Friday 24 September 2021

Launching Family Frames

V. Press is very very pleased to announce the publication of Family Frames, a selection of flash fiction by Alison Woodhouse.

Family Frames, the debut flash fiction collection by Alison Woodhouse, is like a treasured album of photographs you’ll want to return to again and again to discover more detail and depth. Each story is exquisitely composed. With vivid and evocative images of place and time, Woodhouse shows the distance, closeness and heartbreak within family relationships. The collection is satisfyingly framed with slightly different versions of the same story, placed at the beginning and the end. The subtle yet powerful variations in the second version emphasise one of the themes of the book – how fierce love can carry a family through anything that life brings.” Jude Higgins

“To quote from one of the titles in this fine collection, ‘home is not a place, but a feeling’. This is a moving exploration of family dynamics and the feelings that home engenders. Myths jostle with memory, siblings grieve together or alone, marriages end, parents disappoint. There is loss and sacrifice, grief and sorrow, but above all, a fierce love that binds families together. Beautiful and poignant.” Damhnait Monaghan

These flash fictions explore the power we possess to shift our relationships by examining our memories, questioning fixed narratives, revealing new perspectives. Family Frames is very raw and very relatable.

ISBN: 978-1-8380488-5-3

48 pages

R.R.P. £7.50

A sample flash fiction from Family Frames can be enjoyed below.

BUY Family Frames NOW using the paypal options below. 

Family Frames (with p&p options)

N.B. Any international customs/duty charges are the buyer's responsibility.


The sparrow hawk lay on the bracken, its broken wing splayed sideways. It trembled violently when the boy picked it up. 

“Can I keep it?” he asked.

“You can’t save it,” his father said. “Better to leave it. You’ll only be disappointed.”

The boy argued and threatened to cry and looked so like his mother the father couldn’t say no. They took the sparrow hawk back to the house and made a bed for it out of a box lined with straw. The boy put the box in his bedroom. When his father came to say goodnight, the boy asked what should they feed the bird and his father said in the morning they’d dig for worms. 

“How will I keep him happy until then?” the boy asked and his father said the bird did not know what happiness was. 

“See how frightened he is,” the boy said but his father could not look into the sparrow hawk’s black eye. 

Monday 13 September 2021

Launching To Boldly Go

V. Press is very very proud to announce the publication of To Boldly Go by Martin Zarrop.

“I was astonished by the versatility of these poems, the dizzying ride from early space exploration to a future of AI and artificial meat. Zarrop knows his stuff but wears his knowledge lightly. There is humour here among the surreal and the sci fi. I loved ‘A Quiet Drink’ which opens ‘In space, nobody can hear you fart’ and ‘Wasp–76b' which starts ‘Gene Kelly had it easy. You/ try dancing through liquid metal/ clad in a tank top’. His is a quirky, witty, unique voice and there is an underlying seriousness to these poems which reward reading and rereading.” Carole Bromley

“If you've ever wondered what happened to all the animals that we put into space, they live on and tell their stories in the corners of these poems. This pamphlet examines the tragedy and farce of our world from unusual perspectives and always at a slight distance, whether it’s through the first humans on Mars or a robotic home help. With a dry sense of humour and perfect observation these poems equip us for a future of lab-grown meat and space travel…I hope you’re ready To Boldly Go.” Suzannah Evans

To Boldly Go is very worried out there but very hopeful.

ISBN: 978-1-8380488-6-0

36 pages

R.R.P. £6.50

A sample poem from To Boldly Go can be enjoyed below.

BUY To Boldly Go NOW using the paypal options below.

To Boldly Go (with p&p options)
N.B. Any international customs/duty charges are the buyer's responsibility.


While stocks last, buy To Boldly Go and Martin Zarrop's pamphlet Making Waves as a 'Zarrop 2-pamphet bundle' for delivery in the UK for just £12.50, including UK delivery.   

