Friday, 4 August 2017

This week at Valley Press, #66: 'Gripped'

Dear readers,

It's Jamie – I'm back, after a three week "holiday" which has (predictably?) resulted in an inbox with hundreds of unread messages. So let me start by apologising to anyone whose valuable words are languishing in there; I'll get through them in due course.

Let me continue by thanking Emma and Harriet for writing the last three newsletters; they really captured the VP tone, and added so much energy that I had to check the caffeine rating on the office coffee! Interns will be with us until mid-September, so expect more communications from them in the near future. (The latest one just started this morning, so I didn't think it would be fair to throw her into the deep end straight away!)

They are paid, by the way – we've done informal internships in the past, but now we're a serious company with a payroll (and considering how they're supposed to work extremely hard all day every day), I knew it was time to get the VP chequebook out. That being said, I imagine the emails with their bank details are somewhere in that inbox deluge... some patience may be required...

* * *

This week saw the final, definitive 'launch' of our Yorkshire Anthology, which is now available in all good bookshops (and many disreputable ones). If you missed out on the event, which also featured music from Miles and Oz's band, you can battle your way through my latest attempt at live-streaming (part 1 here, part 2 here). Lessons learned every time I try it!

You can read an interview with Miles Salter, who did most of the selecting and who originally had the idea for the anthology, in the York Press here. Of particular interest is Miles' concept for the cover, which I vetoed on about forty-six separate occasions – it was to feature 'an abandoned coal town, a half-eaten curry, a York back alley and a drunk reeling along a Hull street'. The jury is still out re: that one.

The Anthology poets will be coming to Scarborough on August 24th, as part of our new events series 'The Literary Lunch Hour' (to be rebranded next time, as people keep asking what's for lunch – the title refers to the time of day only!) Check out the poster below:

You'll notice the first event is this coming Thursday, the 10th August, and features Valley Press legend James Nash. The plan is for James to read some classic sonnets, a few of his Cinema Stories poems, and some brand new material from a new collection due in autumn 2018. As it's the first event, and there'll be some VP newbies in the crowd, we'll also be looking back on nine years of Valley Press history. In a recent conversation, me and James agreed to 'chat like it's an Olympic event', so enjoy that!

Other highlights this week included a blog from forthcoming VP poet Caroline Hardaker, offering more fascinating insights into the publishing process (read it here). One 'fun tip' she offers for submitters is to wait until the end of each submissions window, which means more time to revise your work and 'less time to grip your face in angst'. Agreed; we don't want anyone gripping their own face in such a fashion!

Elsewhere, Remembering Oluwale editor SJ Bradley (who has a new novel out, not with us, but you're still allowed to read it) has blogged about her experience working on the anthology, from first meeting to the famous awards triumph – a brilliant bit of writing in its own right, located here. Apparently she has the 'best anthology' trophy on her desk; must get an intern to steal that sometime...

Finally, Helen Burke was interviewed for close to an hour on Chapel FM, detailing her 'origin story', rather like a literary superhero – you can find that here. Hope to see as many of you as possible at her contribution to the Literary Lunch Hour on August 17th. Thanks for reading, hope this comes at the beginning of a great weekend!

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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