Call for submissions

Call for submissions to ELECTRIC PRESS – LITERARY INSIGHTS MAGAZINE.

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Electric Press is an online magazine for readers who love indie and small press authors.
Wanted for the MAY edition, articles relating to writing, books & publishing; written for/directed toward the ‘Reader’ & NOT other authors.
Suggestions for content include:
  • ‘A day in the life of ‘….’?
  • Author interviews.
  • Author Profiles.
  • Illustrator/cover designer interviews.
  • Some words on Editing/Formatting.
  • Poetry.
  • Short Stories.
  • Book reviews.
  • Life Stories.
  • Blog Posts.
  • Publishing Insights.
  • Market trends/movements
  • Effects of Coronavirus on indie authors.
  • Reports.
  • Upcoming/Cancelled Events/Shows.
  • Forthcoming Online Events/Broadcasts.
  • Competitions/Challenges

Contributions and Submissions are welcome from Indie authors, Small Press authors & Publishers, Author & publishing support services, Illustrators, Photographers, Artists & Cover designers, Book related websites/blogs, Book Reviewers.

Electric Press is a QUARTERLY periodical. Therefore, when contributing consider this edition covers May, June & July 2020 inclusive.
DEADLINE. Midnight BST, 20th of April 2020.
Please note, all accepted submissions will receive a promotional opportunity for the marketing of the contributor’s book/artwork/service etc. including images, short bio & purchasing links. (if required.)
Contributions & Submissions: Email, TheElectricpress@mail.com

Railways, nostalgia, memories and time travel.

I first published this post, in June 2015, on a blog called Ramblings from a Writers Mind where I ‘write about writing for writers’.

The subject, one of memory and nostalgia is, I feel, equally important to the readers among us as it is to those who write. It is on that premise I now re-publish this post here, on Electric’s Eclectic’s blog.

Enjoy.

I am sure I am not alone when I say stations and trains hold countless evocative memories for me. Many of these recollections are from my childhood, others from my adolescence and beyond. But most are essentially pure nostalgic longing.

I say nostalgic longing rather than reminiscent memory because most of the evocative scenes which play within my mind, when I contemplate railway carriages and station platforms, are false recollections. They are simply wistful yearnings for a time and place I have never been privy to.

Those of you who may not have a creative bent, those who are not writers, poets or lyricists may not, as yet, comprehend my words. So I shall, in my usual arbitrary, chaotic and irregular manner, begin to ramble away and hopefully elucidate you all too where my thoughts have wandered regarding this subject.

If you will humour me, I shall ask you to close your eyes for a moment or two and imagine you are on a station platform in the nineteen forties or fifties.

casablanca04Hear the sounds of the locomotive hissing steam as it waits for the passengers to disembark. See the porters as they wheel loaded wooden carts to the goods wagon, while others push handcarts laden with passenger’s luggage to the coach doorway where they assist the people to board.

In the waiting room, a small coal fire burns filling the air with a sooty but homely scent, a scent of warmth and comfort. From a small kiosk, a man wearing a scarf and flat cap sells newspapers to the passengers waiting on the platform.

All around, a cacophony of sound melds into this concert of life, whistles blow, milk churns clank, You can hear the ‘thunk’ as reams of newspapers are plonked on the platform ready for collection. Passenger’s voices are a constant murmur, a backdrop to the stationmaster’s call of “All aboard”. Doors slam shut, the train huffs and puffs as it pulls away. A metallic squeal pierces the air as the wheels begin to turn.

Those remaining on the platform wave off their loved ones who, leaning out of the windows, blow kisses back.

The pervading smell is of coal, steam, hot metal, wood, newspaper and soot.bacio in treno grande

This is how I remember railway stations. Or at least this is how my selective and partially false memories cause my mind to create this evocative picture in my head.

I am not quite old enough to had such an experience. I was not born into that era. My time came a little later. Perhaps I do have just enough knowledge, enough memory to blend some truth into this fantasy.

As a young child, maybe six or seven years old, I regularly watched the last few operational steam trains as they rattled over the railway bridge in Penge.

I remember ‘platform tickets’, tickets which allowed non-passengers access onto the platforms to say goodbye and wave off their loved ones, or to meet them on their return. I have sat in the comforting warmth of a British Rail waiting room which was heated by an open coal fire, the smell of which I shall never forget. I also recall when the green liveried trains had first, second and third-class carriages, as well as a goods wagon and guards van at the rear.

Some may say they were the ‘good old day’s’ and in many ways, I agree. But historical conclusion is not the topic of today’s rambling.

I was not born early enough to have encountered life in the forties, not early enough to truly know the scents, sounds and feel of travelling by train in ‘those days’. Yet I do have the ability to create with my pen an acceptable and, this is the important bit, believable account of ‘being there’.

