Saturday, 12 January 2008

Don't leave home without one

Live and unplanned.... happily met at the Bluecoat Display Centre's private view last night - Bluecoat artistic director Bryan Biggs, with his Mersey Mini of the day. Tucked into his coat pocket to while away the odd moment, Bryan is never without a Mini. Top marks and a Fort Knox-ful of gold stars to that man.

Wednesday, 9 January 2008

from Szilvia Opavszki, in Hungary

It was not the book but the thought-provoking competition itself that made me want to come back to Liverpool for a visit. (I am working on it...) 

You know, everybody has tons of memories of the places he or she has ever visited. But these memories are hidden deep inside. Perhaps so deep they will never appear again. And this was the point when your competition shook me up and made me remember my hidden precious pieces of the past. I travelled back and started to re-live those forgotten days in Liverpool. It was the most unique experience I have ever had.

Nowadays when everybody concentrates only on the future, trying to keep pace with the latest technology and new inventions, for me it was the island of peace to recall the good memories of Liverpool in the 1980s.

I cannot tell how happy I was when I got published in Longing! It was a new experience for me that I could share a personal moment with a lot of complete strangers in a foreign country! All my family and friends were very proud of me (let alone my English friends). 

Yes, this competition has given me a fresh impetus to carry on writing some more non-fiction minis. Your competition has led to the start of a completely new 'memory' phase of my writing career.

from Jeanette Smith

I think that Mersey Minis are great. The size is handy to put in handbag or pocket, to read on train or bus, or to post to a friend. The book reflected the image of the city and the passion of its people. The mix of writing shows there are many stories that encapsulate the heart and soul of the city.

It made me proud to be a Liverpudlian and to be part of Capital of Culture 2008. I learnt a great deal about parts of Liverpool I did now really know, having been brought up in suburbia; it brought back fond memories of the city in past times.

Yes, it was encouraging to see one’s name amongst the ‘celebrity’ writers. Being published in Volume 3 made me feel proud. Although I have been a published journalist for years, being published in a book, even though it was a small piece, gave me a ‘satisfied’ feeling. My friends and family were thrilled, and were very interested in the book and went on to read other stories in it. It has definitely inspired me to write more.

from Phil Morris

I think they’re excellent. The pocket size makes them stand out; the design, particularly the illustrations, work well across the different volumes and give them a look of real quality.

I liked the variety of subject matter and writing styles. I was particularly pleased that the book avoided the Cilla Black style ‘haven’t we got a great sense of humour’ type anecdotes. It allowed the unexpected beauty of the city to shine through and showcased the diverse appeal of the city – which is real culture!

As a fledgling writer it was a proud moment to see something in print for the first time. And now I want more.

from Brenda Muller

I was surprised and delighted that my entry was in such elevated company. When I looked at who the other writers were I was amazed at the interesting and well educated people included in the book.

from Catherine Peters

Love all aspects of the design, especially their illustrations which make them very collectible. The range of texts is part of the appeal of the set. I don’t know anywhere else one could find such diverse voices, linked so comfortably and so intriguingly. Price is attractive too, especially the special offer available for the full set.

The diversity of the collection really opened my eyes as to how other people view Liverpool, both differently and similarly to my own perceptions. It made me remember, challenge, question and revisit my own memories and look forward to looking and feeling something fresh each and every time I come back to visit the city. It certainly made me want to return as much as possible.

I felt really proud to be published for the first time, especially in a book about the place that moulded me. My friends commented that my piece was highly evocative and gave them real insight into the strength of the connection between my childhood in Liverpool and the person I am now. It has also meant a lot to me to be able to give my family in Liverpool copies of the book, both as a souvenir of the 2007 anniversary and as a tribute, especially to my parents, to the city where I was so happy to be brought up.

It has inspired me to keep writing and made me keen to try and have something longer published, perhaps through another competition.

Thursday, 20 December 2007

Tell us what you think, please!

Here are some questions to spark your comments. Answer any questions you’d like to, or just say what you feel. Be honest, positive or negative – we appreciate ALL comments, and they will stay anonymous if you wish. [If you say something nice that you'd be happy for us to use in our PR blurb, we will be delighted and very grateful, and we will need a name, although it could be a pseudonym if you're shy.]

Either email us with your comments at or post a comment here on the blog (all comments come to us first, so say NOT FOR PUBLICATION if you'd rather your comment stays confidential)

- are you a: writer, reader, Mersey Mini buyer, librarian, Mersey Mini retailer, supporter, or ….?

- What do you think of the Mersey Mini books? eg design (shape, feel, size, look), illustrations, choice of texts, price, etc

- Specifically about Vol 3 – Longing: did you like the overall feel of the entries? Did you like the mix of famous names and not so famous? How did you feel about Liverpool as a result of reading the book? Did you learn anything? Did it prompt memories, good or bad? If you live away from Liverpool, did it make you want to come back, at least for a visit?

- If you were published in Vol 3, how did that feel (especially if it was your publishing debut)? Have you had any comments from friends, family or complete strangers? Has it inspired you to write more? Has it led to anything else?

- If you entered the 2007 Mersey Mini competition (Longing), is there anything that could have been done better (by us) to improve the competition for next year? Eg the blog, entry form, rules & guidelines, communication, etc

- If you came to the launch of the book on 28th August, did you enjoy the event? Is there anything we could have done better, anything we missed out, anything we could leave out next year? Did you like the venue?

- If you came to any other Mersey Mini launches, do you have any comments about those events?

- If you’ve bought the books, was it an easy process? Eg buying online, finding the books in shops, etc

- Do you think the same idea would work in other cities, eg Dublin, London, Oxford? If so, which city or area would be a good focal point?

MANY THANKS, and we hope you enjoy Liverpool's year as European Capital of Culture.