Archive | January, 2013

Article: VG Lee’s experience of lesbian publishing in the UK

30 Jan


Last year there was an article in The Guardian about the lack of lesbian authors in the UK. A few big names have made the mainstream, but lesbian publishing is difficult in the UK, with authors looking to US publishers and indie publishing as some of the few ways forward. VG Lee tells us a bit about how she has successfully had her work published in the UK:

My first novel, The Comedienne, was published by Diva Books in 2000 as part of an exciting new venture to publish quality lesbian fiction. At that time I had an agent who liked my writing but was looking for a ‘straight’ book from me, so I decided to go it alone. Diva also published my second book, The Woman in Beige, before folding.  They were great to work with, run in the main by a wonderful woman, Helen Sandler, who now runs Tollington Press, of which more later. They produced several lesbian anthologies which are still available today and probably made it possible for around a dozen lesbian authors to have books published.

Even thirteen years ago, this is still very difficult.  There are probably no more than two handfuls of British lesbian authors I can think of who are mainstream and also well known: Sarah Waters, Ali Smith, Jackie Kay, Val McDermid, Carol Anne Duffy, Emma Donoghue, Stella Duffy, Maureen Duffy, Jeanette Winterson. This list hasn’t been added to in several years.

After Diva I went to Onlywomen Press which had a solid reputation and been going a long time, but with limited resources. This was not a happy experience for me. Fortunately around that time Helen Sandler was starting up Tollington Press and I was one of her first authors with my short story collection. Tollington does charge for their services but their authors are predominantly lesbian and I felt my book was well looked after. This was definitely a happy experience!

However, having had my work published for over ten years I felt I would like a more mainstream press, which is why I am now with Ward Wood.

I came into contact with one of the directors through Facebook. I live in Hastings on the south coast, and she often holidayed in the town.  Ward Wood is an independent publisher, there are no fees. If they like your manuscript, then they will publish it. I’ve loved working with them and hope they will publish my next book next year.  They are in the process of putting two of my previous novels on kindle and Always you, Edina, my most recent novel, has also been brought out on Kindle.

Awards: Andrea Bramhall wins Alice B. Lavender Certificate

29 Jan

LadyfishAndrea Bramhall‘s debut novel, Ladyfish, has been awarded an Alice B. Lavender Certificate for 2013. The Lavender Certificate is given annually for debut novels that were read by the committee during the previous year and judged to be excellent. Recent winners of this award include Cari Hunter in 2012 for Snowbound. Along with the Lavender CertificatesThe Alice B Reader’s Award is presented annually to writers whose careers are distinguished by consistently well-written stories about lesbians. In the last four years, UK recipients have included Gill McKnight, Jane Fletcher, Nicola Griffith, and Val McDermid. We’ll be keeping an eye on the official website as the 2013 awards are announced in full.

Ladyfish, published by Bold Strokes Books,  is an adventure romance set in the Florida Keys.

Congratulations Andrea!

Meanwhile, it’s official, Ke Payne  is no longer a Blog Virgin…

bsb_another_365_days__51717 Ke Payne, one of BSB’s YA writers, has been blogging over at the endlessly wonderful Women and Words today.  See what she has to say about non-blogging, social networking, and her new book Another 365 Days over here.

Book: Casting Shadows by RJ Samuel

28 Jan
Casting ShadowsIrish author RJ Samuel’s third novel Casting Shadows – The Further Misadventures of a Vision Painter is now available on Amazon and Smashwords.

Kiran is still the only vision painter in Ireland but she cannot express her gift as she struggles with the consequences of its misuse. When everything she loves is threatened, she must protect her family by uncovering the history and secrets of the vision painters in Kerala. But there are those who will do what it takes to keep the truth locked away in the shadows of the past.

Casting Shadows is a story of love, sacrifice, betrayal and guilt. Of love and hatred that spans time and place. Of history that casts shadows on the future.

Call for Submissions: Short Story Competition

27 Jan

wsmsWhen Sally Met Sally and Freya Publications are running a short story competition and publishing winning entries in an anthology. The theme is love and the closing date is 28th February 2013, so get writing! More details here.

Book: The Legend of Pope Joan by Rachel Dax

26 Jan

PopeJoanRachel Dax’s new novel The Legend Of Pope Joan is a three-part, gender-bending, pansexual, theological extravaganza.

Part 1. Frankia. When thirteen-year-old Joan, having past the age of schooling for girls, is banned from studying theology, she is devastated. Determined to be a scholar and unable to submit to the expectations of her sex, Joan transforms into a boy, aided by her best friend Michael and a flamboyant entertainer, Amadeus Reichenbach. Together the trio embarks on a journey from Eastern Frankia to Athens where Joan and Michael intend to train as priests. But the road ahead is beset with unexpected challenges, including Joan’s burgeoning sexuality, and whether they will reach their final destination becomes less and less certain.


Review: Polari Magazine reviews V.G. Lee’s Always You Edina

25 Jan

alwaysYouEdinaPolari Magazine’s review of V.G. Lee’s novel Always You, Edina

Welcome to UK Lesfic

25 Jan


This blog was set up to publish information about everything to do with UK lesbian fiction. We hope to list all UK lesfic authors and publishers, their new publications, readings and other events and anything else that might be interesting. We also cover Irish lesbian authors and writing.

If you have some news you would like to post then please contact Clare Ashton or Cari Hunter at: uklesfic at