Hard work, sleepless nights and one day, maybe…

Competitions 2017-2018 - am Earlyworks Press calling card

Help, help! I’m months behind schedule and the reading pile’s going up and the money’s going down!

Author Cathy Edmunds minds the Earlyworks Press/Circaidy Gregory stall at a book fair at conway Hall
Cathy Edmunds, author and artist, minding the Earlyworks Press/Circaidy Gregory stall at the Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall (More event photos and info at the end of this article)

If you are a books-n-writing buff of any description, you’ll recognise that as the universal call of the small-press publisher. I’ve been one of those for over ten years and, vast amounts of chaos and anxiety aside, I love it!


I’m a privileged reader

Poet Sarah James, author of Into the Yell, published by Circaidy Gregory Press Image right: author and artist Emily Johns. (More event photos at end of article).
Poet Sarah James, author of Into the Yell, published by Circaidy Gregory Press.(More event photos at end of article).

Here we are, just a couple of weeks away from the last competition of the year closing (shorts stories – up to 4000 words or up to 8000 words and a £200 first prize – Update: sorry – comp closed now!) ahem … and I’m still compiling the anthology of the last two competitions – poetry and flash fiction. It’s great! There’s an amazing range of thoroughly enjoyable stuff here – excellently crafted works from names familiar to small press publishers across the country – Roger Elkin, Mandy Pannett, Joc Simms… and works from newcomers, some penned in a moment on hearing about tragedies or triumphs of other humans around the world and jokes and wild fantasies and… and…

Cash prizes and publication opportunities

Street-edge chalk board - Poetry Book fair today! Free entry!Ten years and more – Earlyworks Press has published over 30 competition anthologies, given out thousands of pounds in prize money, often to first-time-published authors, and taken their stories, poems and essays in book form to book fairs, exhibitions and literary readings all over the country. Through the Earlyworks Press club, dozens of those authors have gone on to produce novels or collections of their own, which we’ve produced through our Circaidy Gregory Press or helped on their way to publication by other routes. We’ve worked with some quite famous names who enjoy small press world as well as the more conventional corporate publishing route – and some of those works will fill me with pride and wonder until my dying day so this blog post is here just to say thank you.

Artist and author Emily Johns holds Circaidy Gregory flyer
Author and artist Emily Johns.(More event photos at end of article).

Thank you to all the book lovers, the poets and authors, all the people who joined in to have a go at writing, or editing, or illustrating or proof reading, or charging around the country with trolleys with dodgy wheels to help out at author-events.

Earlyworks Press

Earlyworks Press book banner

(Note Jan 2022 – sorry, the links that used to be here are mostly out of date, so I’ve removed them. New plans are being mulled over. More soon!)

Old Magic in a New Age - Earlyworks Press authors at York Lit Fest (More event photos at end of article).
Earlyworks Press authors at York Lit Fest

You saw it first in indie book world

Circaidy Gregory Press book panelOr peel your eyes away from Amazon and visit your local indie bookshop, take a look at the noticeboard, read some books, talk to the owner… I kid you not. I’ve heard it from the horse’s mouth. It was an editor from Orion who said to me, “we depend on small presses. You take the risks, you find the new people, then we take over…” I stood with my smile nailed to my face for several seconds before I thought of a sensible answer to that one but there it is. Peel your eyes away from Amazon, walk on past Waterstones and find yourself an indie bookshop. Read the notice board, talk to the owner, pic up some books you’ve never heard of. The new, the original, the works that *might* be in corporate bookshops in a year or two, and often their authors and publishers too, are right there waiting for you.

Earlyworks Press book banner


back eyes poetry - the cover of one of our poetry anthologiesMost of the photos above were taken at the Poetry Book Fair in Conway Hall, Red Lion Square in 2016. Here are some of the books we took with us that day.The Road Unravelled - cover of our sci fi anthology

Loretta's Parrot - cover of short story anthology

Apples, Shadows and Light - cover of our 2016 short story anthology


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