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Curved House Editor

A new and improved Visual Verse


Today we launch our February edition of Visual Verse with a captivating image by Irish photographer, Erin Quinn. Writer Eliza Granville, whose new novel ‘Gretel and the Dark’ will be published by Hamish Hamilton on 6th February leads this month’s edition with her powerful piece, COME CLOSER, IF YOU DARE. We also have some extraordinary new writing by Sarah Howe, William Searle and Liz Bahs. So, what are you waiting for? 50 -500 words. One hour. The picture is the starting point, the text is up to you.

This month we’ve also taken the opportunity to make some improvements to the site that mean writers can more readily share their work, and we can interact better with you. Here’s what we’ve done:

  • Added a field on the submission form so you can add your Twitter name. When your piece goes live this will make it easier for us to tweet it!
  • Improved the archive so that writers’ names and the titles of their work now link directly to submissions by that writer. You can see all your own submissions on one page.
  • New and improved formatting to allow us to offer more flexibility with how your work is presented.

Hope you like the new site. Visual Verse is now three months old: we are so thrilled with the response so far and can’t wait to see the inspired writing this February image brings.

Preti Taneja (Editor) and Kristen Harrison (Curator)

Visit Visual Verse

Making and doing with Rhona Byrne

By | WHAT WE LIKE | No Comments

This weekend we kicked off developing our children’s art activity book/kit with some playful experimentation. The team (Irish artist Rhona Byrne, education curator Katy Fitzpatrick and Berlin-based publisher Kristen Harrison) bonded over orange plastics and frozen toes and spent three hugely productive days researching, sketching and exploring. The seeds are officially sewn for a mega exciting collaboration. Read More

Websites for authors: Getting started

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This is an extract from an article written by Kristen Harrison for epubli.

A new website can be a daunting prospect. Where do you start? How much should it cost? How long will it take? What work is involved for you? The choices are overwhelming. But the good news is it’s easier and more affordable than ever to get up and running with a new website. You just need to know how to go about it.

First things first. It’s absolutely vital that you are able to summarise your situation and articulate what you want. Think of it like buying a pair of shoes. If you don’t know what kind of shoes you want, what your budget is and what size you are, you will end up with a pair of ill-fitting shoes that you’ll never wear. Let’s start with some key questions to help you understand your situation. Read More

curved house kids make your own book

The Curved House launch “make-your-own” book series


The Curved House launches new children’s picture book series aimed at breaking down the barriers to reading for digital native kids

Press Release – 16 December, 2014

The Curved House brings its flair for innovation to children’s publishing with the launch of The Curved House Kids, a new children’s publishing company that aims to empower and inspire kids by allowing them to produce their very own books.

With more than 23% of children and young people in the United Kingdom saying they “rarely” or “never” read, The Curved House Kids books aim to counter the reasons kids may not be reading, whether it be learning difficulties, additional needs, lack of confidence, or the ubiquitous distractions of digital technologies.

Publisher Kristen Harrison says: “We are living in an increasingly visual world with more and more demands on our attention, even at primary school age, and books must evolve to compete with this. Visual literacy is a critical part of this evolution as it ensures that the way children interact with our books mirrors the way they interact with the wider world.”

There are two types of books in this series: Illustrate-Your-Own have a story but not pictures, so that children can illustrate their own books and Write-Your-Own have illustrations but not words, so kids can write their own books. The tactile, interactive approach is a deliberate tactic to make sure the books are fun, empowering and accessible.

curved house kids visual literacy books


Harrison says “This is about nurturing creativity and imagination but it’s also about helping kids understand the entire creative process – from start to finish. Our kids are digital natives with access to a lot of free entertainment, so it’s up to us to educate them about the value of creating something.”

Curved House Kids provides an online gallery where children can upload images of their completed books for others to see and enjoy. Partnerships with schools, festivals and libraries in 2014 will encourage kids to develop their own ‘list’ of books and create their own libraries and bookshops. And with The Curved House’s background in print and digital production, they have already begun to develop the prototype of a Make-Your-Own books app for smartphones and tablets.

The Curved House Kids is proud to donate 20p from every copy sold to Booktrust’s new Children’s Reading Fund, specifically the work they do for children with additional needs. And they are keen to engage with parents, teachers and organisations to ensure the list continues to deliver inclusive books.

For more information please contact the Publisher:

Kristen Harrison, kristen@thecurvedhouse.com
Mob. (+49) 176 876 02770 Landline (+49) 30 755 66402

Visit the Curved House Kids website


For more information about the Curved House Kids visit www.curvedhousekids.com and for examples of books illustrated by kids visit www.curvedhousekids.com/your-books

Described by The Bookseller as “the ultimate hybrid company”, The Curved House is a publishing and production company that works across print and digital. Clients include Guardian Books, Penguin Random House, Waterstones, Booktrust and many more. They are responsible for non-profit initiatives including the Sober October campaign to support indie bookshops, as well as the new digital art/words anthology, Visual Verse, launched in November with the support of patrons Andrew Motion, Ali Smith and Bernadine Evaristo.

