Sunday, 6 November 2016

This week at Valley Press, #34: 'Mind the gap'

Dear readers,

Felix and Sue's 'Hull to Scarborough Line' has been going for six years now, and they treated both ends of the line to performances of their new show Mind the Gap this week. If you've not seen H2SL, it's hard to describe exactly what it is: not a play, not a 'reading', but a live event that falls somewhere in between the two. Absolutely brilliant, of course, without fail – there's a reason they pack rooms with 50+ people at a time for a 'literary event' (see header image).

I was able to capture the first seven minutes of tonight's show in video form, and put it on YouTube here; sorry it's not better-filmed, I always forget my camera and end up using the phone! The Hull event had a two-man technical team supplying sound effects and bona-fide station announcements; in Scarborough, we do things a little more modestly, replacing the technical team with a man in a hat (the unmistakable David Lewis). I hope you like it anyway, and remember you can pick up Sue's new book here if you want some great short stories.

I don't have too much else to tell you this week, but I can report I've found plenty of female readers for my submissions 'reading group' – so could really use a couple of men, if any are out there! To recap: I'm needing volunteers to spend a day in Scarborough (now narrowed to the 16th or 17th December) briefly looking at the submissions we've received this year, so I know which potential books real readers might be interested in. People who've done it before have really seemed to enjoy the experience, and I can promise you biscuits and a few free books! If you're interested, reply to this newsletter and let me know. (More ladies are welcome too, the more the merrier!)

Leeds residents have a chance to see Antony Dunn at Yorkshire Dance this Friday, the 11th (St Peter’s Buildings, St Peter’s Square, LS9 8AH); no tickets, you can just turn up at 7pm and enjoy a fantastic reading and some chat. I'm hoping to have the hardbacks by then ... if history's slowest printer finally puts ink on paper (that's a story for another time).

John Wedgwood Clarke's TV programme about the literary history of the Yorkshire Coast is on BBC4 next Sunday (13th Nov), 7.30pm – not last week, as I mistakenly said in the previous newsletter. Definitely worth a watch.

Finally, earlier in the week, I was sorting some old boxes of books and came across this:

I remember writing that when I moved into the Woodend office in 2013, when I had different interns in every fortnight (an exhausting time!) They would inevitably stumble upon the box in the course of their duties, and it turned into a fascinating social experiment ... some laughed it off, some were genuinely concerned and made a point of sitting away from it.

What was in it? We'll never know; I can't remember, and I can't afford to take the risk of opening it ... I've got a wife, a mother, all kinds of in-laws, several bartenders and a six-week-old depending on me! Theories on a postcard, please.

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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