Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Round up

 End of year round-up.

I started 2021 with an essay about colonialism and hedgehogs, published in The Clearing: https://www.littletoller.co.uk/the-clearing/on-entering-the-wrong-carriage-by-rachel-j-fenton/

'Everywhere is Now', my graphic poem about war, was picked up by Word City Monthly after I posted it on my blog. https://snowlikethought.blogspot.com/2021/01/everywhere-is-now.html https://miombopublishing.org/2021/02/09/everywhere-is-now-a-graphic-story-by-rachel-j-fenton-rae-joyce-wordcity-monthly-february-2021-issue6/

I reviewed Nigel Pantling's It's Not Personal (Smith | Doorstop, 2020) over on Everybody's Reviewing.

My poem ‘Dregs' was published in Neologism Poetry (technically their December issue but I didn’t see it until January): https://www.neologismpoetry.com/december-2020/?fbclid=IwAR1QB6Ttx9WpmsnR6vnJrvksPkzDMCA0Bit4BeY9NjxejkrzpzPkhVy3Rog

My story ‘We Are Not Victorians’ was shortlisted for the Bath Flash Fiction Competition and included in their anthology.

My poem ‘Miscarriage’ was published in Writing in a Woman’s Voice.

A selection of my poems made the shortlist out of over a thousand entries in the Disquiet Literary Contest: https://snowlikethought.blogspot.com/2021/03/disquiet.html

My review of Becky Manawatu’s novel Auē was published in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/apr/28/it-was-so-gripping-i-read-it-in-two-sittings-11-books-to-pull-you-out-of-a-reading-rut?fbclid=IwAR1Cc0EZ6RgZQ1FPXPNJm7_YsbEuv7bTmyWabSTW0s8sm4os1oal4htXWsw

Between the Flags, my first foray in YA novel writing (and the sequel to Some Things the English which was longlisted in the inaugural Michael Gifkins Prize https://authors.org.nz/three-talented-kiwis-shortlisted-for-michael-gifkins-prize/ and went on to be shortlisted for the Cinnamon Press Debut Novel Prize and placed second in the Dundee International Book Prize) made it to the longlist of 12 out of over a hundred entries in the Michael Gifkins Unpublished Novel Competition https://snowlikethought.blogspot.com/2021/05/ya-listing.html.

My debut poetry collection Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York was published by The Ethel Press: https://www.ethelzine.com/shop/beerstorming-with-charlotte-bront-in-new-york-by-rachel-j-fenton

Nuala O’ Connor – author of acclaimed novel NORA – interviewed me about my debut poetry collection Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York. https://nualaoconnor.com/writers-at-work-rachel-j-fenton-interview/

Playwright and lesbian feminist activist Carolyn Gage interviewed me about Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York: https://carolyngage.weebly.com/blog/rachel-j-fenton-on-the-trail-of-charlotte-brontes-best-friend?fbclid=IwAR2xCBm8QMfBH2moAcUHLP9dZo13_KElNDFbCE_UHvrx0rCBc24FJbgkYxQ

And novelist and publisher Sylvia Petter penned this creative response to Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York: https://www.sylviapetter.com/2021/06/08/on-reading-rachel-fentons-beerstorming-with-charlotte-bronte-in-new-york/?fbclid=IwAR015GB722DWsiuTPHRbB06eFwiGTqwZRTb_biGMYLf0lIbs_gTwkXoGCRI

Beerstorming also got a mention on the University of Leicester blog: https://creativewritingatleicester.blogspot.com/2021/06/rachel-j-fenton-beerstorming-with.html?fbclid=IwAR3QKkCDL722J4xiA883NWSrzJbxlYSJnNxvRyvu535NJiZT3ilImr9RLAI

I was invited to give a talk bout Mary Taylor, at the Hampden Community Library, and was scheduled to talk at the Oamaru Public Library https://culturewaitaki.org.nz/waitaki-district-libraries/event/cancelled-rachel-j-fenton-biography-red-how-mary-taylor%E2%80%99s-blankets, and the Victorian Literature Festival, but these talks were unfortunately cancelled due to Covid restrictions. 

