Our next anthology is positively Shakespearian!

Our World War 2 anthology CALL TO ARMS is well underway, on course for the planned release date of 1 November 2017 – but we couldn’t resist acknowledging The Birthday by announcing the anthology scheduled next:

Modern LGBTQIA fiction inspired by the works of William Shakespeare

The world’s mine oyster
Which I with sword will open.

The Merry Wives of Windsor, Act 2 Scene 2

For our next anthology project, Manifold Press is looking for short fiction inspired by the vast and varied output of William Shakespeare – the plays, the sonnets, and even the ‘lost’ or disputed works – featuring LGBTQIA people as the main characters.

Want to tell us about the love lives of Hamlet and Horatio, Viola and Olivia, Antonio and Sebastian, Achilles and Patroclus? We want to read it! How about Kent’s devotion to Lear, Iago’s to Othello, Mercutio’s to Romeo, Nerissa’s to Portia? Turn the stories inside-out and show us how they could (or should) have ended! Gender-bend any character(s) you choose, mix them up in combinations of two or more, let your imagination run amuck!

And what about the unknown actors who’ve played these roles over the years, the directors who’ve supported them, the scholars and students who’ve given their lives to the study of Shakespeare? We’d love to see something of them, too, whether they’re academics or Hollywood stars, am-dram enthusiasts or soldiers reading sonnets in their dugouts. Set your story in Verona, Elsinore, Glasgow, New York, or even in the depths of space, and we’ll be with you all the way – in short, to coin a phrase, if music be the food of love, play on!

  • Editor: Fiona Pickles
  • All stories need to stand alone, whether or not they relate to any existing work.
  • Sexual encounters are welcome, and can be explicit, but we love a focus on character and story.
  • Story length: Between 3,000 and 10,000 words.
  • Authors will be paid a flat fee based on the final word count of their contribution.
  • Submission deadline: 31 October 2017
  • Planned publication date: 1 May 2018
  • Enquiries and submissions to: eaditter@manifoldpress.co.uk
  • Click here for a PDF version of this page.

Please note:

  • Unlike some of our previous anthologies, this is not a charity project.
  • Characters should be adults, and for our purposes Shakespeare wrote Shakespeare!

Three (very different) new titles for 1 May!

If there’s one thing that our next three titles have in common, it’s that they’re each so different!

This new novel from Alexa Milne is her first with the Press. We were intrigued as soon as we heard that the romance features two older characters – the sort of main characters we feel are under-represented in our genre. WHILE YOU SEE A CHANCE sees Sion returning to his childhood home in South Wales – and finding that his best friend Phil has recently returned home as well. They are both approaching their sixtieth birthdays, but is it ever too late for a chance at love?

Adding further depth to the tale, Alexa also explores two other romantic relationships in different generations of Sion’s family. Love is love is love, but our society has changed over time, and that has huge implications for the individuals who don’t quite fit into the ‘norm’.

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords. Also available as a pre-order via Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


Chris Quinton’s stories often touch on the fantastical, and COINS NOT ACCEPTED is no exception. Here we’re introduced to a world which exists in parallel with our own, and to the political machinations which spill through the tightly-controlled portal between them. Against this background of danger and intrigue Miles is reunited with old friend Allan, and together they’re pitted against powerful forces that threaten the safety of both worlds. Getting out of this situation alive will already be a challenge; getting out of it alive and together seems almost impossible…

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords. Also available as a pre-order via Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.


In A NIGHT WITH THE KNIGHT OF THE BURNING PESTLE, Julie Bozza does something different again. As if Francis Beaumont’s original play wasn’t chaotic enough, with two-plays-within-a-play, Julie wraps another layer around the whole, following the actors backstage in a modern-day production. Dale (who plays Rafe) and Topher (who plays Jasper) have worked together before – and Topher wants to celebrate the last night of this run in the same way they celebrated last time. This doesn’t fit into Dale’s plans at all, but perhaps Beaumont’s play “full of mirth and delight” has something to teach him.

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords. Also available as a pre-order via Apple, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

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Call to Arms – call for more!

by anthology editor Heloise Mezen

I’m delighted to say that I have received from their authors the first two stories of the Call to Arms anthology; the stories have been accepted and sent back to the authors with editing suggestions, and I’m eagerly awaiting them back again to send out to the proof-reader.

‘Proof-reader?’ I hear you saying. ‘When the deadline isn’t until May?’ Which is true, of course, but I am sure you’ll understand that nobody wants to deal with a spate of stories all at once;  a gentle flow is far more manageable!

So, if you have an idea for Call to Arms, stand not upon the order of its writing, but write now! Send it soon! I really am happy to receive stories whenever before the deadline they may happen to arrive.

