There was an outstanding turn-out and lively debate at the ReWriting Yorkshire event at The Leeds Library on Tuesday night. But don’t worry if you couldn’t make it; the event was filmed and can be watched on-line here.

Rewriting Yorks Film

From Saturday, the excellent new venue the Hyde Park Book Club will be selling copies of some of my selected paperback titles for just five quid. Yup five quid. There will be copies of Bully, Paint this town Red, and The Art of Ventriloquism up for sale. To find out more about HPBC, please go here.


dedication_1xI’m running a competition with a difference this week. This is YOUR chance to have your name recorded for posterity in the Dedication section of my forthcoming dark fiction novel Small Man Syndrome. And all you have to do in order to qualify is purchase a copy of one of my previous Wild Wolf Publishing-produced horror novels from this site, and your name will automatically be entered. The closing date for the competition is Friday 27th November 2015.

Small Man Syndrome is in the very early stages of forthcoming. Though the text is complete and fully edited and ready to go, the cover is still in production and I’ve still not been given a proper publication date. But the book will OUT. Most likely early in the new year. And what better Christmas present could you get for the man, or woman, who has everything than a dedication in a book? It’s certainly different…

In order to enter, you’ll need to first buy a book. For the purposes of this competition, I have two on offer; Bully, which is priced at £9.99 inc. UK P&P, and Paint this town Red, which is priced at £11.99 inc. UK P&P. Please enquire for P&P to locations outside the UK. In order to buy a copy, simply email me here: andrewkirby92 (at) btinternet (dot) com and I’ll give you my details so you can pay by Paypal. Otherwise, I’ll give you my address so you can send a cheque.

You can choose which book you’d like to read by visiting the Bully and Paint this town Red pages.

And you can find out more about Small Man Syndrome by visiting the dedicated page on the website.

Cover - End of The Year Collection - 20157My long short story ‘A Thousand Words for Yesterday, None for Tomorrow’ (which weighs in at well over 1000 words!) has been accepted for publication in the end of year review 2015 from Onyx Neon Shorts.  (See cover detail left.)

It is an explosive piece regarding the nature of grief. Watch this space for more news on when you’ll be able to read it.

For now, here’s an extract:

“Working at the plant, he said, was never as exciting as it sounded. He had to monitor the radiation levels and I always used to imagine him walking around in a futuristic space-type suit, clutching a Geiger-counter and listening, ears-peeled, for clicks from it. Instead all he seemed to do was watch readings, and read-outs from a sickly-green computer screen. Or else he’d plough through the reams and reams of computer paper which were churned out by the printer, on the hunt for the slightest anomaly, the needle in the haystack which meant apocalypse was now. The printer was as large and lunken as an eighteenth century cotton-spinning machine and was about as noisy too. It sounded as though it was water-powered and the great turbine of it was somewhere very close. It spooled out entire forests of paper day-by-day-by-day, all of it the same size – between A4 and A3 – and all of it framed by these columns of holes with which the printer’s spool had held the paper in place. The printer only printed on one side, and, once the print-outs had been held for a certain amount of time, as required by law, Dad used to bring back box-loads of it for me to draw on the other sides.

Dad very much wanted to encourage my ‘artistic temperament’, as he called it. He saw a good eye and no little talent in my early, wonky sketches of potato men with large hands standing outside huge-chimneyed buildings, and was determined I should keep practicing.

My early efforts were characterised by their devotion to colour. I used to hold fast to the theory that unless I’d used every crayon in the rainbow, it wasn’t a finished masterpiece. But eventually I progressed to simple blacks, whites and sometimes greys too. I loved pen and ink sketches. I loved the thickness of a 4B pencil. I loved dirtying my fingers with charcoal. I drew nature scenes mostly, from memory, from our Sunday walks in the moors or on the dales, or by the cliffs. Or else I copied the scenes from our Yorkshire Scenes calendar which was hung on the kitchen wall, by the fridge.

In the aftermath of the incident, Mum and I left off changing the calendar. For months it still showed the cliffs at Ravenscar. The photograph was particularly bleak and the cliffs looked like a promise. In the aftermath of the incident, I started off every drawing by sketching out, in faint 6H pencil, a man’s rubber-boots. I did this unconsciously, as though guided by a ghost hand, as though the computer paper was my own version of a Ouija Board. But as soon as I saw the thin outline of what I’d drawn, I’d pick up the charcoal and scratch over it and over it and over it until nothing of it remained, just blank blackness. Sometimes I gripped the charcoal so hard and pushed it into the paper so forcefully, I’d tear right through the computer paper, onto the sheet below. And sometimes I’d go through that too, so that in the end I was scrawling about ten sheets down, onto graphs and grids which had been spooled out by the printer at Dad’s work way back in the misty mountains of time.

