British indie Galley Beggar Press is launching a series of courses and salons “for writers and people who enjoy reading and thinking about writing”.
Co-director Sam Jordison told The Bookseller Daily that the new venture will have three strands: an eight-week critical reading course which dissects a modern classic; a quarterly “words, wine and food” salon/lecture series, with prominent writers and book professionals; and a mentoring scheme.
The classes are a spin-off from a course Jordison ran at Kingston University on looking at a text from an editor’s perspective. He said: “We wanted to set [the courses] up as a way of reaching new writ- ers and readers and to help us fund ongoing projects - and because we like teaching.” Galley Beggar said the pricing, not yet fixed, will be “competitive”. The programme will launch in spring 2018.
The mentoring scheme will see two or three authors a year receive ongoing guidance on a project. Jordison said: “What we excel at most is our work as editors, and the way we work closely with our writers, often on long-term projects. While we’re a small publishing house and can’t increase the number of books we publish, we can offer our editorial services to writers who might benefit.”
Galley Beggar author Preti Taneja’s We That are Young has made a splash at the fair, going to five territories; North American rights were snapped up by Knopf editor-in-chief Sonny Mehta for “an undisclosed but substantial sum”. Louise Pritchard of Louise Pritchard Associates, who is handling international rights for the list, also sold Taneja’s retelling of “King Lear”, set in modern-day New Delhi, to PRH India, as well as into Denmark, Israel and France.
Galley Beggar co-director Eloise Millar said: “We knew when we signed Preti [pictured] that we had something special on our hands and [the international sales] mean the momentum will continue. We feel sure We That are Young will continue to receive the critical attention that we’ve already seen— and is absolutely deserved.”