Dr Rodge Glass and Freight Books Director Adrian Searle

Dr Rodge Glass and Freight Books Director Adrian Searle

Edge Hill University is launching its own literary press, as a joint enterprise with Glasgow-based independent publisher Freight Books.

The new EHU Press imprint has secured funding for an initial four years, with four books confirmed to be published during the period. The initiative builds on the University’s already established literary profile which includes the nationally recognised Edge Hill Prize for the Short Story. Now in its ninth year, the Edge Hill Prize is the only UK award that recognises excellence in a published collection of short stories.

The first book from EHU press will be released in Summer 2016 and will take the form of an anthology featuring previously shortlisted authors from the Edge Hill Prize. A host of acclaimed writers including Colm Toibin, Kevin Barry, A L Kennedy Ali Smith and Neil Gaiman are already confirmed as contributors.

EHU Press will also offer internships to six Edge Hill students per year. The students will be assigned a variety of roles working alongside the Freight Books team, giving them real publishing industry experience.

Adrian Searle, MD of Freight Books said: “Freight Books are delighted to be involved in such a prestigious literary project. We’ve been well aware of the Edge Hill Short Story Prize for several years and it makes total sense for the University of the Year to establish its own literary press. Freight Books will work in partnership with the University to help make this a real success and equip students with real industry experience.”

Edge Hill Vice-Chancellor Dr John Cater said: “Two years ago Edge Hill University introduced its own record label, and we have been delighted by the range of vocational opportunities this has provided for students. Building on the national success of the University’s Short Story Prize, we are now entering into an arrangement with a highly-regarded publisher whereby students will be given the chance to take responsibility for the full range of roles involved in the book industry, from original commissioning through to marketing and distribution. We are convinced that this opportunity will make those English and Creative Writing undergraduates who take part particularly attractive when they begin their professional careers.”

EHU Press is led by Edge Hill academics Dr Rodge Glass and James Byrne. Rodge is Senior Lecturer & Creative Writing Programme Leader as well as a novelist, short story writer, biographer and editor. Poet, editor and translator James Byrne lectures in Creative Writing.

James Byrne said: “At Edge Hill University the Creative Writing faculty team wants to share its love of reading and help students benefit from how we actively work with leading international authors and publishers from across the world. We aim to make this publishing venture one of the most innovative and dynamic new publishing presses in the UK. Looking at the quality of authors we have attracted for the short story anthology already and seeing the broad picture so generously supported by the university, Rodge and I are very excited to get EHU Press up and running”.