Pulp Idol - Firsts
Kim Wiltshire is a playwright who creates political theatre through her theatre company, the Laid Bare Theatre Project. She was also co-writer and co-editor of Scenes From The Revolution, a book exploring 50 years of political theatre for Pluto Books & Edge Hill Press. SAD Day is her first novel.
SAD Day follows the story of Sarah and Andy Rourke after the death of their 15-year-old son, Drew, from Sudden Adult Death Syndrome. Finding her only son dead on her return from work, Sarah and Andrew fall into a nightmare of police questions, interference from family members and the realisation that they might not, after all, know the person they’ve been married to for eighteen years at all.
Natalie Denny is a 33-year-old writer and Service Manager in the NHS. Her interests include reading, activism, writing poetry and prose and live entertainment. She graduated with an open degree at the Open University. This included an advanced creative writing module which was the catalyst for her commitment to writing a novel.
The Girl with the Words
The Helicon; direct descendants of the nine Muses of Ancient Greece and responsible for all inspiration in the modern world. The Guild; a powerful organisation that seeks to control artistic creation. Saphy; a fifteen-year-old girl inextricably bound to both. After a series of Helicon murders, Saphy is thrust into the dark and magical world of the Muse Legacy.
Lewis Jennings is a journalism graduate and has previously featured in WoW’s What’s Your Story? Mental Health and Me anthology. He is the editorial assistant at Index on Censorship and is a board member at Scottie Press. Though his career has steered towards journalism, his true love is creative writing.
She Dreams in Colour
Liverpool, 1989. After dark, when his parents sleep, Cain Gleeson becomes Cheree. As a woman, he feels the sense of identity he has craved his whole life. But, when his father’s mental health deteriorates after the events of Hillsborough, he fears his secret may tear his family apart forever.
Andy Billinge was born in Liverpool in 1948. He has a B.Sc. (hons) in Physics from the University of Liverpool and went on to teach Maths in secondary schools until retiring in 2007. He has been married, divorced and married again. Andy has two children, three stepchildren and two grandchildren. He is an active member of the Labour Party.
900 years after a great plague, returning civilisation is threatened by the Corsairs. A girl, escaped from enemy slavery, and a boy from a pacifist village, are treated with suspicion, but join the fight. There are successes and victories and both sides claim success.
Having written poems and short stories when younger, Em Coombes had not written for years until taking part in a short evening creative writing course in 2015 where she wrote the first page, and has been writing it since. Life itself, travel and imagination are her true sources of inspiration.
A woman was last seen on Cressington Pier. The impact this event has on the small coastal community reveals the vulnerability of human relationships, as each character grapples with the complexities of their own lives, discovering both fragility and resilience, and how the power of nature dominates them.
Following her graduation with Combined Honours from Manchester University in American Studies and Sociology, Louise followed her love of acting and started working in theatre marketing. After a career that included writing press releases, pitches and copy for the National Trust and ITN, Louise finally discovered a liking for writing fiction. Influenced by a variety of subjective reading material, often political and concerned with the modern condition, she embarked on a creative writing course at Liverpool University.
A Corpse at Christmas
On the 50th anniversary of the cult horror movie, Servant of Shiva, film-maker Lena MacIntyre, trying to produce her first solo documentary about the film’s principal star, Jean D’Souza, is struggling with reluctant interviewees, her own self-doubt, silence, lies, unpalatable truths and, a dead body on the beach.
Working in textiles, Roisin has recently moved to Liverpool from the West of Ireland. Tiring of trawling through the library shelves, she lacked in finding modern material that she connected with as a reflective 26-year-old female, and so started writing a novel, compulsively, late into the nights.
Haley Ran Away
Haley will always pose unanswerable questions. Such as why are we drawn to the wild ones? Ruth never thought of her life worthy of a story, yet here she is as the protagonist, grappling with every life decision ever since she first met Haley who was lying on the communal kitchen floor, dying.
Chris Radcliffe is an Irish writer from Derry in the North West of Ireland, living in Liverpool for over seven years. He predominantly writes about the working class in Ireland and the North of England and likes to tackle current political and social issues in his work. He views his writing as stories about nothing.
The Children of Good Friday
The Good Friday Agreement was signed in 1998, and yet twenty years later the hangover from the peace process still humbles on. Told through the eyes of four Derry friends in their late teens and early twenties, we follow them as they grow up in a city doused in the history and blood of civil war and how their parents and family’s experiences have impacted on their lives today.
Following his move to Liverpool in 2001 to play guitar and write an album with Lotus Eaters’ singer Peter Coyle, Duncan Ross continued with his musical journey and performed in Europe and the USA with the likes of Cerys Matthews, Wendy James and John Power. After graduating with a BA in Music from The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 2008, he also discovered a love for creative writing.
The narrative of this black comedy, with a moral dilemma at its heart, takes place during a day in the life of struggling musician Jay Parker whose lifelong quest for success is put into sharp focus as, while evading the police and a psychopathic crime lord, he must choose between playing a lifechanging gig or saving an African family from a human trafficking ring.