Or, do you want to write a story, but are so far without an idea? I have read a fair amount round World War 2, so perhaps I may make an observation here: it really was a world war, and stories from all round the world could form part of the collection. For those of us in the UK it’s easy to think of it as a Western European struggle, and to forget that the Balkans (again) and Russia (again) were involved: civilians and fighters from Africa, Australia, Burma, the Caribbean, China, India, Japan … many places to choose from, and many sorts of people, whether refugees, evacuees, soldiers, sailors, airmen and women, prisoners of war or simply people trying to live their lives in unimaginable circumstances.

And here, just because I can, is a story.

I was with my father about a month ago, driving round North Norfolk looking for a World War One training camp (a long story, to do with my job) and Dad started reminiscing. Not about 1939-1945, when he was an evacuee (his mother with Civil Defence and his father with the Army), but about his National Service in the 1950s, when he was posted to Catterick on the North York Moors (which has been a military base since the Romans called it Cataractonium, and later when it may have been where the British called Catraeth). He and his platoon were out fire-fighting, because the moors are peat moors, and Dad remembered rather enjoying himself in the sunshine. Then he asked what my WWI trainee served as, and when I said “RAMC” he chuckled.

‘What’s so funny?’ I asked.

‘The RAMC had a little caravan up here, and they ran a brothel from it.’

I didn’t ask him whether he’d taken advantage …

Have you a story for Call to Arms? Or do you have an idea, and want to know if it’s suitable? See the call for submissions – and do feel free to contact heloise@manifoldpress.co.uk and talk it over.

It’s “Read an Ebook Week” on Smashwords!

Smashwords are celebrating Read an Ebook Week from 5 to 11 March 2017 – and what that means for readers is deep discounts on awesome titles!

Manifold Press is participating, with all of our titles, backlist and new, discounted by 25%. (The only exception is our charity anthology, A Pride of Poppies.) Now is the time to stock up that TBR pile, and maybe try some new stories you’ve been pondering.

Browse the Manifold Press catalogue on Smashwords – or browse the full catalogue of all the discounted ebooks across the site. We’re 100% sure you’ll find something to love!

Three new titles available today!

The month that passes between the day we announce our new titles and release day always seems very very long indeed – even to those of us lucky enough to have read the titles while working with the authors. But we’ve survived once more, and here we are on 1 February, with three new titles available now!

We are very proud of the two exciting new novels by authors who have recently joined the Manifold Press family, Dorian Dawes and Heloise West – and also of the new stories from Press stalwart Jay Lewis Taylor. These titles certainly do embody our wide range of quality fiction!


Self-described social justice witch and full-time gender disaster Dorian Dawes introduces us to the fascinatingly bizarre world of HARBINGER ISLAND, permanently under siege from manifestations of the occult and protected by a motley collection of academics and students.  It is a world in which nothing at all is certain – gender and memory in particular – and good and evil are never really as far apart as one might have imagined.

Buy links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords; Barnes & Noble; Kobo.


In ARDENT, Heloise West takes us to the fascinating world of the painters of Renaissance Italy. A high value is placed on the work of master painters – and also on the dyes and pigments they use. In the turbulence of Medici Florence, this can mean life or death, even for the innocent let alone those who try to rig the system to their own advantage. Into this corrupt world arrives master painter Morello, who has yet one more deadly secret to keep – he has fallen hard for the workshop’s assistant, Benedetto, a young man as intelligent as he is beautiful. Can either of them survive the intrigues surrounding them … ?

Buy links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords; Barnes & Noble; Kobo.


In addition to these, we’re delighted to have a new Espresso Shot from Rainbow Award winner Jay Lewis Taylor, following on from his successful novel ACROSS YOUR DREAMS. In BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY we follow further developments in the lives of Jack Townsend – still being blackmailed – and David Lewry and Alan Kershaw – close, but not yet close enough – as they begin to forge new lives for themselves in the aftermath of the war to end all wars.

Buy linksAmazon UK; Amazon US; SmashwordsBarnes & Noble; Kobo.

Our Espresso Shots imprint is designed for shorter works, with a more informal publishing schedule than for our ‘regular’ works. The imprint features the same cover for all its titles. Given that the cover will grace stories of any style and any genre, we chose an image that evokes the comforts – and the stimulations – of the reading experience itself.


We hope you’ll give one or more of these titles a go – and we’re pretty sure you’ll enjoy them, if you do!

New title: BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY

We’re sure many of you are eagerly awaiting the 1 February release date for our two new titles, ARDENT by Heloise West, and HARBINGER ISLAND by Dorian Dawes.

In addition to these, we’re delighted to have a new Espresso Shot from Rainbow Award winner Jay Lewis Taylor, following on from his successful novel ACROSS YOUR DREAMS. In BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY we follow further developments in the lives of Jack Townsend – still being blackmailed – and David Lewry and Alan Kershaw – close, but not yet close enough – as they begin to forge new lives for themselves in the aftermath of the war to end all wars.

