By ER McTaggart
As we come up to the release of our fourth singles’ club episode this year, I’m happy to report that the goods just keeps getting better. We’ve had four great releases, some provocative, some downright funny, and all of them refreshingly original.
We kicked off Series 2 with St Rage, which might have been another teen girl superhero story if it wasn’t for it’s author, the frank and very funny Karen Eisenbrey. For anyone who’s read Heathers, you might remember Barbara (I think we can just start with the name) and her love of hats. For those of you who don’t know her, Barbara is your typical teenaged liberal feminist… who happens to be a devout churchgoer… who happens to have a problem with swearwords… who happens to have superpowers… who happens to be in a punk rock band. Why limit yourself when you can have it all? Described by Evie as “gentle and clever”, St Rage belies its name and its genre by showing us that everyone deserves a little love, even the weird boy who brings a gun to school.
With February came a tale of revenge, The Wrong Guy, written by the brilliant Pat Black. Unlike your typical vengeance story, this one is told from the point of view of the asshole who’s getting what he deserves. Never has it been so delightful to read on as the main character’s life is systematically dismantled, his every vice exposed and every misdeed accounted for. At the same time Pat plays on his readers’ emotions, building our antipathy towards the antihero, right until the very end, making us wonder if we’ve been wrong all along.
In March we had a new submission from a first-time Pankhearst writer! Rosie Gailor is our kind of writer – one with buckets full of talent and a head brimming with wacky and completely original ideas. Her short story, Wilfrid Moore’s Eventful Day, is a delight in which every notion of what to expect in a story is turned on its head. Her hero, Wilfrid Moore, is a normal middle-aged Englishman living a normal English life. That is, of course, until the day he turns into a jellybaby. And it might just be the best thing that’s ever happened to him.
Finally, released today for April we have a new twist on the Singles’ Club format – we’re publishing a play! Not only that, but a slam poetry play. As a bit of a literary newbie, I have to say I’d never come across a slam poetry play before, but it’s a natural fit (and Scout’s Honour – nowhere near as pretentious or hipster as it sounds). Welcome to the Jungle, by Jeremy Johnson, is about a group of office workers who find in poetry escape from being a cog in the wheel and strength through tragedy. The play is a masterclass in brilliant dialogue and beautiful poetry; it’s a must-read.
Being part of an independent publishing group, I’m proud to say that each one of these releases is original and unpredictable, and most importantly, very fun to read. We’re still open for submissions, so if you have something you want the world to see (or at least, your Facebook friends), then send it on in: