#5: Salena Godden and Sci-Fi Superstars

August 31, 2016

In this episode...

Lauren sat down with Salena Godden earlier this summer for an interview touching on her memoir, Bowie, the politics in poetry and her experience helping at the refugee camps in Calais. Salena is a poet, performer and author. More information about her work and upcoming performances can be found via Salena's website and you can follow her thoughts and hilarity on Twitter.

Then Grace talks us through some of her favourite science fiction writers, featuring Clare Winger Harris, the first women to publish a story in a US sci fi journal under her own name.

The Queens of Sci Fi:
- Ursula Le Guin, Margaret Atwood and Octavia Butler.
- Mary Anne Mohanraj, founder of speculative fiction magazine Strange Horizons
- .Nnedi Okorafor, author of the YA books The Shadow Speaker and Zahara the Wind Seeker, and adult novel, Who Fears Death, winner of the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 2011 and nominated for the 2010 Nebula Award.
-Marjorie Lui, novelist and comic book writer of the novel tie in for the X Men films, Dark Mirror, and the Marvel X-Men spin off series, NYX, for which she was nominated for a GLAAD media award in 2013.

New books:
- Harry Potter and The Cursed Child Parts I and II – the script of the long awaited play can be purchased basically everywhere.
- The Good Immigrant by Nikesh Shulka, bringing together fifteen emerging British black, Asian and minority ethnic writers, poets, journalists and artists. In these fifteen essays about race and immigration, they paint a picture of what it means to be ‘other’ in a country that wants you, doesn’t want you, doesn’t accept you, needs you for its equality monitoring forms and would prefer you if you won a major reality show competition.


Mentoring scheme by Penguin/Random House WriteNow, which will offer 150 writers the opportunity to attend publishing insight days in Birmingham, Manchester and London. It will then support 10 exceptional writers through a year-long mentoring programme.

Not mentioned but SUPER EXCITING is the For Books’ Sake 6th Birthday Party on Friday 16 September at The Star of Kings. More info and tickets can be found on the Eventbrite page.


#4: Just F***ing Do it at Grrrl Con 2016

July 18, 2016

In this episode...

Interview with Jenny Brown:
Founder of Jenny Brown Associates, one of the UK’s leading literary agencies, Jenny was previously Head of Literature at the Scottish Arts Council, presenter of book programmes for Scottish Television, and founder Director of the Edinburgh International Book Festival. She is also a former Committee member of the Association of Authors’ Agents and was shortlisted in 2014 for the Agent of the Year Award. In this interview, Jenny Brown outlines the role of an agent, gives more insight into the world of publishers and tells us what writers we should look out for in the coming months (including Chitra Ramaswamy, who wrote about her book Expecting for For Books' Sake recently).

Independent Publishers:
Throughout Grrrl Con, lots of the speakers gave shout-outs to the work of publishers. Lauren talks about a few independent publishers based around the UK. Her list is by no means exhaustive (of course!) and we would love to hear from you about any publishers that you really rate, so email us with your suggestions.Here are the publishers mentioned in the podcast, with a few resources thrown in there for good measure too...

Independent publishers:
Peepal Tree Press
Dahlia Publishing
Tilted Axis Press
Galley Beggar Press

Additional resources
Spread the Word
Writers and Artists
Forgot to mention: Creative Access

Top Tips from Kirsty Logan and Marjorie Lofti Gill
Kirsty Logan - who shares her top four tips for writing magic realism in this episode - is the author of the short story collection The Rental Heart and Other Fairytales (Salt, 2014), which was recently awarded the Polari First Book Prize, and debut novel The Gracekeepers (Harvill Secker, 2015). Her latest book, A Portable Shelter (ASLS, 2015), is a collection of stories inspired by Scottish folktales.

Marjorie Lofti Gill is the poet in Residence at Jupiter Artland and co-founder of The Belonging Project, which reflects on the flight, journey and assimilation of refugees, and Open Book, a charity running shared reading and writing groups for adults in the community. Marjorie’s poems have been published in a variety of journals and anthologies in the UK and US, and have been performed on BBC Radio 4. Marjorie ran a workshop on how to construct the perfect sentence, and gives us some advice on how to craft our words.

