Welcome to Red Lighthouse

Red Lighthouse is Mantle Arts’ programme of writing and literature projects. It includes participatory activity with schools, libraries and local communities as well as offering support and development opportunities to new and established Midlands-based writers who want to think outside of their existing specialisms, explore new approaches, develop additional skills and knowledge, and grow their professional network.

The Winter Garden

You can now stream or download ‘The Winter Garden’, Mantle’s community audio drama about William Wordsworth’s time living in Leicestershire, here:

New from Mantle Lane Press

Mrs Rochester - Cover

A collection of short stories inspired by the ill-fated first Mrs Rochester in Charlotte Bronte’s Jane Eyre

Other recent titles from Mantle Lane Press

Night Swimming by Garrie Fletcher
A Far Cry by Valentine Williams
Kaleidoscope by Sarah Leavesley Interview with Sarah Leavesley

Read reviews

Buy Books

These pocket-sized titles feature original cover images by a range of visual artists, making them unique, collectable and ideal gifts. Mantle Lane Press also publishes anthologies, factual and local history material and performance scripts.

States of Independence

The full programme is now available for States of Independence, a Leicester-based festival that supports independent thinking, independent writing and independent presses. Why not visit for the day, or an hour, or simply come along and find out more about Mantle Lane Press? We will be launching three new books at this year’s event. Here’s a sample from ‘Kaleidoscope’ by Sarah Leavesley.
Here’s a sample from ‘A Far Cry’ by Mary Williams.

Wordsworth in Leicestershire

Thanks to all the actors and participants who joined us at Ashby Museum on Dec 8 for the launch of our audio drama about William Wordsworth’s time in Leicestershire.  The play begins with Wordsworth dreaming about his brother, who had recently drowned in a shipwreck, and goes on to outline the poet’s part in creating the Winter Garden in the grounds of the newly built Coleorton Hall. In the midst of it all, opium-addict Coleridge joins them for Xmas.  The play was directed by Julian Hanby, and the recording was supervised by Martin Berry, a BBC Producer.  All the cast are from the local community.  And,  just like Coleridge, the CD has arrived in time for Christmas. Available from Ashby Museum

Every Picture Tells a Story

Earlier this year Derbyshire based artists, Alison and Peter Massey, worked with local residents, staff and visitors on a Red Lighthouse project to celebrate Castle Donnington Community Library. Participants – from school children to pensioners – created design ideas for a mosaic to represent Castle Donnington and the local area.  Suggestions were offered for the  content and layout of the mosaic, and participants also wrote sentences (or even just single words) to encapsulate their personal experiences of using the library or living and working around the village. Themes that emerged included: village life, the airport, the racetrack,  local employment, the library, the local countryside and wildlife. Each theme was handled in a limited palette, with one predominant colour, and then extracts of the accumulated text added,  using letters from old Scrabble board games.  You can now see the mosaic  on display at Castle Donnington Community Library.


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As part of the Red Lighthouse Libraries project, textile artist Lesley Ann Withers was based in Kegworth Library,  working on an artwork to celebrate literature and foster, particularly in children, an appreciation and enthusiasm for books. “STORYLAND” revolved around children and children’s books.  Visitors  – some as young as 2 –  were encouraged  to draw a character from their favourite book, and some of these were then transferred on to fabric for use in the final design. The end result  was a huge “rag book”, containing lots of tactile features to introduce children to the world of literature and to some of the literary characters that have delighted generations. Being made from cloth, the rag book will be safe and (hopefully) indestructible.

Wolves & Apples

The full Wolves and Apples 2016 programme is now available here:
Wolves and Apples Programme and Timetable.

Buy your ticket here.

Wolves & Apples is an event for writers producing work for children and young adults. It’s a chance to find out more about the opportunities out there and network with professionals from the industry.

Ben Galley is a best-selling dark fantasy author from the UK. He is the author of the epic Emaneska Series and a new western fantasy series, the Scarlet Star Trilogy. When he’s not dreaming up lies to tell his readers, Ben works as a self-publishing consultant, helping fellow authors to self-publish and sell their books at Shelf Help Here he shares some of his thoughts on writing and publishing.

What was your favourite book when you were a child, and why?
Definitely Lord of the Rings. It was the sheer depth of it – the fact that I could actually experience another world just by flipping a page. That ignited something in me.