Visit https://www.thecurvedhouse.com/ for more information.

Title information:

My Summer Snowman written by Chester Travis
ISBN 978-0-9927302-1-5 RRP £4.99 / €5.99
Publication: 15 November 2013

Monster Small, Monster Big written by Keith Tilbury
ISBN 978-0-9927302-0-8 £4.99 / €5.99
Publication: 15 November 2013

Grandma’s Jungle Party illustrated by Ben Hawkes
ISBN 978-0-9927302-2-2 £5.99 / €6.99
Publication: 12 December 2013

Up, Up, in to Space! Illustrated by Megan Archer
ISBN 978-0-9927302-3-9 £5.99 / €6.99
Publication: 12 December 2013

mark garry artist

5 gift ideas for supporting indie artists and publishers

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Every year it’s the same old story. We try to plan our Christmas shopping – maybe even starting a list in November – and then suddenly it’s the 23rd December and we find ourselves in a corporate chain supermarket buying 5 tins of biscuits that noone will ever eat.

There is still time to do things differently, dear friends. This weekend, how about you direct your last-minute frenzy toward independent publishers and artists and give a gift that keeps on giving! Your hard-earned sponds can support real, talented people instead of faceless, multi-billion-dollar corporates. What a bonus. We’ve put together a list of our top 5 favourite indie’s with great gifts and worthwhile projects. Read More

Visual Verse at Rich Mix The Curved House

Aki Schilz wins the first ever Visual Verse writers prize

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It has now been one week since we launched Visual Verse at The Writing Platform event at Rich Mix. The response has been overwhelming and, for me, quite emotional. I never anticipated how moved I would feel by seeing the range of responses from writers. The quality of writing and the level of engagement has been truly amazing. Thank you writers, you’ve made my year! Read More

Curved House Kids Books

Sales and Marketing Assistant (freelance)

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5 weeks full time: 17 November – 20 December

The Curved House is seeking a sales and marketing assistant to support the launch of our new children’s picture book series. The role is full time from 17 November until 20 December and based in Berlin, however UK-based applicants may be considered in special circumstances.

You will work closely with the publisher to assist with the launch, marketing and sales of a series of four picture books. You will also be responsible for sales and marketing related to our online editions shop: www.curvedhouseeditions.com.

This is an exciting opportunity for a hardworking, creative and ambitious person who is looking to develop a career in publishing or the arts. This six week period will focus on the launch of this series, however, beyond that there is scope to work on other Curved House projects including our book design and production, websites and the Visual Verse anthology.

Your duties will include:
• Establishing and running a social media presence for the children’s books.
• Making contact with shops, galleries and retail outlets in the UK, Ireland and Germany to promote our books.
• Organising and project managing two in-store events in the lead-up to Christmas.
• Occasionally bringing us a flat white from around the corner. (Just kidding!)

You must have
• A minimum of 2 years experience working in publishing, the arts or in any field relating to children’s literacy.
• Sales and/or marketing experience in any field.
• Excellent computer skills and a strong knowledge of MS Office.
• Excellent attention to detail.
• A love of books and art and a respect for good design.

This role is 6 weeks full time from the Berlin office with scope of extending the position into the new year. You will be joining a growing team with an exciting portfolio of work spanning books, websites and multimedia.

About Us

The Curved House is a publishing and production house working from both Berlin and London. We produce books and websites for authors and publishers, run trainings around the web and social media, and publish our own limited edition books and prints. We also run the side project Visual Verse: www.visualverse.org – an online anthology that encourages collaborations between artists and writers. We love book design, are passionate about literacy and hope to change the world a little bit with our new series of inclusive, empowering kids books.

To apply please email a short CV or link to Linked-in along with a brief covering letter (not more than one page) answering these two questions:

1. Why do you want to work for us?

2. If you had all the resources in the world, what would you do to improve children’s literacy?

How hard can that be now, eh?  Applicants to: kristen@thecurvedhouse.com

Applications close: Wednesday 13th November
Interviews to take place: Friday 15th
Start date: Monday 18th November

Visual Verse Anthology Andrew Motion Screenshot

Andrew Motion and Ali Smith help launch new digital initiative

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Monday 4th November, 2013

Andrew Motion and Ali Smith help launch new digital initiative to encourage collaborations between artists and writers.

