Writer, editor, reviewer

standard

Introduction 0

I am a writer, editor and reviewer. I edit books, write about books, interview people who write books, and write books myself.

I am interested in many other art forms. I have written about theatre, dance, film, TV and music, and I have even written several scripts. 

I also write and edit copy for arts organisations and for businesses. I work with content for websites, for project descriptions and proposals, for research, and for marketing and advertising.  

 

standard

Orenda update 0

It’s been an extremely busy few months at Orenda Books.

The early summer saw the publication of two debut psychological thrillers that I worked on with publisher Karen Sullivan:  Exquisite by Sarah Stovell and The Other Twin by L V Hay. Both have received a lot of positive press attention – all of which is well deserved.

In May, the great Norwegian crime writer Gunnar Staalesen won the Petrona Award for Don Bartlett’s translation of his Varg Veum novel Where Roses Never Die (edited by yours truly), just after I’d put the finishing touches to the next Gunnar/Don collaboration, Wolves in the Dark, which was published in June.

I have spent the summer months editing Louise Beech’s hilarious and heart-wrenching Maria in the Moon, and Michael J. Malone’s chilling experiment with the gothic novel, House of Spines, both out in September.

Finn, Antti Tuomainen has also branched out – this time into literary black comedy, with his hilariously dark novel, The Man Who Died, which I had the great pleasure to edit. Exclusive advance copies sold out at the Edinburgh Festival, so I hear, but other readers will have to wait for autumn to get hold of what deserves to be a major hit.

As summer comes to an end it seems I’m surrounded by snow – editing two chilly crime novels by Icelandic writers: Lilja Sigurðardóttir’s English debut Snare, and the final part in Ragnar Jónasson’s Dark Iceland series, Whiteout.

Like many lucky enough to work in publishing, I have also been able to get first looks at what will be coming up for readers in the next year: it’s going to be a good one for fans of Orenda.

standard

Interview with The Book Trail 0

In August, I was interviewed by award-winning book blogger The Book Trail. The focus of the Q&A was The Riveter magazine, which I edit, and the European Literature Network, which I write and edit for; but we also discussed my work for Orenda Books and how I came to work in publishing and arts journalism.

You can read the interview here: http://www.thebooktrail.com/translated-fiction-european-literature-network/

standard

CrimeFest 2017 – an editor’s view 0

Back in May I attended CrimeFest 2017, in my role as Editor for Orenda Books.

I was also commissioned to write a feature about one of the biggest Crime Literature convention’s in the world by ELit and the European Literature Network. You can read my piece here: http://www.eurolitnetwork.com/crimefest-2017-an-editors-view-of-the-international-crime-fiction-convention-by-west-camel/

 

 

standard

The Riveter – Russian Writing 0

In August, the second edition of The Riveter was published by the European Literature Network.

I edited the magazine, alongside Riveter-in-Chief and Director of the European Literature Network, Rosie Goldsmith. I also contributed reviews of Zinovy Zinik’s Sounds Familiar, and China Miéville’s October to the publication.

The Riveter: Riveting Russian Writing was released on 3 August to celebrate the European Literature Network’s  Russian events at the British Library (Riveting Russian Translation Workshop and Riveting Reads: Russian Literature Today).

You can view and download a pdf of The Riveter, edition two here: http://www.eurolitnetwork.com/the-riveter-edition-two-on-russian-literature-today-is-out/ 

 

standard

The Riveter magazine – Polish writing 0

To celebrate The London Book Fair 2017 Poland Market Focus, the European Literature Network launched its very first print magazine, The Riveter. Born out of the Network’s monthly #Riveting Reviews and with much help from a range of knowledgeable and discerning contributors, the magazine is guest edited by Deborah Levy, with a cover illustration by Chris Riddell.

I had the honour to edit the magazine, in collaboration with Rosie Goldsmith, and contributing editors, Anna Blasiak and Antonia Lloyd-Jones.

 

I also reviewed for the magazine what in my view is one of the most important novels of the twentieth century – Wiesław Myśliwski’s Stone Upon Stone.

With more content than we could fit into the forty pages of the print publication, we focused the European Literature Network’s March #Riveting Reviews on Polish writing too. I edited these and wrote a companion review of Myśliwski’s award-winning A Treatise on Shelling Beans.

 

 

 

 

The Riveter, Edition One, March 2017, is supported by The London Book Fair, the British Council and the Polish Cultural Institute, and will be available at Polish literature events throughout 2017. The European Literature Network will also make a pdf of the expanded magazine available to download at the end of March.

 

standard

European Literature Days reviews for Elit 0

European Literature Days is an annual festival held in the Austrian town of Spitz. Organised by the Elit, Literaturhaus Europa, the 2016 festival’s them was migration.

As part of the festival, I wrote two reviews: one of Tim Parks’ novel, Dreams of Rivers and Seas, the other of From the Ruins of Empire, Pankaj Mishra’s re-examination of Asia’s response to colonialism.

 

 

standard

Editing for Stonock and Create Associates arts consultancies 0

Lois Stonock

Over the past few months I have been working on a range of projects for Lois Stonock and her arts and curatorial consultancy, Stonock.

Lois advises arts organisations on business planning, arts strategies and also writes extensively about a variety of arts projects.

Lois is also part of Create Associates, a collective of curators, academics and artists who Image result for create associatesspecialise in writing arts, culture and community strategies.

Through Lois I have taken on editing projects for a range of work from Create Associates, including pitches, presentations, strategy documents and website copy.

standard

Iceland Noir – Iceland’s Festival of Crime Fiction 0

In November, I travelled to Reykjavík with Karen Sullivan and a host of Orenda authors for Iceland Noir – a crime fiction festival organised by two of those authors and an Orenda translator, among others.

Attended by crime fiction greats such as Val McDermid (who gave the keynote speech) Ann Cleeves and Yrsa Sigurðardóttir, the three days of talks were intriguing – as was my first visit to the North Atlantic island.

My feature piece about the festival was published on  ELit Literature House Europe and on the European Literature Network:

Iceland Noir – Iceland’s Festival of Crime Fiction by West Camel

standard

An Interview with Translator Don Bartlett 0

In September my interview with Norwegian < English translator, Don Bartlett was published on the  ELit Literature House Europe website and the European Literature Network.

I have worked with Don on his translations of Gunnar Staalesen’s crime novels for Orenda Books; and in preparation for the interview, I took my first plunge into Karl Ove Knausgaard’s remarkable work.

The result was a comparison between two contemporary greats of Norwegian literature. The results were fascinating.

An interview with translator Don Bartlett by West Camel

standard

#Riveting Reviews and Other Dutch Delights 0

In January I was once again editor of the European Literature Network’s monthly Riveting Reviews.

January’s  reviews were devoted to Dutch Literature. Celebrating #HighImpactAllStars – the Network’s evening of literature from the Low Countries, ably hosted, as always by Rosie Goldsmith – alongside Dutch specialist Aimee Hardy, I commissioned and edited reviews of new titles in English from Herman Koch, Gerard Reve, Esther Gerritsen, and others. I also wrote a feature review of The Penguin Book of Dutch Short Stories.