Drop in, chat about books, buy way too many, and find your new favourite people at our annual Northern Publishers' Fair, organised by Fly on the Wall Press!
On Saturday 14th of May 2022, from 11.30am - 4pm, I am delighted to be running FOTW's annual Northern Publishers' Fair at Manchester Central Library. This is a free event so do grab your ticket here.
Publishers: Bluemoose Books, TTA Press, Stairwell Books, Manchester University Press, UCLAN Publishing, Confingo Publishing, Fly on the Wall Press, Comma Press, Crocus Books (CommonWord), Flapjack Press, Saraband, Carcanet, Harper North
11.40am – 11.50am Manchester University Press
Jonathan Purkis is a writer, independent academic and musician. He grew up in Hull, studied and later taught sociology at several English universities, and has published many works on environmental protest and anarchism. Since 1982, he's covered 40,198 miles by thumb and travelled with 1309 total strangers. He's hitched with his border collie, a guitar, two ice axes and half a drum kit (although not at the same time). And his new book here: https://manchesteruniversitypress.co.uk/9781526160041/
11.50-12pm Fly on the Wall Press
Gaynor Jones reads from ‘May We Know Them’, her short story from ‘Of Myths and Mothers’. Folklore and futurism: these stories question everything from the guest worker economy to childbirth as the world collapses. Follow hairpin turns into the remote hillsides of North Yorkshire, where two boys take a holiday with their besom-wielding, rabbit-skinning granny. Disappear into dark caves on Philippine islands and scale sheer limestone cliffs with men who search for the world’s most expensive animal product: prized nests woven from a mysterious bird’s saliva, rumoured to make one live forever. Feel sand under your feet in the middle of the night as you search for love beyond limits. You will long to hold a child, even when that instinct has been erased from your body and mind. Of Myths and Mothers will make you see some of our most accepted customs in a new light and fill you with wonder, as the best stories do. https://www.flyonthewallpress.co.uk/product-page/of-myths-and-mothers
12pm – 12.10pm Stairwell Books
Black Harry : Glossopdale’s Elizabethan Folk Hero (coming March 2023) by Mark Henderson
Based on the true story of peasant-farmers fighting for fair rents against the most powerful landlords in Elizabethan England. After a career in medicine and biomedical research, Mark P. Henderson returned to the Peak District. He collects and tells traditional local folktales and is the author of a published collection, Folktales of the Peak District, along with four novels (National Cake Day in Ruritania, The Engklimastat, The Cat of Doom, Perilaus II), several short stories and two plays. The sequel to Perilaus II is in press at the time of writing and Mark is currently completing another fiction manuscript. He is secretary of the creative writing group in Glossopdale and teaches creative writing in other communities.
12.10-12.20pm Crocus Books (CommonWord)
John Siddique will be reading from ‘So: Collected Poems’. This sixth collection of poems from spiritual teacher and writer John embraces both the sacred and everyday. John’s writing is Eastern-inflected and meditative. The poems in ‘SO’, written between 2011-2021, are contemplative, exploring the boundaries between nature and human, between self and selves.
‘SO’ opens up a world of gentle possibilities, an alternative way of being in the world.
Available to purchase at Crocus Books: https://culturewordbooks.org.uk/product/so-collected-poems/
12.20pm-12.30pm – Flapjack Press
Lucy Power will perform from new poetry anthology NeurodiVERSE.
1pm – 1.10pm Saraband
Alison Armstrong will read from her debut novel, Fossils – a captivating coming-of-age story of one girl’s flawed attempt to escape her chaotic home life and fight for a better future. It is “a moving novel about resilience and compassion” (Kate Baguley); “Compelling. The prose bubbles and snaps with an energy that’s as changeable as its teen protagonist … a stunning, important novel about poverty and hopelessness, compassion and resilience.” Emily Devane
Alison Armstrong is a writer of prose and plays. She grew up in Leeds and East Yorkshire and has worked as a cleaner, waitress, painter and teacher, as well as developing her writing career. She won a Northern Writers’ Award for short fiction in 2017, a Literature Matters Award from the Royal Society of Literature in 2020 and a Project Grant from Arts Council England in 2021. Her poems, essays and short stories have been published in magazines and journals. She now makes her home in Lancashire, and Fossils is her first book.
Available at bookshops and directly from us: https://saraband.net/sb-title/fossils/
1.10- 1.20pm Blue Moose
Stu Hennigan will be reading from his non fiction book - GHOST SIGNS which we publish in June - It is about poverty and the pandemic. A 21st century Road to Wigan Pier.
1.30-1.40pm TTA Press
Stephen Hargadon will read from 'World of Trevor’, the first of his ten short stories published in Black Static magazine. Black Static (from TTA Press) is known for horror and dark fantasy short fiction. Stephen’s stories often set in and around Manchester, explore the dark rituals of urban life and the horror to be found in pubs, offices, tower blocks and trams.
Originally from Essex, Stephen came here to study English at the University of Salford and never left. He is now settled in Stockport after living around central and south Manchester.
Stephen, a latecomer to writing, recovered from a 2012 heart attack and took an MA in Creative Writing at MMU. During his first term (2014), Black Static accepted 'World of Trevor' and since then his work has been published in various magazines, and twice made the Anthony Burgess Foundation / Observer prize for Arts Journalism shortlist.
Now Stephen is busy writing short stories, a novel and adapting his story 'A Short History of Tedium' into a screenplay.
Any publishers here looking to publish a collection of short stories should see Stephen.
1.40-1.50pm Northodox Press
1.50pm-2pm Harper North
Brian Groom is the author of Northerners: A History, and a journalist who comes from Stretford, Lancashire – now part of Greater Manchester. Much of his career has been spent specialising in British regional and national affairs.
He went to Manchester Grammar School and read English at Balliol College, Oxford. His first job was as sports editor of the Goole Times, in Yorkshire. From there he went to the Financial Times, where he spent most of his career. He has done jobs there including covering the miners’ strike in the 1980s, being political editor in the 2000s and editing the comment and analysis pages during the financial crisis.
In mid-career he launched Scotland on Sunday, the Scotsman’s Sunday paper, as deputy editor and then became its editor, before returning again to the FT.
He retired from his job and moved back north – to Saddleworth, in the south Pennines – in 2015. He now has two small grandsons: a Yorkshireman and a Lancastrian.