Fasten your seatbelts – we are moving through a patch of turbulence. I had thought it was just me, getting more involved in politics than is good for a person, but when I looked at the lead stories our readers had placed in the final round of our latest competition, and started mentally writing the blurb for the back cover of the anthology, I realised extreme turbulence is on everyone’s mind.

The consequences of war… of racism… of one’s biology… immigrant workers running into difficulties… people wrestling with the insides of their own heads – “hualophilia,” I thought, “autogynephilia, technophobia, psychophysiological journeys…. the end of the world…” What a line-up!

We named the anthology after the lead story, The Sorcery of Smog, the winner of our main competition this year, written by Katy Wimhurst, one that’s been haunting me ever since I read it. I kept some of those long words in the blurb, but for the sake of those who prefer words of less than six syllables, I can promise a well-crafted and highly readable set of stories – lots to think about for readers and writers alike, along with plenty of innocent enjoyment. The blurb goes on…

In settings ranging from Mexico to the Australian outback to downtown Edinburgh, told with laughter, philosophy, nostalgia and some stunningly unexpected twists, this wide-ranging collection of original stories demonstrates why it’s sometimes difficult to get from breakfast to supper without precipitating an apocalypse.

And then comes the night.

Actually, at the first draft, your editor promised you “stunningly unexpected twits” but fortunately I noticed the typo and corrected it to “twists”. But that’s how life’s been. With my other publishing hat on, I’ve been working with author Ann Kramer, graphic designer Erica Smith and artist Emily Johns to produce a book for release on International Women’s Day this year – Turbulent Spinsters, which is about “fish heads, fire-raising and force-feeding” – yes, the trials and turbulence of the suffragettes (fish-heads were added to the mix when campaigner Muriel Matters came to my home town, Hastings, and was met by the traditional sign of disapproval from the lads on the fishing beach).

So – recommended reading for the spring from Earlyworks Press…

The Sorcery of Smog - cover picThe Sorcery of Smog

ISBN 9781910841471

UK £9.99

Release date 22nd March

(contributing authors will receive their copies a week or so before this date, so don’t go hitting the pay buttons on the website if you’ve got work in it)

And from Circaidy Gregory Press…

Turbulent Spinsters - cover picTurbulent Spinsters

women’s fight for the vote in Hastings & St Leonards

by Ann Kramer

ISBN 9781910841464

UK £8.99

Release date 8th March

And for writers – all this year’s competitions are now online at Earlyworks Press – flash fiction, poetry and short stories. We’re looking forward to your entries…

Earlyworks Press Competitions Page