Dearest Ringwood Readers,
Welcome to another edition of the Ringwood newsletter. We’re halfway through 2023, can you believe it? The months have whizzed by in a flurry of books, launches and events, with more yet to come later this year. With so much that has happened, we thought we would revisit some of Ringwood’s 2023 highlights so far, as well as give you your usual treat of Ringwood news.
We’ve had some amazing volunteers join us, but we are on the hunt for more! We are specifically looking for experienced individuals who love books. Whatever your background, be it finance, marketing or hospitality, we want to hear from you. You just need to be passionate about supporting an independent publisher and able to commit to around 8 hours per week.
This opportunity will allow to learn about the world of publishing and get work on a wide range of tasks, depending on your experience and interests, such as liasing with authors, promotion & marketing, editing and submissions.
If this is you, please contact:
We can’t wait to welcome you to the team!
Short Story Competition is Accepting Submissions
We are excited to announce that our short story competition is accepting admissions. We are looking for captivating tales, beautiful prose, something that makes us think. We are especially looking to support writers from underrepresented communities and writers who are at the beginning of their writing journey.
The winner of the main prize will receive £100 and publication on our website. This year we have two new prizes, the Leela Soma Prize and the Grant Muir Prize. The winner of the Leela Soma prize will go to the best entry from a writer of colour who identifies as Scottish by birth or residence or has a Scottish connection. The winner of the Grant Muir prize will be restricted to entries from existing or previous Ringwood Interns, staff or authors. The winners of the Leela Soma Prize and the Grant Muir Prize will each be awarded £50.
Entries must be no more than 3000 words and must be submitted electronically. The final deadline is Friday 1st December 2023. Please look at our terms and conditions page for full information on the competition and how to enter.
January: The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles: Author George Barnsley’s Campaigning Brought to Parliament.
Ringwood was thrilled to report that on January 10th, the campaign for instituting a new posthumous bravery award for the emergency services was finally brought to table at London’s Westminster Hall. This campaign was ran by Ringwood author George Barnsley, and the families of Detective Sergeant William Ross Hunt, and Constable George Taylor, two men who lost their lives on duty and never received the recognition for their sacrifice.
George Barnsley’s novel, The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles, features a collection of non-fiction stories gathered through the Lanarkshire Police Historical Society, to paint a picture of 200 years of policing history in the district. Parts of Barnsley’s novel tells the stories of those who are no longer with us, with specific emphasis on a campaign run by Barnsley and the families of those who died in the line of duty: the posthumous recognition for the bravery of Detective Sergeant William Ross Hunt and Constable George Taylor.
You can read the full article in our January Newsletter.
Get your own copy of The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles here.
April: Introducing The Ringwood Publishing Podcast!
Ringwood was excited to announce the official establishment of ‘The Ringwood Publishing Podcast’, hosted by intern Rosie Watts. The podcast invites staff, authors, and guest speakers on board, to discuss all things books, publishing, and passions on a weekly basis. Over the course of the past few months, we have featured a wide variety of topics, such as: “Instilling Brendan McLaughlin in The First of May”, “Mental Health Awareness Week: Andy’s Man Club”, and “What the Future Holds: Life After Ringwood with Sara Roberts”.
Following a short summer hiatus, The Ringwood Publishing Podcast is due for a return in the near future – keep your eyes peeled!
You can find the link to our podcast here.
April: There’s a Problem with Dad Relaunch
To celebrate the reprint of Ringwood author Carlos Alba’s 2021 novel There’s A Problem With Dad, a launch event took place on Sunday the 23rd of April at Hillhead Library. The event was organised and hosted by intern Hayley Bannon and moderated by Marketing Manager Shannon Genereau. With a full house and extra chairs required, the turnout for the event was a great success.
You can read more about this event in our April Newsletter.
You can buy your own copy of There’s a Problem with Dad here.
May: The First of May Launch
Brendan McLaughlin’s book, The First of May, was officially launched on the 1st of May at the Clutha Vaults. The event was a tremendous success with over 100 people in attendance!
Friends, family and book lovers gathered into the cosy atmosphere of the Clutha to celebrate Brendan’s life and work. Each book was sold with a free CD that Brendan wrote and performed himself. On the stage, there was a screen that featured pictures of Brendan and videos of him performing, along with his performances as a member of the Kingston Bridge Trio.
You can read about this event in our May Newsletter.
May: Ruxton: The First Modern Murder Audiobook
In November 2022, Publishing Scotland announced that they would be offering the opportunity for five independent publishers in Scotland to have a fully-funded audiobook from a title of their choice. Ringwood put forward Tom Wood’s Ruxton: The First Modern Murder as the title because it has been a bestseller for two years running and true crime, was among the top most-listened-to audiobook genres.
In May 2023, Ringwood was excited to announce that the title would become our first ever audiobook. Over the last six months, Ringwood worked in partnership with Publishing Scotland and Offbeat Studio, who have funded and produced our new venture into the audiobook market. We are pleased to report you can now officially buy the audiobook on the Ringwood Publishing website.
You can read about this achievement in our May Newsletter.
Tom Wood Interview – Extract
By Felicity Primrose
This month, intern Felicity sat down with Tom Wood to discuss all things Ruxton, including transforming the words on the page into an audiobook. Born and bred in Edinburgh, Tom Wood is a well-decorated senior officer who has built a successful career in the Scottish police force, laterally serving as the Deputy Chief Constable of Lothian & Borders Police.
