Retreat West Books wishlist

Last week I announced that Retreat West Books is now accepting submissions and launched the independent website for this new venture. I’m really excited to be expanding Retreat West in this way so thought I’d write a blog about the kinds of stories I’d like to publish.

It’s easy to see my tastes in short stories by reading the flash fictions published on the site and the anthology of winners from the 2016 prizes, What Was Left. But outside of the reading I do for Retreat West, some of my favourite short story writers are Kevin Barry, Tania Hershman, Graham Greene, Vanessa Gebbie, Alison Moore, Anita Desai and Angela Readman.

On the novel side of things, I have eclectic reading tastes and read across many different genres. Books that I love and re-read time and time again include The Poisonwood Bible by Barbara Kingsolver; Oryx and Crake by Margaret Atwood; The Tax Inspector by Peter Carey; Affinity by Sarah Waters; Dirt Music by Tim Winton; After You’d Gone by Maggie O’Farrell; Rachel’s Holiday by Marian Keyes; 1984 by George Orwell; The Crocodile Bird by Ruth Rendell; and Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell.

Other writers whose work I really enjoy include Damon Galgut, Erin Kelly; Isabel Ashdown; Jane Harris; Deborah Levy; RJ Ellory; Stephen King; Claire Fuller; Patricia Highsmith.

What all of these writers have in common is the strength of the characters they create, as well as the great plots that their stories weave. So if anyone was to submit work that it in anyway has shades of these writer’s styles and sensitivities then I’d be very happy indeed.

For memoirs, I am really open. I enjoy all kinds of true stories – from dangerous endeavours and adventures to inspiring tales of overcoming adversity. Coming of age or changing your life stories.

Overall, what I’m looking for is great writing and great characters.

Hope to read some great submissions soon! You can get all submission info here:

2 thoughts on “Retreat West Books wishlist

  1. John Constable says:

    My book The Chanteuse from Cape Town was shortlisted in respect of your first chapter competition in June last year when Jenny Saville was doing the judging.
    I note this new venture of yours and I am responding because my book is now finished having been edited by Debi Alper of the Writers’ Workshop. I am actively seeking representation and wonder if this may be of interest to you. Having said that, I am not clear as to how you wish to appraise submissions and in what form.
    I hope to hear from you soon.

    John Constable

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