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Wick publisher has plenty to Crow about for 2020


By David G Scott

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Wick-based family book publishing company Crowvus reported that 2020 was a "very busy and very successful" year for the business.

Crowvus launched three novels over the year including one picture book, one non-fiction, one collection of short stories and two free eBooks.

Judith Crow, one of the Crowvus partners, said: “It has been a difficult year for everyone, with coronavirus and lockdown, and we feel really lucky to have been able to keep developing Crowvus during such a time. If lockdown has shown us one thing, it’s that we need to think of ways to keep good mental health. Reading and creating are two things which bolster our mental wellbeing so Crowvus really came into its own this year as we could provide that.”

The Crow family are from left, Virginia, Keith, Clemency, Judith, Susan and in front, stealing centre stage, is Orlando the dog.
The Crow family are from left, Virginia, Keith, Clemency, Judith, Susan and in front, stealing centre stage, is Orlando the dog.

The company is busy still taking orders and, with the festive season upon us, looked back on its successful year:

January

Caledon was released, the first in a series of six historical fantasy books by Virginia Crow. Reviewers described it as “thought-provoking, compelling, and fascinating.”

Crowvus took part in #XPONorth Twitter Pitch, having received crowdfunding through RBS Back Her Business to seek a new author. Seven authors submitted full manuscripts for consideration.

February

The Backwater by Judith Crow was announced as a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards. Judges described the young adult book, launched at John O’Groats in 2018, as “a tantalising ghost story written with a gold-tipped pen”. Taking Wing by Clemency Crow was also awarded a Red Ribbon.

Noss Primary teacher Judith Crow with her novel The Backwater and the finalist medal she received from a prestigious book awards.
Noss Primary teacher Judith Crow with her novel The Backwater and the finalist medal she received from a prestigious book awards.

Nicol Nicolson, then an ITV producer, was signed as the first non-Crow author to write a single-author title for Crowvus.

March

For World Book Day, Crowvus produced Cost-cutting Costumes, a free book providing ideas for free costumes. It was sent to every primary school in Scotland and received interest from Michael Rosen and Anthony Horowitz.

April

Child of the Earth was released. This blend of fiction and non-fiction by Susan Crow is a companion book for Child of the Isle. Because of lockdown, Susan embarked on an online book tour, writing blogs and taking part in interviews.

Virginia, Judith and Clemency took part in the Our Own Write in book fair. The event was hosted from the USA and took place via Twitter Live.

May

Bestselling author, Clemency, a teacher at Newton Park Primary, completed Lavellan, for her class during online learning. Lavellan was based on a mythical Caithness creature.

Susan and Virginia took part in Our Own Write virtual book fair.

The Crowvus Christmas ghost stories competition was launched – along with free eBook Those Experiences – sharing the Crowvus team’s real-life supernatural encounters.

Susan Crow was recently named as a finalist in an international book award.
Susan Crow was recently named as a finalist in an international book award.

June

Virginia was a panellist at the Time Travellers event for the Cymera Book Festival, appearing alongside Olga Wojtas, talking about Caledon.

Judith’s essay about wartime commemoration in Wick was shortlisted for the Alpine Fellowship Academic Writing Prize.

July

Crowvus introduced Craggy the Coo, the star of Nicol Nicolson’s picture book. The book will be released as part of the John O’Groats Book Festival in April 2021.

Judith took part in the Young Adult Literature Convention, presenting a preview of her upcoming novel, Dance With Me.

August

Crowvus embarked on its first imprint: children and young adult books will be published through Choughs. The official launch will be early in 2021.

Virginia and Judith joined the #AugustAuthorChallenge2020, a writing challenge organised by independent publisher, Darkstroke.

September

Virginia released the thriller, Baptism of Fire. The book was very popular with reviewers, who said, “... you have enough time to take everything in, but are still kept flying through the adventure” (Bri Wignall).

Virginia’s short story, Convergence, was shortlisted for the Pennine Ink Flash Fiction Award.

October

Dance With Me was released. Judith’s young adult fantasy book was well-received by reviewers, who reported “losing track of time because [they were] just enveloped in the story” (Unabridged Andra).

The ghost stories competition results were announced. The adult winner was Teresa Bassett with her moving story, Archie. Eleanor Harvey and Isla Burns won the children’s categories.

Susan Crow's book is described as 'a nest egg of memories and anecdotes teased from a life uplifted by an appreciation of the natural world'.
Susan Crow's book is described as 'a nest egg of memories and anecdotes teased from a life uplifted by an appreciation of the natural world'.

November

The picture book, Rosie Jane’s Christmas Carol, was released. This sequel to Rosie Jane and the Swodgerump saw the mother-daughter/writer-illustrator team of Susan and Virginia return for another adventure.

Susan’s book Child of the Earth was listed as a finalist in the Independent Author’s Network Book of the Year Award. The award is based in the USA but popular with independent authors and publishers from across the world.

Crowvus worked in partnership with Book Week Scotland for Crowvus Goes QR-ky. QR codes were left around Wick and printed in the newspaper, guiding readers to author videos. The event allowed readers to meet Nicol Nicolson and hear more about Craggy.

Virginia, Judith and Clemency took part in NaNoWriMo, which encourages authors to write 50,000 words in 30 days. The result was six new works-in-progress.

December

A Ghost For Christmas, the annual anthology – featuring competition winners – was launched. In a first for Crowvus, the book sold out its initial print-run in six days. The authors joined Virginia and Judith for the final 2020 Our Own Write. Viewers from around the world joined Twitter Live videos to hear the authors reading extracts from their stories, talking about inspiration, and answering questions.

The Crow family’s annual 300 Good Deeds For Advent blog theme is Quotations this year. The Crowvus team takes turns to share quotes, providing inspiration for readers in the twenty-four days before Christmas.

Further information on Crowvus and its products can be found at www.crowvus.com/

Wick woman is a hit with international book prize judges



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