Mslexia's editor Debbie Taylor, who I'm afraid didn't make a very good impression on me. She wanted to postpone the start in case anyone arrived late (a suggestion that was firmly quashed by the organisers!); she had rushed to get there and told us she hadn't had time to read through her notes: and when she did start talking she realised she was using the wrong notes! And she didn't know how long the session was supposed to last. Most unprofessional, I thought.
Anyway, the theme was: Meet the editors - specifically, the brains behind a selection of small press publishers. The panel comprised:
- Emma Wright, from The Emma Press
- Jacqui Rowe, from Flarestack Poets
- Matthew Pegg, from Mantle Lane Press
- Carlotta Eden, from online magazine Synaesthesia (with the mag's first-ever hard copy edition on sale)
Nor should you think that you stand a better chance of being accepted by a small publisher. Each was oversubscribed, whether operating a submissions window or an open-door policy.
Certainly the books on show were lovely, but I came away thinking that if you can't get a deal with a mainstream publisher, why not simply self-publish?
Does anyone have any experience of these or other small press publishers?