In 2017 we are celebrating Arachne Press’ fifth anniversary, or in another way of measuring the passing of five years (which I had to Google), then we could say that 2017 marks Arachne Press’ Wooden anniversary!
The link with wood feels quite appropriate to a young publishing house. Like the tree Arachne Press has made it through the difficult sprouting and sapling years, all the while avoiding being grazed by passing sheep or snapped in two by inquisitive toddlers and it is now well on the way to the maturity of stature and putting down deep, deep roots. (Books are also traditionally made from trees, although in keeping with these more environmentally aware times Arachne Press prints most of their books on wood-free paper.)
Trees need to be flexible, they must be able to sway in storm conditions and to react to the stresses of thunder and lightning or they will be toppled and their trunk broken. This adaptability seems not too much different to the juggling act Cherry has to perform daily to make sure that a growing list of literary chestnuts meet their copy, proof and print deadlines, that all grant applications follow the correct criteria, down to finding someone who can jump up on stage to replace a lost, or late reader.
A tree is also a sign of strength and support. We climb trees to reach higher, to make it up to the canopy to be able to see the view from the top, which we would not have been able to do on our own. It makes me very proud that my association with Arachne Press began with submitting work to the The Other Side of Sleep anthology. Cherry accepted my long poem In Retail (xxiii) to include in the book, which at 60 lines would have had found great difficulty in being welcomed anywhere else. This show of support and the confidence boost of publication were invaluable to me. There are also many types and species of trees and Arachne Press reflects this in the broad spectrum of society that their writers and poets represent, and although not specifically a LGBTQ press, none-the-less it feels very important to me that it is they who publish my work.
Five years of producing new and exciting writing that would not be published elsewhere is a great achievement that needs to be celebrated – so here’s to the next half-decade of Arachne Press under the guidance of the wonderful Cherry. Who knows what wonderful books may appear next or what fabulous creations will bear fruit will because Arachne Press are here, growing in the world!
When Cherry first told me she was launching a new press my first (private!) reaction was….hmmmm….? How many small – or micro, as she calls it – presses are launched like massive liners every year, only to founder like a leaf on the stream of got-in-first-well-funded competitors? Good Luck! But it turned out she didn’t need luck. Her energy and commitment to finding interesting authors with a story to tell or a poem to write has led to the five-year-old toddler Arachne Press growing to a stature well beyond its years, with a list that compares with many an older, staider press.
In particular, since poetry is my bag, I am proud to be in her line-up of vibrant and interesting poets, astonished that she used my poem The Other Side of Sleep as title for her innovative book of (neglected) narrative poems, delighted that she has published my collection about adoption and childhood, The Don’t Touch Garden and look forward to the emergence of A Gift of Rivers in April.
That is of course after a rigorous and exhausting process of editing and the prospect of an equally wilt-making string of readings…. but hey! let me not grumble. It’s high time we poets – especially those of us who don’t have very sharp elbows and who are maybe knocking-on a bit – learned to value a publisher who cares even more about getting our work out there than sales.
So thank you Cherry and Happy Fifth Birthday Arachne.
I can’t believe I forgot to put anything up on the website! I did a newsletter, put up the individual book pages, then got on with the work that results from good news! Anyway…
After what turned out to be months of form-filling we have secured Arts Council Funding for this year’s Solstice Shorts Festival, and the next four books, including taking them on tour, and for four sessions of The Story Sessions (more later!).
We do have to raise some money ourselves – brace yourselves for more Crowd Funds – you can also help by becoming a FRIEND of Arachne.
If you are interested in the publishing side of getting a book out where you can get your hands on it, you might be interested in reading the blogs I’ve been doing for Inpress on The Bookseller Marketing Conference that took place last week – only last week? – on a very hot day on the South Bank.
Saturday: It’s sunny in Faversham, and the peaceful rather lovely market town is doing it’s thing, having a market, (excellent russian street food) and round the corner in the Alexander Centre there are writers and publishers at TLW LEXiCON talking about writing and publishing and marketing and … making friends, reading their work (aloud! Including Arachne Authors Katy Darby and Bartle Sawbridge) selling books and generally having a good time.
Bartle Sawbridge reading at LEXiCON
Katy Darby reading at LEXiCON
Sunday: we’re still here, doing the writery stuff. So if you live in North Kent, or even South East London, it’s a lovely day, come down to Faversham, enjoy the pubs and cafes, walk along the creek and drop into the Alexander Centre to meet the lovely people. We’re talking about writing across genres at 10, and Cherry Potts is reading a story of YOUR choice (so long as she wrote it, and you are there to ask) at around 12 (the schedule has been a little fluid).
Read a rather long interview with Cherry Potts in Inkapture Issue 18 April 2013 all about Arachne Press and what on earth possessed an apparently sane person to embark on this particular journey
Inkapture is a literary e-magazine, founded in 2011 providing a medium for international writers to communicate their art to others on the largest scale – through the web.
Published quarterly, in March, June, September and December, Inkapture aims to find creative writing of diversity and originality, to publish unique and quality work – from authors of poetry, fiction and other writing – which may have previously been overlooked.
This website will soon be host to lovely books and e-books, and news about books.
Arachne Press is a new publisher of exciting novels and short stories for adults and children; poetry and selected non-fiction. We will also be keeping fiction (poetry, non-fiction) live, through readings, workshops and all things to do with writing.
Our first book London Lies will be out in mid-summer, in print and e-formats, to be followed speedily by the next collection provisionally entitled Stations.
We are not accepting unsolicited manuscripts at present.