Ringwood March 2023 Newsletter

Dearest Ringwood Readers,

Take a deep breath, because it is finally spring and Ringwood is blooming! 

This month we have two exciting launch dates to share with you all, as well as an interview with our 2022 short-story winner, Maureen Cullen, and much more!

But first…

Upcoming Events

Carlos Alba
Sunday, 23rd of April – This event will take place at 2PM, in Hillhead Library. 

‘There’s A Problem with Dad: Reprint Launch.’

Ringwood have taken the rare decision to reprint author Carlos Alba’s immensely successful 2021 novel There’s A Problem with Dad. Join us at Hillhead Library on Sunday the 23rd of April for a celebratory relaunch where Carlos will be giving a reading and signing copies.

Click here to reserve your ticket on Eventbrite.

Our Upcoming Releases

A Release Date:
Bodysnatcher by Carol Margaret Davison.

By Bodysnatcher’s Marketing Team.

We have some thrilling news, we can officially release the launch date! The author of Bodysnatcher, Carol Margaret Davison, is coming all the way from Canada to the Hillhead Library on the 28th of May, to unveil her novel to the world! She will be available for talks and author sessions that week, so keep an eye out for more information closer to the date. Throughout the period leading to the publication, we will also be working closely with Glasgow Women’s Aid. 

Bodysnatcher is coming soon – it’s time to start getting excited.

In the meantime, did you catch all of the extracts? Another month and four more victims…

Pre-Orders & Launch Dates!
The First of May by Brendan McLaughlin.
By Jade McKeogh.

Our launch is fast approaching and our pre-orders are still available! The first 200 orders of Brendan’s book get a free CD of songs written and performed by the man himself – so make sure to grab one by clicking here!

Click on the book cover to be brought to a snippet of one of Brendan’s songs!


Mark your diaries for what will be an unforgettable launch night!

6:30PM. The 1st of May. The Clutha Vaults.

You can reserve your spot here!

Dundee Libraries Day.
By Robyn Drain & Sarah Georges.

  CEO Simon McLean & Intern Robyn Drain.

   On the 21st of March, Ringwood participated in ‘Libraries Day’ at Dundee Central Library. The event was organised by Publishing Scotland for Scottish publishers to pitch their new and upcoming titles to Scottish libraries. Representatives of the major Scottish publishers such as Canongate, Luath Press, and Scotland Street Press were there, as well as several Librarians and publishers participating and watching over Zoom.

   Each publishing company gave their own short presentation explaining their recently published titles and upcoming works to everyone present. Our interns Mridula Sharma and Sarah Georges presented our upcoming titles for 2023: The First of May by Brendan McLaughlin, Bodysnatcher by Carol Margaret Davison, and The Bone on the Beach by Fiona Gillan Kerr. It was a great opportunity for Ringwood to share our fantastic books!

If you are interested in our upcoming releases, keep an eye on our social media pages for more information.

Hillhead Library & Future Author Events!
By Robyn Drain and Rosie Watts. 

   Ringwood aims to hold regular monthly events in Hillhead Library going forward. Such as author events similar to ‘The Glasgow Irish: Writing a Historical Novel’. This was held by Seán Damer, author of Those Tyrannising Landlords on the 22nd of March. Seán was joined by actor Ian McRae, who did a reading, and Ringwood intern Rosie Watts who hosted the Q&A. It was a wonderful night!

Ringwood author Seán Damer & Intern Rosie Watts.

You can check out Those Tyrannising Landlords here!

Missed our Ringwood event at Hillhead Library? Stay tuned for further updates on upcoming events with Glasgow libraries through the links below!

A Flora Johnston Workshop.
By Vicky McCormick.

On the 6th March, Ringwood author Flora led a workshop at the William Patrick Library in Glasgow as part of East Dunbartonshire Local History Month. As well as sharing her insights on how she used real objects from history for her inspiration in her novel, What You Call Free, she also led a creative writing workshop. Participants used history as inspiration for their own writing. There was some fabulous creativity on display!

