Thursday, 29 January 2015

salò press

In 2002 I had a mad idea. Why not set up a publishing company focusing on short story collections by unknown writers who worked in mixed genres? Pundits will tell you that the hardest sells are books by first timers, short stories, and genre-defying works. Still, I went ahead, rode the cusp of the digital print wave which revolutionised publishing at the same moment I put my toe in the water, and by the time I felt the press had run it's natural course in 2009 we had published 31 books and gained seven awards including multiple British Fantasy Society awards for Best Small Press and Best Anthology, and climaxing with Chris Beckett's The Turing Test winning the prestigious Edge Hill Short Story prize. I consider that to be a success.

But it wasn't easy. The press had taken over my time to the extent that my own writing suffered as a result. From 2007 to 2009 I barely wrote a short story, but following the dissolution of the press I've written around 100 short stories, five novels, and three novellas with many of those published or accepted for publication. So despite the success of the press I feel that it was a good decision to halt it when I did.

However, publishing always held an attraction. When my partner, Sophie, decided a few years ago that she wanted to run a magazine I agreed to support her as co-editor. Fur-Lined Ghettos was the result and we've ticked along quite nicely for three years.

But then last year we had a mad idea. Why not set up a publishing company focusing on surrealist literature and poetry? Pundits will tell you that the hardest sells are weird literature and poetry, but what the hell we're going to do it anyway.

So, we've just launched salò press. Here are the guidelines for our first two projects:

Our first anthology - now open to submissions from writers/poets/artists/photographers - will be "A Galaxy of Starfish: An Anthology of Modern Surrealism". Please check out the guidelines here.

We are also seeking poetry collections from established and new poets including alt-poetry | surrealism | automatism | cut-up | existentialism | experimentation | subtle beauty. Guidelines for these collections are here.

We're really excited about this. Please feel free to share that excitement.

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