Monday, 22 June 2020

Launching Alice In Wonderland Syndrome

V. Press is very very delighted to launch Alice In Wonderland Syndrome, a flash fiction pamphlet by Meg Pokrass.

“There could be no more apt title for Meg Pokrass's collection of brilliant and brilliantly disquieting flash fictions than 'Alice in Wonderland Syndrome', a condition in which objects appear larger or smaller than they should. Pokrass's stories are so much greater than their word count, entire worlds, but they also make the tiniest moments vital, enormous. Here, people – and, once, a rat – are on the edges of things; there is no settling in these worlds, as in ours, and animals are often more reassuring than humans. Is the ‘she’ who recurs in the stories Alice herself, or many Alices? Or is she us, trying to find our footing, to shrink and to grow, to restore some balance in a world that is forever tilting?”Tania Hershman

“‘…there is always a story inside a story inside a dog…’ With dreamlike clarity, these beautifully choreographed stories slip, delve and spiral in and out of the quotidian and the surreal with such deftness and precision that like Alice in her wonderland, suddenly you find yourself catching your breath in the light and dark of a world both familiar and yet deliciously unsettling. Pokrass has once again produced an exquisite collection for our enjoyment.”

Mary Jane Holmes

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome is very tender yet very naughty.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-3-6
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

A sample flash can be enjoyed below.

BUY a print copy of Alice In Wonderland Syndrome NOW using the paypal link below for U.K. delivery.

Currently, international shipping for this title is more expensive than usual, due to Covid-19 related issues. International customers are encouraged to use the cheaper eBook options for this title, through Amazon (link below the paypal button). 

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome (with postage & packing options)

Alice In Wonderland Syndrome is also available internationally (outside of the U.K.) as an eBook on Kindle through Amazon here.

Mr. Figs

Mr. Figs has jelly on his hands in her dreams. He swells up with real pep when he strums his guitar. He has love for pale beer, and his favorite brand of humor is the same as hers. He likes Oolong tea. Can peel the toughest skin from her heart.

Mr. Figs protects his name, doesn't giggle, and doesn't chafe where she does, watches while she looks away and her face reddens like wine.

Mr. Figs tells her about his dog, how the dog is more than enough pets, because he sleeps little and irregularly. She’s not happy about her practical footwear, but Mr. Figs does not mind her thick-assed socks, in fact he can’t see them and has never asked to see her feet.

Also, he has recently been to the doctor who cleared him of fatal ills.

Mr. Figs has a trick and the trick is becoming Mr. Figs. A phantom here on this earth. Like her, he doesn’t read the newspaper—or if he does, says absolutely nothing about the real horrible things that happen.

Monday, 25 May 2020

Saboteur Award Success, new poetry titles and a video reading, lockdown ideas and offers to celebrate National Flash Fiction Day

V. Press is very very delighted to celebrate Damhnait Monaghan's The Neverlands winning this year's Saboteur Award for Best Novella. An Inheritance by Diane Simmons was also one of the four titles shortlisted for this category. 

Big congratulations to both Damhnait and Diane!!!

The full list of this year's winners can be found here and the shortlists here. Big thanks to all at Sabotage Reviews who work so hard on the annual awards, on top of their year-round review coverage. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here:  The NeverlandsAn Inheritance.


This also month saw the launch of A Bluebottle in Late October, a poetry collection by John Wheway that is very particular and very human.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and ordering can be found here.

Helen Kay's poetry pamphlet This Lexia & Other Languages, which is published in July, is also now available for pre-order.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and pre-ordering for this pamphlet of very genuine and very human poems can be found here.

V. Press will also be sharing snippet quotes from the pamphlet on Twitter and Facebook from the start of July.


Although it was only published in January, Ruth Stacey's I, Ursula is already on to its second print run.

More information, endorsements, a sample poem and ordering can be found here.

Fiona Sampson's recent Guardian review of the collection can be enjoyed here


V. Press is also v. v. delighted to be able to share this beautiful short video reading by Nichola Deane of two poems from her V. Press collection Cuckoo.

More information about Cuckoo, another sample poem and ordering for Cuckoo can be found here.


V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley/James is very pleased to have had Arts Council England funding for a hypertext fragmented poetry narrative > Room.

The multimedia project features 45 virtual rooms containing poetry and images, with hypertext links on certain words or phrases allowing readers to move to different rooms and create their own path through the labyrinthine narrative.

You can explore and enjoy > Room for free here.