Stay tuned for more events, you don’t want to miss them!

Ruxton Exhibition at the Moffat Museum.
By Vicky McCormick.

Calling all of our true-crime fans!

Fans of Tom Wood’s Ruxton: The First Modern Murder, can get an in-person look and more information about the Ruxton murders and subsequent investigations at the Moffat Museum. An exciting new exhibition, ‘The Moffat Ravine Murders – The Birth of Modern Forensics’ opens on the 1st of April and will run until the 28th of October. This includes information and a talk by entomologist, Dr Erica McAlister, about the ‘Ruxton Maggots’, and the use of flies in forensic science. 

You can find out more details about the exhibition here
And you can purchase Ruxton: The First Modern Murder here!

A George Barnsley Event: The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles.
By Megan Gibson.

   George Barnsley hosted an event at Garrion Bridges Garden and Antiques Center on Thursday 2nd March. George discussed his novel, The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles, and the background of the Lanarkshire Police Historical Society, along with the campaign for posthumous recognition for all personnel who lost their lives on duty in the emergency services. The campaign is also run by the families of DS Hunt and PC Taylor, whose stories George also discussed in detail at the event.  

   We are pleased to report that this event, much like George’s others, went extremely well, with participants engaging in conversation about both the novel and the campaign.

Stay tuned to our social media for information on George’s next events – you won’t want to miss them!

Check out The Lanarkshire Police Chronicles here!

A Book Review of Saved From The Fire by Mark Gallacher.

Finn Dempster from The British Science Fiction Association recently reviewed Ringwood author Mark Gallacher’s Saved From The Fire.

Read an extract below:

   Gallacher shows flashes of descriptive brilliance, and he can often stir emotion, most notably when a character perishes in a moment of selflessness (Gallacher frequently uses our capacity for self-sacrifice as a welcome counterpoint to the darker themes). He can be clever, too – the passage in which the novel’s two parts finally intertwine is ingenious and moving. Gallacher’s prose needs more sparkle, less superfluous clutter, and more cohesion, but there’s enough raw talent in his debut to suggest he’s worth watching.

You can read the full review here.
And you can purchase Saved From The Fire here.

Maureen Cullen: A Short Story Winner Interview.
By Megan Gibson.

Maureen Cullen was announced last month as not only the winner of the Ringwood Short Story Competition 2022 with her story, Kitten Heels, but also as the runner-up with her submission, Next Stop

Megan Gibson sat down with Maureen to discuss all things writing, books, and short stories. 

Could you tell us about your background and how you got into writing?

   I started off in social work, so I was a social worker for about 30 years. I retired in my 50s and then thought, “what am I going to do with myself?” My friend suggested I take a course at the Open University, so I did an introductory creative writing course. I then went on to do the second one offered. After that, I just didn’t look back – I went for the Master’s at Lancaster University in Creative Writing. I did that for 2 years and got a distinction and thought, “well, there must be something in it!” and kept going.

Had you dabbled in writing before?

   Not creative writing, no. I only ever wrote as a social worker, writing up reports. I am, however, an avid reader and always have been.

Could you tell us the inspiration for Next Stop and any messages it has?

   I don’t know about messages – I don’t really write that kind of way. That was a personal story for me. My husband has had cancer since 2019, so I was trucking up every morning with him to the hospital for 6 weeks. Then my sister had cancer in 2020, so I was in that place a lot again. So that’s where the inspiration for that story came from. The thing that interested me about it was the communication, how patients and professionals communicate with each other in situations like that. My experience is that it’s like everything else – some are really good at it, and some are not so good. Elsie (the protagonist) just kind of popped in – I thought, “what would this kind of woman make of it?”

Why did you choose your submissions? (Next Stop, Kitten Heels and In Full Bloom)

   Next Stop and Kitten Heels, because it was a Scottish competition. I thought they might appreciate the Scots, the location, and the characters. As I said before, I was also quite determined to get Anne-Marie published!

Check out Maureen’s full interview here!