Peter Swindells is an author from Liverpool. He has a degree in Psychology, two children, a disabled pigeon and a cat. He is allergic to cats. Work on his first novel has been transformative, fostering eclectic interest in diverse subjects including philosophy, religion, poetry, myth and magic.
Following a near-death experience Doctor Tod Orm becomes convinced he can resurrect his daughter with magic. Bonded to an entity that appears as his ex-wife, he stumbles into a world of occult societies, werewolves and vampires with conflicting agendas. Tod’s obsession may unravel the universe, but will he care?
After a voyage of discovery around South America to reconnect with her native roots, Brazilian Magaly Tawakoni settled in Liverpool, England. The city, and the birth of her new-born son, inspired her to write The Sacred Tea, her debut novel.
The Sacred Tea
At a time when only indigenous people occupied Brazil, Tainá follows her own intuition when faced with the object of her tribe’s fears. Years later, her story unravels itself to another young woman, every time she drinks a sacred tea.
Here is a collection of some of the stories from Pulp Idol Firsts 2020, read by the authors
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We’re proud as ever to present the 2019 batch of unpublished novelists unearthed through our annual Pulp Idol writing competition. Twelve first chapters from this years competition final were held during WoWFEST 19, our writing and literary festival held each year during May since it was launched in 2000. The past year has seen a rising tide of voices demanding that new writers from diverse and working-class communities be heard. This is something that has always been close to our heart and was the reason why Pulp Idol was launched in 2006, in recognition of the need for these new voices to have opportunities for their writing to be published and to provide pathways to bring it to the attention of both mainstream and independent publishers.
Mike Morris, Editor, and Co-Director of Writing on the Wall
Presenting the biogs and synopsis of our brilliant Pulp Idol 2019 winners and finalists
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Pulp Idol has had many successes, but few so quickly as the outcome of this year’s competition. Runner-up Ariel Kahn’s debut novel was snapped up almost immediately after the final held in May during WoWFest 2018 by North-east based award-winning independent publisher Bluemoose Books. So, well done to Ariel – look out for his debut novel Raising Sparks, which will be published in 2018.
Congratulations also to all our finalists whose opening chapters are published here for the first time. The quality of writing in this, the 11th year of our annual competition, is as good as any in previous years, and we wish them all the best of luck in finding publishers for their work.
Pulp Idol is a wonderful opportunity for new writers to gain exposure to the publishing industry and to share their work. Thanks so much WoW! Looking forward to the book launch!
- Laura Bui, Winner
Pulp Idol gives new and unpublished writers the opportunity to have their writing seen and read by industry professionals. If they are fortunate to be short listed they are then invited to read out their work to publishers, agents and the public. The standard of writing and the passion in which it is delivered is a reminder of what great new talent there is out there from all sections of society. I was so impressed by one writer, Ariel Kahn, that we will be publishing his debut, Raising Sparks in July 2018. As a publisher we are always looking to find great new talent and Pulp Idol is a fantastic event that shines a light on new writing and new writers. - Kevin Duffy, Bluemoose Books and Judge
Pulp Idol - Firsts 2017 is the seventh collection of first chapters.
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Writing on the Wall are launching the 10th Anniversary Edition of Pulp Idol – Firsts. Launched in 2007, Pulp Idol, a competition for debut novelists, has been the Launchpad for several new novelists, including James Rice, Deborah Morgan, John Donoghue and Clare Coombes. Pulp Idol – Firsts, judged by Laura Williams from PFD Literary Agents.
Judging the Pulp Idol competition is a highlight of my year – it takes enormous bravery to get up on stage and read your work aloud, and I’m always so impressed by the high quality of the entrants. I’m looking forward to hearing the stories from the 2018 finalists! - Laura Williams, PFD Agency and Judge
Pulp Idol - Firsts 2016 is the sixth collection of first chapters.
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Pulp Idol is a unique writing competition for novelists, which focuses on supporting new original voices and getting them heard. We provide a platform for up-and-coming writers, helping with exposure to new audiences and providing contacts with key publishers and agents.
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Earlier this year we received the news that Pulp Idol 2010 winner James Rice has signed a two-book deal and will have his debut novel, Alice and the Fly, published by Hodder and Stoughton in January 2015. James is a talented writer who has produced an incredible debut novel. We offer him our congratulations and wish him well. We are proud to have played some part in his success. Good news knocked on our door again when 2014 finalist Clare Coombes (nee Doran), called to say her debut novel, ‘Dictionary of Departures’, which appeared in last year’s Firsts, is to be published in Spring 2015 by Bennion Kearney. We’re very proud, but not too surprised at Clare’s success.
Editor for Crocus Books and Suitcase Press.
Pulp Idol - Firsts is a collection of firsts chapters from new and up and coming novelists who were finalists in the Pulp Idol writing competition organised by the Liverpool-based Writing on the Wall Festival. The competition takes place each year during the festival (usually held in May) and features writers taking part in a series of heats and a final, reading from their work and answering questions from the judges, who are all published writers themselves. The purpose of the competition, and the 'Firsts' publication, is to support new writers and bring their work to the attention of publishers and agents.