I was interviewed three times, by the Oamaru Mail and Otago Daily Times. https://www.oamarumail.co.nz/community/writer-overcomes-tyranny-of-distance/

https://www.oamarumail.co.nz/community/workshops-encourage-new-scene/

https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/janet-frame-house-curator-moving

And in July I was in the shortlist of seven out of hundreds of entries into the Text Publishing Prize for my debut YA novel Between the Flags.

I reviewed Denise O’ Hagan’s poetry collection The Beating Heart: https://snowlikethought.blogspot.com/2021/08/the-beating-heart.html

Beerstorming was given a brilliant review by Emma Lee: https://emmalee1.wordpress.com/2021/09/29/beerstorming-with-charlotte-bronte-in-new-york-rachel-j-fenton-ethel-zine-and-micro-press-book-review/?fbclid=IwAR2RlCd2nHHdT7axGYifBxSLmJ6v1mczOMGAW6wjqqXAKu0ad_5JGkY-ogY

And my graphic memoir ‘Dance the Night Away’ was published in Overground Underground: https://overgroundunderground.co.uk/issues?fbclid=IwAR37AEn1wdT5hO-VmAL8fZAnNYXmOeciMZ06F5WdaKkX3cCi_DeAJBP4SU0

I also did the cover illustration for Robert Sullivan’s poetry collection Tūnui/Comet.

In October I took over as Curator at Janet Frame House: https://www.odt.co.nz/regions/north-otago/janet-frame-house-curator-moving?fbclid=IwAR3nUBd2mg-eUzlZE8XE9vA4ZrToVU--db-MDZsVc-kNajkfAnc4_QQHn7k

I taught zine-making workshops at the Forrester Gallery in Oamaru and judged the subsequent competition. https://culturewaitaki.org.nz/forrester-gallery/event/zine-workshops-rachel-fenton

I gave the Subhi Tresa Sebastian Memorial Lecture at Sacred Heart College, Kochi, India. https://twitter.com/RaeJFenton/status/1462875838559371264

And here we are in December and I’m mentoring a third year undergrad student for the Hallam Collective at Sheffield Hallam University – more on this soon!

I had a few other things published here and there and I’ve also been working on a novel and a collection of poetry, and I’m pleased to announce that my graphic biography of Mary Taylor, Betweenity, is forthcoming from Mary Egan Publishing.

It’s been a busy year and it’s also been a personally very challenging year. As ever, my work has given me something to focus on and pulled me through, as has reading the work of others. I wish you all much creativity and a happy New Year. Onward and upwards.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thursday, November 25, 2021

Thursday, October 14, 2021

Curator

I'm honoured to be stepping into the shoes of Lynley Caldwell as I take over as Curator of Janet Frame House in Oamaru, hometown of New Zealand's most successful writer. 

Janet Frame House is open to the public from November to April - I look forward to meeting people who are as enthusiastic about Frame's fiction as I am. 


Zine workshops


I've spent all this week teaching zine-making workshops at the Forrester Gallery, Oamaru, with some amazing attendees to inspire me, not to mention the fantastic artworks on display all around the building. 

Although I won't be teaching next week, members of the public of all ages are still welcome to use the zine-making station to create an entry for the competition (I'll be judging) before the October 25 deadline.

Alternatively, stop by and collect an instruction form and make a zine at home in your own time and drop it back at the gallery before the 25th for a chance to win a $50 book voucher. 

Many thanks to Elizabeth King and Forrester Gallery for facilitating the event.

Sunday, October 10, 2021

On the page

I didn't stop to think how my friend would feel to be the subject of a book of poetry about friendship. I got so caught up in wanting to show her how much I appreciate and love her. I trusted she'd be OK with me being me. But I should have asked. In her own words, Lori wrote about how it feels to be put on the
page.

Thursday, September 30, 2021

Beerstorming review

"Rachel Fenton’s Charlotte Brontë is the best friend anyone could want: someone who is there, who doesn’t judge and understands the drive to write [...] someone you can run seemingly-daft ideas past and get useful replies. Someone to share a beer with."

Many thanks to writer Emma Lee for taking the time and care to read Beerstorming with Charlotte Bronte in New York, and for writing this smashing review here


Sunday, September 26, 2021

Overground underground

Big thanks to Overground Underground for making my graphic memoir 'Dance the Night Away' free to read along with some wonderful works from other writers in their inaugural issue, which you can read here (scroll to p58 on the site bar, p52 on the magazine itself for my Comic).