, or underappreciate good situations. Most of the young adults I know are very engaged in world events and have a strong sense of justice, which is sometimes diluted as our adult lives progress. Our world is theirs to inherit and I feel it is important for them to keep an eye on what’s happening in the ever-changing world. The news should report facts. But it is the job of writers and artists to engage young people in a longer lasting, emotional way, through fiction or other artistic devices.
You have a Ted Talk on the importance of classical music. How do you bridge the gap between different artistic formats like music, public speaking and writing to get your message across?
My messages are always consistent, no matter the form of communication. This is because day-to-day, I actively try to embody the things I believe in. This is part of who I am and is the root of all my creative endeavours.
More practically, I try to use what I learn from different forms of expression, whether I’m doing public speaking, performing or writing, to help me improve in the others. When you consider the process of writing, it is author to page, page to reader. With music it is musician to instrument, instrument to listener. So, there is a barrier, or a medium which must be considered as part of the process. Both singing and public speaking and more direct processes, with a single step from person to listener. Each situation requires a different approach. For instance, I focus more on aesthetics when writing or playing instruments than I do when singing or public speaking. So that the spell isn’t broken.
What’s next for you in the writing world?
I write because I would find it impossible not to write, and will continue writing the stories I believe in, no matter what happens, whenever I get the time to. I write short stories at a rate of knots and hope to be featured in other competition anthologies over the coming months.
However, my next real goal is to find an agent who will help me to find a publisher for the novel I’m currently writing, which is called Further Down the Vine. It tells the stories of two working-class families in Southampton, UK, and its major themes are addiction, social immobility and dealing with loss. I think this would be the first novel ever set primarily in Southampton. As is the case with Piano Wire, I would like to give a voice to working-class Sotonians, a group of people who have so far not been represented in literature.
For more on Rowan, check him out at: rowanjamescurtis.com
Today was to be Odd Voice Out's first major presentation of 2020. We were all set to showcase our current titles and promote our newly published anthology collection at the Northern YA Literature Festival in Preston, together with pitching our small press to an audience of teachers and librarians. The event was officially postponed two weeks ago with organizers fearing that if they didn't cancel themselves, they'd soon be forced to. At the time, we still didn't quite believe the Covid-19 outbreak would cause so much societal shutdown in such a brief time. Yet here we are. Like everyone else in the world, we're struggling to adjust to the new normal and trying to adapt what we do to the limits imposed by the pandemic.
Sadly we can no longer promote our wonderful 'Odd Voices' collection at the literary festivals, readings and gatherings that we'd been busily scheduling. But we're not going to let that stop us getting these stories out into the world. While it is going to take us all a hot minute to refocus our creative energies, we are already discovering many exciting ways that writers can continue to make their voices heard, even while locked indoors. After all, locking ourselves away in self-isolation is something we writers all do without our governments telling us to. And right now readers have never been more needful of stories. I have witnessed as much panic loaning from libraries, members exiting with heavy book bags, as I've seen from the supermarket hoarders. We'll do our best with the tools we have to left to get our anthology out to a readership who will value it. We'll also spend our quarantines deep in our writing caves, using our craft to make sense of what the world's become.
We never planned it this way, but there couldn't have been a more fitting year for us to be running our 'Teens of Tomorrow' contest for our next YA anthology. As a wise teenager said to me only yesterday, we are now living through a moment in history and that has a way of waking you up. In my own cli-fi novel 'Shrinking Sinking Land' and its upcoming sequel 'Every Day Above Ground' I had my main characters, along with the rest of the world, go through a mass-sheltering period called the 'Global Mandatory Hibernation'. It's been startling to see a world-wide lockdown so similar to the one in my science fiction story, written just four years earlier. With our current future so uncertain, now more than ever we need writers to try and imagine what tomorrow will hold - for all of us, but especially the young.
Please visit our contest page for details of where you can send your future-focused short stories. The deadline of August 31st is still a long way off, as it the end of the current crisis. We eagerly await your visions and voices.
It's Release Day eve! Time to meet the rest of our Odd Voices finalists. Stay tuned for more from our anthology authors as over the next few months we'll be releasing exclusive interviews giving them each the chance to discuss their own personal stories and writing processes. Until then, here they are in their own words!
'Breathe' author Eddie House (WINNING entry)
Eddie House is a 23 year old genderqueer manic pixie daydream. They enjoy writing, roller skating, and complaining about writing. You can find more of their work at http://eddielhouse.tumblr.com, or in Anatolios Magazine.
