Iron Press

Editor Peter Mortimer. at the gate of the IRON House

As publishers become more corporate, global and boring, IRON Press champions new quality writing as it has done since 1973. IRON runs events and launches; it also thinks literature is both serious and fun.

IRON Press editor Peter Mortimer blogs on the Inpress website: in a recent entry, he spills the beans on Creative Writing courses.

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The Leopard's Reward The Water Thief and the Manatee Cold Iron

New for 2018

IRON Press invite you to join us for the launch of Gerard Loughran's short story collection, The Leopard's Reward at the Lit & Phil, 7.30pm on Thursday February 1st. Free entry, plus live music.

Why did Joe dodge his shift down the mine and what happened when his brother took his place? Can a computer get angry? Why did an encounter with an upturned glass so terrify a group of newsmen? Can new babies communicate without speaking?

These and other intriguing questions are posed in Gerard Loughran's short stories, written after years of foreign reporting and set in venues as far apart as Africa today and yesterday, France during World War One, ancient Tarsus, everyday Britain and outer space.

The author has now returned to his native North East to write his fiction. In his early years of journalism, Gerard Loughran worked for both the Evening Chronicle and the Northern Echo.


This follows two short story collections launched at last summer's IRON in the Soul Festival:

First came the launch of a modern fable by Kitty Fitzgerald, a highly readable short book which is also a political, ecological and cultural fable. In The Water Thief and the Manatee a young girl and her father on a small island are confronted with the reality and cruelty of global market forces when the local well and water supply are annexed. For support they call upon the mythical powers of the manatee.

The book is illustrated by Easington based artist Nicola Balfour whose artwork was on display.

There then follows a unique launch for a unique book, Cold IRON: 21st Century Ghost Stories. The event took place at midnight in the magnificent St. George's Church, perched on the Cullercoats clifftops. Four of the writers read extracts from their work, and hot cocoa was available. Live organ music enhanced the atmosphere.

Editors Peter Mortimer and Eileen Jones during six months broke off from reading submissions only for toilet breaks and quick snatches of sleep. Their eclectic mix of chosen new ghost stories finds ghosts at supermarket check-outs, on late night buses, in cancer wards, with TV installation men, on film sets and alongside council motor mowers - to mention only a few; a 21st century slant on this most traditional of short story forms.


IRON FILINGS

Peter Mortimer and Peta Hemmings, circa 1976

An historic photo, circa 1976 from the ramshackle premises of the much missed Tyneside Free Press Workshop in Charlotte Square, Newcastle, where early editions of IRON Magazine were printed.

A remarkably hirsute IRON editor Peter Mortimer checks out the copies before trimming them on the wonderful cast iron guillotine whose wheel (visible on the photo) was revolved by hand.

On the right is assistant editor Peta Hemmings, who was also then his partner and whose loons width make Peter's own versions look quite conservative. Peta went on to marry the IRON magazine art editor Geoff Laws, and they now live in Jesmond.


SUBMISSIONS

All publishers, large or small, are submerged with submissions. As the creative writing courses mushroom, simultaneously outlets for aspirant writers have shrunk. This unfortunate state of affairs and its inevitable logjam has caused many publishers to adopt a 'fortress' mentality, making it virtually impossible to talk to them or submit anything to them without undergoing a lengthy vetting procedure. In some cases they just don't want anyone sending in at all.

If you want to submit to us, please ring first (0191 2531901) and speak to the editor (yes, a real person, not an automated voice!) who will let you know if it's worth proceeding further.


Photo of the IRON gate © 2015 Dylan Mortimer; IRON gate made by John Charlton, from the original logo design by Geoff Laws.


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