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Curved House Editor

Visual Verse Submissions from Writers

Visual Verse launches August Edition with Edan Lepuki and Katherine Fawssett

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE

Truth is stranger than fiction. Back in the dark days before Visual Verse began, our editor was (and still is) an avid reader of The Millions, a great books website based in the USA. She was particularly struck by an article called ‘Shutting the Drawer, What happens when a book doesn’t sell?’ published on August 23, 2011. It was honest, it was funny, it was painful – it was absolutely what doesn’t get said among the brouhaha that surrounds debut authors. It was by a Millions staff writer called Edan Lepuki, who has an MFA from Iowa writers’ workshop.

Fast forward three years. Visual Verse is 9 months old and Edan Lepuki’s first published novel is about to be launched in the UK. On 7 August, in just one week’s time CALIFORNIA will be on our bookshop shelves. We are thrilled to publish Edan in the UK a week before her novel comes out, and have her headlining Visual Verse for the month. Read More

Introducing… November Editions

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE

The latest project we’ve worked on (and that we’re delighted to introduce you to) is November Editions. Based in Amsterdam and Berlin, November Editions is a new publisher, specialising in first-time English-language translations of German Expressionist and other Modernist writing from the early 20th century. Their books will appear exclusively in electronic format.

November Editions uncovers plenty of hidden and forgotten gems, starting with their first round of books, which introduce English-language audiences to work from Karl Kraus, Walter Rheiner and Carl Einstein. Read More

how to resize images for the web

Preparing Images for the Web

By | BOOKLAB

This guide is designed to help authors and web editors understand how to resize and save images before uploading them to the web

When it comes to creating an engaging website, images and photos are extremely important. Estimates are that we only read about 20% of the world’s online text which leaves 80% of visual and multimedia that we navigate daily. Read More

It all starts with Matilda: Nerys Hudson to join The Curved House

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE

Photo: Marie J. Burrows

I’m thrilled to announce that the fabulous Nerys Hudson, from Dialogue Berlin, will be joining The Curved House in June as Publishing Assistant. Nerys will offer editorial assistance across the entire Curved House project list including digital and print projects.

Those within the English-language publishing community in Berlin know only too well how loved Nerys is. She comes well-trained in bookselling and book marketing after working with Sharmaine Lovegrove at Dialogue for several years and brings a calm efficiency to everything she does. Her experience in bookselling, PR/marketing, events and her design skills (that have even been picked up by the Penguin UK design blog) make her a great fit for The Curved House. Read More

Stella Duffy leads May edition of Visual Verse

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE

May is a strange month – neither spring nor summer – a time of transitions at the turn of the season. Our image by Berlin based photographer Alice Connew captures that ambivalence perfectly. A shoulder, a quilt. Male or female? Happy or sad? To get up, or stay in bed? At Visual Verse we try to publish images that provoke questions. Who better to lead the site this month than Stella Duffy, a writer who explores every form and every subject, (she’s been nominated for the (once named) Orange Prize and even appeared in The Bill – how many writers can say that?) She’s written crime and literary fiction – perfect for our strange image, which evokes beauty and potential violence in equal measure. This month we also introduce a ‘previously unpublished’ slot, occupied now by Maya Dawson a young writer with a delicate sense of relationships. Vidyan Ravinthiran is a poet and Keasbey Research Fellow at Selwyn College, Cambridge. His first collection, Grun-tu-molani, is out now from Bloodaxe. And Victoria Gosling, who is represented by Rogers Coleridge and White, writes novels and short stories, and is the founder of The Reader Berlin, an author and publishing consultancy. Not too busy then! We hope you enjoy reading, writing and submitting this month. Thanks so much for all the support, Visual Verse is now six months old and we could not be more thrilled by your responses.

Kristen, Preti and Pete

Publishing Assistant, P/T 3-4 days per week, Berlin

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE

The Curved House_Logo_BLACK_FBDescribed by the UK Bookseller as “the ultimate hybrid company”, The Curved House is a creative and energetic publishing and production business based in Berlin. We design and produce books, websites and multimedia for publishers and authors (mainly UK-based) and we run highly sought-after web and social media trainings for authors in collaboration with organisations like the Society of Authors and The Literary Consultancy. We also publish our own books under the Curved House Kids imprint and run the not-for-profit online anthology, Visual Verse.

We are seeking an exceptional Publishing Assistant to work 3-4 days per week alongside the Publisher in our Berlin office.

The role:

You will be assisting in three key areas of our work: production/design, marketing and sales. This is a dynamic role and requires someone who is reliable and organised, but also creative and imaginative. An interest in design and a flair for social media are a must. This role would suit someone who is drawn to the creative side of publishing  (design, production, marketing) and who is excited by working for a small company that can offer experience across the entire publishing process.

You will:

  • Offer administrative support to the Publisher in all aspects of our work – particularly project work, marketing and sales
  • Manage your own publishing projects (books, websites and videos) including managing budgets and liaising directly with clients
  • Liaise with key suppliers including editors, designers, typesetters, printers and web developers
  • Assist with the organisation and running of events
  • Run the social media accounts for The Curved House and Curved House Kids
  • Be responsible for editing and updating our websites
  • Fulfill orders from our shop: www.curvedhouseeditions.com
  • Create sales and marketing materials such as flyers, postcards and posters
  • Assist with researching and writing proposals and funding applications

The successful candidate will:

  • Have a minimum of 2 years publishing or bookselling experience
  • Have an innate understanding of high quality design (practical design skills would be a distinct advantage)
  • Be passionate about books and literacy
  • Demonstrate excellent computer skills and the ability to learn new programmes quickly
  • Be social media savvy  and undaunted by running multiple SM accounts on multiple platforms
  • Have impeccable written and spoken English language skills (German an advantage)
  • Have excellent attention to detail
  • Be thoughtful, friendly and a great communicator across all mediums
  • Be a self-starter who can work independently and set own goals
  • Be enthusiastic about working for a young publishing start-up
  • Be looking to develop a career in publishing

Note: Applicants must be legally permitted to work in German and/or the EU for a minimum of 12 months.

