Tag Archives: not for profit

The book launch!

5 Dec

It is almost time for me to hang up my…my what? I am not sure, but it is nearing the end of my journey with A Cuppa and An Armchair.

I shall compress the files, tidy the emails, sort the blog and close the computer. We are done.

Yeah right!

Thursday is the official book launch day, yay! Please do pop on by www.facebook.com/acuppaandanarmchair and get involved with the book launch. Invite your friends, chat to authors, learn more about the ‘behind the scenes’ events.

When you are on the page, you will see a schedule emerging, as each author/artist lets us know when they will be online. I am quite excited by this event. It marks an end to a really involved project that i have enjoyed tremendously.

If nothing else, pop by the page to join in the cheer that this side of things is finally done – time to move on. Guessing you are all getting pretty sick of this project now.

Ha ha, it’s not over though is it? Of course not. You all know about the children’s books that are released at Easter, so I won’t rehash the information. It will definitely though have another name, under the umbrella of a cuppa. Actually, I don’t know. I feel pretty brain-dead at the mo…definitely need a rest.


So without further ado, we hope you come and visit our event on Thursday evening. See you there!

That charity book – A Cuppa

14 Nov


For some reason I feel quite shy writing this. Like someone that has been outside the community for so long and is trying to creep back in without making a big noise…ha!

OK, so it hasn’t been that long since I posted, but boy does it feel like a lifetime. I have been so busy, but so filled with ideas….it is always the way, if I had long empty evenings stretching in front of me I am pretty certain my brain would be dead for ideas.

Just to prove how mad things are – I actually have come up with not only an idea for the next WIP – but a business proposal. I know, tis truly shockin the way my mind works.

So let’s get on with it then, the CUPPA update.

Today I received the first illustration to go with one of the stories. Yes that’s right, we are including illustrations with the ‘grown ups’ book. (Quick note, I don’t know why I refer to it as the grown up book but the adult book feels like its going to be a bit naughty – which it most definitely isn’t).

So what we have been after are just single images, almost like a book cover for each story. We are welcoming photos also….anyway, I am getting off track here. the image was amazing. Well, I thought so, it made me smile and that’s is all I ask for. The fact that the artist then pinpointed the exact part of the story that he had drawn inspiration for was just the icing on the cake. I have a further 6 or 7 images (fingers crossed) that shall be arriving with me in the next few days. I just can’t wait. It is really exciting opening your emails, never knowing what you will get.

It is a shame we cannot have an image for every story, but each one has been given to an illustrator. If inspiration doesn’t come, it can’t be forced. I am sure we can all relate to that.

Among others, Charlotte English has been busy proofreading stories. Once we have everything together, Submeg, will be attempting the formatting for us. Thank goodness for Sub else we would be in big trouble – well I would, a full week of hair pulling i do believe.

There are many sites and people who I would love to link to, but I am not 100% sure on where everything stands at this stage. I think I shall at a later date, provide a list of everyone that has helped, what they did, and the links to their sites.

This week, I shall be focusing on compiling the last bits and bobs, sending emails, and of course, really hitting the PR. This is something I am confident about, I just need to be clearheaded to work solidly on it. So apologies for another Cuppa update, but I needed to pass on the information just to know I was free to concentrate this week.

With regards to the children’s stories, I am certain I have mentioned it, but we decided to release that work Easter 2012. We will be releasing them as individual books, fully illustrated, and if….the big if….I pull it off, they will also be released as fully interactive apps. Yeah, I know.

Anyway, keep in touch. I am reading blogs but being a silent observer. watching, listening, stealing ideas lol!

Oh and the listings are;

Who do you think I am? – Mike Norbury, Conspiracy Theory #92, A Second Chance – Gavin Hayes, Fate – Cora Beth Carter, The Land of Noc Noc – Andrew Blair, A Daring Debut – Charlotte English, Family Fortunes – Rachael Stevenson, Dirt – Gethin Morgan, Raindrops – Michelle Payne, Ghost Girl – Alicia Cunningham, Must be the music – Alan Lloyd, The Kalistanian Princess – Chelsea Sutherland, Along for the ride – Danilelle Shipley, The healing well – Melanie Kerr, Dorothy – J S Wilsoncroft, The Music Box – Daniel Challinor

A Cuppa – We Are Well On Our Way

4 Nov

We finally reached the date of announcements, well that should be we finally reached announcements, but we are there. Authors have been notified, information sought, and now we are in the process of contacting the proofreader, illustrators and sorting out all the other odds and sods.