What is your top writing tip?
Write every day, even if it’s just a little. Writing is all about practice. Even the greats are still practising, day after day. Set yourself a goal of writing every day, and you’ll find your flow and confidence a lot faster.

What advice do you wish you’d been given when you started self publishing?
That it’s important to pay an editor. I didn’t have enough money when I was publishing my debut novel in 2010, but it’s cost me more since to fix the errors and republish. It’s also resulted in a few negative reviews, which can damage a book’s sales. Fortunately, it’s now professional, but it’s always best to spend the money, bit the bullet, and make your book as perfect as possible for launch.

Ray Robinson’s Edith

Watch the trailer for the new film of Ray Robinson‘s Edith, with Peter Mullan. You can read the original story, along with 14 others in What Haunts the Heart, an anthology of psychological horror, historical fiction, contemporary fantasy and, of course, ghost stories. Available on Amazon, Barnes and Noble and as a Kindle book

Congratulations to Richard Barber

Richard Barber’s story A Framework has been included in the anthology Respectable Horror, along with The Well Wisher by Matthew Pegg, director of Mantle Arts! Richard also has a short story in the anthology ‘What Haunts the Heart’ Available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1XXSvGm) and Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/1VWBWNN) and as a Kindle book (http://amzn.to/1TdGDkB)

BUY YOUR COPY NOW ‘What Haunts the Heart
Fifteen tales of the things that haunt us. From obsession to regret, madness to redemption. A waxwork maker in Victorian Whitechapel, a doomed puppeteer performing in a lonely village… the characters in this collection are all haunted by something; by past mistakes, relationships, memories and choices. Includes psychological horror, historical fiction, contemporary fantasy, and, of course, ghost stories. Available on Amazon (http://amzn.to/1XXSvGm) and Barnes and Noble (http://bit.ly/1VWBWNN). Also available as a Kindle book (http://amzn.to/1TdGDkB)

Wordsworth in Leicestershire

We’re making a radio play about when William Wordsworth moved his family from Dove Cottage in Grasmere to Leicestershire and helped create the Winter Garden in the grounds of the newly built Coleorton Hall. Get in touch of you are interested in helping with research or learning about the technical side of radio drama – maybe even performing. No previous experience necessary! For more info email marketing@red-lighthouse.org.uk

An anthology of short stories

A waxwork maker in Victorian Whitechapel receives help from an
unexpected source.
A woman tries to sell a house scarred by the evidence of a disturbing past.
A doomed puppeteer performs in a lonely village.


What Haunts the Heart features fifteen tales of obsession, regret, madness, redemption, and other things that haunt us. This anthology includes psychological horror, historical and literary fiction, contemporary fantasy, and, of course, ghost stories. Featuring fiction by Graham Joyce, Ray Robinson, Emma J. Lannie, Annabel Banks, William Gallagher, Brian Ennis, Richard Farren Barber, Liz Kershaw, Pascale Presumey, Fiona Joseph, Reen Jones, J. T. Seate, Fran Hill, Scotty Clarke and Tom Johnstone.



Publisher: Mantle Lane Press  Now available as a Kindle book on AMAZON 

Can collaborations enhance your creativity?  

Red Lighthouse is working with The Moveable Feast Workshop Company on Points of Contact, a workshop using a variety of techniques – including storytelling, printmaking, dialogue and writing – to provide creative nutrition for writers and visual artists who want to explore new possibilities and collaborations.

Here are some personal reflections on the process of collaboration from Tony Gee, workshop leader and Director of Moveable Feast; –

The first workshop I facilitated was at Dartington College of Arts. Forty artists from a variety of practices wanted to look at workshop practice – via a workshop! The mix of practitioners, and the need of an often isolated group to spend creative time with other artists, led to some amazing results: people’s practices took new and unexpected turns and whole companies sprung up which subsequently found ways to employ each other. It was an inspiring event and many of those artists still work together now. Practice was developed through practice. Since then I have facilitated or co-facilitated all sorts of gatherings, including a project in Saskatchewan with the Indigenous Peoples Health Research Centre. Through creative production we bring into existence things that hitherto hadn’t existed.  An artist friend once said this to me in an interview: ‘Every workshop is a story and it’s an original story and it’s a story written there and new completely and it’s never been thought of before.’ So, what do I find comes out of creative retreats? Confidence, affirmation, new directions, collaborations, ideas and employment possibilities can emerge through the collective application of our imagination“.