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About Valley Press

Valley Press is an independent publishing house based in Scarborough, North Yorkshire, UK. We publish poetry, including collections, pamphlets and the occasional anthology; fiction, including novels and collections of short stories; and non-fiction, including memoirs and travel writing.

Valley Press is built on one very important belief: great literature, and great publishing, is for everyone and anyone. We don't want any reader to feel like an outsider, with their nose pressed against the glass of the 'literary world'; we promise to never be elitist, smug or exclusive. We promise to treat world-famous and first-time writers with the same respect and courtesy; and when we open submissions, we promise to keep the process wide open, so we can meet more people from both those categories (and everyone in between).

We believe a couple of other things too. For a start, we believe publications from a ‘small, northern, independent publisher’ (as we are typically referred to) should match those from the big London publishing houses in every sense – production values, editing, distribution and promotion. We're not saying that'll be easy, but we will always try our best.

We also believe that poetry can sell just as well as fiction and non-fiction (in fact, we can prove it), and as such deserves to be taken as seriously. That's why all our books are in one big list; whether they are works of intense, thought-provoking literary fiction, performance poetry played for maximum laughs, brick-sized travel epics or sixteen-page children's stories about baby seagulls – because a life spent reading needs all of those, at one time or another.

If you feel the same way about any of the above, you should probably get in touch – we'd love to hear from you.

Praise for Valley Press

"Jamie's team produces beautiful, love-to-hold, exquisitely presented volumes of poetry which can be treasured for ever. One of the most innovative poetry (and literature) presses in Britain and in my humble opinion, do a better job presenting their poet's work than Faber." – LJ McDowall

"The most imaginative, down to earth, perceptive publishing house I have come across. The books are never pretentious ... [VP] manages to ferret out proper poets who reach out from the page to engage and entertain." – Ian Stuart

"This impressive Scarborough-based outfit continues to excel in producing handsome paperback editions." – Andrew Neilson, Magma

"The ever-enterprising Valley Press ... is one of Yorkshire's leading publishers." – Yorkshire Post

"[VP] has a good eye for emerging talent, and great care has clearly been taken over the design of the books." – Sabotage Reviews

"A beautiful business." – Lloyds TSB Enterprise Award judges

"Writing their way to success, Valley Press have a distinctive business model supporting and promoting authors new and old, with a growing international readership." – CBYC Business Award judges

Awards for Valley Press

Lloyds TSB Enterprise Awards – Highly Commended, 2012
East Midlands Book Award – Shortlisted (with The Boy in the Mirror), 2016
Forward Prize – Highly Commended (with Reward for Winter), 2016
Saboteur Awards – Winner, Best Anthology (with Remembering Oluwale), 2017
Edge Hill Short Story Prize – Longlisted (with Raw Material and Mr Jolly), 2017
CBYC Business Awards – Winner, Culture/Arts Business of 2017
Saboteur Awards – Winner, Best Anthology (with High Spirits: A Round of Drinking Stories), 2019
Poetry Book Society – Translation Choice (with My Little Brother), Spring 2020

Who We Are

Jamie McGarry

Born in Norwich in 1988, Jamie has been publishing books since 1994 (yes, really) and using the name Valley Press since 2008, when he was a student of English Literature and working as a bookseller in Scarborough. Running VP has been his day job since January 2011.

Jo Haywood
Editorial Director

Jo has worked with words for almost thirty years, and has been a crucial part of the Valley Press story since joining the team in early 2017. She has commissioned and edited numerous titles since then, and in the process, made the dreams of dozens of authors (and thousands of readers) come true.

Sam Keenaghan
Assistant Publisher

Sam joined the Valley Press team in February 2020 to fulfil her love of literature, after working in academia for six years. Sam has a broad interest in genres spanning across fiction, non-fiction, and poetry, and a passion for bringing great books to life. Her responsibilities at VP include copyediting and publicity.

Peter Barnfather
Senior Designer

Based in Shropshire, Peter is an accomplished publisher in his own right at Platypus Press, where his work was shortlisted by the Academy of British Cover Design in 2018. He joined the Valley Press team in October 2020 after a series of freelance projects, and will be taking on most of the design work for our books (inside and out) in 2021 and beyond.

Juno Browne
Community Manager

Juno has been responsible for the Valley Press Facebook page since 2018. She is an experienced copywriter and social media manager, as well as being a visual artist in her own right. (N.B. the name is pseudonymous so as not to clash with her day job.)

Anne 'The Gatekeeper'
Communications Assistant

Self-styled 'gatekeeper' Anne monitors messages received through the contact page, and to our general enquiries email

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