Sorry to use a coin in the header again – sometimes finding an appropriate, creative image for what I've got to say is beyond me! (Particularly last thing on a Friday afternoon.) Ten per cent of what, anyway?
Some work is being done on our website, behind the scenes, and as part of that we discussed the reward which newsletter subscribers receive for ploughing through these missives each week. The current system is a touch vague, and doesn't really work as a reward or an incentive, so a new offer has been agreed on: from today onwards, subscribers of the newsletter are entitled to 10% off any purchase through the Valley Press website. Not bad eh? The web guys are working on a system to make that apply automatically, but in the meantime you can use the code TENFOREVER to get your 10% off (named after the period of time we intend this offer to apply).
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In other exciting news: we followed through on our promise in the last newsletter, and submissions for new books of poetry, fiction and non-fiction are once again open at Valley Press. It feels good! Based on overwhelming feedback from last year, the 'form' is now filled out online – you just need to go here and follow the instructions. Please excuse any teething problems with this system; it's very new.
Also, please note we're going entirely paperless with subs from now on. A4 envelopes were wonderful when we had 100 coming in a year, but with 600 (and presumably more in future) the logistics just get too difficult. We actually lost a few envelopes, it turns out – which were posted recorded delivery – so hoping that won't happen again with the new spreadsheet/email system (and the diligent efforts of Tess each Saturday).
Last week I requested more volunteers for our submissions reading group (which I'm thinking of re-dubbing the 'editorial board' in future, sounds more prestigious). Thankfully, there was a big response – you people really are wonderful. Many readers sent CVs and details of their qualifications; wonderful, but definitely not necessary! If you buy and read books, you're qualified. All I need is a brief message, and you're in.
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Finally, I learned earlier today that one of our 2013 interns (and her colleagues... and future generations of UK children) are desperately in need of your help. Stephanie Cox and co. have been working on a petition to make mental health education compulsory in primary and secondary schools; and when I say working, I mean time, expense, effort and sacrifice for months – only to have the rug pulled from under them this week, with their deadline reduced by two months due to the snap election.
They now need to get to 100,000 signatures by May 3rd, if they want the issue to reach parliament; so if you're a UK citizen, please consider signing the petition here, and sharing the link of course. This isn't going to become a regular thing, but I felt this was a particularly good cause that had been particularly screwed by the system.
Next week: details of our China project, at last.
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher