Restoration of A Study In Scarlet cover for upcoming Facsimile Edition

A Study In Scarlet, Beeton’s Christmas Annual, restored cover.

Having looked at various versions of the original, rare Study In Scarlet by Arthur Conan Doyle, that first appeared in Beeton’s Christmas Annual, 1887, I have created this restoration of the original artwork.

I was working from this out-of-copyright image:

Original, faded and yellowed A Study In Scarlet cover.

I’ve stripped away the ageing which darkened the paper of the covers and put the whites back in. Suddenly the design makes complete sense. The white around the “BEETON’S CHRISTMAS ANNUAL” is of course a layer of snow on the letters. The white behind the main title makes the words jump out.

One of the things I really enjoy about the Victorian era is this lovely clear design ethos, that really is eyecatching.

While I was working on this, my heart quickened with excitement as I suddenly “got” the design. Great stuff from those wonderful Victorian designers!

Day of the Dead book ready to order!

 It’s here at last! – The Day of the Dead, from Portsmouth Writers’ Hub.


The Day of the Dead includes macabre, ghastly and chilling tales – all dealing with the subject of death, from writers connected with The Portsmouth Writers’ Hub. 28 strange and ghastly stories are brought to you by 20 writers, including experienced hands at crafting a spinechiller, as well as relative newcomers.

Established novelists such as William Sutton, Diana Bretherick and V H Leslie, rub shoulders with shining new talents, respected short story writers including A J Noon, Justin MacCormack, Jacqui Pack, S J Butler, Glenda Cooper, Sue Shipp, Tom Pinnock and many others.

The book is all about Death – but don’t think that it’s only a collection of dark tales. Magical stories of ghostly visitors mingle with comic tales of neighbourhood watching and cannibalism. Zombies are employed in one story to help claim an inheritance, while another is a broad comedy about a Victorian murder.

Shudder, weep, laugh… and enjoy – the authors of Day of the Dead invite you to join their celebration of all things mortal – before it’s too late.

Day of the Dead – call for story submissions

dayofdead2As part of the celebration of all things macabre and strange, Life is Amazing is teaming up with Will Sutton to celebrate the third year of his Square Tower (or should that be the Scare Tower?) event The Day of the Dead.

At this year’s Day of the Dead III readers will perform their stories that they have submitted to Will Sutton.

At Life Is Amazing, we will also be launching a separate collection of tales macabre, mysterious, dark and deadly. They will be drawn from some of the amazing performers who will appear at this event, and have appeared at previous events.

If you want your story / stories to be considered for The Day of the Dead book – you are invited to submit your story to our editor, Tessa Ditner.

Will Sutton is organising the Day of the Dead event, where pieces performed at the Square Tower will be up to 7 minutes long, that is, 1,000 words.

The book, however, will also contain longer pieces of up to 5,000 words.

If you have a scary story you think should be out there, dust it off and send it to Tessa on the following email address:

Please give the subject line as DAY OF THE DEAD.

We are on a short deadline, with all stories for consideration for the book to come in before 28th July 2015. So send in your story.

How it will work

The book is not primarily a money-making exercise, but one in which authors will have the opportunity to be published in printed format, adding this to their portfolio. Whilst your story or stories won’t make you rich, you will get a cut of the profit from book sales.

You will assign to Life Is Amazing the first world anthology rights.  This means that you will retain all other copyright, and that Life Is Amazing will not be able to use your story elsewhere without signing a further agreement. You will also be able to offer your story elsewhere, and include it in other collections, should you so choose.

All we ask is that the story you submit for the book has not been published elsewhere first.

Each author will receive a share of profits from the Day of the Dead book on a pro-rata basis depending on the length of their story or stories in comparison with the overall length of the book.

The publisher will take a 50% cut of profits in order to cover the costs of design, distribution and marketing.

Each author will receive one free copy of the book, and royalty payments for sales will be made once a year.


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