Hampton and Tate: A Double Bill of Purple Out Soon!

Front cover of Flashback and Purple by Sue HamptonIt has been all hands to the printing presses for the past few weeks at Magic Towers!

Hot on the heels of releasing sustainable expert Elizabeth J Walker’s new title, The Resilience Handbook, we are very proud to announce the imminent arrival of two more books on our shelf; official publication date Monday 12th October 2015.

Sue Hampton presents a fantastic new title called Flashback and Purple and interestingly enough, it isn’t for her usual market of children; this is very much an adult read and it is being met with rousing applause.

Sue explains, “It’s not easy to make a living as an author in a book world that can be cruel and is certainly ruled by the bottom line. In an hour’s audience a few years ago with the Children’s Fiction Editor at the biggest publisher in the country I was told, in the end, that my range was very impressive but they “wouldn’t know how to brand me.”

I don’t want to be branded. I write in different styles exploring different kinds of story – dark and light, funny and very serious, historical and futuristic as well as contemporary – because that’s fun, and exciting. I’d hate to be limited to the same genre or audience or even keep revisiting the same characters. I like to think I have stories for everyone, I’m doing what I love and of course I’m learning all the time.”

Continue reading

New book: The Resilience Handbook by Elizabeth J Walker

Front cover of The Resilience Handbook by Elizabeth J Walker
Click to enlarge

We are truly delighted to announce the safe arrival of The Resilience Handbook: how to survive in the 21st century.

It has been penned by sustainability expert Elizabeth J Walker and kicks off with a poignant foreword by eco-author and broadcaster, Tracey West (The Book of Rubbish Ideas).

For want of a better line to describe it, it’s precisely what it says on the tin!

Click here to take a look at a handful of the pages.

Elizabeth is a teacher and writer with an Honours degree in Psychology from Edinburgh University with countless years of experience living ‘off the grid’. Her new book  unlocks the secrets of how to manage the complexities of a modern world to create a future with less energy use, and a better quality of life.

Continue reading

#MOLP – The Movie

Please enjoy our short film about The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize, fondly known as  MOLP.

It is the only literary competition in the world to plant a tree for every entry. Find out what the villagers who planted them in Bore, Kenya have to say about it.

Continue reading

Friends of the Word Forest

Heart shaped leafOur heartfelt thanks go to everyone who has helped us spread the word about the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize and the Word Forest!

Community Carbon Link – Africa
Australian Poetry – Australia
My Green Directory – England
She Who Knows Magazine – England
View From Publishing – England
Dorset Eye – England
Small is Beautiful Comms – England
The Poetry Library – England
African Mbiu – Africa
West Lothian Writers – Scotland
Nature Island Literary Festival – Dominica
Verteuil Verse – France
Continue reading

Win a Copy of The Magic Oxygen Literary Anthology 2015

Front Cover for the Magic Oxygen Literary Anthology 2015We are absolutely delighted to offer you several FREE chances to win a copy of The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Anthology.

It’s a cracking read, packed with the brilliant entries from the winners and shortlisters from last year’s competition – we know you’re going to love it!

Matt Haig (yes, he of ‘The Humans‘) had some very nice things to say about it, as did Caroline Sanderson from The Bookseller.

Continue reading

Why Are We Planting Trees for Each Entry to MOLP2 in Kenya?

Children from the Kundeni School, Bore, Kenya
Children of Kundeni Primary School planting our Word Forest

The Magic Oxygen Literary Prize – fondly known as MOLP – was created in 2014 with optimism that it would uncover literary excellence in short stories and poetry from writers all over the world. We also planned for it to be the start of a legacy reforestation project for an African community who were striving to rise above their circumstances.

We set the entry fee at a modest £5 and have kept it the same this year for MOLP2. With the benefit of hindsight, we know that some writers enter the contest spurred on by the possibility of seeing their work in print and the generous £3,000 prize fund.

However, feedback also showed us that some writers got involved because we were offering something quite unique; a commitment to plant a tree for every entry in our Word Forest in Bore, Kenya. Continue reading

Should I Enter the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize?

Sand timerAbsolutely!

As it stands, you have absolutely ages to enter our second literary  prize competition but that’s not a reason to put it on your cerebral back burner.

Interestingly enough, we have received a similar numbers of short stories versus poems so far and we’d love to pop a few more onto our ever growing pile of virtual paper!