'Love Makes Everyone (Into Poets)' author Oceania Chee (Finalist)
Oceania Chee is worried about how she, a high school student with zero authorial credentials (as of right now, that is), looks next to the other authors in this anthology. Born in Japan to Malaysian parents, Oceania currently lives in Shanghai. When she isn’t writing, she can be found crying at Chinese films from the 90s, reading Manufacturing Consent for the nth time, or hiking to escape metropolitan life.
'Piano Wire' author Rowan James Curtis (Finalist)
Rowan James Curtis spends his nine-to-five studying the Moon as a planetary physicist at Trinity College, University of Oxford. Aside from physics, he is a poet, an author of realistic fiction short stories and novels, a multi-instrumentalist and a big band vocalist. He engages in public speaking for causes he cares about, and he delivered a TEDx talk titled “Why we need Classical music” in March 2017. He is a devoted collector of first editions of good books, and he is currently half-way through writing his second novel – Further Down the Vine - based in Southampton, UK, about loss, addiction and social immobility. He is a tea lover, a dog lover and a lifelong supporter of Saints FC.
Check him out at: rowanjamescurtis.com
'Oblivisci' author A.Rose (Finalist)
A. Rose is a Creative Writing Graduate from UEA. Her work focuses on reframing disability, as well as the psychology of memories. She recently won first place in the Science me a Story 2019 competition, with her piece ‘The Nodes of Ranvier’. She is fascinated by myths and legends and loves writing about nature. She travels the world in a self-converted van with her fiancé and their Bedlington Whippet.
Check her out at: www.write-a-rose.com
'Shoplifting' author Frances Copeland (Finalist)
Frances Copeland was inspired to write by the works she studied during her MA in English Literature, and she is particularly interested in creating characters who have been previously missed, or marginalized. Frances lives in Glasgow and likes loud punk rock. Her family wear earplugs.
We are now just one month away from the release of our first anthology collection, showcasing the Top Ten entries of our 'Not So Normal Narrators' short story competition. So in these next two blog posts, we're letting our finalists introduce themselves in their own words. These talented writers have been a pleasure to work with and we can't wait to share their stories. But in the meantime, let's share a little about who they are and what they're about. Five more coming soon!
'For Hugo' author Tonia Markou (Second Place)
Tonia Markou is a Greek-German polyglot and globetrotter with an unhealthy obsession for stationery, mugs, pajamas and Chuck Taylors. Her short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in 50-Word Stories, Dime Show Review, Youth Imagination, Corvid Queen and little somethings press. She’s currently editing her first novel. You can follow her on Twitter, Facebook and Medium at @toniawrites.
'The Silence Rock' author Mary Ball Howkins (Third Place)
Mary Ball Howkins uses her experiences as a wildlife volunteer in southern African countries to write stories that herald the daily successes of young Africans against difficult odds. These odds can be resistance to cultural change, snake bite, lions killing family livestock, drought, famine, and forced marriage, among others. She mostly focusses on rural village life while also setting stories in Cape Town and Nairobi.
Mary Ball Is an art historian who has come to writing late in her career and after first volunteering in Namibia for desert-adapted elephants, then in Zimbabwe and South Africa, and after visiting other regions of Africa. She finds delight in the inventive language constructions Africans create when they speak English. Their language structures, a combination of their own dialect and English learned in school and conversation, often verge on splendid metaphor, figures of speech in which she takes great pleasure and adapts in her stories. Her goal as a writer is linked to her life-long role as educator. She hopes to inform non-African readers of all ages about the challenges African youth face in their villages.
'Size of Rice' author Sabah Carrim (Finalist)
Sabah has authored two novels, namely Humeirah and Semi-Apes, both set in Mauritius where she was born.
Her short stories have been shortlisted and published in various competitions organised internationally by Commonwealth Writers, Goethe Institute South Africa, and recently by the Bristol Short Story Prize. Her nonfiction was also a semi-finalist in the Gabriele Rico Challenge for Creative Nonfiction, and is scheduled for publication in an upcoming issue of Reed Magazine.
Sabah was invited to be judge of the African Short Story Award, as well as to deliver the keynote speech on Cultural Stereotypes in African Literature at the African Writers Festival held in Nairobi in 2019.
Sabah is also a law lecturer, and holds a PhD in Genocide Studies and Prevention, with a focus on the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge era.
