Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Although The Moose will be giving a passing nod to his Irish forbears, unlike his American cousins he won't be turning green for St Patrick's day. There may be a sprig of Shamrock from his antlers though. I spent a couple of hours yesterday listening to a chap from Literature North West, talking about independent publishers in Manchester and the surrounding environs. Despite the economic climate, a livlier and more optimistic bunch you are less likely to meet. If you want great short stories, art, some mischief and a bit of the Manc swagger that goes down so well in the Sarf of England, look no further than Transmission Magazine, http://www.transmission.com/ and Flux, http://www.fluxmagazine.com/ . For the poetic amongst you there is Carcanet, who have several Nobel prize winners on their books. Not my cup of tea mind, but there's room for everyone. Independent publishers bring a vibrancy and vigour, great stories from new writers that wouldn't normally get an airing from the formulaic and generic publishing houses that think challenging writing is Celebrity Noir Autobiographies. I won't be so crass to say that the Indies are coming but at a time when the large mainstream publishing houses are drawing further into 'safe' publishing, independent publishers have a fantastic opportunity to work and build some very exciting and new writers that have compelling stories to tell. If you can get to Hammersmith Library tomorrow, Wednesday 18th March at 7.30pm you will meet five new authors reading from their novels. Great stories, beautifully told.

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