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Tales of the Peaky Blinders: Call for Expressions – 21st May 2014



Birmingham in the late nineteenth century was a hive of criminal activity centred around its industrial heart. Tensions between the young Irish migrants of Digbeth and the notorious English sloggers of Cheapside saw the emergence of notorious street gangs, the most well-known of which were the peaky blinders.

Now, more than a century later, it is time to talk about the peakies.

With the airing of the popular 2013 BBC TV series, Peaky Blinders, the legend of Birmingham’s gangs has aroused new interest, and Fringeworks is proud to announce that it is working with local historian and Digbethophile, Rosie Pocklington, to research and publish tales of the original peakies.

To be edited by Rosie and Adrian Middleton, TALES OF THE PEAKY BLINDERS will be a volume of factual anecdotes and adapted fiction based upon the true events surrounding the rise of Birmingham’s gangs during the nineteenth century..

We are seeking two things: anecdotes and expressions of interest, with a view to commissioning stories later in the year.

Anecdotes should provide sources and enough information for further research to be carried out. Everyone providing information will be credited in the book.

Expressions of interest should include a brief summary of your writing experience, any connection you may have to Birmingham (not essential, but we’d like to know), and the sort of story you would be interested in writing, plus a writing sample of no more than 1000 words.

In both cases you should include your full details (name/address/telephone number/email address)

Anecdotes and expressions should be sent to as .doc or .rtf documents with the email subject header “SURNAME/PEAKY/ANECDOTE” or “SURNAME/PEAKY/EXPRESSION”.

We will reply to all contact within four weeks of receipt.

Posted by Fringeworks in Fringeworks News on Thursday, May 22nd 2014 at 12:25 PM
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Weird Trails – Editor Blog: Adrian Middleton

WeirdTrails logo

Hardly a guest blog this time as we hand over to our very own Adrian Middleton, who also happens to be the editor of Weird Trails – Urban Fantasy Walks. Still to come over the weekend: blogs from Mike Chinn, James Brogden and Theresa Derwin.

“Why a walking tour of Digbeth? Didn’t someone get stabbed there? Isn’t it full of drunken ravers? These are some of the questions raised. Well, urban myth and urban fantasy rarely happen in the posh part of town, and Digbeth is very much the crucible in which Birmingham’s steel was forged (Nice analogy that). It is, to my mind, no coincidence that Weird Trails launches midway through the new BBC TV series Peaky Blinders, although it is fortuitous that it is only the second book out that covers the subject of that particular gang (albeit briefly), so the serendipity might do us some good.

“Rich layers of history are at the root of any urban myth, urban legend or urban fantasy. Digbeth has those in spades. Pagans lived nearby before the original Anglo-Saxon settlement whas established somewhere under the area, and the remains of the old Manor House and castle (probably) are hidden undergound waiting to be restored in the next few years. Ancient markets were held there and the immigrants made it their home of little choice. Battles were waged there, fires cleansed it and the gangs shed blood on its streets. Jobs and slums went side-by-side back in the day. All of these things, along with the many pubs, churches and tenements have been built up and torn down with alarming regularity, often with little or no regard to what may lie beneath.

“I guarantee that Birmingham’s true history will be exposed by Digbeth’s archaeology. In the mean time, Weird Trails offers an insight into the rich tapestry of the second city, and has been made to perhaps inspire writers of urban horror, urban fantasy and even TV screenplays to look again at Brummagem, and find it a great place to tell a story.

“I’m hoping I can pass the reins of Weird Trails on to other local editors and writers in other towns. Already Derby, Leeds, Northampton, Stirling and Wolverhampton have been suggested. All great places where the dark and mysterious might happen alongside the mundane.”

Posted by Fringeworks in Fringeworks News on Friday, September 20th 2013 at 12:55 AM
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