Not the Booker Prize

August 4, 2015—our newest book, Tying Down the Lion by Joanna Campbell has had the honour of being on the longlist for the Guardian's Not the Booker Prize.


There were 70 contenders on the Not the Booker Prize longlist and there were just under 1,000 votes for this year’s shortlist. Although Tying Down the Lion didn't win this time, we thank all who supported it and there were plenty of votes from readers who have read and loved this very special book by an exciting new author.
 


Launch of Joanna Campbell's Tying Down The Lion

July 10, 2015 ― Bath:  The crowd at last night's launch of Tying Down The Lion at Waterstones, Bath were spellbound. Author Joanna Campbell stole the show with her readings from the book and tales of her path to publication, during which time one of her daughters had announced that the Campbell family were living like communists with their empty fridge and cobwebby cupboards.


It had taken Joanna five long years to reach the point of publication. Upon completion of what she considered at the time to be the final draft, she sent Tying Down The Lion to Cornerstones Literacy Consultancy for appraisal. They loved it, and Joanna set about finding a publisher or an agent. Many of the books she read advised her to write a sparkling query letter and to appear irresistible to those industry types.


About a year ago, we received an email newsletter sign-up from Joanna. In the optional 'About Me' field, Joanna simply wrote: "I have a manuscript and I don't know what to do with it". Suffice to say, we contacted Joanna and invited her to submit her manuscript. On reading the first three chapters, straight away we knew it was special. Joanna is well-known for her prizewinning short stories, with many having been published in various media and anthologies. Tying Down The Lion is Joanna's first novel, and what an extraordinary debut it is. Since publication just three weeks ago, reviews have been glowing:

 

Rachel Connor, creative writing senior lecturer & BBC dramatist, has called the book: 

A big-hearted, sprawling literary road trip, with pitch-perfect comic pacing and memorable characters. Read review

 

Ohio based blogger, Rouchswalwe, says:

I've been reading some well-crafted novels of late. One of the best was released just last month by UK-based Brick Lane Publishing.

The author, Joanna Campbell, is a prize-winning short story writer. I believe that "Tying Down the Lion" is her first novel. I am so grateful for having stumbled upon it. Read review 

 

Amazon reviews here

 

On hearing Joanna's talk, the crowd were mesmerised and the book flew out the door. Not one of the many copies Waterstones had ordered on the night was left. I am the founder of Brick Lane Publishing (no, we're not based there, we just really like the name and the fact it represents our values of vibrancy and diversity). Having been in almost daily contact with Joanna in the months leading up to publication, it was a thrill to meet her in person. Petite and with chiseled cheekbones Joanna's sparkling wit and stories were, quite simply, irresistible.

 

Learn more about Joanna Campbell's Tying Down The Lion, and find out where you can get a copy.


Rachel Connor, 30 April, 2015:  "Joanna has already had a number of short story writing successes: a collection of her short stories was shortlisted for the 2012 Flannery O’Connor Award. In 2013 she came second in the William Trevor/Elizabeth Bowen International Short Story Competition and she has been shortlisted five times for the Bridport Prize. I’m delighted that she has found success in longer-form fiction too." 

Here Joanna talks about short stories, novels and the importance of sleep!

14/11/2014: WINNERS ANNOUNCED FOR SHORT STORY CONTEST

A large number of entries were received and it was a tough job putting the shortlist together, which is in alphabetical order below.


CONGRATULATIONS TO THE WINNERS


Rahad Abir - I am In London

Kate Bonynge Man At The Bookshop

Margaret Crompton Belle's Bows

Sarah Evans Weight Of Paper 

Clare Hurst The Square 

Judith Johnson That Day 

Andy Millward Take The Long Way Home

Tabitha Potts - Bells Of London Town

Victoria Thomas - Face Of '66

 

We were on the lookout for stories that captured the diversity of London’s East End. Stories had to be a work of fiction and in true Cockney style, mention the Bow Bells. All entries had to be original and unpublished (in print, digitally, or on the web), and they had to in some way include at least one of these elements:


  1. Culture and romance
  2. A mystery of some description
  3. Long-lost family or friends
  4. Insight and diversity
  5. Poverty and wealth
  6. Integration into a new society or setting (country, job, school etc)

Shortlisted entries will become part of an anthology that is published by us in 2016. While we didn't offer a monetary prize as such, entry was free and authors of winning entries will be credited for their stories. They will also receive a published copy of the book to keep.

No royalties will be paid to the writers, and ten percent (10%) will be donated to a UK charity. As for the remaining ninety percent (90%), being our first ever writing contest we aim to break even when we produce the volume. Many writing contests charge an entry fee, however we will be assuming the risk in terms of production etc, and give budding authors something they can be proud of. 


The charity we will be supporting is OXFAM.