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.

IRON Press is delighted to announce that you can now use your debit or credit card to buy our books. We use PayPal to process card payments, but they don't share any of your card details with us, just your name, address, and what you've bought. You don't need a PayPal account to shop with us, but if you have one you can of course also use your PayPal balance. You can use PayPal to buy just one book, or a whole shopping cart full of them!

Find out how it works - or have a look at our latest books and start shopping!

IRON in the Soul: the publicity flyer

The Third IRON Press Festival of Words, Music & Oddities
Cullercoats, June 8 - 11, 2017

The Water Thief and the Manatee Cold Iron The Northumborman by Fred Reed CONNECTOMICS by Alison Calder Cornershop Cowgirl by Alison Carr

Peter Mortimer, editor of IRON Press, reports: "The festival was a celebration of a place, Cullercoats, a celebration of quality writing and music, a celebration of the downright odd and a celebration of life itself, be this in invoking midnight ghosts, gobbling down existentialist breakfasts, or guffawing at craggy old poets attempting (usually unsuccessfully) to swing a cricket bat."

To find out what you missed, see the Festival programme!

In addition, the Festival saw very special launch events for two very special new books:

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.

Poetry from IRON Press

New in March, The Northumborman collects for the first time in one volume the dialect poetry of Fred Reed. Since his death in 1985, Reed's reputation has grown. He's been called 'the English Burns', and his work has been compared to that of MacDiarmid.

More information about The Northumborman, including publication details.

CONNECTOMICS, the new collection from Winnipeg poet Alison Calder, is subtitled 'poems of the brain'. She brings together art and neuroscience in a highly unusual way, asking us to look at our brains (and implicitly ourselves and our lives, our forgotten and remembered pasts) through the lens of bioscience refracted in turn through the mind of the poet.

More about CONNECTOMICS by Alison Calder including how to buy a copy!

Alison Carr's unusual collection, Cornershop Cowgirl links the culture of the USA's wild west with the post-industrial blight of the contemporary North East of England, especially Teesside. This unique amalgam of cultural and social references produces a diverse mix of poetry from a distinctive new voice.

More about Cornershop Cowgirl


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.


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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