Updated: Apr 26
I've got great news - we’ve been nominated for the National Diversity Awards! I got the news just before my birthday in March. What an amazing birthday present. I hadn’t heard of the National Diversity Awards but did some research and found out it’s a black-tie event held in Liverpool every year to celebrate individuals and organisations who have contributed to their communities, or the country, by supporting and encouraging diversity.
I also found out there are many different categories and strands and we were nominated for the Community Organisation Award for Multi Strand. The person who nominated us (thank you and I hope you won’t mind me sharing this!) stated this as their reason: ‘For nurturing and empowering authors from working class & diverse backgrounds to tell their stories that otherwise would not have been heard.’
It was so inspiring to read that!
We’re now in the voting stage and I hope you’ll be able to help. The number of votes we receive will determine whether or not we are shortlisted, and whether or not we go to the event in Liverpool in September where they announce the winners, which of course would be off the charts! It’s also an outstanding opportunity to give us even more exposure and a larger audience for our books.
Voting takes just a few minutes and we’d love to have your support. The last day to vote is 12 May. Here’s the link: nationaldiversityawards.co.uk/awards-2023/nominations/guts-publishing
I truly feel honored by this. We didn’t really set out to be the ‘diversity’ publisher but I suppose it’s fairly accurate. And I’m delighted that our next book, Smashed Not Wasted, fits in well with our collection and embraces diversity like all of our other books. AND, great news, we now have a cover! Sam and I worked on this in March and we’re both delighted. The gaze is somehow haunting (yes, it’s actually Sam but over 10 years ago) like it’s a Sam Thomas who no longer exists.
We'll be publishing Smashed Not Wasted on 5 July 2023. It's the true story of young gay man’s recovery from alcohol addiction and his #RecoveryPosse Twitter journey.
Here’s our blurb:
After a night of partying in a gay club, Sam Thomas finds himself in bed with his Valentine’s Day date. The night takes a turn when his date transforms into a beastly creature. The next morning, confused and hungover, Sam discovers that his date has no recollection of this. In an attempt to shake the night off as a bad date, he plunges further into drinking.
When he tries to go cold turkey, he suffers unexplained illnesses. On his third emergency admission to A&E, he is diagnosed as alcohol dependent. After his admission to a detox facility, and in the midst of a relapse, a crisis leads to Sam’s admission to a psychiatric hospital, which is where his epic recovery journey begins.
You can pre-order a copy here: www.gutspublishing.com/product-page/smashed-not-wasted-paperback
I've got more really wonderful news too. It might be a bit premature but I can barely wait so I’m going to tell you. The other day one of my publishing coach clients sent an email to say they have been offered a publishing contract! Yeah, that made my day! In a huge way! It’s so exciting to see someone’s life start to open up. They’re still finalising the details but when I’ve got the big thumbs up, I’ll tell you the person’s name and the publisher. For now let’s just say – how extraordinarily stupendous is that!
I don’t know if I’ve ever said this before but here is what publishing does: IT OPENS DOORS. Once the writer steps into that arena, their life changes forever. And what they do with the opportunity is entirely up to them. Aidan Martin is one example of what can happen to an unknown debut writer from Scotland who was told by people in the publishing industry that no one would publish an addiction memoir by an unknown author (among other things said!). Instead of letting that discourage him, he kept going. And eventually he found Guts. Since we published Euphoric Recall, Aidan has run with every opportunity that has come his way. He got online and started doing social media. He connected with some of the biggest names in Scottish literature (Darren McGarvey is one). He got a literary agent. He got a grant from Creative Scotland to write his next 2 books. He started his own charity called The Scheme which took years but he finally did it.
The point being, if you believe in yourself and your book, and if you keep at it and don’t give up, you’ll get there. It’s a long haul but once you get a publishing contract doors will start to open that you didn’t even know existed. Doors that are only for you. So, keep at it, and if you want some help with fine tuning your pitching approach, please check out my Publishing Coach page: www.gutspublishing.com/publishing-coach
I also have a new service called Short Manuscript Review which is for writers who are looking
for feedback on the opening chapters of their manuscript. Many clients have found this really helpful, whether they’ve finished their book or it’s still in progress. It includes a review of your synopsis and the first 10,000 words of your manuscript, then I send you a written report with what’s working and what needs work. The idea is to provide objective and honest but kind feedback so you can improve your manuscript. And, for the month of May I’m offering a free 30-minute Zoom meeting with this service. You can find out more about this here: www.gutspublishing.com/publishing-coach
So, writers, here’s my advice: Keep going. Never give up. And always be kind to yourself.
Thanks so much for reading. I'll be in touch again soon. Take care and remember to vote! It would mean the world to us.