Oh who am I kidding? Now the hard work begins.

Lets just go back a bit, before we talk plans. We at Cuppa HQ were simply overwhelmed by the response we received for this project. The stories came in faster than expected, and as many of you know, due to demand, we even had to extend the submission date. Some may say we were mad, but really, this is, without sounding cheesy, your project, so you should be given every opportunity to be involved.

One thing we have lacked on though is children’s stories. A notoriously difficult genre to write for, we didn’t even reach enough submissions to complete the full book as we had wanted. However, every submission received was of outstanding quality. We are still finalising the details about what we will do, but it is certain the children’s stories will be released during 2012, possibly around Easter, but a promo code will be given to everyone that purchases the ‘grown ups’ book during December to receive a free copy/discount.

The book to be released in December will contain 22 short stories. As I am still waiting for confirmation emails,, I am holding off the announcement for whose work is included and the titles. I was tempted to announce them as I had the thumbs up from the author but felt this was not the best idea. I learnt early on that it is best wait a few days, than to jump ahead. Removing impulse removes the fun somewhat but hey ho, I have a responsibility now to make sure this is right.

The selection of stories was a very hard process that I hadn’t foreseen. I imagined the panel selecting the same stories – not at all. There was one that I absolutely decided could not be included, and it stuck with me, it was the only one I wanted to discuss. However, this same story was an absolute must of another panel member. Strange inst it? Especially seen as we were trying to mark not just as a good read, but quality of writing also. just goes to show, what is one mans art is another mans rubbish.

Oh, side note here, I secretly submitted one of my stories…it was REJECTED!!!

Overall, the difficulties for the panel with such diverse choices I feel shows the quality of the work. Inevitably, provided with enough choice, you will sway towards your preference of genre, and I do believe it has resulted in a wide-ranging choice of stories for the reader.

Our next steps to take is making everything shiny. clean up the grammar, add some finishing touches, and then my favourite headache, formatting. I am already dreading this stage, I am just not very technically minded. I promised myself i was going to have the time to sit down and follow the step by step instructions, and do it myself. I know once I have mastered it, I will be fine. However, seen as in the last two weeks I have scarcely had chance to deal with my work, as well as reading my favourite blogs, I am unsure that I will have this opportunity, so what to do?

I guess another plea. If you have completed formatting for ebooks, would you like to attempt this for us? I know I know, why would you want to, but I guess for some people it is enjoyable…another mans art and all that.

Short explanation: as this is a charity book we have applied for funding. However, the process has taken longer than anticipated and we are now working on a full zero funding budget.

Which is an absolute kicker. One of our authors works for Waterstones. It has been requested that his own store stock the book, and they would be willing to talk with the buying department – the aim being to stock it nationally (this is how I interpreted it). Erm, sure yes. let’s do this properly. lets not pass up this potential opportunity. Erm, oh, no funding to print off stock. (ENTER EXPLICIT HERE).

Initially we had thought we could work around this problem if it arose, now Cuppa HQ are running around like crazy to make sure this problem is overcome.

Definitely keeping fingers crossed.

One other thing is we have decided we would like to include illustrations and photos within the centre of the book. Ideally they should be related to the idea of the project, be thought-provoking, or be related to one of the stories. I shall be writing a list of story related themes for you to work to if you would like to be involved in this.

As always, if anyone has any questions, please email me at ellieransley@gmail.com

A Cuppa And An Armchair - Available December 2011

A Cuppa – A Cover Design

24 Oct

Well hello.

I have to confess to having been a little under the weather the last week or so, and I have been somewhat removed from my immediate work at hand. Wednesdays post was brought to you by the joyous sick day. Certainly a welcome break but I really wasnt focused on marketing, which is where I should have been that day.

Marketing not just at work, but for a cuppa also. Wednesday was voting day for the cover design. If you havent popped by our Facebook page and liked us, then you really should. If not, ie you are signed up to enough pages, don’t have fb, or just cba, then this is the designs we had entered for our cover.

Skyler Luttrell

Sam Ransley

Naomi Shaw

Christine Cunningham

Carol Hoare

And the winner is, Skyler Luttrell.

We set up the voting system quite simple – just comment under the design you liked ‘my vote’. We actively encouraged those involved to tell their friends – we have no shame. It was a marketing ploy to get the project name out there just as much as to get a funky cover. Thanks Skyler. Over here at Cuppa HQ we really do think you are marvellous – you know Skyler has submitted not one but three stories. It is so great when others get as involved in your project as you do.

