A Few Good Books 2012

Sometime in 2011 we put out a submission call for A Few Good Books. Well, here’s what we took on, our books programme for 2012. All these titles are available in print and Kindle editions. We’ll dust ourselves down in the New Year and look to start out again with a few books more…



Because Cuba is You

Red Laal

Red Laal


Red Army Faction Blues

Carpet Burns by Tom Hingley

Tom Hingley’s insider’s account of what it felt like to be in the eye of a pop hurricane and what happens when the hits end and the arguments kick in.
‘Oh my God! Every band is the same. I couldn’t put it down.’ – Peter Hook

Nothing Ever Happens in Wentbridge by Janet Watson

A true story from the emotional front line of a first love. This beautiful and vivid account of Mark and Janet, their lives, love and loss, shows how the mind has an uncanny ability to ignore what it doesn’t want to acknowledge. Until it has to.
‘The author drew on her teenage diaries for this poignant yet hilarious memoir about finding and losing your first love. The vividly depicted memories will make readers wince with recollection, but aside from its funny moments, it’s ultimately very moving.’ – The Sunday Mirror

Everything Now by Steve McKevitt

Everything Now – where we can have whatever we want, whenever we want it. In this book, Steve McKevitt reveals how the Everything Now culture is preventing us from addressing the biggest issues of our time and how having less really can make us happier.
‘Especially telling insights into how advertising and marketing attempts to sway us from one product towards another, near identical one. Read this before you shell out for a new, ever-so slightly shinier mobile phone or pay a premium for anything that goes out of its way to convince you how ‘ethical’ it is.’ – Time Out, Book of the Week

The Angels’ Share by Paul Laverty and KenLoach

Four Friends. One Mission. Lots of Spirit. A bittersweet comedy about a Glasgow boy locked in a family feud who just wants a way out. Little did Robbie imagine that turning to drink might change their lives – not cheap fortified wine, but the best malt whiskies in the world. Winner of the Jury Prize at Cannes Film Festival 2012
‘Scotland’s answer to The Full Monty.’ – John Naughton, GQ

Stories From a World of Music

A book of stories gathered at Musicport Festival 2011. A kaleidoscope of shifting patterns, the book captures the tales told over three days at one of Europe’s best loved gatherings for World Music.’
‘Reads like an insightful set of liner notes crossed with an oral history project. Accessible, creative, confessional and reflective, it captures the buzz, character and diversity of everyone who came together for the Musicport Festival.’ – Songlines



Because Cuba is You

Red Laal


Red Army Faction Blues

Because Cuba is You by Ramón Chao

To be a good Spaniard, you need a Latin American dimension.’ Ramón Chao’s magical realist account of his Galician grandmother’s Cuban adventure during a whirlwind of political change and the mysterious circumstances surrounding the birth of his father. Released February 2013. Pre-order now.

Red Laal by M Y Alam

‘Another gangster with all the presence of a ghost. Just stories you hear over the years. Heavyweight. King shit. Bad arse. Red Laal… If there did exist a Pakistani Don Corleone, then this was him.’
‘Just as you’re about to consign the gangster thriller to the bin of obsolescence, bored stiff by a tide of clichéd storylines, along comes a belter which deserves the highest praise.’ – Matt Baker, The Big Issue

Rites by Sophie Coulombeau

‘When I was fourteen I did something terrible. At least, that’s what some people tell me.’
Four teenagers make a pact to lose their virginity away from the watchful eyes of parents and priest. Fifteen years later, they reflect on the past and unravel how it all went so horribly wrong.
‘Terrific. A story that’s intriguing, puzzling and entirely gripping.’ – Philip Pullman

Red Army Faction Blues by Ada Wilson

A coalition government. A widely mistrusted ruling elite. Riots in the streets and heavy-handed police tactics. Just what did Fleetwood Mac’s Peter Green walk into at that infamous LSD party in Munich?
‘Shows the power of the novel to illuminate a moment in history; the moment when terrorism became the new rock ’n’ roll.’ – David Peace

Short Stories


Because Cuba is You

Because Cuba is You

Spellbound- Stories of Women’s Magic Over Men by Joel Willans

Ever since men painted on cave walls, they’ve been making art out of their feelings for women. Joel Willans’s prize-winning stories feature men battling for women’s hearts with weapons as diverse as chocolates and chairs.
‘Sharp, original and observant, with a generous helping of humour, Joel Willans’s stories are both thought-provoking and hugely entertaining. A great read.’ – Vanessa Gebbie

All Embracing & Other Stories by Dave Pescod

The characters in Dave Pescod’s stunning first collection are united by their desire to find love. The writing style is deceptively simple but deeply moving and the truth of these stories lingers long after the reading is done.
‘Shining a tender light on the human heart, these stories capture the dignity of ordinary individuals and the wonderful everydayness of love. A delight to read.’ – Michelle Spring, Royal Literary Fellow, Magdalene College, Cambridge

Click here for our full programme of books.



