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We know Derek and More Micro-Fiction and The Dogstar and Other Science Fiction Stories are currently listed as 'in stock' - we were under the impression that they very much would be when we put that announcement on the site, but unfortunately they've actually been slightly delayed at the printer by a couple of unforseen graphics errors. Luckily that's all sorted now and we've given the go-ahead for the clever book-compiling machines to do whatever it is they do best. The books should be with us within the next few days. Apologies to anyone who's put in orders and to the authors who are expecting their free copies - we'll get everything sent out as soon as we possibly can. Thanks for your patience.

Sam.

 

On this computer, all the buttons and things for posting and editing and sauvegardering maintenant and the like are in French. I studied French for a good five years at school, so I don't really understand it. Apologies therefore if I accidentally do anything deranged.

The 2007 Short Story Competition Winners are as follows.

Winner

‘Naked Thighs and Cotton Frocks’ by Anne Shewring

Runner up

‘Translations’ by Mark Wagstaff

Commended

‘Jared Williams Again’ by Jenny Jackson

‘Looking at Water’ by Alan Markland

‘Turning’ by Pippa Goldschmidt

‘The Spirit of the Age’ by Nemone Thornes

‘Mortgage’ by Priya Sharma

‘The Volcano’ by Catherine Chanter

‘Like a Good Boy’ by Aiden O’Reilly

‘Postcards from a Previous Life’ by Andrew Blackman

‘You’re Dead’ by Tom Williams

***

Congratulation to all of the above, and thanks to everybody who entered. Naked Thighs and Cotton Frocks and Other Short Stories has taken its rightful place in the production queue and will hopefully be available for purchase in time for Christmas.

In other news, there's a postal strike on, but probably you already knew that. As such, we're kind of behind in our orders and the like, but we hope to catch up as soon as possible. Our email's been playing up slightly as well. Comic timing. Never mind. Ukraine and Other Poems is in the editing stage. Derek and Dogstar are both in the final proofing stages and seem likely to go to the printer this very week. The website and Mostly Life are in fairly transitional stages and are basically waiting for other people to be a tad less busy. We have a new carpet in our office. Ceci's foot is giving her a certain amount of grief. I've lost a pair of swimming goggles. I don't know what 'brouillon plus' means.

It's fine on the whole.

Sam.

 

Outbox and Other Poems and The Light that Remains and Other Stories are amongst us, and really quite phenomenally available for purchase.

Outbox and Other Poems costs £7.99 and has the following blurb:

He swam the Mekong in Dong Det
with two dark-haired sisters who cast their nets
before inviting him to share their haul….
- Extract from ‘Outbox’ by Nicky Mesch

Outbox and Other Poems contains the winning entries from the Leaf Books Open Poetry Competition that ran during the winter of 2006. The thirty poems within cover such diverse subjects as love and hate, boat-building and ghostly rats, dreamfishers, funerals and science classes. What unites them is their brilliance.

The Light that Remains and Other Stories costs £9.99 (p&p £1.69 - lots of pages in this one) and is blurbified thusly:

‘Keep walking,’ he said, and we kept walking. The excited sound of the spectators at the edges of the crash itself, the whee-oosh clamour of the approaching ambulance, the burning scent that the cars offered up: none of it attracted him. Other people saw the wreckage, a body lying in the street (still alive, I think) and rushed over, like flies wanting corpses, for whatever reasons they have – but not him. Not at all. ‘Keep walking,’ he said.
- Extract from ‘The Light That Remains’ by Paul Currion.

A bookish boy’s learning to experience his city as a blind man would experience it; a fabled and helplessly destructive dragon that lives at the local takeaway and a biker’s encounter with a Harley-fancying mermaid. The Light That Remains and Other Stories contains the winning entries from the Leaf Books Open Short Story Competition that ran during the winter of 2006. The fourteen superlative stories residing within represent the pick of crop.

***

We think they're probably the nicest couple of books we've ever made. Kindly buy them and agree.

In other news, the judging for both the short story and micro-fiction competitions is ongoing, as is the production of Ukraine and Other Poems, as are several critiques and the website revamp and the launching of the whole Mostly Life phenomenon and also I need to fill out some forms for the dentist. It's all go really, and the printer isn't work. Fine.

Sam.

