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Brit Grit Alley

Brit Grit Alley features interviews, news and updates on what's happening down British crime fiction's booze and blood soaked alleyways.

By Paul D. Brazill 

A quick dash down Brit Grit Alley:

'Crime and Publishment - Creative writing courses designed for budding crime fiction authors of all levels.

Not only will delegates be taught some of the essential writing skills necessary to produce a novel, they will receive tips and advice on networking, preparing to pitch their novel to an agent or publisher and they will be given a unique opportunity to have a five minute pitch session to a publisher.

All of the creative writing courses will be led by established authors or industry professionals.

Our programme of crime writing courses for the 6th - 8th of March 2015 includes:

Gripping Your Reader: Caro Ramsay
Learn techniques to keep your readers turning the pages

It's All About the Procedure - RC Bridgestock
Practical advice and insights into police procedure from a former Superintendent turned author

Fact in Fiction - David Thomas (Tom Cain)
Tips and techinques on how to blend real events into your novel

The Power of Reviews - Graham Smith
Respected reviewer Graham Smith will explain how reviews work for both author and reviewer

Peer Feedback: Graham Smith & Michael Malone
They say that the first line, paragraph and chapter of any novel has to grab the reader's attention. We invite you to submit a first paragraph which will be read out for peer feedback within your group.
All submissions will be read out anonymously by your hosts.

Synopsising your Novel and Preparing your Pitch: David Headley (DHH Literary Agency)
Learn what publishers and agents are expecting from people who pitch to them. A great story can be ignored because of a poor pitch so we've got an agent to explain exactly what he is looking for.

Pitch your Novel: David Headley (DHH Literary Agency)
A five minute opportunity for you to pitch your novel to a agent.

Optional Extra
The Nuts and Bolts of Crime Fiction: Michael Malone & Graham Smith

Michael Malone and Graham Smith will talk you through the nuts and bolts of crime writing. They will highlight things to include and things which makes the reader throw books away in disgust.
N.B. This workshop is not included in the overall price and will be charged at £25 per person.

Crime and Publishment, creative writing courses will be held at The Mill Forge Hotel on the outskirts of Gretna Green and will run from the 6th to the 8th of March 2015. Places are limited so book early to avoid disappointment.'

Out from Nigel Bird and published by Blasted Heath: Southsiders.

'Ray Spalding's had enough of his wife, Paula. He's left his home in Edinburgh's Southside and headed for Belfast. It's safer there.

Unknown to Ray, Paula's also had enough of him. She's not going back home. Not now, not ever.

Jesse Spalding wakes up one morning to find both his parents gone. And he can't tell anyone or he'll be taken into care.

As time passes and bills need paying, all Jesse can rely on are his wits, his friend Archie and his dad's 1950s record collection.

Southsiders is a powerful short novel that follows the spiralling fortunes of Ray and Jesse, pushing father and son to their limits while they struggle against the odds in the darker shadows of two of Britain's capital cities.'

New Talent November 2014 at Crime Fiction Lover

'There’s nothing like discovering a new voice on the crime fiction scene, is there? That’s why each November, our team aims to bring you some of the year’s hottest new talent.

We don’t only look at writers that have come through the traditional publishing stables either. During New Talent November, we feature debuts and second novels, but we also look at self-published and indie authors. You never know what kind of quality you’ll discover when you look into all the nooks and crannies of today’s publishing world and rather than look down our noses at the self-published author – as many do – we prefer to celebrate their potential.

Some highlights to look out for include our favourite debuts of the year, and a look at some of the brightest new writers coming out of Scandinavia at the moment. We’ll be interviewing new author Phil Lecomber who wrote Mask of the Verdoy, and also William Giraldi whose Alaskan chiller Hold the Dark is tearing up trees in America.

There will be reviews galore as well, including Toxic by Jackie McLean, The Devil in the Marshalsea by Antonia Hodgeson and The Axeman’s Jazz by Ray Celestin. We’ve got crime fiction from as far away as New Zealand, and we even have a book scheduled in called Maybe I Should Just Shoot You in the Face. It has to be the most direct title for a pulp publication we’ve come across in a while.

This is the fourth year in a row that we’ve run New Talent November, and for the first time it’s being supported by sponsors in the publishing industry. So we’re sending out a thank you to our backers who include:

280 Steps

Blasted Heath

Caffeine Nights

ThunderPoint

Britain’s Next Bestseller

These indie publishers are all trying new things with the technology, discovering interesting new authors and getting them out there. We’d urge you to check out books from these publishers during November – just keep coming back during the month and we’ll tell you more.'


  There'll be more carryings on down Brit Grit Alley very soon, sorta kinda thing, like.

Paul D. Brazill is the author of A Case Of Noir,Guns Of Brixton and The Neon Boneyard. He was born in England and lives in Poland. He is an International Thriller Writers Inc member whose writing has been translated into Italian, Finnish, German and Slovene. He has had writing published in various magazines and anthologies, including The Mammoth Books of Best British Crime 8,10 and 11, alongside the likes of Ian Rankin, Neil Gaiman and Lee Child. He has edited a few anthologies, including the best-selling True Brit Grit – with Luca Veste. His blog is here.