Friday, 14 April 2017

This week at Valley Press, #50: 'Long weekend'

Dear readers,

Happy holidays to all who are starting a 'long weekend'. I'm off today for Good Friday (except for the time it takes to write this newsletter!), but back in tomorrow for our Submissions Coordinator's first day at work. We're hoping to re-open to unsolicited submissions before the end of the month, and the plan is for them to be open permanently going forwards, with a 90-day turnaround (so writers can have an answer within three months of us receiving their sample).

It won't be easy, but it's what should happen in an ideal world, so that's what we'll be aiming for. With our time under the warming sun of the Arts Council at an end (for now anyway), we'll be funding this by requiring submitters to purchase a book – so if you're keen to send us your work, start saving your pennies and eyeing up the backlist!

We'll need more volunteer readers (over email), so the next question is: if you're considering volunteering, but haven't yet, what would seal the deal? The occasional free book maybe? It's not as arduous as it might seem; I'm only expecting the readers to start reading each manuscript. If they don't love it, they can give up straight away, and let us know ... though I'm pleased to say, that hasn't happened much with the work we've been sending out in recent months.

With so much quality writing coming in, I need a second, third and thirtieth opinion to know for certain what Valley Press should pursue – hence this request. I can't thank the current batch enough for helping me with the 2016 manuscripts (still plenty to go!), but if we're to do this job on the timescale mentioned above, it's going to take a community of literature lovers the like of which has never been assembled...

That's almost all I need to say this week, but if you'd like to read a couple of seasonal poems, be sure to dig out my newsletter from last Easter, featuring Di Slaney and Nigel Gerrans. Oh, and I can report Helen's book has finally progressed to typesetting, and there's a nice new review for Antony Dunn here.

This was the fiftieth 'Week at Valley Press' email roundup – hope you'll stick around for the next fifty!

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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