Visual Verse is a new online anthology of art and words that challenges writers to produce 50-500 words in one hour, in response to a selected artist’s image. The project launches today, 4th November, at The Writing Platform Fair and Conference at the Rich Mix, Bethnal Green, London. The first issue includes contributions from writers including Andrew Motion and Hedley Twidle, winner of the Bodley Head/FT Essay Prize 2012.

Visual Verse has been initiated by Kristen Harrison, founder of The Curved House publishing company. Every month, Kristen will select a striking artist’s image for writers to respond to. This will go on the website’s homepage along with a leading response from a prominent writer. The image is then open to writers – published or unpublished – to submit their own response. Visual Verse editor Preti Taneja will curate submissions, which will be published unless they are deemed inappropriate or offensive.

Kristen said, “The web is fundamentally democratic, so in creating this digital space for writers it is important to us that Visual Verse is open and inclusive,”

She adds, “We have yet to see a really good example of how art and writing collaborations might work on a digital platform. Visual Verse will be a truly contemporary, multi-authored multi-artists’ book.”

Explaining her inspiration, she says, “From early illuminated manuscripts, to 20th century artists’ books by Joan Miro and others, to more recent projects like the ‘Memory Palace’ exhibition at the V&A, collaborations between writers and artists have brought profound and inspiring results. Visual Verse brings this up to date for the digital age.”

Visual Verse patrons include artists and writers Andrew Motion, Ali Smith, Bernadine Evaristo, Cathy Galvin (former Deputy Editor of the Sunday Times), Irish visual artist Mark Garry and photographer Marc Schlossman. The website will continue to collaborate with, and encourage collaborations between, other artists and writers.

Andrew Motion said, “Visual Verse is an inspired and inspiring idea, taking a time-honoured alliance between words and images and making it new again; it will be welcomed by writers and readers alike.”


Visit Visual Verse

Kristen Harrison t: +49 176 876 02770  /   kristen@thecurvedhouse.com
Preti Taneja +44 7876543636  / preti@thecurvedhouse.com


  • Described by The Bookseller as “the ultimate hybrid company”, The Curved House is a publishing and production company based in Berlin and London. Clients include Guardian Books, Penguin Random House, Waterstones, Booktrust, Harvill Secker and a many more. Visit https://www.thecurvedhouse.com/ for more information.
  • Visual Verse is designed by Mr Pete Lewis, former Art Director at London agency Fallon and a founder of the online collaborative magazine, Dog Ear (http://dogear.co.uk/)
  • Preti Taneja is a writer, editor lecturer in Creative Writing at Royal Holloway, University of London.
  • Mark Garry is a leading Irish visual artist who exhibits in major galleries worldwide and represented Ireland at the 2005 Venice Biennale. He is represented by the Kerlin Gallery.
  • Marc Schlossman is a photojournalist whose work has appeared across global news agencies including the Times, Harper’s and Queen and CNN. Marc has contributed the inaugural image to the site.
  • The Writing Platform Fair and Conference, now in its second year, is an annual event run by The Literary Platform. The event offers writers the chance to debate the hot topics for writers in the digital age, and meet organisations that provide advice and support on all aspects of writing and publishing. For more information contact Joanna Ellis, Associate Director, The Literary Platform: joanna@theliteraryplatform.com or +447890916173.

Visual Verse to launch at The Writing Platform, Rich Mix, Monday 4th November

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Just 3 sleeps until we launch Visual Verse, our newest literary project that fuses art, writing and digital. Our partner in crime, Mr Pete Lewis, has designed a beautiful website on which we will curate a series of images by artists and photographers and invite writers to respond with a piece of writing. But, there’s a catch. It must be not more than one page (approx 500 words) and written within an hour. This is an exercise in writing from instinct.

One image, one hour, 50-500 words.
The picture is the starting point, the text is up to you.

Visual Verse will be installed at The Writing Platform event at Rich Mix in London this Monday, 4th November. We’ll have a large format print on display and are inviting writers to respond with a short piece of poetry or prose. Your contributions will be displayed throughout the day and Preti Taneja, the Visual Verse editor, will then judge a winner at the end of the day. One talented writer will receive a beautiful limited edition print by photography and VV patron, Marc Schlossman.

The project is initiated by The Curved House and produced in collaboration with Mr Pete Lewis (Design) and Preti Taneja (Editorial). We launch the site with the support of some incredible writers and artists, including Andrew Motion, Ali Smith, Cathy Galvin, Mark Garry and Marc Schlossman.

The Writing Platform fair and conference – run by TLP Collective – offers writers the chance to debate the hot topics for writers in the digital age, and to meet organisations that provide advice and support on all aspects of writing and publishing. It’s also a great place to meet other writers and swap stories.

Will we see you at Rich Mix on Monday?

Click here to read more about the event and to book your tickets…