For those who are writers as well as readers and may be using their time at home to work on their writing, Sarah Leavesley also has a short (eight A4 pages) guidance sheet on 'Structuring a Pamphlet'. 

The advice and points to consider are based on Sarah's own experience as a writer putting together her pamphlets and collections, as well as her work as an editor reading and working on other writers' manuscripts. 

This guidance sheet is mainly intended for those putting together a poetry pamphlet. But some of the points on it may also be useful for flash pamphlets and full collections. This guide is free, though a voluntary Tip-jar donation of £2 is invited.

For a pdf copy of 'Structuring a Pamphlet', please either email Sarah at or click on the paypal Tip-jar donation button below.


To celebrate this year's National Flash Fiction Day on Saturday, 6 June 2020, V. Press is v. v. pleased to have a special flash fiction bundle offer (for U.K. delivery only and valid until 11.59pm U.K.-time on Sunday, 7 June 2020).

The NFFD2020 offer is any two flash fiction pamphlets from Carrie Etter's Hometown, Jude Higgins' The Chemist's House, Santino Prinzi's There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This, Paul McDonald's Midnight Laughter or Diane Simmons' An Inheritance for £12 including U.K. delivery. 

The offer is valid until midnight on 6 June 2020 and only available for U.K. delivery. A random selection of two will be made by V. Press for orders where no preference is stated at the time of ordering.

NFFD2020 flash offer (U.K. only)
Specify your preferred 2 flash pamphlets (from Carrie Etter's Hometown, Jude Higgins' The Chemist's House, Santino Prinzi's There's Something Macrocosmic About All of This, Paul McDonald's Midnight Laughter or Diane Simmons' An Inheritance) in the text box below, then click Buy Now.

Monday, 18 May 2020

Launching A Bluebottle in Late October

V. Press is very very pleased to launch A Bluebottle in Late October, a poetry collection by John Wheway.

“John Wheway’s first full collection places its trust exactly where it should be: in the poetic present tense where every gnomic detail is magnified, every commonplace brought to its own species of transfiguration. At a time when the lyric is so much in need, he rejuvenates it in its most pellucid and most effortless form; the couplet is reshaped and crystallised, and comes to life. A Bluebottle in Late October is a memorable sequence of poems.” Tim Liardet

“This is a funny, sad, yet uplifting account of how we live and love. Poems by a formidable poet, pulling no punches, yet with a delightful lightness of touch.

Domestic bliss is here, with moments of tenderness and beauty, hopelessness too, and a deep urge to engage. How can we live together? Why do we need to?  What compels us?

These poems made me laugh out loud, though their acuity is sobering. We’ll all glimpse ourselves in them. Marked by meticulous diction and vibrant imagery, this is poetry with an authentic voice.” Neil Rollinson

A Bluebottle in Late October is very particular and very human.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-0-5
72 pages
R.R.P. £10.99

A sample poem from A Bluebottle in Late October can be enjoyed below.

BUY A Bluebottle in Late October NOW using the paypal buttons (with delivery options) below. 

A Bluebottle in Late October (including P&P)

Making Up 

At the mirror, she takes a step back, 
like an artist changing places 

for a different angle, absorbed 
not in herself 

but in the portrait’s subject, dabbing 
pigment over each cheek, circling 

with the tip of her pinkie to reveal 
unseen depths. 

He’d never seen his mother in her, 
but now he’s like the boy who watched 

the woman in the strapless dress, lips kissed 
with Rouge Noir, hurrying 

downstairs to the street, bowing 
into a waiting taxi. He’d peer 

between the curtains, noticing 
the eagerness in her pace, 

not knowing what it meant, 
though he knew she loved to dance, 

and that the Polish captain 
who gave him that red fire engine 

was not his father’s friend.

Sunday, 10 May 2020

Last days for voting, eBooks, new audio poetry and video readings

Last days for voting in the Saboteur Awards

Just a quick reminder that voting for the this year's Saboteur Awards closes on May 13!

V. Press is very very delighted to have not just one but two V. Press authors shortlisted in this year's awards. Damhnait Monaghan and Diane Simmons are both shortlisted in the Best Novella category - Diane for An Inheritance and Damhnait for The Neverlands.

If you haven't already, please VOTE! for them now on the voting form here.

And while you're there, do check out all the others shortlisted in what is an annual publishing/poetry/festival highlight with the wide range of categories covered and the great shortlists for these. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here: An InheritanceThe Neverlands.


