Friday, 23 June 2017

This week at Valley Press, #60: 'Better than never'

Dear readers,

A very late blog post this week, as it's been a packed Friday – full of important meetings, complex tasks and some exciting parcels; including the flyers/posters for our 'Literary Lunch Hour' events (viewable here), the 'machine proof' for Today the Birds Will Sing, and the paperbacks of Madame Bildungsroman's Optimistic Worldview (photos below).

Speaking of that mysterious character... Madame B is set to be officially 'launched' in Edinburgh, on Friday 21st July at the Lighthouse bookshop, all details here. Attendees have been promised a chance to 'quiz' the author, hear sections of the book performed live, and enjoy jazz music performed by non other than legendary local poet Don Paterson! It should be quite a night, I can tell you. (Entry is free.)

Before that, author Nora Chassler is coming to Scarborough on Wednesday 5th July to run a flash fiction workshop; that's in the evening from 6pm at Wardle & Jones, our go-to independent bookshop. (For those still living in the real world, 'flash fiction' is a trendy phrase for 'very short stories'.) Attendees will be writing these stories with guidance from Nora, who's aiming for a supportive and relaxed mood. It's just £5 to attend (with a drink included), get in touch with W&J to book a place.

The wonderful Wardle & Jones has just turned two years old, and if you visit today (Saturday 24th) there's 40% off all books and an all-day party atmosphere! To run an independent bookshop for any amount of time requires a superhuman love of books, infinite patience with readers, and more than a little visual-merchandising magic... so you can imagine what it takes to last two years. Huge congratulations to them.

Oh, and while I've got my congratulating hat on... same goes to Richard O'Brien, who won a prestigious Eric Gregory Award this week for his as-yet-unpublished debut collection of poetry. Long-time followers will remember we published his pamphlet A Bloody Mess in 2014 (with Dead Ink, back when they were only doing ebooks). It was obvious back then that Richard was a poet destined for great things; and he's still just getting warmed up...

Richard will be a familiar face for fans of the Emma Press, and we were inspired this week by a typically feisty blog from their founder Emma Wright (read it here) about starting her business. 'It's not fair that the poorer you are the safer you have to play it,' she writes, about job prospects for our generation... no-one does hopeful defiance like Emma!

Another great blog this week came from Helen Cadbury, discussing her forthcoming Valley Press collection, as well as her origins as a poet and the 'forensic' nature of that art form (connecting it to crime writing). Read that one here.

A great blog post you won't be reading this week, despite promises last time, is the one from our 'Submissions Coordinator' Tess. I've ended up saying too much myself – and as I write this, midnight is fast approaching! I'll hope to bring you that soon; in the meantime, thanks as ever for your time reading our newsetter, it's much appreciated.

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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