ICYMI – me and all these amazing women wrote about our hair for Guardian Weekend:
Our new collection of stories, Congregation of Innocents, is published at the end of this month and we’ve organised some readings and talks where you can also buy the book – would be ace to see you if you can make it down…
28th October – MANCHESTER, Bad Language at the Castle Hotel, Oldham Street. 7.30pm. Free entry. Jenn Ashworth, Richard Hirst.
19th November – LIVERPOOL John Moores University. Details tbc. Jenn Ashworth, Emma Jane Unsworth.
8th December – BRIGHTON, Rialto Theatre. Details tbc. Jenn Ashworth, Emma Jane Unsworth, Ian Williams. Plus special guests Hannah Berry and Hannah Eaton.
11th December – BIRMINGHAM, Art School. Details tbc. Jenn Ashworth, Richard Hirst.
15th December – MANCHESTER, Chapter One Book Shop. Details tbc. Jenn Ashworth, Richard Hirst, Emma Jane Unsworth, Ian Williams.
As some of you might know, every winter I make an anthology of ghost stories with a collective of friends. We call ourselves Curious Tales. It’s a bit of fun. I mean, a lot of fun. We do everything ourselves, for the sheer love of creepiness. This year, the collection will be called Congregation of Innocents: Five Curious Tales. It’s a neon-drenched, woozy, hazy, joyous little bundle of unease. My story is about a train journey, a music festival, and a girl in a yellow anorak.
Like its predecessors, the book will be print-only, limited edition and fully illustrated by the artist Beth Ward. Here’s the cover:
The stories and artwork within are all in some way inspired by the work of Shirley Jackson (‘The Lottery’), commemorating 50 years since her death. We are very proud to have an introduction by the novelist Patrick McGrath.
We also have a new collaborator for 2015: Ian Williams, who has created our first Curious Tales graphic short story as part of the book.
Congregation of Innocents will be published on 31 October 2015 and we will be touring the UK with a series of performances and talks – more details soon. You can preorder the book here soon, and thank you if you do.
Meantime, stay freaky.
Animals won a Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize 2015! The book will be promoted in WH Smith stores over summer. (It is also part of their Fresh Talent promotion – double whammy from WH Smith, cheers!) I’m phenomenally grateful to the judges as the prize will make a big difference both to Animals and to the next book I’m working on. The prize money means writing time. So thank you, Jerwood, very much!
The prize also includes a hand-bound edition of the novel, which is just about the loveliest thing I’ve ever seen.
Photos by Alicia Canter.