'Imago' author Jack Bumby (Finalist)
Jack is a writer living and working in Greater Manchester. He studied Creative Writing at Edge Hill University, during which time he won the LoveSexTravelMusik competition organised by author Rodge Glass, with his short story ‘Wouldn’t It Be Nice?’. Since leaving university, he has placed second in a scriptwriting competition at Tyldesley Little Theatre and self-published a collection of short stories with fellow writers, titled ‘The Torment of Thomas Farriner’.
Currently, he is an avid reviewer and spends a lot of time contributing to his blog, ‘My Creative Ramblings’. He is working on a novel and has recently begun a Master’s degree in Creative Writing.
'Anchor' author Colby Wren Fierek (Finalist)
Colby is a third-year student at the University of Worcester, currently attempting a degree in Creative Writing and Screenwriting. Living in rural Shropshire, they naturally like to write about unconventional family dynamics, inner-city class tensions, and contemporary queer teenagers being good and cool. Their favourite things include loud, terrible punk music and hideous pests like raccoons and possums.
When they’re not writing, they like to acquire pointless musical trivia-their favourite Fun Fact being that former lead singer for The Vapors, Dave Fenton, now works as a solicitor for the Musicians Union. Their other Key Skill is being able to recall the location of every Jiggy from Rare’s 1998 platforming classic, Banjo-Kazooie (but not Banjo-Tooie. Please don’t ask them to do that). They’re even attempting narrative design for their own exploration, story-type game, about trains in the early 80s. They promise it’s a lot more interesting than it sounds.
Their next big project is to start writing a historical novel centred around the lives of a group of working-class youths in 1970s London. You might’ve heard of one of them. Some kid called Todd Reynard. Who knows what happened to him?
Get your hands on a free download code of K.C. Finn's fabulous new horror story collection, Sinister Sentiments, only available through Amazon's Audible. To enter, simply engage with any of the options in the Rafflecopter widget below. Ten lucky winners will be announced on January 1st 2020!
For more info on the audiobook itself, see below.
Sinister Sentiments by K.C. Finn
Ten sinister tales to delight the darkest of minds.
Psychological, speculative, and truly thrilling, Sinister Sentiments brings together the best horror and thriller works of K.C. Finn, contributor to the best-selling horror collection Dark Light Four. This edition contains stories from the realms of steampunk, post-apocalyptic, historical, and contemporary horror, plus two exclusive sneak previews of full-length works which are out now.
Whilst there is no explicit content, this volume does contain gore and disturbing situations which may not be suitable for listeners under the age of 14. Parental discretion is advised.
What reviewers are saying:
"The stories are the perfect length to listen to in bite size sittings . There is a brilliant variety with each story being unique." - Selina Ryles
"From futuristic to freed slaves, to the twisting of fate around their feet - every character we meet faces their own, very different challenges within their very own world. I would be hard pressed to choose a particular favourite." - Alex Wight
"A great collection of short stories well written with good narration, Sinister Sentiments was well worth listening to. Five stars for overall, performance, and story." - Mark Mackey
Our First Creative Writing Contest: Closed for Business
On Saturday 31st August, we finished taking submissions on our inaugural short story competition, Not So Normal Narrators. We called upon all participating writers to join us in expanding the boundaries of what a YA hero can be, throwing out stock characters and finding truly unique viewpoints. The best entries will be compiled in an anthology of stories told through underrepresented and unusual teen voices.
Since closing this competition, we've retreated into our respective reading caves and we are now reviewing the many excellent submissions we have received, some from astounding writers who are still in their own teen years. We are honored to have so many weird and wonderful tales sent to our press and pleased to say that you've made our job of selecting finalists and prize winners very difficult indeed!
For those writers who are waiting on results and readers who simply want to know when our first anthology will be available, here's the dates when we'll be making our big announcements. Firstly on October 31st, following our Devil's Night showcase in our hometown of Chester, we will post our initial shortlist of highly commended entries. About a month later, in late November, we will go onto announce the Top 10 stories that will be published in our anthology collection along with our prize winners in first, second and third place. We will then move on to the editing stage, working with our finalists towards the publication of their stories this coming winter. They will also be invited to participate in our launch event for the anthology in early 2020, either in person or via Skype. With what we've read so far, we're really excited for this upcoming collaboration. So many new voices the world needs to hear!
Announcing Catherine Johnson!