V. Press is v. v. pleased to announce two pieces of flash news.

The first is that we will be publishing a new pamphlet of hybrid prose/ microfiction by renowned and award-winning author Meg Pokrass. Editor Sarah Leavesley has already been busy typesetting and working on the cover design for this exciting manuscript, so watch this space for more news on Alice In Wonderland Syndrome soon!

V. Press is also very very excited to announce our first eBook. Damhnait Monaghan's The Neverlands has already enjoyed several new print runs. This combined with covid-19 has prompted us to turn it into an eBook and trial the possibilities for occasional electronic publishing alongside our traditional print editions.



Kelly Williams, V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019, has celebrated the launch of her debut pamphlet Ynygordna at the end of last month with some video and audio recordings that can be enjoyed below.

Kelly has also written a post about Ynygordna and raising awareness of the third gender pronoun here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for Ynygordna can be found here.


John Wheway's debut full collection A Bluebottle in Late October is published in just over a week, with pre-orders going out this coming week. So please do check out the sample poem and more information on this very particular and very human collection here.

Monday, 27 April 2020

Launching Ynygordna

V. Press is very very delighted to launch Ynygordna by Kelly Williams, winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019.

Ynygordna is not a twee poetry collection for your kitschy coffee table display – this is a no-holds-barred fistfight with blood, guts and strap-ons. Williams is a true warrior poet and these poems will wound you. You’ve been warned.”
Jonathan Kinsman

“Bristling with vivid imagery, vibrant language and powerful emotions, these poems are not afraid to challenge conventional boundaries in poetry as in life. Ynygordna is a fresh and striking selection of poems, encompassing a bold and brave exploration of gender, sexuality and love within and against societal expectations.”
Sarah Leavesley, V. Press Prize for Poetry Judge

Ynygordna is very ardent and very versatile.

Winner of the V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019

A sample poem can be found below.

ISBN: 978-1-9161096-2-9
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

BUY Ynygordna NOW using the paypal link with posting options below.

Ynygordna (including P&P/delivery options)


Scream what needs to be said: the labels
found on ver body are engrained in our minds,
not ver skin.

Take pride in fingers that move two at once
and sex that sings in newborn cells
in the amygdala of closet mannequins.

There is urgency in a body that does not
align with walls it sleeps within,
animated suddenly in a light not blurred
by straight-lined articles.

Ve meets me in a place
where thumbprints are moulded in mercury;
the blood of clouds runs with ver, neither
disappearing into sky nor wandering
upon pavements.

Ve is between the lines of my favourite poem,
the blank page in the introduction fated
to be folded and scribbled.

Splintering euphoria

in strips of jock-strap clips:

trimmed fingernails trace letters of wildfire
in scripts made louder than the sirens
of a bordering wall.

Monday, 20 April 2020

Saboteur Awards shortlistings, reviews, interviews, judging news and more!

The Saboteur Awards

V. Press is very very delighted to see not just one V. Press author shortlisted in this year's Saboteur Awards but two!

Damhnait Monaghan and Diane Simmons are both shortlisted in the Best Novella category - Diane for An Inheritance and Damhnait for The Neverlands.

If you nominated them in the first round, please do go across and vote for them again now in the second round. (Unfortunately, you can't pick both for the award, so you will have to try and choose between them!) Even if you didn't nominate in the first round, please do get your vote and voice in for them now.

The voting form can be found here - for this category and all the others in what is an annual publishing/poetry/festival highlight with the wide range of categories covered and the great shortlists for these. 

More about both flash fiction novellas, sample flash and ordering can be found by clicking on the titles above or here: An Inheritance; The Neverlands.


John Dust

"[..]so authentic and richly imagined is the character of John Dust that I had assumed he really was part of folklore, a figure stalking the South-West for generations. In fact the character is Louise Warren’s own invention and it is the realisation of this character that gives the pamphlet licence to dazzle, with inventive imagery and new rung language running through the poems. [...]

Neil Elder, The High Window, the full, detailed review here.

A sample poem, more information and ordering for John Dust can be found here.

The Neverlands

"A deceptively slim book that tells an entire Irish family saga, Damhnait Monaghan’s debut, The Neverlands, is a beautiful treatise on who we love and how do we love–especially those closest to us. In this story love is vulnerable and risky…but it is also redemptive. A stunning mini epic full of equal parts sorrow and hope, each tension-filled story stands alone and yet together they create something powerful and universal."

Nancy StohlmanSo You Wrote a Book?, full interview with Damhnait Monaghan about The Neverlands here.