Now retired, Wood has penned three true crime books including the most recent, Ruxton: The First Modern Murder. This book details the pioneering forensic work carried out by forces during the 1930s investigation of a gruesome double murder, and draws upon previously classified documents to build a detailed, engaging story about criminal investigation and justice.
Here we have an extract of their chat. Note, answers have been edited for length. You can read the full interview here.
Why did you decide to write about the Ruxton murders — what was it that drew your attention to this particular case?
My background was in criminal investigation. I spent my whole working life in criminal investigations and I knew all about the Ruxton murders, being such a famous historic and forensic case. When I was handed a bundle of old papers which had been found in the attic of an old policeman’s house when he died, I thought I knew all about them. But when I read them I discovered that the stories of many people had been written out of the history of it for some reason, and this intrigued me. And I decided that it wasn’t right and I wanted to readdress this.
Was it difficult to locate and collate the various documents and materials during the process of writing this book?
There was a lot of fictionalisation surrounding the case, and so sorting the truth from the fiction and the tabloid accounts was quite difficult. Eventually I managed to source the complete transcript of the trial, and the telephone messages. Having these was like hearing the voices of the people who were there. I gathered together around one and a half to two million words. The dilemma of course, for anyone writing true crime, is how to condense this – how to boil it down? I was very conscious of the fact that what I, as a retired investigator found interesting, might not necessarily entertain the wider public. It was often difficult and time consuming; I spent a year researching the case and a year writing it. History is usually written from a particular point of view; but there is always another point of view. There are many stories, I find, that once you dig into them you see that they are not complete.
May: Bodysnatcher Launch
On the 28th of May, Carol Margaret Davison’s highly anticipated novel, Bodynsatcher, was officially launched at Hillhead Library, Glasgow. Carol flew out from Canada for a cosy get-together, with over 30 attendees who joined us for a reading, Q&A session and book signing.
You can read about this event in our May Newsletter.
The launch was followed by two successful events: A lecture and Q&A in the Edinburgh Dungeons, and a guided walking tour of Edinburgh, bringing the set of Bodysnatcher to life! You can read about these two events in our June Newsletter.
“a thrilling read”
Bodysnatcher was recently reviewed by Jo Chapman from the Old Edinburgh Club. Great praise from Jo, who said “Carol Margaret Davison brilliantly blends historical facts and creative fiction, creating a captivating story”. You can read the full review here.
You can buy your own copy of Bodysnatcher here.
Coming soon: The Bone on the Beach
Coming soon from Ringwood is Fiona Gillan Kerr’s The Bone on the Beach. This pacey debut draws on the ancient Celtic legend ‘Deirdre of the Sorrows’. Set in the mythical, otherworldly landscape of the Highlands, this contemporary re-imagining of the tale shows Deirdre as she has never been seen before.
In 2002, in a tight-knit Highland community, a young woman named Deirdre mysteriously loses her life.
Fifteen years later, Meghan, a partner in a city law firm, arrives in the village seeking a fresh start. But when a bone suddenly washes up on the beach, she finds herself embroiled in a dark and twisted mystery stretching back to the turn of the new millennium.
The Bone on the Beach is available to order here from the Ringwood website for £9.99 (+ postage). Order the book now to guarantee yourself a signed copy before the official launch In Inverness at the end of September 2023.
Get to Know Our Interns: Emma Clarke
Introduction & Questions by Vicky McCormick.
Welcome back to another segment of ‘Get to Know Our Interns’. Each month, we interview one of our interns and ask them about their role at Ringwood as well as their views on all things books. Ringwood provides essential work experience for those interested in pursuing a career in publishing and therefore, interns work across all departments, trying their hand at various roles while exploring avenues of their own particular interest.
This month, meet Emma Clarke. Emma is Ringwood’s Marketing and Events Manager, having joined us in March. In addition to her management duties, she is also the head of author support and is a member of the editorial committee.
Tell us about your background and how you came to Ringwood.
I’m from Vancouver, Canada, but I moved to Leeds to go to University. I did a lot of travelling while I was there, and it didn’t take me long to decide that Scotland was where I wanted to be. I started looking for independent publishers in Scotland and Ringwood looked like the most exciting, so I applied and here I am!
What is your role at Ringwood?
I’m the lead author support worker for all non-crime fiction, and I’m the chair of promotion and marketing events, so I oversee and am involved with all of our marketing campaigns. I’m also a member of the editorial committee, which means I read manuscripts that Ringwood is considering publishing, evaluate their strengths and weaknesses, and help determine if they should be published. When one is, then I work with other members of the committee to give feedback to the author.
What do you enjoy about working in publishing and what are your goals for the future?
I love helping books that I really believe in get the recognition they deserve. I also love being creatively involved in the editing process. It feels so rewarding to help great books come into being, and be the best they can be. I’d love to continue working in publishing, but haven’t decided between marketing and editing yet. I really enjoy both!
If you could have dinner with any writer, who would it be and why?
That’s a really tough one, but I’d have to say either Jane Austin or Sally Rooney. My favourite authors tend to be the ones who can create vivid psychologies for their characters, and really nuanced relationships between them. For me, nobody does it better than these two.
What would you like to see more of in Scottish literature today?
I’d like to see more contemporary coming of age novels set throughout Scotland and more books dealing with what it means to be a young person in Scotland today. I’d be interested to read about how issues that are affecting young people globally, like climate change or post-covid economical issues, are manifesting in Scotland.
Thank you for your time, Emma!
Until next time,
Megan Gibson & Vicky McCormick (Editors), and the Ringwood team!