Tonight I have put together the add that will be included in the Equipe newsletter. I view this as the first piece of full on marketing for the actual sale of the book. This is quite daunting when the panel are still making decisions, and we are still open for submissions, until TOMORROW! That’s right, 5pm GMT Monday 24th is the cut off point. I’m not going to lie, we do still need short stories for the children’s book, and we are now thinking we may have to reconsider our plans. BUT, it will still go ahead, it just might not be completed in time for Christmas.

This week is rather mad busy for me. The biggest event to take place will be my graduation on Wednesday. If you hear hysterical laughing during the morning, you will know I have fallen over as I have accepted my certificate. It is highly unlikely this will NOT happen.

Right, I’m off to do some more reading. Speak to y’all soon.


***Whoopsie – I was supposed to post this last night!!

You know that submission deadline….

12 Oct

Just to let all you lovely people know the submission process for ‘A Cuppa’ is now open again.

I have continued to receive submissions past the deadline and now several writers groups have been in touch and asked if they can submit late, so….


I can’t agree to allow further late submissions without re opening to all. In the meantime, the panel will continue to read the work already received and for those that have agreed to proof read they may well be receiving contact next week.

Just a note: having read some, but not all the shorts, we are somewhat short of children’s stories. Remember, you can send as many stories as you like, but if you are chosen, only one of your stories PER BOOK will be included. Simply, you can feature in both the adults and the children’s book.

Submissions to be sent as a word document to ellieransley@gmail.com


2 Oct

This is just a quick note to announce the first submission deadline for A Cuppa and An Armchair.

****Monday 10th October 2011 11.59PM.****

All submissions should be sent to chat@elenaransley.com

Entries cannot be longer than 2,000 words, there is not a minimum word count.

We require stories for both children and adults but they cannot contain offensive language or graphic images.

This is an open genre project.

If you have further questions please ask.

Equipe – who are they?

1 Oct

Today I thought I would tell you a little about Equipe, Global, the charity we are supporting with the release of An Armchair and A Cuppa.

Before I start, I want to direct you to their official website, and their Facebook page.

Equipe is based in Wrexham, the town where I live in North Wales. Located in the town centre, it is a small organisation, but its initiatives are big, and really do make a difference.

The charity started when a couple, on holiday, took a risk and donated money to a small village to help with the building of a school. On their return, wanting to do more, they immediately started fundraising. This was in 1998. As the organisation has grown, the couple that started it all has retired, yet in their place is Ziz, spending her time and energy promoting, liaising, managing the charity, its fundraisers, and th people on the ground.

For me personally what I really applaud Equipe for is their dedication to working for the villagers, what they want and need, and not what we as Westerners think they want. They manage this by insuring they have a strong relationship with their partners in the country’s of need. This relationship is built up over time. This ensures that the charity knows the money is being used for worthwhile causes, without having to spend money on sending their own people to the countries, with the extra cost of flights and accommodation.

Equipe works in the following countries East Africa, India, Papua New Guinea and the Philippines. This year, they have seen their first ambassadors from Australia heading out (at their own expense) to the regions in need.

As a growing charity, Equipe understands the needs of those they help, and those that help raise funds.

I have taken the following information from the Equipe page, Fill the Plate.

Equipe has been working in East Africa and the Philippines for over a decade and we have seen the impact of rising food prices on already impoverished communities. Last year one of the schools we support, ranked highest in the 42 in its district, had to close for 10 days because it could not afford to provide the 180 children who attend, one compulsory school meal. For most of these children their school meal would have been the only meal they’d have received that day and the idea that these children would have gone without food for 10 days, and vitally their education, is intolerable to us. Unfortunately this is a common story but it spurred us on to launch this campaign with the aim to raise enough to provide at least 40,000 meals in 2011 and ensure that none of our schools, orphanages or projects have to turn children away.

It takes very little to make an impact. Just £540 would have kept that school open – i.e. one day bag-packing; or one collection at a football match; or one non-uniform day.

Only together can we make a difference!

So who’s in? I’m not just asking for you wonderful writers to submit your story. I am asking for everyone to help spread the word about this project. It is quite clear the difference that can be made by making enough sales from A Cuppa and An Armchair. How will we make sales? By everyone taking their part in ensuring as many people know about this project worldwide.

Worldwide? Yes, why not? We have writers not just from Britain, but Europe, America and Africa contributing. It is only right that we can reach an audience on that scale also.

Tell us what you have done to support the campaign and we will give you a shout out via this blog, facebook and Twitter.

If you are not familiar with this charitable project, visit this page, or Facebook.