I’m still buzzing and full of inspiration after Saturday’s, Contemporary Small Press, event for readers and writers at The British Library. So much to say and commend so where to begin? With Linen Press of course, after all they’re publishing my latest novel and I couldn’t be happier about being published by the only Indie Press for Women in the UK!
Right to left – editor Lynn Michell, assistant editor Liz Rao
Lynn Michell, founder of the press and my kind but astute editor, spoke eloquently about setting the press up, about kitchen tables, and gas fires, about the big five and crowd pleasers, and about taking risks. Because that’s what small presses do – they take risks. They take risks on writers like me and books like mine.
Linen Press author Susie Nott Bower challenged the taboo of ageing and read from The Making of Her – assuring us we could, ‘re-invent ourselves at any age.’
Galley Beggar Press, editor Sam Jordison, along with author of the much lauded novel, Playthings Alex Pheby
provided some of the day’s best quotes, seen here. Galley Beggar’s questions are much like those of Linen Press and they’re music to the writer’s ears – they ask, ‘not who someone is, or whether something is going to make it into the supermarkets. Rather, … whether this is an author we want, a novel we love.’
In the afternoon we were presented with unique handmade books from Westminster students including my personal favourite from the inspirational bookartist and poet Sandhya.
And then author of Foxy T (which I’m about to read) Tony White read his funny yet moving story, The Holborn Cenotaph, and introduced us to the delights of Piece of Paper Press.
‘Piece of Paper Press is an artists’ book project that I started in 1994 as a lo-tech, sustainable imprint that could be used to occasionally publish new writings and visual or graphic works by artists and writers and distribute them free.’ Yes you heard it – Free!
And so it was books, books of all kinds, books for readers who do not want to be dictated to by the big five, books for women, books by people who believe in their beauty, who believe that writers need nurturing and editing, books that celebrate a low-tec, sustainable model without sacrificing the quality of the writing, books that take risks – and book people of course and wine after – a perfect Saturday.