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A Few Good Books Update

Following several months of hard reading we have finally worked our way through all the manuscripts submitted to our A Few Good Books opening. This process took longer than we anticipated, due in part to the overwhelming volume of texts submitted, and we’d like to thank authors for their patience as we worked our way through their writing. In total we received just over 170 submissions, from which we drew up a longlist of 45 titles. There was a great deal of quality in those longlisted titles, leaving us with many more possibilities than we could have prudently coped with. After much thought and careful assessment, we are now considering six books from the list for publication. This comprises of two novels, two short story collections, a memoir and a diary. We look forward to making more announcements on these titles as we progress. All authors who submitted have now been contacted.

Our current submission round is to seek out Yorkshire’s next great young novelist, and we are soliciting submissions from authors aged 18-30 who live in Yorkshire. The deadline for entries in 31 May 2011. We are not currently seeking submissions outside this category, but anticipate that we will post new guidelines once this process is cleared, probably some time in the autumn.

Young Yorkshire Author Guidelines Open

Submission guidelines for our Young Yorkshire Author opening have been published.

‘As the major London publishing houses close their doors and eyes to unsolicited manuscripts this opening provides a rare opportunity for young unpublished novelists to have their work actually read and considered for publication. I hope it will become an annual event and that other regions will follow its example but, most of all, that it will provide extra motivation and inspiration for young writers in our area.’ David Peace

We are looking for a novel or novella of between 30,000-80,000 words. Authors aged 18-30 who are living in Yorkshire should:

  • Submit a synopsis, a sample text up to 10,000 words plus a brief biography and covering letter
  • The deadline for submissions is 31 May 2011.

Submissions will be assessed by a panel of readers and shortlisted submissions will be requested to send in the full manuscript after the closing date.

The winning entry will be offered a publishing deal and will be supported editorially to turn their manuscript into a published book. This is a genuine open opportunity, thanks to the support of Arts Council England, and we look forward to receiving your submissions

Editorial Opportunity
In addition to the author opportunity, Route are offering a mentoring programme for aspiring editors/publishers. Publishing is not an easy industry to break into, so we are offering a chance for an 18-30 year to gain valuable experience by working alongside Route in this exciting project. The successful applicant will have the relevant drive and desire and will work alongside Route in the selection, editing and publishing process. (Note this is a voluntary position and will not be office based.) Applicants should:

  • Send a CV and covering letter expaning why this opportunity is good for you and for Route
  • The deadline for Editor applications is 31 March 2011.

Full details of both openings and how to submit can be found on the Route website. Click here.

A Few Good Books

As part of our ongoing publishing programme we have a genuine opportunity for a few good books. Our new guidelines reflect this and we’re hoping for a few standout book proposals.

As way of guidance, we’re looking for titles to fit in with our ongoing programme, not to reinvent it. This means we will consider fiction – novels, novellas and short story collections – as well as non-fiction titles – memoir, biography, culture and sport. Remember all our books are based around stories.

This may seem like lame advice, but we recommend that you give good thought to the proposal you are sending to us; this is a good opportunity to introduce yourself or your idea and it will help you stand out from the crowd. We regularly receive indiscriminate book proposals that generally fall far outside our remit, are ill conceived or unrealistic in their ambition. When making your proposal ask yourself: is this book really suitable for Route, have you thought it all the way through and are you being realistic about what it can achieve?

Route publishes only a relatively small number of books per year, our distinction is that we work closely on all our books. There is a very human aspect to what we do, and this shouldn’t be underestimated when making your proposal. Books rarely happen over night or at arms length. We will be looking for proposals that promise a positive experience for all involved, something we can collaborate on fully.

If we haven’t put you off yet and you’ve got a book for Route, then send us a letter outlining your proposal, together with a synopsis and a sample of the manuscript where appropriate. Please post to: A Few Good Books, Route, PO Box 167, Pontefract, WF8 4WW, UK.

Submissions open from 1 March to 31 August 2010

No email submissions. No poetry.

Click here for our full submission guidelines.