Lost to the Sea, out May 2024
Typeset pages for Lost to the Sea, along with a few sea things picked up along the way – in places that once were land. It’s due out in May, and this is the first time it really feels like a book. Going on last time, it’s also when it becomes something of an emotional rollercoaster.
Chinese cover for Rag and Bone
Just been sent the cover of Rag and Bone in Simplified Chinese. The title is 拾荒 – Scavenging. That was its original working title here in the UK, so it seems strange to first see it on a cover in those elegant, unfamiliar characters.
Rick Stein’s Cornwall
Tonight I’ll be on the final episode of BBC2’s ‘Rick Steins Cornwall‘ (Fri 21st Jan, 6.30pm). Funnily enough I’m not cooking, but down at Whitsand Bay with some shore finds from Rag and Bone. Haven’t managed to watch it myself yet… but it’s also on the iPlayer link (from a couple of minutes in).
New book, in progress
Delighted to have just signed a contract for a new book with John Murray Press . Curiously (commonly?) I’ve closed the door – tomblike – on the tiny room where I wrote Rag and Bone and moved into another for this one. Leaving the old research pile and cobwebs behind.
Paperback out now
New cover for the Rag and Bone paperback, out 4th February with John Murray Press. Very different to the hardback’s spoons. Love them both and grateful to Sara Marafini for the designs.
My first book…
Opened a reprint of my first book today, as it has now sold 11,000 copies, despite being self published. My original share – transported from the truck in a wheelbarrow by me – weighed two thirds of a tonne. This is the wheelbarrow.
Lovely review of Rag and Bone in this month’s Literary Review:
‘Lyrical and intriguing… Woollett writes beautifully’
Radio 4 Ramblings
Today on Radio 4’s Ramblings I go beachcombing with Clare Balding on the Isle of Sheppey, where I grew up. As well as stories of my dustmen and scavenger ancestors, from their photos I’m guessing it includes that digression on slipper limpet sex. 3pm Thurs 8 Oct, repeated 6am Sat and here.
North Cornwall Book Fest
A short film from the North Cornwall Book Festival for anyone keen to see my local beach and a few Rag and Bone finds… including bone nit combs and an Action Man ‘hard hand’ (1966-1973). Also, in case it’s tempting, lockdown hair and oversize reading glasses.
Australian ABC radio
An interview for the excellent ABC Conversations radio programme, just in case anyone would like to hear more about my dustmen and scavenger ancestors (and their sparrows), ‘houses of easement’ and the going rate for dead cats.
Extract from Rag and Bone in the i newspaper today. You can read it online here .
‘Alongside the sea urchins, the anglerfish jawbone and razorbill skull are now two Lego dragons and a rusty steel toecap, half a sea-worn cassette tape, a naked-looking table-football man and a white plastic gull‘.
Finished copies of Rag and Bone arrived today and they look (and feel) beautiful. I am grateful to all at John Murray Press, to friends who read through drafts and gave their thoughts and much-needed encouragement, and to the writers who have given such generous quotes.
Rag and Bone proofs
Bound proofs of Rag and Bone arrived today… felt compelled to dig through the shore finds for the bent spoons that made it onto the cover (out July 2020).
Best Children’s Book
At last night’s Holyer an Gof Publishers’ Awards, Treasure from the Sea won Best Children’s Book & the Ann Trevenen Jenkin Cup. A huge thank you to the artist Sarah McCartney for her wonderful paintings.
This week I have the satisfying job of sorting small mudlarking finds to start taking photographs.
Rag and Bone first draft
After a year and nine months I have finally emerged from the small dark room with a first draft.
Port Eliot Festival
‘Treasure from the Sea’. Children’s workshop with me and the book’s illustrator Sarah McCartney. A mix of storytelling and show & tell, with the beachcombed finds that inspired the book.
Fri 27 July, 12 noon
Launch exhibition, Treasure from the Sea
On now until Sat 2 June at The Poly, Falmouth, Cornwall. A joint exhibition with the book’s illustrator Sarah McCartney, including collections of the beachcombed finds that inspired the book.
Royal Society of Literature Award
Delighted that my work-in-progress ‘Rag and Bone’ (John Murray, 2020) has won the £5000 Royal Society of Literature Giles St Aubyn Award for Non-fiction—previously the RSL Jerwood Prize for Non-fiction.
Treasure from the Sea
For the past year I have been working on a children’s book Treasure from the Sea with artist Sarah McCartney, and her wonderful paintings have just gone off to the scanner. It will be out in May 2018, accompanied by an unusual launch exhibition in Falmouth.
Not something I ever expected to see… images from Sea Journal (including by-the-wind sailors) on a range of T shirts and an accompanying exhibition of photographs from the book in Tokyo.
Last of the Sea Journal launch exhibitions at The Horsebridge Centre, Whitstable. On from 29 Sept – 11 Oct, with a talk about writing, photographing and publishing the book on Sat 8 Oct at 3pm.
Port Eliot Festival
Talk about writing, photographing and publishing ‘Sea Journal’ and ‘Sea and Shore Cornwall: common and curious findings’. This Friday at 12 noon in the Tiddy Tent by the Walled Garden.
Book launch exhibition, Lyme Regis
Sea Journal launch exhibition of photographs, finds and curiosities. At the Town Mill Courtyard Gallery in Lyme Regis, 29 April – 11 May. I will also give a talk about making the book on Sat 30 April at 3pm.