Appeal for stories from new publisher in Lochgilphead

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New Argyll publisher Soor Ploom Press – named after the editor’s favourite sweetie – is looking for submissions for its first digital newsletter and print collection.

The press, based in Lochgilphead, will publish new and original writing from Scotland and beyond, particularly pieces which are fun, playful, sweet, savoury, sharp, strong or sour.

Submissions are currently open for short pieces of fiction or creative non-fiction (up to 500 words) and poems (up to 14 lines).

The newsletter is launching at the end of this month with the first email going out on January 31.

Each email will be sent on Monday mornings to start the week with flavour and will contain a short piece of writing accompanied by an audio clip.

Founding editor Liane McKay said: ‘I’m so excited to be bringing Soor Ploom Press to life.

‘I come from a strong storytelling background and enjoy sharing my own short stories and poems online.

‘With this press, I’m hoping to give other people the opportunity to take part and get more creative writing into their lives, too.

‘I wanted to create a digital-first press because I often find myself checking my phone first thing in the morning, scrolling through social media even before getting out of bed, and it’s an impossible habit to break.

‘So I thought, ‘if I can’t get off my phone, why not at least use it better?’ and the idea came about poetry and stories, tiny pieces that you can enjoy while waiting for the kettle to boil. That’s what I’m aiming to achieve with this newsletter.’

A keen poet, Liane has a background in music and English language teaching abroad.

After a lockdown 2020 project of writing and self-publishing a series of novellas for Kindle, her interest in publishing deepened.

Although she continues to write, in October 2021 she completed her MLitt in Publishing Studies from the University of Stirling where she was assistant project manager of the University’s Stryvling Press.

She now works in digital publishing and has had a couple of poems published in collections in print and online.

In the past year or so there has been an increase in publishers moving away from London, where much of the UK’s trade publishing industry is still centred, as well as a growing interest in independent presses publishing local voices.

Founding Soor Ploom Press in Lochgilphead, where Liane lives, was important to her because although running a publishing company in a more rural area presents challenges of its own (in printing and distribution, for example), she believes great writing can come from anywhere and wants to contribute to the growing number of publishing opportunities outside of London – in particular in an area such as Argyll, which has such a rich cultural heritage of its own.

Soor Ploom Press also plans to publish an edited anthology twice a year, in summer and winter.

Proceeds from the anthology will go to the Shannon Trust, a charity whose work the company admires: training prisoners to teach their fellow inmates to read.

For more details and to sign up to receive the free weekly emails for a burst of good writing, check soorploompress.com