My new drawings weren’t of the kind which could be Blu-tacked to the fridge, or else kept under the sun visor in Dad’s Capri. They weren’t sweet or innocent, and they were about as far from hopeful as it was possible to be. But I kept at them, tried to rewire my brain so that eventually I’d churn out something different, something new.”


rewriting yorkshire3Is there such a thing as a Leeds writer?

A public talk organised by Leeds Beckett University is set to question what effect, if any, writing in Leeds has on an author; and is there such a thing as a Leeds writer?

In the second of three seminars, entitled (Re)Writing Yorkshire, writers A J (Andrew) Kirby and Richard Smythe will explore the literary map of Leeds and its region (with a particular focus on grassroots writing) and will try to ascertain what Leeds does to writers and what writers, both past and present, have done to Leeds.  The talk, organised by the School of Cultural Studies and Humanities at Leeds Beckett and The Leeds Library, is free, open to the public and will take place at 6.30pm on Tuesday 17 November at The Library.  Places are limited and must be booked in advance at

Dr Rachel Connor, Senior Lecturer in Cultural Studies and Humanities, organiser of the series and chair for the evening, said: “In Mapping Leeds’s Fictional Landscape we will explore the literary topography of Leeds and debate such questions as: is there such a thing as a Leeds writer?  What are its real and fictional boundaries? Where in the city does grassroots writing take place?  And how is Leeds represented both locally and globally?

“The event will fuse readings from Andy and Richard’s fiction with participatory discussion from the panel and audience about Leeds’s place on the northern, UK and global literary map.”

Award winning author, A.J Kirby, has written six novels, including crime thriller, The Magpie Trap, and over forty short stories. Andrew said: “I’m delighted and proud to have been invited to appear at the (Re)Writing Yorkshire series as Leeds has imprinted on my careerin a number of ways.

“The way in which Leeds, Yorkshire and ‘the north’have been portrayed in novels (predominantly dark and gritty) interests me greatly – but is it right that they should be portrayed this way?  In truth, the way in which Leeds and Yorkshire are imagined in literature differs greatly from book to book and from writer to writer, but is there such a thing as a Leeds writer or a Yorkshire writer? And should there be?What’s important, is to draw a line between the localised nitty-gritty of life and location as it appears in fiction, and the overall result or coherent whole of the novel or story.”

Richard Smyth is an independent writer, researcher, editor and cartoonist, and the author of four books, including Bloody British History: Leeds.  Richard commented: “What does it mean to be a Leeds writer? I’m pretty sure I am one.  I was born and brought up here – but I’m not sure what that says about my writing, or even if it says anything at all.

“It’s natural to wonder what effect the places in which we live and work have on the stuff we publish, and that’s what the (Re)Writing Yorkshire series gives us an opportunity to do: to explore the fiction, poetry and drama being produced in Yorkshire and by Yorkshire writers and to ask what – beyond the postcode districts in which they were written – they have in common.  Andy, Rachel and I will each bring a unique perspective to the discussion.”

The (Re)Writing Yorkshire series, which sees academic researchers, established writers and creative practitioners examine new representations of Yorkshire in Literature, Television, Film, Music and Art, was launched last month by Yorkshire based poets, Helen Mort and Tara Bergin – both of whom were selected by the Poetry Book Society in 2014 as writers expected to dominate the poetry landscape in coming years.  A packed house gathered to hear Helen and Tara discuss whether, and how, Yorkshire has influenced their writing, and where they see poetry going in the next 10 years.

Details of all the seminars in the series and other events hosted by Leeds Beckett can be found at

Just two weeks to go until the Rewriting Yorkshire event at The Leeds Library… Here’s a new flyer to promote the evening, which features Richard Smythe and myself.

rewriting yorkshire3

rewriting yorkshire4

I hope you’ve enjoyed my Halloween countdown this year. I’ve featured horror writing tips, interviews, book recommendations, competitions and freebies (as well as some shameless self-promotion).

But wait… Listen… Somebody’s chapping at your door… Can’t you hear them?