Fly On The Wall Press showcase at Blackwell’s Manchester

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Writer Louise Finnigan.
Writer Louise Finnigan.

Fly on the Wall Press: Louise Finnigan, David Hartley & Tina Tamsho-Thomas at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 20 August 2021 Entrance is free — Visit now

Manchester-based not-for-profit publisher Fly On The Wall Press has teamed up with Blackwell’s Manchester to present this showcase of three exciting local authors, David Hartley, Louise Finnigan and Tina Tamsho-Thomas, who will be reading from their latest releases – Fauna, Muscle And Mouth, and Someone Is Missing Me, respectively. The books will be available to purchase on the night.

Runner-up for Best Anthology in the Saboteur Awards 2018 and longlisted for Most Innovative Publisher in the Saboteur Awards 2019, social enterprise company FOTW also runs the Northern Publishers’ Fair.

Publishing innovative short stories, poetry and photography books on the pressing issues of our time, from exceptional authors around the globe, all with a socially conscious theme, the Fly On The Wall Press team say they are “unafraid to generate conversation about perhaps ‘prickly’ subjects, whilst also dedicating a large proportion of their yearly publishing schedule to charitable projects”. Runner-up for Best Anthology in the Saboteur Awards 2018 and longlisted for Most Innovative Publisher in the Saboteur Awards 2019, social enterprise company FOTW also runs the Northern Publishers’ Fair, which took place on Saturday 24 July at Central Library.

David Hartley is a passionate animal rights writer and vegan, who does not shy away from exploring difficult questions about how we treat our fellow creatures. David will be reading from his latest short story collection, Fauna, which is out with FOTW in September. This follows Incorcisms, just out with Arachne Press, and February’s Pigskin, part of Fly On The Wall’s 2021 Shorts Season. He was shortlisted for this year’s Oxford Flash Fiction Prize as well as the 2020 Bridport Prize, and his fiction has appeared in Ambit, Structo, Black Static and The Alarmist. Having recently finished a Creative Writing PhD at the University of Manchester, in which he researched the connections between autism and science fiction, he is working on a complicated fantasy novel about autism and ghosts.

Fauna follows the lead of the bacon-skinned Pig with a menagerie of twisted tales about the lives and times of our fellow-feeling creatures. There are guinea pigs in the underworld, elephants in a virtual world, vengeful birds from a far-off world, and so much more beastliness. There will be nowhere for the humans to hide.” Lucie McKnight Hardy, author of Water Shall Refuse Them, says: “Fiercely original, these are stories that are at times disturbing, absurd, and darkly comedic, and which refuse to conform to the constraints of time and space. A startling collection, that begs to be read aloud. Hartley is a brilliant storyteller, with the kind of imagination that leaves you feeling a bit fearful for your own safety.”

Louise Finnigan’s new book is also part of the 2021 Shorts Season, whereby short stories, published as individual chapbooks, are shipped directly to subscribers every two months. The February, April and June titles (Pigskin by David Hartley, PowerPoint Eulogy by Mark Wilson and Muscle And Mouth by Louise Finnigan) will now be shipped together, then the remaining three books (Hassan’s Zoo by Ruth Brandt, How To Bring Him Back by Claire HM and The Guts Of A Mackerel by Clare Reddaway) will be shipped as they are published in August, October and December.

Louise Finnigan lives and writes in Manchester. Her work has been shortlisted for the Manchester Fiction Prize and The Cambridge Short Story Prize, and longlisted for The Martin Crawford Award. An English Literature teacher at an inner city sixth-form college, Louise is interested in writing from the perspectives of working-class teenagers who are negotiating their identity in a world which requires them to change themselves if they are to ‘escape’, and her short story Muscle And Mouth, which she will be reading from, explores these themes. Nicholas Royle, editor of the Best British Short Stories series, whose latest book, White Spines: Confessions Of A Book Collector is out this month with Salt Publishing, calls it: “A deceptively subtle yet nonetheless hard-hitting story about connection, belonging and desire. Louise Finnigan’s eye for detail is matched only by her ear for language. Cracking stuff.”

The third reader in this Fly On The Wall showcase event is Tina Tamsho-Thomas, reading from her latest poetry collection, Someone Is Missing Me, which came out in March. Akulah Agbami, artistic director of Sheba Soul Ensemble, says of the book: “In this highly readable, sorely needed collection, Tina Tamsho-Thomas tackles subjects close to many people’s hearts. There are personal poems and political poems; poems designed to make you grin and others to evoke remembrance of horrors past. This collection is guaranteed to empower Black women who seek out her wisdom and is an exhortation to re-position ourselves, to assume our rightful stature.”

Tina is a poet, spoken word artist, writer-in residence, playwright, black writing development pioneer and human rights advocate. Her work can be found in several anthologies, including Red: Contemporary Black British Poetry, Sexual Attraction Revealed and Brown Eyes. Her unique, forthcoming memoir, Haunted By The Truth, explores identity, adolescence and belonging, and is described by The Literary Consultancy: “Compelling storylines… the child’s voice is at its absolute best, innocent and comical. Race issues handled beautifully.”

Fly on the Wall Press: Louise Finnigan, David Hartley & Tina Tamsho-Thomas at Blackwell’s Manchester, Manchester 20 August 2021 Entrance is free Visit now

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