Jan Kaneen signed for innovative flash memoir

We are delighted to announce the signing of Jan Kaneen for her memoir-in-flash, The Naming of Bones, which is a story of facing the past to make way for the future.

Jan Kaneen

Jan said: “I’m so excited to be publishing my debut memoir-in-flash with Retreat West. The Naming of Bones is very personal to me as it tells the story of my journey toward recovery from anxiety, using therapeutic creative writing to unlock the joy and trauma of my childhood.

“The writing of Naming of Bones helped me come to understand the nature of grief, the need for remembrance and the power of forgiveness, so I can’t think of a better publisher to enable me to bring my story to a wider audience. I love everything about Retreat West’s ethos and how it does business – with positivity and diligence and real care for humans and communities, and the planet on which we live.”

Publisher and commissioning editor, Amanda Saint, said: “I love flash fiction and Jan’s memoir is an exciting and innovative use of it. I am thrilled to be publishing it at Retreat West Books. It’s lyrical, dreamlike and sad while at the same time filled with love, hope and determination. 

Jan Kaneen lives in the Cambridgeshire fens with her husband and sons. She began creative writing in 2014 when she signed up for an on-line course with the Open University and fell hopelessly in love with brief fiction in all its guises. She’s won several flash fiction and short story competitions, been published widely in print and on-line including in the Bath Flash Anthology 2017, The National Flash Fiction Day Anthology 2018 and Flash Flood and Micro Madness 2019. She graduated this year with an MA in Creative Writing and teaches flash fiction and short story writing at her local adult education college.

The Naming of Bones won second prize in Ellipsis Zine’s Flash Collection/Novella-in-Flash Competition in March 2019. Judge, Stephanie Hutton, said of it: “The Naming of Bones is a creative journey across time that starts with an outstanding flash I had to re-read several times. Polished prose that digs deep.”

The Naming of Bones will publish in Spring 2021.

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