Welcome to the last Ringwood Newsletter of 2023! This is a short and reflective issue, where we consider the past year and share an exciting preview of the books we’ll be publishing in the first half of 2024!
Short Story Competition
By Annika Dahlman
On December 21st, Ringwood was excited to announce this year’s winner of our Short Story Competition, A Sex Manual for the Over Sixties by Thomas Malloch.
Following an intense but fun couple of weeks of reading for the judges panel, a shortlist was compiled, and on the evening of the 19th, a meeting was held to come to a final decision. Through avid discussions – in which the judges found themselves agreeing on some matters but disagreeing on others – a clear winner finally emerged.
A Sex Manual for the Over Sixties is a funny yet deeply moving story, and the judges were impressed by its ability to strike the perfect balance between humour and grief. One of the judges, author Rob McInroy, called it ‘an accomplished piece of writing, beautifully voiced and featuring two loving and funny central characters. The narrative unfolds gradually, shifting from wry observational humour to something altogether deeper. This is a story that has stayed with me and is a well-deserved winner of a competition which attracted a high number of top quality stories.’
You can read the winning story here.
The judges panel also picked out a runner-up, Gentle Gravedigger, Rare Suitor by Catherine Wilson Garry, a fascinatingly unusual and eerie love story which you can read here. A third winner was also chosen for the Grant Muir prize in our internal short story competition– our very own intern, Ophelia Po, whose story Gay Monkey Business took home the prize. You can read Ophelia’s story here.
Ringwood would like to thank everyone who submitted a story to the competition. We received a record number of entries, and could not have been happier about it! It was a pleasure to hear from you all and to be given the opportunity to read your stories. An interview with Thomas Malloch will be published on the website in January, and will feature in the January newsletter. Thank you also, to the whole short story team, and to intern Rachel Harley for coordinating the prize.
Congratulations to Thomas, Catherine, and Ophelia, and Happy Holidays from the Short Story Team!
New Podcast Episode: End of the Year Special with Sandy Jamieson
By Matilda Eker
In the last podcast episode of the year– an exclusive end of the year special– we were joined by Ringwood’s very own Sandy Jamieson. Sandy has been part of Ringwood since he founded the company together with Isobel Freeman in 1997, and has since then served as Ringwood’s full time unpaid Chief Executive, particularly for the last 12 years, before stepping down in January 2023. He returned as Chief Exec on a temporary basis in May 2023, before becoming one of Ringwood’s four Executive Director Managers with the introduction of the new Ringwood structure in November 2023. Sandy is also a Ringwood board member.
Sandy joined the podcast to present an Annual Report Card for Ringwood, and highlighted many successes but also some disappointments. On the positive side, among many other points, were the four wonderful titles we published, the numerous successful events we organised and the various ways we’ve improved our outreach with the podcast, the newsletter and the social media–which in turn boosted the number of event attendees and the number of entries for our short story competition. However, like any company, there were things that we could have done better. For instance, we only published four books this year, and with the high volume of manuscripts we receive, that number could be higher, and indeed, has been much higher in the past. We are, however, extremely excited to see this number already surpassed for 2024, which promises a very busy year for Ringwood. You can see some of these titles later in this newsletter.
Sandy also gave us some insight into the new structure which Ringwood assumed in November 2023, after a year which he describes as ‘transformative’. For the past two months, Ringwood has seen a new cooperative structure, with Sandy being one of four Executive Director Managers, alongside Isobel Freeman, Donny McIntyre, and Christine McCrosson. In addition, four senior interns, Megan Gibson, Emma Clarke, Matilda Eker, and Laura Hunter, manage the 20 interns which are currently part of Ringwood. The Ringwood structure also includes three volunteers, Dave Webster, Margaret Mitchell, and Sanjana Rae, who in addition to board member Marie Claire Jones, all contribute immensely to the running of Ringwood.
With this new sound structure in place, Ringwood has laid the foundation for an exciting and eventful 2024, with many new titles and projects lined up.
Thank you so much to Sandy for joining us for this insightful episode, which will air on December 30th. Follow us on social media @ringwoodpublishing, to stay tuned with its release. Happy Holidays from the Podcast Team!
Ringwood’s 2024 Upcoming Books
By Megan Gibson
With 2023 coming to a close, it is time to look ahead to the new year. Ringwood has been very busy this year, and we have a plethora of exciting upcoming projects for you all to enjoy in the next six months. In likely order of appearance, here is a preview of some works due for release in the first half of 2024:
Glasgow’s Burning by Vince McGlennan
To start 2024, Ringwood brings you a unique piece of work. Written by Vince McGlennan, Glasgow’s Burning is a reference book detailing all of the significant fires to have taken place in Glasgow over the past 150 years. Perfect for the lovers of Glasgow history, keep your eyes peeled for this work coming to Ringwood’s Website Bookshop early 2024.
Genres: Reference, Historical.