More exciting news regarding our upcoming anthology...award winning YA author, Catherine Johnson, will be providing an introduction to our short story collection and providing her own insight into the world of YA fiction for the offbeat writer. As well as being admirers of her work as a novelist and screenwriter, by crazy coincidence, Catherine has also served as a mentor for both Kell Cowley and K.C. Finn. Catherine selected Kell as her apprentice for the Adventures in Fiction development scheme, while K.C. was chosen for the Curtis Brown Creative Programme with Catherine as her mentor. Through these schemes, Catherine has played a big part in shaping OvO publications - The Vagabond Stage and Fallow Heart - for the better. We're thrilled to have her own bold brilliant voice included in this project.
The Odd Voice Out team had to do battle against the July heat wave to make it to YALC 2019 in time. After our train was delayed at the outskirts of Euston station to rescue the passengers of another train that had broken down, we'd missed our time slot for setting up our debuting stall by a good four hours. This meant that we were having to lay out our table in the late shift of a baking hot Thursday evening to be ready for our first morning of YALC as exhibitors.
But we made it! OvO was set up and raring to go come Friday morning. And what a crazy three days of sales, signings and book bantering it was that followed. What we offered on our table was not only glossy paperback copies of our first four titles, but also free samples to take home and games to play daily. Every day at 1pm we had a free prize give away, handing out raffle tickets to our stall's visitors and giving them the chance to walk off with a piece of our exclusive OvO merchandise - be it our owlish note pad and pen, our coaster and bottle opener in one, or our funky red headphones - modeled here by two astoundingly lucky winners in the same family. Thanks to those of you who shared photos of your prizes!
But it wasn't all about the stall. The Odd Voice Team also ran two workshops on the Saturday of the con, which turned out to be really engaging round-table discussions with groups of highly imaginative budding writers who shared in our desire to see greater diversity in YA fiction. We also handed out many flyers for our creative writing contest 'Not So Normal Narrators' and have already seen entries coming in from our fellow YALC attendees. But one of our biggest draws over the three day event was our grand prize to win a bundle of our books and merch. We're happy to say that hundreds of you entered, signed up to our mailing list and answered our query regarding what you would most like to see represented in YA fiction (the rich variety of your answers will be discussed in our next blog!). In the final hours of Sunday afternoon, Rebecca Mace AKA @alwaysbookishbecca was picked as our winner and took home with her a hefty bagful of our swag.
For any of our visitors who missed out on our prize giveaways, we hope you still managed to pick up the free first chapter samples of our current titles. If you did, then all we ask in return is that you now read and share your freebies with other YA fiction fans, either in person or on your social medias (using a #oddvoiceout tag or our author names). Please don't just let them lie at the bottom of your YALC tote bags. And if you like what you've read so far and missed out on buying, then you can still follow links from our books page to buy any or all of our titles in digital form. Paperback copies of our summer releases will be available very soon! And for any fellow writers new to our mailing list, remember we are now in the last few weeks of our first creative writing contest - get those entries in by August 31st to be in with a chance for cash prizes and anthology publication. Good luck all you fellow oddballs! We can't wait to read what you have come up with.
After a few months of radio silence, Odd Voice Out will soon be bursting with news as we gear up for our biggest splash yet. In recently weeks we have been feverishly editing final drafts and preparing new cover art for our summer releases – The Vagabond Stage by Kell Cowley and The Book of Shade by K.C. Finn. Now alongside our well-received winter novels Shrinking Sinking Land and Fallow Heart we are ready to showcase our diverse bookshelf and unleash our OvO brand for an audience of avid YA readers.
From Friday 26th July – Sunday 28th July we will be exhibiting at YALC 2019, the UK’s largest annual YA lit fest at the Olympia in London. Over the three day event we’ll be selling and signing, offering prizes, merch and samplers, and promoting our short story competition Not So Normal Narrators. Not only that, but on the Saturday we’ll be hosting two creative workshops – Be the Change and Let’s Get Dramatic.
We began planning for this event on the train home from YALC 2018. In the time between then and now, we have collectively published four novels. We have completed our first successful Kickstarter campaign. We have hosted our own gala launch night in our hometown of Chester. We have performed readings and workshops for a variety of fairs and festivals, most recently a local author night at the Northwich Literature Festival (pictured above). Our short story contest has been promoted in the UK’s Writing Magazine and we’re currently receiving entries from all over the world for our first anthology collection. Like we said…we’ve been busy! We look forward to bringing you news of our big national debut as we reach the final leg of our road to YALC. Can't wait to meet the readers.
