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 writes an occasional blog on the Inpress website.

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IRON OR - Festival brochure


The Bairn; a memoir of a Cullercoats childhood This Cullercoats; an anthology

IRON OR, the fourth IRON Press Festival of Words and Music, ran from June 20th - 23rd.

The sun shone, the sweet music wafted its sounds across the bay, the poets declaimed their joy and their agony, the beautiful flags fluttered, as round Cullercoats harbour the week-end long, the crowds drifted from one literary event to the other, accompanied into each by Christine Goodwin's haunting Northumbrian pipes.

In three different workshops, people drew bizarre monsters, sang their heads off, evoked forgotten memories on a blank pages. People drank festival beer, danced late night at the club, went to the moon in a play. All Cullercoats venues opened their doors and the fourth IRON festival, just like its three predecessors, somehow brought a small shaft of light into the present-day gloom.

Thank you musicians, writers, singers, audience, volunteers, thank you RNI, Fishermen's Mission, Crescent Club, St.George's Church, Cullercoats Coffee, The Community Centre, Bike & Kayak Centre, In The Bay, Cullercoats Brewery.

Thank you the seagulls, the rocks, the ever restless tides, the smell of chips and ice-cream, the high art, the low art and the art in between.

Thank you to our wonderful musical fringe for our very own Glastonbury.



Among the fifteen events, two celebrated new IRON Press publications. and each drew a big audience.

Eighty people crammed into the RNLI to hear five Cullercoats writers proclaim from their new book This Cullercoats, which embraces six highly different literary responses to living in the village.

The long-awaited reprint of Elaine Whitesides' The Bairn - a Cullercoats Childhood drew an even bigger audience at The Crescent Club. And her memoir writing workshop sold out.


In the Festival reprint of Elaine Whitesides' The Bairn, some copies have page 33 printed twice and no page 34. The error has now been corrected. Any readers in possession of an errant copy should contact Iron Press for a replacement - and, of course, our 'umble apologies.



A message from Peter Mortimer

We are sorry that decisions on the TREES anthology of new poems are a bit later than planned.

We had many hundred of submissions, and everything is read carefully by we two editors, Eileen Jones and myself. We have also been a bit swamped with the IRON OR Festival.

We will inform all you patient poets individually by the end of the Summer, so once again thank you for not complaining!


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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