Launching a book with Micaela Maftei and Laura Tansley

The relationship is what gave the events their energy. A book comes to life in different ways, at different times, for different readers. The writing is not the partnership, but the writing comes from the partnership, and the evidence of this in the photos from this event would suggest that this is a valuable thing to share.

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Crafting a Standout Submission

There’s a lot of information out there on how to pitch your book to publishers, but much of it is based on how the larger houses operate. In this article I’ll give you a peek into what the submissions process is like for a small indie publisher, and provide tips on how to craft a submission that stands out.

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Dana J Keller
Libraries: Use Them Before We Lose Them

Some of my earliest childhood memories involve weekly visits to the library with my mum. I dreamed of being like Matilda in the movie scene when she leaves her library pulling a small trailer full of books. “You can only take out eight books at once?” I’d asked the librarian in surprise, convinced I’d run out in the next day or two. When aged eight and asked what I disliked the most for my school yearbook page, I answered, “Running out of books from the library.” I suppose it’s safe to say I was obsessed with the library from an early age, and I’m entirely convinced this contributed to a lifelong love of books.

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Reading the Seasons

For me, reading has always had a synaesthetic quality. Just as some people can taste music or feel smells like a sensation on their skin, I experience books through the colours and properties of seasons. … Perhaps you don’t have this problem. Actually, I hope you don’t. It’s annoying, inconvenient and leaves piles of books scattered around my room waiting for the perfect moment to be read. However, if you recognise this pattern in your own reading life, then here are my suggestions (both practical and emotional) on how to read for the seasons. 

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Cheers Govanhill

Cheers Govanhill is a semi-fictional blog about inner-city weirdness from Glasgow’s unruliest neighbourhood. Everything in it is true, although a lot of it might have been made up. The narrator laddie, Boy David, explains where to buy brontosaurus cutlets, how New York stole all its ideas from Govanhill and what gentrification means for the filthy habits of west of Scotland dead men. 

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Red Axe Covers #8: Three Kinds of Kissing

With his cover for Helen Lamb’s vividly atmospheric novel Three Kinds of Kissing, designer Mark Mechan aimed to capture the mood of the late ‘60s and early ‘70s – the period in which the story takes place. This is one of the most detailed, unique covers he’s created for us. In this blog post he breaks down his design process.

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Helen Lamb and Three Kinds of Kissing

The subtle spellbinding strength of Helen’s writing comes from an intuitive, keenly felt sense of what makes human lives so special, and sometimes so messy and difficult. Helen knew that what doesn’t get talked about, what lies behind a look or a glance, is what really matters. This unswerving commitment to the “truth” of her characters runs through Three Kinds of Kissing. The story of Grace and Olive, and of the secret that binds them together and tears them apart, may be a work of fiction but it is unwaveringly honest. Chris Powici, writer and former partner of the late Helen Lamb, discusses Lamb’s writing process and interests.

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The Divided Passions of Translation Readers

What type of translated novels do you most like? As mentioned in our previous blog post, we’re now wrapping up Series 1 of our Think in Translation podcast and blog. At the start of this project we sent out a two-question survey with the aim of gaining insight into what interests people about translation and translated books. In the blog post that follows, our founder Allan Cameron reveals the responses to the second question of our survey and comments on the divided passions of people who read books in translation.

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A Good Translator is Never Satisfied: What it’s Like to Work in Literary Translation

What would you like to know about the process of translating novels? We’re now wrapping up Series 1 of our Think in Translation podcast and blog. Thank you to all who’ve listened and participated in our debate on literary translation! At the start of this project we sent out a two-question survey in the hopes of getting a better sense of what it is about translation and translated books that most interests our readers and listeners. The following blog post is the first of two parts (we’ll do one post per question) in which Allan Cameron, Vagabond’s founder as well as a writer and translator himself, responds to the questions we received.

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Found in Translation, Lost in its Prizes: The Trouble with Translated Literature Awards

While in other countries literary translations are broadly published and read, the Anglo-American world seems stubborn in its preference for homegrown literature. Currently attempts are being made to boost the popularity of foreign works through the introduction of new literary awards. But to what extent can literary prizes really help foreign authors to get a firm footing in the English literary market? In this blog post we explore literary translation prizes from a variety of angles to analyse what works and what could use some improvement.

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