Friday, 7 April 2017

This week at Valley Press, #49: 'Remembering'

Dear readers,

You may recall a book we published last year, titled Remembering Oluwale (with a title like that, how could you forget?) It's returned to the spotlight recently in various ways. One of the contributors won the 'Pitch and Pen' event we took part in during March, and is heading for a solo publication (the slow way – she still needs to write most of the book!) That encouraged me to re-read the anthology, and it's still as compelling a year on.

We're working on another anthology titled Verse Matters, due in November (eye-wateringly brilliant stuff, couldn't be more excited about that one), and during the first meeting today I heard that the editors were encouraged to offer it to Valley Press because of our great work on Remembering Oluwale. Particularly the design; so a big shout-out to Rosa Campbell, if she's reading. (She's very busy with her PhD at present.)

RO's editor SJ Bradley has been working tirelessly to get the book the attention it deserves, and this recently paid off in the form of a shortlisting for the Saboteur Awards. Unlike the typical literary awards, this one won't be decided in a secluded boardroom somewhere; it's a public vote, open until April 30th. Hustling for votes makes me feel a little queasy, but if you do feel compelled to give your opinions on literary matters, you can vote in all the award categories via their website here.

(I also heard SJ is gearing up to edit another 'prize anthology', this one exclusively for short stories – more details later in the year. That's probably a secret though, so shh!)

I'm constantly astonished at how a single project can send out ripples in all directions that don't become obvious until many months, or even years, later; that's been a big lesson from 2017 so far. The Chinese project I've been hinting at (which I will explain soon, I promise) originated from someone attending one of our very first book launches in 2011 – over the years, word spread from that room in Scarborough library to the foothills of the Qinling Mountains, in the middle of China.

That's all I've got to say this week, though after all this it would be remiss of me not to offer you 20% off Remembering Oluwale; use code REMEM at the checkout to claim that. Oh, and I also enjoyed reading this blog post by one of the 'winners' of our 2016 submissions process, Caroline Hardaker, who has a pamphlet coming out in early October. It's a rare insight into what happens after we say 'yes'; something I'm hoping to do a lot more in the near future.

All best,
Jamie McGarry, VP Publisher

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