BUY 'Zarrop 2-pamphlet Bundle' NOW using the paypal options below. [To Boldly Go is published at the end of Sept 2021/start of Oct 2021, the 'Zarrop 2-pamphlet Bundle' pre-orders are sent out in the week of its publication.]

'Zarrop 2-pamphlet bundle' with delivery options
N.B. Any international customs/duty charges are the buyer's responsibility.


It’s five years since the last delivery
of nuclear fuel, essential metals
we can’t mine, dark chocolate bars
reminding us of home.

The data came to us in holograms
across an airless sea, telling
of the latest viral curse, of infertility
and chaos, martial law.

We’re on our own.
It’s three years since the last goodbye,
the vaccine failures, messages of love
then suddenly – no reason – silence.

We cultivate our gardens, ration breath,
grow seed potatoes, culture meat,
pray the projector doesn’t fail
while cheering The Martian’s safe return.

Last month we climbed Olympus Mons
but dream of Earthrise, egg on toast,
before another mess of spuds.
We miss the chocolate most.
Hear Martin read from his pamphlet live:

Martin will be reading from To Boldly Go as a guest poet at Manchester Poets at Chorlton Library (M21 9PN) at 7.30pm on Friday, 15 October 2021.The event is open to the public and unticketed, although donations of £3 are encouraged.

Monday 6 September 2021

Launching Set a Crow to Catch a Crow


V. Press is very very delighted to announce the publication of Set a Crow to Catch a Crow, a chapbook of flash fiction by Mary-Jane Holmes.

“These are stories that pulse with transformation, visceral, lush, and sound-rich. In Holmes’ lyrically-charged short fictions, worlds tilt, horizons thrum and yearnings come unmoored, and the language pulls us close to the bloodstream of her characters, feeling for their pressure-points, their broken wings. Their land and homescapes leap to life around them, set alight by breath-catching images that bind us into the textures and electrons of each scene, skin and earth, creek, board and bone. Each brief diorama in this volume delivers us a ‘quivering glint’ of characters caught in slipstream instants, lingering on the verge of fission, or hauled into ‘dark runnels of the heart’ where currents of longing and threat inescapably converge. Holmes’ writing rubs the fibres of life between our fingers, so we feel its restlessness and wonder.” Tracey Slaughter 

“The stories that fill Mary-Jane Holmes’ Set a Crow to Catch a Crow are perfect, precise, highly burnished narrative shards that describe a moment in time but imply both what came before this moment and very likely may come after. It might only be a grain you are offered but you get a whole world. It is only writing of a very high order can pull off the feat that is pulled off here.” Carlo G├ębler 

Set a Crow to Catch a Crow is very textured and very liminal. 

ISBN: 978-1-8380488-4-6
36 pages
R.R.P. £6.50

A sample flash fiction from Set a Crow to Catch a Crow can be enjoyed below.



Eithne was spiking mole runs with hawthorn stakes when the postman arrived with a package.
    “Addressed to Eros,” he said, aiming the scanner at the barcode.
    “Like the god?” she asked, watching the wink of the laser’s red eye.
    The postman shrugged. 
    “Only me here now, Tom.” 
    They both looked at the house, its cracked gutters, the bluebottle carcasses lining the windowsills.
    “I can return it to the depot,” Tom said, as a ripple of soil erupted by the back tyre of his van. A pink snout sniffed the air, then disappeared.
    She took the box. No weight to it or return address, no rattle or slide of contents when shook.
    Back in the pantry, she put it between the Oxo cubes and baking soda, the only place in the building dry and vermin-free.
    She picked up the cuttings again, crouched by the fresh mound of earth. She chose a stem with the thickest thorns, noticing then the buds still intact, the rose-flush of the petals just showing. She ran her index finger over them, smooth as fur. She went back to the pantry, picked out a pickle jar, filled it with water, dusted the windowsill and set the stems on the ledge. The water caught the pale flash of spring sunlight. Time I spruced the place up a bit, she thought, pulling each stake from where she’d placed it that morning, scanning the road for a quivering glint of a vehicle, hope lighting the dark runnels of her heart.