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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 forever. 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

"I've been genuinely bowled over at how fantastic the results have been at every step along the way. The final edit and all aspects of design are absolutely spot on." – Stephen Reynolds, author of The Layers

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
• Poetry Book Society – Special Commendation (with Out of Time: Poetry from the Climate Emergency), Autumn 2021

Who We Are

Jamie McGarry

Jamie has been "publishing" since the age of six, and started using the name Valley Press in 2008, when he was a student of English Literature and working as a bookseller in Scarborough. He began running VP full-time at the start of 2011, and shows no sign of stopping ten years later...

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.

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. A member of the Valley Press team since 2020, he is responsible for the visual appeal of our subsequent books – inside and out.

Francesca Eden
Publicity Director

With fifteen years of book publicity experience behind her, Fran has worked on an eclectic mix of genres including memoir, self-help, health & well-being, poetry and children's. Having joined the VP team in March 2021, she is on a mission to connect our new releases with eager readers, devising different and innovative campaigns to put our books in the hands of as many people as possible.

Chloe Meek
Publicity Assistant

Entering her third year of studying Media, Journalism and Publishing at Oxford Brookes University, Chloe has recently joined the Valley Press team as a publicity assistant. As a lover of poetry, crime fiction and feminist literature, she believes that books can truly influence how people view the world. Chloe aspires to have a career as a publicist, creating inventive campaigns for progressive and trailblazing books.

Jo Brandon
Poetry Editor

Based in West Yorkshire, Jo has been on an exciting journey with Valley Press (as an author) since its earliest days. Her poetry pamphlet Phobia (2012) was followed by full-length collection The Learned Goose (2015) and, most recently, Cures (2021). During that time Jo has also been an occasional freelance editor with Valley Press as well as working with a number of arts & literature organisations including the Poetry Society, Poetry School, Southbank Centre and the Koestler Trust. She was very excited to join the VP team in 2021 as their Poetry Editor and help more poets start their exciting Valley Press journeys.

Teika Bellamy & Kate Simpson
Editors at Large

Our "editors at large" are literary visionaries roving the world (digitally, for now) looking for great new writing, with the power to commission a handful of projects each year. The current holders of this post are Teika Bellamy, formerly editor and manager of Mother's Milk Books, and Kate Simpson, Assistant Editor of Aesthetica Magazine.

Shopkeeper / Gatekeeper

The mysterious Anne, who may or may not be related to other members of the team, is in charge of packing and posting orders placed through this website. She is also keeping an eye on our general enquiries email, and is always happy to hear from satisfied readers!

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