It's survival is a story of collaboration and generosity from so many people. We run on shoestring budgets, assisted by the fabulous Books Council of Wales, the amazing support and marketing services of Inpress Books and because we've learnt that improvisation is a skill that doesn't only apply to theatre.
As well as publishing gorgeous books of poetry and fiction, we've always had a smattering of creative nonfiction. And we put a lot of stress on author development, not only in editing but also in mentoring and courses, including an exciting venture into master-classes. Coming up to the anniversary year has made us think about how to engage with more writers in creative ways. There are so many writers who are hungry to push not only their craft but also the depth of their writing and their commitment to their art. Developing a writing life is a huge and rewarding process, but also one that often requires a few fellow travellers and some creative input.
A new imprint
One of the ways to engage has been through my blog and online courses, including lots of free resources. We're also aware that at some stage, most writers want more than simple 'how to' manuals. So Cinnamon Press will be celebrating the 15th anniversary with the launch of a new imprint, Down Deep Books.
The imprint will be a bridge between Cinnamon Press and the writing life blog and courses at Becoming a Different Story.
It will exist to help writers explore and develop their writing processes and writing lives. This is not so much the mechanics of writing (there are tons of good books out there on this) but the deep stuff —
- from why we write to how we build a life around writing,
- from the values a writing life might entail to the radical practises of writers exploring fluid identities or working in innovative ways.
The core values of Down Deep Books are:
- Radical generosity
- Deep attention
- Transformative creativity
Radical generosity to ourselves, our writing, and all we connect to, involves slowing down enough to dive into the sediment of ourselves, to emerge as writers of skill and imagination.
Deep attention opens us to flow and crafting. Deep attention makes us listen within — to our vision and passions, and without — to how we can reach out to the world.
Transformative creativity changes the stories we write and stories we want to live by. Transformative creativity enhances our quests to live good and meaningful lives.
Writing Down Deep
To launch Deep Down Books, we're publishing a very special books, Jan's long-awaited study of becoming a deeper, more creative writer, Writing Down Deep: an Alchemy of the Writing Life.
It's a huge book of over 400 pages to help writers become the stories they want to be and write with passion and vision. It distills 3 years of blogs and courses plus lots of new material, inspiration, writing exercises and prompts.
The book is a response to many of you — to questions from writers, to feedback to the blogs and online courses, to writers on residential courses talking about the resources they need.
This is the book that many of you have told us you need to help you design your writing life or grow more deeply into it. So the title is collaborative in its genesis and in its contents — filled with resources to help writers make breakthroughs and to develop writing processes and writing lives that they love.
But we need your help.
There are two huge acts of kindness you could make to support the publication. Simply pre-order either the large format paperback or big square hardback format to help us fund the print run or make a pledge on our early-bird funding pledges. (All the proceeds will go into printing and promoting this book and the work of other indie authors). We work on a shoestring and every pre-order and pledge will make a huge difference.
We've added exciting bonuses as thank yous and appreciate every bit of help. It's a big ask but I hope and trust it will lead to a mutually transformative relationship.
Thank you for reading.
Here's to becoming different stories together.