Click here to read Maureen’s winning entry: Kitten Heels.
And click here to read her runner-up submission: Next Stop.

Congratulations and thank you for your time, Maureen!  

Details for Ringwood’s 2023 Short Story Competition can be found here

Get to Know Our Interns: Olivia Jackson.
Introduction & Questions by Megan Gibson.

   Welcome back to another segment of get to know our interns! As many interested in publishing will know, the industry is a difficult and competitive one to get into. As a result, Ringwood wants to give those willing the opportunity to gain the necessary experience to kickstart their careers. The intern programme spans across all departments, giving everyone valuable insight into all aspects of publishing.

   This month, let us introduce you to Olivia Jackson! Olivia joined Ringwood 10 months ago and has worked in a variety of exciting roles, particularly in editorial and marketing. Currently, she is the Lead Editor and Assistant Chief Editor for two of our upcoming titles.

Tell us about your background and how you came to work at Ringwood.

   I’ve long had a love of reading – it’s why I studied English at the University of St Andrews and then later completed an MLitt – but it took a little while for me to pursue publishing. The seed was planted during my school years when I interned with Edinburgh University Press and discovered a fascination for the publication process. But at university, I developed an interest in government policy (having taken international relations classes), so I interned with the UK Civil Service for an extended period when I graduated.

   While navigating stakeholder groups and complex legislation, I came to crave the creative freedom derived from working with literature. So after my internship I returned to the idea of publishing and applied to Ringwood, following some investigative research into the Scottish independent book scene.

What are your roles at Ringwood?

   I’ve worked across a range of areas but I mostly focus on the editorial side of things. I’m the lead editor of The Bone on the Beach though I also help plan the marketing. In addition, I am the Assistant Chief Editor of Revenge of the Tyrants. Previously, I was Chief Editor of the newsletter, manager of the Bodysnatcher marketing team and co-editor of The First of May. I have also been a support worker to several authors, including Tom Wood of Ruxton: The First Modern Murder.

What are your publishing goals and what do you enjoy about working in publishing?

   I think there’s something exciting and unnervingly powerful about fiction’s impact on a person’s life. You might remember a book for how it made you feel when you shared it with a close friend, for how you sought it out during a breakup or looked to it when moving jobs and carving out a new life. An author has the power to shape the reader’s perception of their own life. And since publishing houses are able to give a platform to underrepresented voices, authors can also share their distinct experiences, helping readers empathise with stories from marginalised communities.

   It is gratifying to bring something with this potential into the world and envision its reverberations. I hope that in my career, I am able to publish books which resonate with readers, offer them memories and make them look at the world through another lens.

What advice would you give to somebody interested in the world of publishing?

   I’m still in the very early stages of my career so I am not sure I am qualified to answer this question, but during my short time in publishing, I have come to appreciate the power of networking and obtaining a mentor. Though publishing has been opening up as an industry and becoming more diverse, making connections is still an important part of accessing opportunities in this field.

What kinds of books do you like to read in your spare time, and what are you currently reading? 

   I read widely and don’t particularly constrain myself to a specific genre, though I do enjoy fiction which explores the experience of women, especially in terms of the societal pressures they face. More broadly, I am interested in books which comment on the human condition. I love it when authors offer psychological portraits of their characters and perceptively deconstruct ordinary feelings – often, it is then that I find myself truly caught up in a text.

   At the moment, I am reading Meiko Kawakami’s subtle but profound All the Lovers in the Night. After hearing her speak at the Edinburgh Book Festival last summer, I promptly bought all her books and have since been progressing through them.  

What would you like to see more of in the Scottish publishing industry?

   Like other interns, I too would like Scotland to compete with London in terms of the availability of publishing opportunities. And as the Scottish publishing industry grows in international impact, I also hope to see more Scottish publishers at international book fairs, helping cement their broader influence. 

Thank you for your time, Olivia!

Until next time,

Jade McKeogh (Editor), Megan Gibson & Vicky McCormick (Assistant Editors), and the Ringwood Team!