This is where ‘false memory’ becomes a friend and not the enemy.

downloadMixed with the few true memories I have are the perceptions of what life was like during such times. I have absorbed and pooled many of these ideas by reading books and watching films from that era, such as Brief Encounter (1945), or The Lady Eve (1941) and many other such scenes from plays and television programmes.

If, as a writer, I do my job well I can utilise both the true, the false and the acquired to create a world which shall captivate the consciousness of the reader, draw them into my fantasy world as their eyes traverse the page. I want to fascinate and enthral the reader, not only with my characters and their antics but also by lending to them an illusory world where they can escape the mundane and humdrum of life, at least for the moment.

This is where nostalgia, or at least nostalgic imagery features. I believe it is something we all have a longing for. Who, for instance, would not wish to travel back, to at least one certain point in time, if they were able?

I know it is something I would do if it were at all possible.

So why, I hear you ask, have I focused on railways as a topic to discuss the past. The answer is simple. Trains were ‘the’ mode of transport for the majority of people ‘way back when’, when few owned a car, less could afford to board a ship and air travel was just an aviators dream, accessible to only the very wealthy. Most towns and cities, other than one’s own home town, were too far away to cycle and horses were all but history.

How many of us have not said at least one goodbye, waved off a loved one or shed a tear on a railway platform. Who has not been be45a6b16e065833331925e08c5acb93bursting with excitement and anticipation while awaiting the arrival of a train returning a family member, a friend or a lover home?

It is fact stations are a place many hold dear because this is where we have experienced numerous emotions, countless times.

The station, the train, the railway is a place indelibly ingrained, permanently embedded and entwined with both our memory and emotion, however true or however false those evocative recollections might be will still hold them close, we still cherish them.

We all carry within ourselves a simple wistful yearning for a time and place we have never been. If I can re-create that place in your mind, stimulate your emotions, have you feel the air, taste the scents of my imaginings as you read my stories then know I have done a good job.

Thank you for reading this post. I hope these few randomly scribbled words give you food for thought or simply entertained you for a short while, Paul.


 To browse my books please feel free to visit my website, https://paulznewpostbox.wixsite.com/paul-white

If you would like to read a shorter book, say as an introduction to my writings, then check out my novelettes and ‘Pocketbooks’ on @open24, the Amazon store for readers by Electric Eclectic.

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ARE YOU A DINOSAUR?

This post is from Ian Welch, an author from New Zealand, who has three books with Electric Eclectic, Chantilly Lace, Operation Debt Recovery, and Phantom Footprints.

Ian’s books are a delight to read; he has an easy style of relaxed writing, which belies the twisted plots and humorous, even comical touches running through his stories. If you’re looking for a captivating lighthearted tale, chose any of the books mentioned above, you won’t be disappointed. 


‘The times they are a-changing.’ I seem to recall that’s a line from a Bob Dillon song, not that I would class myself as a fan. But he did write some thought-provoking lyrics. Technological changes are bombarding us every day, I feel like I’m struggling to stay afloat, to keep my head above water. No sooner you master (that’s a slight exaggeration) something it becomes obsolete, out of date, redundant and a new fan-dangled newbie bursts onto the market.

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It’s not only technology that’s changing, the world is in constant turmoil. I read the first world war was given the name ‘The Great War’ and ‘The War to end all Wars.’ That worked, didn’t it? Maybe there has always been conflict throughout the globe, it’s just our reporting is so much better (and graphic). The United Nations was touted as the great hope for world peace then they shot themselves in the foot by giving the major countries the right to veto any resolution.

The latest fad is climate change. Yes, I call it a fad not that I would place myself in the climate change denier box, but we’ve seen the constant procession of protest movements (all claiming to speak for the moral majority) over the years. Remember nuclear testing, Vietnam war, Iraq, anti-apartheid, genetic modification and I read some vegans have picketed supermarket meat departments (they claim eating meat is destroying the planet). And who can forget little Greta Thunberg addressing the UN which inspired a wave of school kid protests and the climate revolutionaries who thought having sit-downs on busy roads was the way to get their message across. I must admit I’m bemused at how Greta managed to get an invite to address the UN; I’m still waiting for mine!

I prefer to not disregard; but treat with a small measure cynicism, all the doom and gloom. The pressing issue, the one question that gives me sleepless nights, that evokes an avalanche of confusing mood swings is WILL MY BELOVED FOOTY TEAM WIN ON SATURDAY?

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But the above is not what I want to talk about, I want to talk about DINOSAURS. Be patient, I’m getting there.

 WHO READS BOOKS?

 Statistics indicate females make up the majority of readers, something like 66%. From my totally unscientific observations most male readers fall into the older age bracket (no number given) but how many teenage and twenty-something-year-old boys do you know who will sit down with a good book? And many female readers also slot into the mature age bracket.