As you probably know, we are planting a tree for every single entry we receive and we’re enormously excited about the positive impact of our Word Forest which is being coordinated by Ru Hartwell, a man entirely dedicated to countless planting schemes around the world.

Continue reading

Talking to the Winner of The Dame Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award 2015

Christina GabbitasChristina Gabbitas, you’re quite a wonder-woman!

Not only are you a greatly respected children’s author but also a passionate advocate for encouraging children to write. Tell us a bit about the recent writing competition you ran.

I first began the initiative in 2013. My son was part inspiration for this, as he struggled with dyslexia. He had a poem published in a very uninspiring poetry book at school, that was made available to family members, at an inflated cost of £15.00 per book. The font in the book is very small with poems crammed on many pages. However, it was good for his self esteem to have his work published.

I wanted a brightly coloured illustrated book, that would attract other children to read and ‘have a go’ at writing too. There is a £1.00 donation to Barnardos from the sale of each book.
I am very proud to say, that the Children’s Poetry Book Volume 2, has been awarded The Dame Beryl Bainbridge First Time Author Award 2015

The initiative gained support from the then Education Secretary, Michael Gove. Dr Stephen Fear, Entrepreneur and Ambassador at The British Library has also been a great support, coming on board as a judge for 2015.

After visiting many schools in the UK and United Emirates, we have more fantastic poems for the Volume 3 publication, which will be out in September 2015.

We first met you at The London Book Fair a couple of years ago. Your stand was adorned with beautiful books from your Felicity Fly series. Could you tell us how your primary character came to life and what initially inspired you to put pen to paper? Continue reading

MOLP2 Launches With Animated Style!

We are enormously grateful to Alex Smith for creating a fabulous bit of kinetic typography to explain what the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is all about.

Translated into non-geek, that simply means we have a cute little video!

MOLP is still the only writing contest in the world to plant a tree for every entry and we think this wraps all the salient points up in an entertaining bundle.

Please feel free to share it far and wide.

The (quite chuffed) Team

Short Stories & Poetry Required for a Unique Writing Contest

Click to enlarge, then feel free circulate as sustainably as possible

The second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is well under way and we’ve had a few entries plop onto our virtual doormat already, which has made the office buzz with excitement once more.

There has been an almost equal mix of short stories and poetry received so far and we’re considering betting  (with sticky buns) on whether that balance will be reflected when we close the door on our little writing contest later this year;  we received slightly more poetry than stories in MOLP1.

We decided to keep the theme open once again and I must say in my capacity as head judge, it led to a fantastic time reading and scoring incredibly diverse pieces of work last year with my fellow judges.

In 2014 we were sent creative writing about life, death, romance, sex, heartbreak and horror, sci-fi and comedy, lots of comedy and all sorts of other genres. We are hopeful it will expand even further this year.

Continue reading

It’s Time to Enter the Magic Oxygen Literary Prize Again!

Front Cover for the Magic Oxygen Literary Anthology 2015Yes indeed, MOLP2 is finally here and we have another £3,000 in the prize fund!

The second Magic Oxygen Literary Prize is open for entries of short stories and poetry from 1st July and will remain open until the 31st December 2015.

MOLP1 received almost 800 entries from 31 countries and had a prize fund of £3,000 paid to the writers of the best short stories and poems as decreed by 22 esteemed international judges.

Our fabulous anthology features the very best of them all and contains the top ten pieces in each category; if you’re planning to enter this year, it makes for invaluable research material and is a cracking read too. You can order it from us in paperback or e-book, or request it from your local book shop.

Continue reading

Normal Service Will be Resumed…very soon!

The Pause ButtonRenovation of our wonderful new offices at The Flat, 53 Broad Street in Lyme Regis has gone extremely well.

It has taken us a momentous six weeks of scrubbing, sweeping, prepping, rubbing down, painting and papering and we are just about to send out a stack of virtual, ‘We are moving’ notes.

With the help of a few dear friends, we have munched our way through over 10 metres of sandpaper, 4 litres of caulk, 90 litres of various flavours of paint, yards and yards of ceiling and wallpaper and we’ve barely set foot in the garden but have started to clear through the brambles and unloved footpaths.

On the backs of random pieces of scrap wallpaper you’ll find various designs for vertical fruit and vegetable planters made from pallets and raised beds made from scaffolding planks; it really will be a recycling dream garden.

Continue reading

Breathing Life Into Words