Interview with Denise Mina
Dame Denise Mina is a critically acclaimed Glaswegian crime writer. Her novels include The End of the Wasp Season and Gods and Beasts, both of which won the prestigious Theakstons Old Peculiar Crime Novel of the Year Award in consecutive years. Denise also writes short stories and plays, and is the author of the Garnethill trilogy. She was inducted into the Crime Writers’ Association Hall of Fame in 2014. Grace and Lauren got to chat to Denise after her talk on the final day of Grrrl Con, asking for advice on how to just get on and do it, in what ways can we prioritise our writing, and how to take critical feedback. She advised ditching the gym and bribing ourselves with KitKats alongside other essential tips.

A big thank you to all of our featured guests for sharing your words of wisdom with us and for taking the time to sit down with us and chat. A special thanks has to go out to Grrrl Con organisers Jane Bradley, Claire Askew and Kerry Ryan, for a fabulous weekend. Also thanks to all of the volunteers over the weekend for making sure we knew where we were to go and what was coming next (Charlotte Forfieh, we’re looking at you!) And finally to the amazing grrrls, all those who agreed to be a part of our podcast and everyone else for making the weekend such a success. It was great to meet you all – roll on next year!


#3: Megaphone, Mental Health and More

June 3, 2016

In this episode...

Interview with Leila Rasheed
Leila Rasheed
is a young adult and children’s author of numerous publications, including Chips, Beans and Limousines, which was awarded the Red House Read of the Year in 2009 and shortlisted for the Wigan Explore Book Award.

Leila is the Founder of Megaphone, a new writer development scheme for BAME writers who want to write their first children’s novel. She was born in Libya to English-Bangladeshi parents and lives in Birmingham with her husband and child. She tweets at LeilaR.

Feature on visible and invisible disabilities

Books mentioned:

  • Marbles: Mania, Depression, Michelangelo and Me by Ellen Forney
  •  72 Hour Hold by Bebe Moore Campbell
  • The Madolescents by Chrissie Glazebrook
  • Beauty is a Verb: The New Poetry of Disability by Shelia Black (ed) Jennifer Bartlett (ed) & Michael Northern (ed)
  • The Speed of Dark by Elizabeth Moon
  • The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver

Journals and Magazines

  •  Pentimento
  • THE FEM focus on minority groups in general, but keen to accept stories by women writers with disabilities.
  • Wordgathering - primarily accepting submissions from writers with disabilities

Organisations and Resources

Bonus book recommendations:

  • Shadows in the Sun: Healing from Depression and Finding the Light Within by Gayathri Ramprasad
  • Out of My Mind by Sharon Draper 

News and what's coming up

  • Grrrl Con: Saturday 11 & Sunday 12 June. Two day festival in Edinburgh championing women writers, presented by For Books' Sake and Write Like a Grrrl. Now sold out but keep an eye on the hashtag #GrrrlCon for quotes, news and more.
  • Scot Lit Fest 2016: Friday 24 – Sunday 26 June The virtual literary festival will be bringing some of Scotland’s most exciting and much-loved authors to an online audience, meaning that anyone in the world is able to take part. Participating authors so far include A.L. Kennedy, Kirsty Logan, Helen McClory and more.
  •  The Leeds Big Book End and the Northern Short Story Festival: Talks, book launches, spoken word performances, children’s workshops and a creative writing bilingual workshop.
  • Salena Godden is on tour across the UK throughout the summer. The next episode of the podcast will feature an interview with Salena and a recording of her performing My Tits are more Feminist than your Tits.
  • Curtis Brown Scholarship

Until next time...


