A Guide to Indie Presses 2016/17

My experience with the Indie press has served me well: a novel, my first, from Flambard (sadly now no longer) a collection of short stories from Iron Press and this year a new novel, Sometimes A River Song,  published by the terrific Indie, Linen Press.

If you haven’t heard of them before you have now –  ‘Linen Press is a small, independent publisher run by women, for women. Our policy is to encourage and promote women writers and to give voice to a wide range of perspectives and themes that are relevant to women.’

As writers increasingly turn to the small presses in the hope of publication, Mslexia have produced what looks like an invaluable guide to Indie Presses 2016/17

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Word Power Books and International Women’s Day

I’m looking forward very much to celebrating International Women’s Day next Tues, March 8th in the beautiful city of Edinburgh, at a dinner 348sorganised by independent bookstore Word Power Books and Sister Acts, in the

‘lovely Spoon restaurant. There will be a chance to meet other women, catch up and enjoy a dinner with songs, poetry and performance. Our Sister Acts is an open mic slot so come prepared!’






If you’re around then why not join us? I’ll be with Liz Rao assistant editor at Linen Press. I’ll be reading from my new novel, Sometimes a River Song, due for publication in April and Liz will be taking pre-orders.

Me and the river and no one else seeing or listening. I catch its song at the edge of the day, rose light of dawn, blue light of dusk . I walk without rest. Blood and blisters on my feet…  Sometimes a River Song


Linen Press at the British Library – Contemporary Small Presses…

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!

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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

postprovided 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.

Textiles in Rajasthan

sari clothRajasthan is known the world over for its textiles, above is a quilt made from old saris. Below a woman in the town of Bagru prints from ancient wood blocks and the proprieter of the workshop demonstrates the depth of the indigo pit where fabics are dyed



We are not the first visitors to this textile emporium. Richard Gere visited before us and was reputed to have bought 90 pieces. According to the owner they were ‘for his concubines’ !!


Eclectic Iron

Yes, it’s this year’s Iron festival and at at 7.30 on Friday evening in the RNLI building in Cullercoats I will be reading from my short story collection Millie and Bird – really looking forward to reading in this wonderful building so close to the sea and I hope to see you there. Tickets for all events are selling fast so book now!

‘Following the roaring success of the 2013 IRON AGE Festival, which won Best Event Tyneside Award in The Journal Culture Awards 2014 and was described by writer David Almond as “the best festival I’ve ever read at” (and he’s read at a lot globally), we’re delighted to announce Eclectic IRON – a Festival of Words, Music & Oddities. Full programme – and it is a very full programme! – and how to book now published.

The Festival will take place at six different venues facing onto the beautiful Cullercoats Bay from Thursday June 4 to Sunday June 7, 2015 and once again there’s a heady mix of the famous, the grass-roots, the curious and the downright bizarre.’

Now I’m not sure which of the above catogories I fit into – famous I think not  – maybe grass-roots – I settle for that… :)

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