BREAK OF ANOTHER DAY will be released on 1 February, but is available for pre-order now:

Our Espresso Shots imprint is designed for shorter works, with a more informal publishing schedule than for our ‘regular’ works. The imprint features the same cover for all its titles. Given that the cover will grace stories of any style and any genre, we chose an image that evokes the comforts – and the stimulations – of the reading experience itself.

Two new titles announced for February!

To start off the new year in style, we are proud to announce two exciting new novels by authors who have recently joined the Manifold Press family. Between them they illustrate the wide range of quality fiction that we love!

Self-described social justice witch and full-time gender disaster Dorian Dawes introduces us to the fascinatingly bizarre world of HARBINGER ISLAND, permanently under siege from manifestations of the occult and protected by a motley collection of academics and students.  It is a world in which nothing at all is certain – gender and memory in particular – and good and evil are never really as far apart as one might have imagined.

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords.

In ARDENT, Heloise West takes us to the fascinating world of the painters of Renaissance Italy. A high value is placed on the work of master painters – and also on the dyes and pigments they use. In the turbulence of Medici Florence, this can mean life or death, even for the innocent let alone those who try to rig the system to their own advantage. Into this corrupt world arrives master painter Morello, who has yet one more deadly secret to keep – he has fallen hard for the workshop’s assistant, Benedetto, a young man as intelligent as he is beautiful. Can either of them survive the intrigues surrounding them … ?

Pre-order links: Amazon US; Amazon UK; Smashwords.

These books will be released on 1 February, but are available for pre-order now.

Happy New Year! And are you subscribed to our newsletter yet…?

Manifold Press will be starting the new year off in great style tomorrow by announcing the two new titles that we’ll be releasing on 1 February. In fact, not only the titles are new, but the two authors are new to the Manifold Press team as well! We’re thrilled to bits by the intriguingly different stories they have to tell.

If you’re not already subscribed to our ‘Coffee Club‘ newsletter, you may like to do so now. We promise not to overburden you with mail! We issue one newsletter each quarter, to announce our new titles, and then another short one on the day they’re released. In return, you’ll have access to articles and giveaways that you won’t find anywhere else.

Tomorrow’s issue features fascinating articles by our two new authors, exploring the research and writing processes, and all the ties between those processes and life in general.

We’d love to welcome you on board! Please do subscribe here, if you’re not with us already.

And in the meantime, we trust you’re enjoying your New Year’s Eve celebrations, and we hope that 2017 proves to be overwhelmingly full of excellent friends and good books.

AllRomance eBooks closing down

As I’m sure most people in our community are aware, AllRomance eBooks is closing down with very little warning.

This is a quick post to let you know that Manifold Press titles are still active on the ARe site. We wanted to ensure that readers can spend their eBucks (which, after all, have already been paid for) and that anyone who’s already bought a book can download it. We’ll inactivate the titles at some stage tomorrow, 31 December.

As you probably know, if you spend money buying new books on the site, that money will go to ARe and will not be forwarded to the publishers and authors. We’re assuming most, if not all, readers won’t want to do that.

If you want to buy new Manifold Press books, can we please direct you to:

Thank you for your support! We’ll be in touch again in the new year with any further responses to this situation.

Queer Company 2: the round-up

Queer Company iconIt’s taken a couple of days to pull the accounts together (and to shake off the Post-Con Crud), but we’re now in a position to reveal that we made a minuscule operating surplus on the event last weekend. (Less than £20, in fact.) Adding that to a couple of ad hoc donations and the £125 raised by the raffle means that we are in a position to donate a total of £250 to our chosen charities. We will therefore be sending £125 each to:

GALOP (http://www.galop.org.uk/), the LGBT+ charity for those who have experienced hate crime, sexual violence or domestic abuse, and which also supports lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer people who have had problems with the police or have questions about the criminal justice system, and

Opening Doors London (http://openingdoorslondon.org.uk/), which is the biggest charity providing information and support services with and for older Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Trans* people in the UK.

Once again, we’d like to thank everyone who contributed by making donations and buying raffle tickets; as the saying goes, ‘every little helps’.

Finally, and because it got lost in the shuffle at the end of a very full day on Saturday – for which we can only apologise – we would like to say a big ‘thank you’ to the sponsors who so kindly supported the event: Sue Brown/UK Gay Romance, Chris Ethan, our friends at Two Marshmallows (who helped to pay for the booklet printing) and of course the awesome Clever Baggers who donated those spectacular purple giveaway totes. This literally wouldn’t have been possible without the contributions all of you made, and we want you to know how very much we – and our chosen causes – appreciate your generosity.

And now, we’re all going to lie down in a darkened room until it’s time to start hunting for a venue for Queer Company 3 …