tcook's blog

Freedom! Competition Winners

After much deliberation the jury, i.e. me, has reported back and I'm pleased to say that the winners are: Prose: Winner: Alan Green Runner-Up: Old Pesky (and I took into account that he had slightly exceeded the word limit!) Highly commended: Russian Doll and Kropotkin38 Poetry: Winner: Lavadis Runner up: Nicola 6 Highly commended: Sundays Child and Fatboy 74. A special mention should go to Cavalcaderl whose entries went way beyond her normal...

Jennifer reaches her target!

Great news! Jennifer Pickup has reached her funding target on Unbound - thanks to you lot. It means that her book, Unbelievable, will be out early next year and that ABCtales will become the 'new writer' source for Unbound Books. That's good for all of us and congratulations are due all round.

Let's Start Again Book Out Now!

The wonderful wilkybarkid has put together a book of all the entries from our last 'Let's Start Again' competition. It's available, price £5.99, from: I do hope that many of you will take this opportunity to buy a little bit of history - and see yourself in print! Many many thanks go to wilky for his sterling efforts on all of our behalfs.

Ralph is (not) a vampire or a spy

There's two great new books for kids illustrated by ABCtaler El Ashfield and written by Corinne Davies. They follow on from the magnificent Ralph is (not) a Superhero and follow much the same format. Written in rhyming couplets they trace the adventures of 8 year old nerd Ralph as he survives the pitfalls of school, ignominy and his elder sister and her friends. In 'Vampire' Ralph is fooled into going to sister's groovy party in fancy dress when...

Chelsey Flood signs major book deal

Just to let you all know that long term member Chelsey Flood has signed a major book deal with Simon and Schuster (and Arena in Germany). She's gone with them after an auction in the UK and Germany. The provisional title of the book is Silverweed and it is hoped it will be out in early 2013. You see - it does pay to be an ABCtales member! Congratulations to Chelsey, Tony Cook

BloodMining by Laura Wilkinson

A review by Tony Cook: Let me begin by stating quite clearly and unequivocably that I like this book. I thoroughly enjoyed reading it, I found the characters realistic and engaging, the storyline compelling and the writing direct and lean. BloodMining is divided into three sections. The first and third sections are set in the future Britain of around 2050 after a devastating plague has wiped out swathes of the population, the middle section is...

The Runaway Goat

This is a book written by Lucy Mathen. The first line of the introduction tells you she is a pain in the arse. I wish there were more pains in the arse like her. It tells of why she set up the Second Sight charity to help cure blindness in India. Not a penny is spent on administration - it all goes directly to benefit those in need. This is a remarkable tale and we urge you all to buy a copy of The Runaway Goat - all the monies you spend go...

ABCtales Italian Holiday Offer

Through the good offices of one of our members we are able to offer you good folks the following offer at a wonderful villa in Italy: 'This has to be the most tranquil, understated Bed and Breakfast in the world. The views are stupendous, the food is splendid and it's the ultimate place for writers and artists to get away from it all. There is a whirlpool in the garden overlooking Perugia and the Apennines and a Turkish bath with chromotherapy...

Submarine gets great reviews

The film of Submarine - the novel by Joe Dunthorne that started life here on ABCtales - is getting rave reviews. If you haven't read the book, then do! And if you go and see the film then please leave a review here on the forums. It just goes to show how ABCtales can help you develop as a writer. Joe was a student at UEA when he started on here and he still posts from time to time as 'spack'. Find his work here:

ABCtales Magazine: Back to the Beginning

The first in a projected series of Omnibus editions of ABCtales Magazine is now available to buy or download: Collecting issues 1-3, cover dated 2006. Featuring: Hazel McSporran, Pete Allen, Hayley Webster, Liana Hemmett, Tim Clare, Kirsten Irving, John Thomson, Kevin Marman, Colin Tuff, Dan Derrett, Swep Lovitt, Jon Stone, Joe Dunthorne, Foster Trecost, Scharlie Meeuws, Alison Dunne, Jayne Dunsmuir and Nigel...