Dead Ink and Bloomsbury showcase Northern literary talent in new anthology

Dead Ink and Bloomsbury showcase Northern literary talent in new anthology

Dead Ink Books and Bloomsbury are publishing Test Signal, a "ground-breaking" anthology of the best contemporary Northern writing.

The title will be co-published, in association with New Writing North and literary agency C&W, on 1st July 2021, showcasing "the wealth of literary talent" the North of England has to offer.

Contributors will include a mix of well-established names and newcomers, writing across genres. Andrew Michael Hurley, Kit Fan, Crista Ermiya and Lara Williams are among the contributors.

Test Signal is all about opening up publishing and creating something new and exciting that people in the North feel belongs to them,” said Nathan Connolly, publishing director at Dead Ink Books, “collaborating with Bloomsbury on this project is an exciting experiment in how publishers can work together in interesting ways to deliver creative results”.

Bloomsbury managing editor Sara Helen Binney added: “I’m delighted to be working with Nathan and the team at Dead Ink, alongside New Writing North and C&W, on this brilliant and timely project. Test Signal is everything the North is – vibrant, forward-looking, richly diverse – and everyone here at Bloomsbury is really proud to be publishing such a fantastic group of writers. Coming from a wide range of experiences and backgrounds and writing across different genres and styles, together they represent the very best present and future literary talent in the North.”

Will Mackie, senior programme manager (Writing and Awards) at New Writing North, said he was “encouraged by the response” to the call for submission, receiving over 300 submissions “from the towns and cities, rural areas and coastlines that make up the North of England.” Mackie acknowledged that “making a selection from such high-quality and diverse work was never going to be easy but we got there and the final Test Signal line-up is exceptionally strong and exciting.”

Further contributors taking part include Naomi Booth, Jane Claire Bradley, Laura Bui, Patricia Cresswell, Adam Farrer, Rebecca Hill, Jenna Isherwood, Tawseef Khan, Carmen Marcus, J A Mensah, Désirée Reynolds, Sara Sherwood, Amy Stewart, Sharon Telfer, Melissa Wan, Matt Wesolowski, Lara Williams, Rob Williams and Samuel Wright.

Promotional activities for Test Signal will incorporate an "artistic" range of branded posters, screen prints, and tote bags designed by Luke Bird, as well as author events in partnership with regional bookshops across the North. 

C&W will also be offering all of the previously unpublished featured writers a one-on-one consultation with a literary agent while Bloomsbury will host events for the contributing writers, creating opportunities to connect with editors, agents, and journalists in order to further their writing careers.