The inaugural Bath and Bristol Small Publishers’ Gathering will take place on Saturday (3rd November) featuring 28 presses, as the independents "break free of London’s gravitational pull”.
The new networking event for independent presses in the south west will be held at the Friends Meeting House on York Street, Bath, with organisations from Bristol, Somerset, south Gloucestershire, Devon, Dorset and Wiltshire as well as Bath itself, and with illustrators and designers also expected to attend. The event is coordinated by Bath publisher Handheld Press and poetry publisher Sad Press, which is based in Bristol.
The morning will have four speakers, including Alastair Giles of the awards management and marketing agency Agile Ideas and artist and publisher Lily Green of Bristol’s social publishing project No Bindings. Afterwards the doors will open to the public from 12 until 4pm, for browsing and buying.
The event is sponsored by the Independent Publishers’ Guild and the guild's chief executive Bridget Shine, will open the event followed by Helen Chaloner, chief executive of Literature Works, a writers' development agency.
Handheld Press director Kate Macdonald said: "Samantha Walton [director] of Sad Press and I designed the Bath and Bristol Small Publishers’ Gathering to bring together the independent publishers of the south west. Independent publishing is beginning to break free of London’s gravitational pull, with new groupings of publishers established in the north and in Scotland and Wales. It’s time that publishers in the south west had their own event, and their own identity as a vigorous economic and creative activity for British business.”
Macdonald, who is also a literary historian and a visiting research fellow at the University of Bedfordshire, said that they hope it will help create an annual focus in the area for indies. "We hope to make this an annual event, perhaps alternating between Bath and Bristol, to develop a new independent publishing nexus for the south west."
As well as Sad Press and Handheld Press, printer Short Run Press is taking part along with the rest of the attending organisations which are all publishers such as Shearsman Books, Peculiarity Press, Silver Crow Books and Contraband Books. Wizards Tower Press will participate as will Stuart Press, HVTN Press, Carnaval Press and Guillemot Press.
Meanwhile Writers Unchained will also attend along with Aquifer Books, Tangent Books, Red Robin Books and The Self-Publishing Partnership. Also participating on the day is Holland Park Press with Wacky Bee, Forward Thinking Publishing, Valley Spring Press, Singing Apple, Lunar Poetry and Little Creative Days. Completing the list of participants are Hammeron Press, March Hamilton, Odyssey Press and Rats Tales.
The Friends Meeting House is at York Street BA1 1NG.