The Hotel Hokusai by T.Y. Garner
Journey with us and new Ringwood author T.Y Garner to 1893 Yokohama, where a young Korean eel salesboy, Han, meets eccentric painter Archie Nith, and two other Glasgow Boys. Told from the perspective of both Han and Nith, The Hotel Hokusai follows their twisting journey to solving a suspicious death. From Yokohama’s harbour to its red-light district, can our protagonists grasp reality, when the truth is as slippery as a basket of eels?
Genres: Historical Fiction, Scottish Fiction, Japanese Fiction, Crime.
Revenge of the Tyrants by Lynda Kristiansen
Lynda Kristiansen returns to Ringwood with the second in a planned series of eight novels on the Scottish Wars of Independence. Set in 14th century Scotland, Revenge of the Tyrants is full of just as much emotion and action as Raise Dragon. With four intrepid Scottish knights fleeing from cunning Templar Knight Geoffrey De Charney’s labyrinth on a treasure barge, the battle for dominance in Europe between Philip IV of France, and Haakon V of Norway, and a barrage of secrets to be uncovered, you won’t want to miss Revenge of the Tyrants!
Genres: Historical Fiction, Scottish Fiction, War Fiction.
Moot by Rob McInroy
Former Detective Bob Kelty returns in Rob McInroy’s new crime novel, Moot. Now settled in Crieff with his wife Annie, Bob Kelty is busy preparing for the Rover Scout Moot, which will see thousands of Rover Scouts from all over the world pitch tents on the Monzie Estate in Perthshire. But all is not what it seems – a cut-and-dry whodunnit quickly unravels into a complex web of espionage, double-crossing, and covert foreign intervention. Has Bob Kelty finally bitten off more than he can chew? Stay tuned in 2024 to find out!
Genres: Crime Fiction, Mystery, Scottish Fiction, Historical Fiction.
Kitten Heels by Maureen Cullen
The winner of Ringwood’s 2022 short story competition, Maureen Cullen, will have her first novel, Kitten Heels, published by Ringwood in Spring 2024. This moving coming-of-age story set in 1960’s working-class Clydeside is told from the perspective of thirteen-year-old Kathleen Hafferty. We follow our protagonist as she finds comfort and support in the community of women around her, navigating hardships and institutional obstacles set in her way. This humorous, character-filled story deals with issues of poverty, mental health, and the lives of women in Glasgow, and is certainly one to add to your 2024 reading list!
Genres: Scottish Fiction, Historical Fiction, Bildungsroman.
Song of the Stag by Rebecca Brown
Rebecca Brown becomes a Ringwood author with her thrilling novel, Song of the Stag. Set in the fictional but oh-so-familiar Storran, the novel follows our protagonist Cait, as she moves from the borders to the capital with her childhood sweetheart, Kenzie. As Kenzie joins the Queen’s Watch with the goal of hunting down Storran Separatists and the infamous Fox of Thorterknock, Cait learns that her charming countryside life is not the reality for every citizen of Storran. With lies, struggle, and tales of a secret heir to Storran’s long empty throne, Cait will learn what it truly means to be a patriot, and the power of her own autonomy.
Genres: Scottish Fiction, Historical Fiction, Political Fiction, Fantasy.
The Herbal Detective by Charlie Laidlaw
Strange things are starting to happen in the small town of Holy Cross. Ringwood will be republishing Charlie Laidlaw’s The Herbal Detective, a highly entertaining trip to Scottish village life, and what really happens beneath its apparent dullness. The pillars of every community – church, politics, and pub – take a pounding as events of mystical origin claim their sacrifices. But who is the offender? And what is the charge? With gripping supernatural elements and Scottish humour, you won’t want to miss The Herbal Detective!
Genres: Cosy Crime, Scottish Fiction, Fantasy.
Be sure to keep an eye on our socials in the next year to make sure you can grab a copy of these books when they are released. We look forward to sharing these books with you all, and hope to see you at our events in the new year!
By Jiyuan Li
Before we all clock out for the year and wish you a Merry Christmas, we’d like to remind you that our Christmas deals are still valid until the end of the year! So whether you’re looking for a gift for a loved one or a cosy read for yourself, we got you covered with a sleigh-full of Special Offers—from historical fiction to crime novels and much more!
We are pleased to say we have a series of 2 for £15 bundles (Irish Connection Bundle, Historical Fiction Bundle, and Glasgow Crime bundle) all carefully selected among our top picks, along with special prices for some of our well-loved individual books, both in paperback and e-book format. You can check out the full list of 2023 Ringwood Christmas Special Offers here.
This year, when purchasing a Ringwood product as a gift, you can also attach a personalised message to your order and send your words of love! You can check out our step-by-step guide on how to find and purchase Ringwood’s Special Offers and how to leave a personalised message here.
Most of our deals are exclusive to this festive period and are available until 31st of December 2023, so it’s not too late yet! What are you waiting for? Grab your Christmas deals with us while they are still there!
Merry Christmas and A Happy New Year,
Matilda Eker & Megan Gibson (Editors), Jiyuan Li & Margaret Mitchell (Assistant Editors), and the entire Ringwood team!
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