Meet Fly on the Wall Press

Shortlisted for ‘Small Press of Year 2020’ at the British Book Awards, Fly on the Wall Press publish high quality anthologies on prickly issues, chapbooks and poetry, from exceptional poets and writers in Manchester, and from around the globe.

Brothers & Sisters asks founder Isabelle Kenyon how she set up her indie business, how the publishing house provides a platform for new writing talent and her recommendations for our 2021 reading list.

Tell us about Fly on the Wall Press…

Fly on the Wall is a social enterprise company and a not for profit publisher, based in Manchester. We sell socially conscious and often politically engaged short story collections, magazines and poetry books from high quality and international writers.

Indie publishing is fast becoming a thriving scene, how did you get started?

I established Fly on the wall Press in 2018, when we were mainly working with charities to create anthologies with international authors, and socially conscious themes. Since then, we have been shortlisted in the British book awards for small press of the year 2020 and have gone on to publish over 250 writers across our titles.

Your collections and releases have a real sense of place and purpose…

We feel our books have a sense of northern grit and through our publications we strive for change, often donating profits to our links charities and additionally always printing and shipping our books sustainably.

How do you decide which writers and stories to publish?

We are proud to publish short stories and poetry on the pressing issues of our time, being unafraid to generate conversation about perhaps ‘prickly’ subjects, whilst also dedicating a large proportion of our yearly publishing schedule to charitable projects.

We hope our anthologies in particular work in two ways: to get people communicating and to raise funds for the charities we work with.

Fly on the Wall give new writers a platform, why is this an important part of what you do?

We believe words have the power to change opinion. Expressing injustice through poetry is an important statement which cannot be undervalued. Change and innovation starts with small publishers. Fly on the Wall Press publishes exciting, powerful voices which refuse to stay quiet. By supporting Fly on the Wall, you are supporting the writers of the future.

Which books have been your best sellers this year?

Planet in Peril! Our anthology is packed with glossy colour wildlife photography, quality poetry and a foreword by Dr. Michelle Cain, Oxford University ECi, and artwork and poetry from our children – the ecowarriors of our future. A real hardback keepsafe.

Also our Mancunian Ways anthology – that cheeky fusion of photography, art and poetry singing of our city’s resilience and history.

Tell us about the writers and poets you have lined up for Fly in the Wall’s 2021 releases?

The open reading period for Fly on the Wall never ceases to astound me. Decisions as to how to represent diverse, socially-conscious stories were difficult, but I am delighted with the line up for 2021, with a real focus this year on showcasing working class writers.

Isabelle Kenyon is the founder of Fly on the Wall Press and introduces next year’s books and writers individually via their blog and socials.

December’s release ‘Medusa Retold’ by Sarah Wallis is available online now.

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