My concern is as older readers (and writers) fall off the perch will books become relegated to a historical memento, an antiquity? Are we (writers and readers) all becoming dinosaurs and facing extinction? 

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Yes, of course, there are exceptions like the Harry Potter books which are doing a great job of introducing a younger reader to the joys, the excitement of a captivating novel.

All is not lost, as a writer and a reader my mission is to write spellbinding, impossible to put down novels that leave the reader desperate for more.

For further information about the author, Ian Welch and his novels:  https://iangwelchcom.wordpress.com/


You can find all Electric Eclectic books in Amazon’s @open24 store, the store for readers and writers.

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eBooks or Paperbacks… or is there another option?

Ebook vs Print Books

How often do you get asked, or hear the argument asking which is better… eBooks or Paperbacks?

To me, both have their benefits and downsides.

The main thing against eBooks is, you need a device and you need that device to have The e-Book Accused of Causing the Death of the Paperback?power. An uncharged Kindle, iPhone or Tablet is nothing but a piece of useless junk.

Even worse, is when it cuts out halfway through a chapter and your miles away from a charger, like on the beach or halfway up a mountain.

 

Of course, good things for eReaders of any description is the number of books you can store on them and the lack of space they take up. (Not that you’ll read even a small percentage of the books you have stored, while on holiday… or ever.)

The good things in favour of paperbacks are, you can read them anywhere, power or no power, charging points or not. You can flick through the pages of a physical book whilst in the bathtub without the fear of totally ruining it if it gets wet.

table-leg-and-bookAlso, I have never (yet) seen an electronic device used to prop up the wobbly leg of a café table, I have seen this done with a paperback book.

If you drop a paperback, no harm done, just pick it up and continue reading, no broken screens, no expensive repair bills.

Oh, and when did anyone snatch a paperback out of your hands and make off with it? Never is my guess.

There is also the wonderful feeling of holding a ‘real’ book, sharing it and lending it to your friend, or having it displayed on a bookshelf in your lounge. You cannot do that with eBooks.

Paperbacks do have a downside.

They are quite large in comparison to an Android phone or a Nook, so take up a lot more room, which is fine at home but can take a good proportion of luggage space when going on vacation.

And so, the discussion goes on. You may prefer one format over the other, or you may take advantage of the benefits of each, as and when you want.

However, what if there was a middle ground?

What if… you could read a paperback the size of an iPhone?

Think of how many of those you could slip into your suitcase or rucksack, a handbag, or even your pockets.

You could read them anywhere, no batteries to worry about, no signal needed, no damage if dropped and no fear of anyone stealing them. You could even leave it unguarded on your beach towel when you went swimming, knowing it will still be there when you return.

How amazing would that be?

The thing is, this is not an idle thought, a sci-fi fantasy, or simply a futuristic dream. These books actually exist NOW.

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Electric Eclectic has a growing range of ‘POCKETBOOKS’, smaller paperbacks whose dimensions are just 6×4″, which makes them ideal for travellers and commuters. These small-format books easily slip into a case, rucksack, handbag or, as the name suggests, a pocket, even the back pocket of your denim jeans.

Each pocketbook is a complete book, an entire Electric Eclectic novella or novelette. Most have an eBook option if you really prefer the electronic version.

Electric Eclectic is increasing the number of pocketbooks in their library, so keep checking in for new releases.

Here are some of the currently available Pocketbook titles.

Click on any cover image to read more on Amazon.

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Readers; important dates for your diary.

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Are you planning to buy more books this year, or do you simply tend to grab one when it catches your eye?

Whichever you do, it is worth considering when to buy your books because, at certain times, authors and publishers run special promotions.

These promotions can include discounts, new releases, posting of excerpts or sample chapters, reveals of covers and a whole host of exciting stuff not usually seen at other times.

Electric Eclectic suggest the following are dates worth putting into your diary and even setting an alarm to jog your memory. (We’ll post further dates for your diary later in the year.)

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March 5

Marked in over 100 countries across the globe, World Book Day is a UNESCO initiative which aims to celebrate books and reading, especially among younger members of our societies. In the UK and Ireland, National Book Tokens are given to children so they can find books of their own choice, something to unlock the power of their minds in a way the increasing prevalence of digital screens may not provide.

For what it’s worth, World Book Day falls on the same date every year as St David’s Day, so, if you read a Welsh book on the first day of March every year, you are doing justice to two great causes!

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March 21

Poetry reaffirms our common humanity in revealing everybody in the world shares the same questions and feelings. Poetry is the mainstay of oral tradition and, over centuries, can communicate the innermost values of diverse cultures.

In celebrating World Poetry Day, March 21, UNESCO recognizes the unique ability of poetry to capture the creative spirit of the human mind.

One of the main objectives of the Day is to support linguistic diversity through poetic expression and to offer endangered languages the opportunity to be heard within their communities.

