I'm delighted and moved to find that today the @read_women Twitter account reached 10,000 followers.
When I started the campaign at the beginning of 2014 I hardly expected it to continue past January, never mind to the end of the year and beyond. Since then it's gained press coverage around the world and has sparked events at literary festivals including Luminato in Canada and Mountains to Sea in Ireland. It has had massive support from booksellers, publishers (especially Hamish Hamilton who let me guest-edit an all-women 2-part edition of its magazine Five Dials), libraries, universities and schools and, most importantly from writers and readers.
I hope to be able to post news soon about a very exciting new venture for @read_women. In the meantime I'm honoured to be able to use the Twitter account to keep the conversation open and, above all to celebrate writing by women.
To celebrate #readwomen10k, the wonderful independent publisher Miel has offered two generous prize bundles of innovative and beautifully-produced chapbooks by women writers, plus two copies of Lisa Solomon's gorgeous Hand/Made.
For the chance to win, please spread the word on Twitter, using the hashtag #readwomen10k, and mentioning @MIELbooks and @read_women - or just follow this link and RT. Winners will be picked at random and announced on Monday 6th July at 10am UK time.
The MIEL shop is also offering a 10% discount on any books in their #readwomen category until July 7 at 11:59 p.m. on entering the code, READWOMEN.
Ten runners-up will receive sets of #readwomen bookmarks, which can also be bought for £5 per set inc worldwide postage (£3 for extra sets sent in the same envelope), by sending a payment to firstname.lastname@example.org via Paypal.
I wrote a book about not being able to read Zoo by Viktor Shklovsky. It's also about Kafka, writing residencies, alcohol, Berlin, dolls, letters, the U-bahn, children, romance, burnout, Elsa Triolet, the Zoological gardens, Dora Diamant, members of the clergy, emails, truth and fiction. It's a very short book.
It's published by Tony White's Piece of Paper Press. I'll be reading it at the Bookart Bookshop on Friday 10th July: details here. Please come.
I'm interviewing Nell Zink at the LRB bookshop next Monday, to celebrate the UK launch of her two brilliant novels, The Wallcreeper, and Mislaid (published as a handsome box set in the UK by 4th Estate). Please come: tickets here.
I'll be taking part in an all-day reading from Joyce's Ulysses, at the Bookart Bookshop, London, tomorrow, on Bloomsday, 16th June. Apparently there are kidneys at 9am: I'll be there from about 3pm. Please come by...
On Saturday 20th at 10.30am I'll be chairing the 'gatekeepers' session at this year's London Short Story Festival. It'll be a chance to hear what publishers (Stefan Tobler of And Other Stories, and Jim Hinks of Comma Press), agents (Lucy Luck), editors of anthologies (Tania Hershman), and lit mags (Yuka Igarashi of Granta), and radio producers (Jeremy Osborne of Sweet Talk) are looking for in a short story. It's unusual to find so many and so varied publishing experts in one room; it would be silly not to take advantage...
I have one ticket (usually £9/£6.30) to give away. Erm, how shall we do this? Tell me a short story you like in the comments box below, or tweet it to @badaude. I'll pick a winner at 5pm on Monday 15th June.
There will also be events with Stuart Evers, Deborah Levy, Marina Warner, Alex Preston, Nikesh Shukla, Paul McVeigh, Joe Dunthorne, and many others. The full programme is here.
On June 1st, along with Zoe Pilger and Will Self, I'll be reading a story specially commissioned by Visual Editions at the Ace Hotel, Shoreditch. Please come if you can. Tickets are free, but you have to book. Details are here.
I'll be at the Listowel Festival next Friday (29th May) to talk with Gorse Journal editors Susan Tomaselli and Christodoulos Makris, and writer Rob Doyle about... erm... whatever comes up. If you're at the festival, please come. Details here. It's going to be fun.