A sample flash, more information and ordering for The Neverlands can be found here.

V. Press's The Reading Room also has more links to interviews and articles by some of our authors about their V. Press titles.


Unfortunately, this year's Hastings Litfest has been cancelled, including the flash fiction competition that V. Press editor Sarah Leavesley was due to judge.

However, Sarah is delighted to be the poetry judge for this year's Gloucestershire Writers’ Network 2020 Competition, supported by The Times and The Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival.

The theme is 'My World' and the deadline is early July 2020. Full details about the competition and how to enter can be found here. Please do follow the instructions carefully, particularly making sure your entry is anonymous.


Just a reminder that Ynygornda by V. Press Prize for Poetry 2019/2020 winner Kelly Williams is published on Friday, with pre-orders going out this week.

Meanwhile pre-orders are also available for John Wheway's debut full collection A Bluebottle in Late October, which is out next month.


Listen to and watch Charles G Lauder Jr reading his The Aesthetics of Breath poem, 'Sir Walter Raleigh of Bexar County, Texas', below:

Another sample poem, more about The Aesthetics of Breath, endorsements, reviews and ordering for this collection can be found here.


V. Press is v. v. pleased to still be sending out orders across the U.K. during the current lockdown. Orders can be placed via the website (bookshop here). Our poetry titles are also available through the Poetry Book Society here. (Use the search tool to find the book or poet you're after.)

Monday, 6 April 2020

National Poetry Competition, The Guardian & Other Review/Event News

National Poetry Competition Celebrations

V. Press is very very delighted to see V. Press poet Natalie Linh Bolderston win third prize in the 2019 National Poetry Competition for her poem 'Middle Name with Diacritics'.

Big congratulations to all the winners and commended poets, especially Natalie. Her winning poem can be enjoyed on The Poetry Society website here, along with a video of her reading the poem.

More on Natalie's V. Press pamphlet, The Protection of Ghosts, can be found here.


I, Ursula

"Disproportionately overlooked are non-metropolitan poets such as Ruth Stacey, whose second collection, the mysterious and fabular I, Ursula (V. Press £10.99) appears from an award-winning West Midlands micropublisher. The book conjures a Dantesque lost forest [...]"

Fiona Sampson, The Guardian, full review 'The best recent poetry – review roundup' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order I, Ursula, please click here.


"[...] this collection actively encourages our seeing beyond the harrowing experiences that being human entails. [...] I feel I will recall Nina Lewis’ Patience in those darkest moments."

Mhairi Owens, Sphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'A call to the light' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Patience, please click here.

Winter with Eva

"This is a love story so sensual that you can smell autumn leaves on the ground and taste snow on your lips. [...] It’s this mixture of words and meanings and connotations which adds depth to the poetry, and tension to the story. [...] Elaine Baker’s visually surprising images are a joy. [...]"

Candyce LangeSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'When reading a pamphlet is like watching a play' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Winter with Evaplease click here.

Making Waves [Albert Einstein: Science & Life]

"[..] And that is what I suppose struck me most — how human he [Einstein] was — this man who has always seemed to me larger than real life, distanced by his genius.

"There’s humour here, too. [...] After reading these poems, I think of the great man differently. He has stepped down from his stone pedestal. He has turned into a human being."

Helena NelsonSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Oddly Human' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order Making Waves [Albert Einstein: Science & Life], please click here.

The Escapologist

"So the world of these poems contains beauty and love, but it is undoubtedly ominous. Much is shared. Nothing is hammered home. There are careful layers, many of them, and the poems draw their reader back and reward re-reading. They are expert pictures from the life, and the poet has declared them fearlessly  her own."

Helena NelsonSphinx/OPOI (One Point of Interest), the full review 'Omens' here.

For a sample poem, more information and to order The Escapologist, please click here.


A recent article, and new addition to the V. Press Reading Room is a fabulous interview by Nancy Stohlman with Michael Loveday, about his flash fiction novella Three Men on the Edge.

'So You Wrote a Book? Michael Loveday' can be enjoyed here. More on Three Men on the Edge, including sample flash fictions, endorsements, reviews and ordering, can be found here.


Obviously, Covid-19 has affected many events and launches in the UK, including Elaine Baker's launches for her pamphlet Winter with Eva. Although these have been postponed, Elaine has been doing a series of daily video readings from Winter with Eva on Instagram and Twitter. Day 10, featuring her poem 'Water cooler', can be watched below.