The observance of World Poetry Day also encourages the oral tradition of poetry recitals, to promote the teaching of poetry, to restore a dialogue between poetry and other arts such as theatre, dance, music and painting, and to support small publishers and create an attractive image of poetry in the media, so the art of poetry will no longer be considered an outdated form of art, but one which enables society as a whole to regain and assert its identity.

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APRIL

April 1 to May 10

National Pet Month is back, and it is even better than ever, attracting thousands of animal lovers to celebrate the value of pet ownership. Every year National Pet Month brings together animal welfare charities, professional bodies, businesses, and schools to promote good pet ownership, raise funds for good causes and have fun.

We love to shout about the rewards and benefits of owning a pet whilst encouraging responsibility, increasing awareness of pet care specialists, and promoting the value of assistance and companion animals.

What has this, you may ask, got to do with books. The answer is simple, writers and authors love their pets too, so to share stories and images of them while talking a bout their books is something many do. Check out social during these dates.

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April 23

World Book and Copyright Day is a celebration to promote the enjoyment of books and reading. Each year, on 23 April, worldwide celebrations take place to recognise the magical power of books; a link between the past and the future, a bridge between generations and across cultures.

23 April is a symbolic date in world literature. It is the date on which several prominent authors, William Shakespeare, Miguel Cervantes and Inca Garcilaso de la Vega died. It is the natural choice for UNESCO’s General Conference, first held in Paris in 1995, to pay a worldwide tribute to books and authors, and to encouraging everyone to access books, which are the most beautiful invention for sharing ideas beyond the boundaries of humanity, space and time, as well as being a most powerful force of poverty eradication and peacebuilding.

By championing books and copyright, UNESCO stands up for creativity, diversity and equal access to knowledge. With active involvement of stakeholders: authors, publishers, teachers, librarians, public and private institutions, humanitarian NGOs and the mass media, and all those who feel motivated to work together in this world celebration of books and authors, World Book and Copyright Day has become a platform to rally together millions of people all around the world.

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May 1 to May 31

National Share A Story Month 2020

Celebrate the Power of Storytelling with National Share-a-Story Month

The Federation of Children’s Book Groups is an organisation started in the 1960s. It was created in response to parents’ desires to learn more about children’s books and how to encourage their own children to read more.

Children’s Book Groups were created in throughout the UK, the Federation served to link them together. The Federation is responsible for several initiatives including National Share-a-Story Month.

The celebration takes place annually throughout the month of May. It has proved to be an excellent way to celebrate the power of storytelling. Children and stories are brought together in a variety of events which take place across the UK.

Each year the event has a general theme, for 2020 it is Folk tales, fairy lore, figments, phantoms, dragons, serpents, storms at sea.

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Browse Electric Eclectic’s books, for adults and children of all ages. You can find them on our website at http://bit.ly/visitEEbooks

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My Poem for Valentine’s Day

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It depends on which cards land, ‘cos the devils in the deal,

The King and Queen of Hearts are what you wish to feel,

So, pick them up, fan them out, take a look and see,

There’s the Jack of Clubs, his grinning back with glee,

And sitting just behind him is the ace of spades, bad luck,

Like the hand life’s dealt you; they don’t give a flying fuck.

 

The King and Queen will only be in your nightly dreams

And the Heart you so desire is much father than it seems.

“I’ll raise you ten,” he says, with an evil sneer,

You want to tear his face off, rip it from ear to ear,

Your watch your last silver dollar as it rattles into the pot

That’s it, your all up, it’s the last you’ve got.

 

Just one slender chance, you willingly embrace

Because nothing can now fill what is an empty space.

And nothing will leave you just about level,

Until you sell your vacant soul to Beelzebub the Devil.

You lose again, just like every fucking day,

So get up from the table, again you walk away.

 

Tomorrow is Valentines, a day of true romance,

When lovers reveal their passions, hoping for a chance.

Where wine and chocolates and bouquets of red flowers bloom,

And a thousand pairs of feet scuttle off to some hotel bedroom.

Where the lost and lonely sit and weep, in darkened empty homes

And stare at the blank glass screens of their silent mobile phones.

 

Where your life’s gambles lay in ruins upon the green baize

And those who’ve lost wander the streets in a lonesome daze.

When love is some distant recall which is hard to find,

Something fleeting, passing, just escaping your mind,

Where the fallen Jack of Hearts lays upon the floor

With one arm raised, finger-pointing, showing you the door.

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© Paul White 2015

Hey, why not check out ‘Teardrops and White Doves’ a collection of my poetry. Available in a fully illustrated, full colour, Hardcover book direct from my printers, or as a standard Paperback from Amazon

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Electric Press magazine: February edition, now out.

The Electric Press Literary Insights magazine: February 2020 edition is now available online. Simply follow this link. 

https://issuu.com/electricpress/docs/epfebruary20

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