 

We’re inordinately pleased to announce the winners of our Spring 2007 Poetry Competition:


Winner:

‘Ukraine’ by Julie Bolitho-Lee

Runner-up:

‘The Guest’ by Catherine Chanter

Commended:

‘Heart’ by Julie Bolitho-Lee

‘What Could Be Done To Make a Difference?’ by Catherine Chanter

‘On taking my 80-year-old aunt back to Ireland to look for our roots’ by Pauline Plummer

‘My Friend Barry, the Painter and Decorator’ by Pauline Plummer

‘You Watch Yourself’ by Barry Taylor

‘The Day is White’ by Mary Charman-Smith

‘I Made This Box’ by John Foggin

‘Explorer 242’ by Clive Gilson

‘Dumb-Show’ by Rosi Beech

‘Falmouth’ by Rosi Beech

‘Ersatz Fidelis’ by Harrison Solow

‘Aunt Matilda’ by Keith Shaw

‘Departure’ by Patricia Ward

‘Red’ by Margie Harriott

‘Monochrome’ by Sharon Hosker

‘Snapshots’ by Ian Stanley Ward

‘Daffodil Trail’ by Sarah James

‘The Welfare’ by Kate Noakes

‘Piopet’ by Helen Jayne Gunn

‘Obsession’ by Ivy Bannister

‘Colour of Life, Colour of Blood’ by Ivy Bannister

‘Home-Cooked’ by A.F. Harrold

‘This Englishman in Paris’ by A.F. Harrold

‘Flowers on the Salt Bush’ by Rob Mooney

‘BBC’ by Wayne Preece

‘The Washing of Plates’ by Simone Mansell-Broome

‘Portrait of Schoolgirls by Larchwood’ by Owen Lowery


All of the above poems will be published in an anthology to be called Ukraine and Other Poems that we very much hope should be available for purchase in time for Christmas. Congratulations to the winners and our heartfelt thanks to all who entered.

Sam.

 

Well, now we know how to get you talking. Make a two-line post then leave you to it for the next three weeks. Bravo.

Here are some other things for you talk about.

The Micro-Fiction Competition. Having been granted a brief extension (which means pantaloons), this now closes on September the 15th, in ten days time. So you've still oodles of hours in which to send us your short short stories for judging purposes. I hope they're all brilliant.

Judging. Ongoing. We're currently pretty darned close to reaching a result in the poetry competition and the short story comp's biffing along fairly nicely as well. Probably we're a touch slower than usual because we don't have Turbo-Reader Matt to help us anymore, but we're doing our utmost and we hope to make an exciting announcement within the next couple of weeks. Please to be bearing with us.

Books in progress. Outbox & Other Poems and The Light That Remains & Other Short Stories are with the printer as we speak and should hopefully be available for purchase by the end of the month. All featured authors, as ever, will receive a free copy as soon as we can bung it in an envelope and send it in their general direction. Derek & More Micro-Fiction and The Dogstar & Other Science Fiction Stories are both a significant distance along the production line and could very conceivably be at the printer within the next month or so as well. For which a hearty hurrah.

Leaf Itself. Hello there. Now. Probably you've noticed that we've undergone a couple of changes over the last few months. We've mislaid Matt, and Gav's going to go AWOL some time in the near future on the grounds of his needing a job that pays more money. Boo. But it's not all grim. We have, in recent weeks, acquired the assistance of a couple of extraordinarily able web-bods who are helping us first and foremost with Mostly Life, the Leaf Team's new and almost spleen-poppingly exciting project that I do believe Ceci might have mentioned to you once or twice before. It's essentially an online repository for various things humorous and quirksome and generally pleasing. There's going to be a spoof of a village newspaper, a section for less audio-based versions of radio 4 type panel games, the Someday Supplement for the housing of all manner of humorous writings and the Sensorama, for anything amusing in a visual or noisy fashion. Or tactile if you can work out how to do that over the computer. Please keep checking the website at http://www.mostlylife.com/ - we expect it to go live within the next couple of weeks.

Leaf Books itself is going to slightly alter its working processes in order both to match the requirements of its costumers and to enable us to be a bit more massively productive with the whole Mostly Life thing. Basically we'll be running fewer competitions - 2008's preliminarily going to see the production of a poetry anthology and a micro-fiction anthology, both of which we hope will be sizeable and slightly fantastic. We think this is in many ways a smart move. We were possibly getting a bit deranged with the competitions there and we were frankly kind of running out of names for them. A touch of focus was called for. Nothing much else is changing... newsletters will go out on a quarterly basis, all our books will still be very much available for purchase and the website at http://www.leafbooks.co.uk/ is going to get a spiffy new revamp with art deco shapes and coffee-ish colours and improved functionality and all those jolly things. Which is something to look forward to.

And now I'm off for a spot of breakfast. I'm thinking crumpets and lemon curd, and I won't be swayed.

Sam.

 
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