If this sounds like you, and the idea of working for a growing publishing company excites you, then please apply in writing to kristen@thecurvedhouse.com with a CV and a covering letter explaining why you are right for this position. Please include details of your current salary and notice period in your covering letter.

The closing date for applications is 5pm GMT, Friday 18th April
Shortlisted candidates will be contacted on Monday 21st April
Interviews will take place on Wednesday 23rd April
The successful applicant will be required to start no later than Monday 26th May

society of authors design and digital jon gray318 david pearson claire mason katie Roden

All the Lovely People: Society of Authors Design and Digital Conference

By | WHAT WE LIKE

On Wednesday I had the pleasure of chairing the afternoon sessions at the Society of Authors Design and Digital conference. It was such a good line-up and it’s quite possible I enjoyed the whole day more than anyone else. The morning sessions were three book designers with not only supreme skill and creativity, but total integrity: Jon Gray of Gray318, David Pearson of Type as Image who is always a favourite, and Claire Mason, text designer at Penguin. All of them presented a beautiful array of work and insights into the considerations of cover and interior book design. Katie Roden from Fixabook chaired the morning sessions and ended with some practical insights into how to make sure your cover does what it needs to do (sell books). Read More

Denise Nestor Adam Marek Visual Verse

March edition of Visual Verse launches with Denise Nestor and Adam Marek

By | WHAT WE'VE DONE
This month’s ‘visual’ is by the artist Denise Nestor whose exquisite pencil drawings have appeared in The New Review, the New York Times and have been published by Curved House EditionsAnd this month’s lead ‘verse’ is from award-winning writer, Adam Marek, whose work has appeared in magazines and anthologies including Prospect and The Sunday Times Magazine, The Stinging Fly and The London Magazine, and in anthologies such as The Best British Short Stories 2011 and 2013His short story collections The Stone Thrower and Instruction Manual for Swallowing are published in the UK by Comma Press, and in North America by ECW Press.We also feature new writing by Kristen Kreider who, as part of the collaborative pair Kreider+O’Leary, exhibited the work Light Vessel Automatic at Performing Architecture at Tate Britain in 2013 and Edge City at the Lisbon Architecture Triennale in Lisbon from Sept-Dec 2013. Her academic monograph Poetics and Place: the Architecture of Sign, Subjects and Site is out now.Writing by Olivia Dawson, whose poetry has been published in Magma and Matt Bryden, whose first collection Boxing the Compass was published by Templar in 2013, demonstrates again how elastic the imagination is, how powerful the art of expression, how infinitely surprising the meeting of art and words can be.

We’re pleased to announce new features on the site – you can now see your own contributions from each month by title or by your name all in one place. We are also doing our best to bend WordPress to our postmodern wills – it takes time, so the more simple you keep your formatting, the easier it still is for us – nevertheless, we are doing our best to publish all kinds of writing – poetry, fiction, life writing, witnesses, all of it in response to some astonishing contemporary art.

So here is March, dear writers, to be filled with your responses. 50-500 words and written within an hour. The image is the starting point, the rest is up to you. Thank you for your support!

Kristen Harrison and Preti Taneja
Visual Verse: Anthology of Art and Words

Using Visual Literacy as a Language Learning Tool

By | WHAT WE KNOW

When I started to develop Curved House Kids one of the goals was to create books that could reach every corner of the globe. This meant making every book easily adaptable for foreign language editions and also for language learning, including ELT/EFL. Our ‘write-your-own’ books were created with this in mind – they have pictures but no story so a child can write their book in any language they choose. Now the books are out in the world and it is an absolute thrill to hear from teachers who are using them to support language learning.

A wonderful example arrived by email today. It is from Priscilla Posada who teaches English to children at the Elele Community Center in Berlin. Priscilla used a couple of our Curved House Kids picture books – My Summer Snowman and Grandma’s Jungle Party – to develop a lesson plan for her students and she wrote to tell us how it went:

“The kids as predicted went crazy over the books. With lots of charades and some pencils, I was able to create a lesson plan out of My Summer Snowman. The kids I work with, all native German speakers, vary in age and level of exposure to English so actually having to interact with the book kept them engaged… and laughing all the while. The best part was when (spoiler alert) the snowman gets a yellow scarf. We couldn’t quite act this word out so one of the kids went on the hunt for the color yellow to show the youngest what it was :)”

Elele Community Center Curved House Kids

What a wonderful email to receive! And what’s I love most of all is that the kids and Priscilla extended the use of these books into the realm of physical acting and play. Active learning or ‘learning through play’ is known to be an excellent reinforcer for children:

“Children learn best through first-hand experiences… the purpose of play-active learning is that it motivates, stimulates and supports children in their development of skills, concepts, language acquisitions/communication skills and concentration.” – from Play/Active Learning published by the Welsh Assembly Government.

Thanks Priscilla for sharing your ideas and the wonderful writing and illustrations from your students. We are inspired!