#2: Sonnets, English Homework and Rock Life with Tansy Hoskins and Gemma June Howell

April 27, 2016

In this episode…


On 23 April it was Shakespeare’s 400th birthday and in celebration of this fact we asked you what your favourite sonnets written by women were. Thanks for all the great suggestions via For Books’ Sake’s social media accounts! Grace reads out the top 3 choices in the first part of the podcast:

· Sonnet I by Charlotte Smith from @jenny_mcauley on Twitter

· In this Strange Labyrinth by Lady Mary Wroth from Becca Emily Inglis on Instagram

· Apologies to My Hair: A Black Woman's Sonnet by Allison Joseph

Tansy Hoskins and Gemma June Howell

Gemma June Howell is a Welsh poet, an author of experimental fiction, and a playwright. Tansy Hoskins interviews Gemma June about what drove her to write poetry from the perspective of women living in the Welsh Valleys. During the interview, Gemma June also performs some of her fantastic poems from her debut collection, Rock Life.

Read more about Gemma June Howell’s work on her website and follow Tansy Hoskins on Twitter @TansyHoskins.

Did You Forget Your English Homework?

What books do you think should be on the national curriculum? Lauren reveals what her top choice is and why.


We've introduced a news section! Listen to all the things Grace and Lauren are looking forward to in May and June...

Burnt Roti Magazine @BurntRotiMag
My Name is Leon by Kit de Waal

Upcoming Events

Respectable: Lynsey Hanley with Dawn Foster 5 May 2016 

Bradford Literature Festival 20 – 29 May 2016

The Sonnet Exchange 29 May 2016 

Bad Vibrations + Polyester Zine: PRINCE RAMA 31 May 2016

Submission Deadlines 

Call for fiction submissions from Burning Eye Books 

Open deadline for submissions at Memorious and Soliloquies 

The Moth Short Story Prize closes 30 June 2016

Next Bath Flash Fiction Award closes 12 June 2016 

And finally a deadline that we forgot to mention we wish we hadn’t: 

Sinister Wisdom is accepting submissions for publication in 2018

Get in touch with us with details about the events you're involved with, submission deadlines you think we need to know about or books you want to hear us promote.

(Music credit: https://www.freesound.org/people/leswagcupcakes/sounds/248144/)


#1: Queer YA & Female Film Collectives with Jess Glaisher & Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah

April 4, 2016

In the newest episode of the For Books’ Sake podcast, Grace (@gracejbrown) and Lauren (@LaurenKSandhu) interview Jess Glaisher and Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah.

Jess Glaisher
c.1min 30 secs – c. 17 mins
Grace chats to Jess Glaisher (@JGlaisher) about her recent experience of getting published. Jess’ short story Destiny is available in For Books’ Sake’s latest anthology, [RE]Sisters. Grace and Jess discuss abuse in teen relationships and its underrepresentation in YA fiction, and a lack of queer voices in the genre. Jess also tells Grace about her writing practice and how important she feels it is to be part of a female writing collective.

Find out more about...
Write like a Grrrl: http://forbookssake.net/write-like-a-grrrl/
That’s What She Said: http://forbookssake.net/events/event/thats-said/
NaNoWriMo http://nanowrimo.org/

Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah

c. 17 mins – c. 43 mins
Sorta Kinda Maybe Yeah (@SKMYcollective) are a female film collective from London. Grace and Lauren sat down with Aya Arden-Clarke, Laura Kirwan-Ashman and Charlotte Lowdell to hear about their work ahead of the launch of SKMY’s first web series at the end of April (full details about their launch event in the link below).

Follow SKMY on...

Twitter: https://twitter.com/SKMYcollective
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/sortakindamaybeyeah
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sortakindamaybeyeah/
Web series launch: Thurs 28 April @ 7.30pm, Hackney Attic https://www.picturehouses.com/cinema/Hackney_Picturehouse/film/sorta-kinda-maybe-yeah

If you have ideas for future interviews that you would like to hear from the FBS podcast, or you want to send us details about any upcoming events that might be of interest to FBS listeners, drop us an email (podcast@forbookssake.net) or get in touch on Twitter.

(Music credit: https://www.freesound.org/people/leswagcupcakes/sounds/248144/)