Five years since our relocation to North Norfolk, what have we achieved?

As many of you will know, we've been nominated for the Man Booker Prize again. Twice in four years – quite extraordinary. The press coverage has been wonderful and some have pointed out our size: small – and our lack of offices: none, the point being that we don't want any, we want to be virtual, in the cloud. (Though, of course, we're beside the sea, the salt sea.)

Some readers are discovering us for the first time. Some think the Man Booker Prize nomination is a turning point (which it is), destined to help us move up a level. Some readers know we've been here before, four years ago.

All this reflection and reaction initiated some office nostalgia and we’ve taken a look back at the history of the press over the past five years, since we moved from Cambridge to Cromer on the North Norfolk coast.

In England, you can't get more remote. More remote and you're swimming in the North Sea. We're on the edge. So, we're small, we have no offices and we're very, very remote. Very, very not London.

Additionally, we've had no public funding for the past five years (we don’t want any, of course), so what can a small press achieve, on the edge, without any form of funding?

And we transitioned from being a poetry press, to being a fiction publisher. Can you migrate successfully?

The first thing I noticed when looking back was that we have changed sales and distribution teams three times in five years. Take it from me, this is a lot of change. Turnaround Publisher Services, Faber and now PGUK have sold our books. Turnaround, Macmillan and now TBS/GBS have distributed us. 

The team has changed dramatically, too – and we've a new team in place that is busy bedding down. Anyone running a business will know that teams are central to success.

Then I looked at prizes, that record of the standing of a press, its recognition within the national culture. So here are our nominations over the past five years:


  • Authors’ Club Best First Novel Award
  • Best British Fantasy Award
  • City Reads, Brighton (winner)
  • CLPE Poetry Awards (winner)
  • Dylan Thomas Prize
  • The East Midlands Book Awards (shortlisted three times)
  • Edge Hill Short Story Prize
  • The EDP-Jarrold East Anglian Book Awards
  • Green Carnation Prize
  • International Dublin Literary Award
  • International Frank O’Connor Short Story Award (winner)
  • Jerwood Fiction Uncovered Prize (joint winner, twice)
  • Lannan Literary Award (winner)
  • McKitterick Prize (winner)
  • The Man Booker Prize (twice nominated)
  • The Michael Murphy Memorial Prize
  • The National Book Awards
  • Next Generation Poets (twice)
  • The Guardian’s Not the Booker Prize (nominated six times)
  • The People’s Book Prize (finalist)
  • The Polari First Book Prize (winner, twice)
  • Read Regional – New Writing North (joint winner)
  • The Portico Prize for Literature
  • Saboteur Awards: Best Fiction Anthology (winner)
  • Saboteur Awards: Best Poetry Pamphlet
  • Saboteur Awards: Best Short Story Collection (winner)
  • The Saltire Scottish First Book of the Year Award
  • The Saltire Scottish Poetry Book of the Year Award (winner)
  • Wales Book of the Year: Fiction


So there you have it. We’re looking forward to the next five years. Thanks for reading our books and supporting our authors.