The Shadeborn Series
OvO are proud to announce the acquisition and continuation of K.C. Finn's award winning gothic fantasy series.
Exclusive Sneak Peek
Enter a world where the rules of magic are not what you assumed, and the dark creatures you’ve always wondered about are brought into the light. Opening with the multi-award-winning title The Book Of Shade, K.C. Finn’s masterpiece tackles the fantasy genre from new angles of representation.
As university student Lily Coltrane begins her journey to adulthood, she can’t even imagine the intrigue and diversity which awaits her at the illustrious Theatre Imaginique. The performers there will take Lily and those who follow her into a wild world of centuries-old magic, with killers and conjurers on the loose through five superb books that create a universe all of their own.
For those already following Novel and Lily’s epic fantasy journey, the culmination of everything begins as Odd Voice Out proudly announces the exclusive publication of the fifth and final book in the series: The World Of The Wish.
Here, Lily begins her quest for redemption, rescue and rediscovery of her true self and the powers that lie within. Enemies old and new will stand in her path, but with the strength of her troupe, this newfound ringmaster of the Theatre Imaginique is here to show how hard she’s worked to be the hero that they need her to be.
The Shadeborn Series is a contemporary gothic fantasy filled with cross cultural magic and diverse character narratives, suitable for readers aged twelve and up.
The Vagabond Stage
Kell Cowley returns with a queer historical tale of villains, criminals and acting, darling!
Exclusive Sneak Peek
Timony is a born actor before he even learns the meaning of the word. A sixteenth century farmhand with a restless imagination, no patience for chores and a yearning for the wider world, he is already seeking escape when he catches his first glimpse of a band of travelling players performing in his small rural town. After falling in love with the theatre and its heroine, Gwendolyn, he’s determined to gain a place in their troupe.
Timony’s dramatic temperament catches the eye of the playwright, Makaydees, who takes him on as an apprentice. But there are shocks and perils waiting for Timony in this new profession. First he learns that Gwendolyn is really a boy named Rum, whose face has lately been scarred in a tavern brawl. Timony is soon hired to take Rum’s place and enact the female roles, and here he learns there are much worse things to brave than stepping out on stage in a frock and wig. In an age when the law considers unlicensed actors to be no better than idle criminals, the players live in constant threat of arrest and are forced to travel in the same channels as much more dangerous outlaws.
Timony finds himself propelled on a journey through the Elizabethan underworld, straying into its whorehouses and gambling dens, at constant risk of the correction house. Now, more than ever, he must learn to act for his life on a precarious road where disguise and deception may be his only means of survival. Along the way he wrestles with his role as the girl of the gang and his confusing feelings for Rum, as the two boy players become embroiled with the most wanted highwayman in the land. And if they escape with their lives, will these outlaw actors be ever allowed to put on another play?
The Vagabond Stage is a queer picaresque adventure novel exploring transgenderism in Tudor times aimed at ages fourteen and up.
Odd Voice Out is delighted to announce that it will be showcasing two of its most innovative workshops this summer at YALC, part of the London Film and Comic Con 2019. If you can't make it down to join us then, remember that these workshops are available to book for your writing group, school or organisation, just get in touch by replying to this email. All the details are below, plus some fantastic news from author Kell Cowley.
Available to book now from OddVoice Out:
Let's Get Dramatic (45mins)
How does a writer really get inside their character's heads? The drama queens of Odd Voice Out Publishing are going method, exploring ways to inhabit your characters through theater exercises, costume and prop interactions. This practical workshop focuses on separating author from character, and then translating that fictional mindset onto the page - all with the guidance of our author/playwrights and their dramatically fun activities.
Be The Change (45 mins)
Want to write stories that could change the world? During the last decade, YA readers have been embracing novels that take a stand on social injustices and engage with hot-button political issues. In this workshop from Odd Voice OutPublishing we'll be looking at the causes that matter to teenagers today and how we can channel them into a compelling narrative and revolutionary characters. Join us to unleash your inner activist through the power of storytelling.
Shrinking Sinking Land Makes the Hit List for Earth Day
Kell Cowley's climate fiction adventure Shrinking Sinking Land has made it onto the reading list over at Reading Hack to celebrate Earth Day 2019. You can check it out and many other excellent environmental books at the website. Many congratulations are in order, Kell!