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  • Writer's pictureElliot J Harper

A Brief Chat with Nightjar Press

Nightjar Press is an independent publisher specialising in limited edition, single short-story chapbooks by individual authors, and is run by editor, Nicholas Royle, and designer, John Oakey. It’s brought to you by the people behind Egerton Press, who were responsible for Darklands, Darklands 2 and The Earth Wire.

Hi Nicholas. Who is your favourite author?

Straight in with the tough questions, I see. Leaving out Nightjar authors, I’m going to say Shelley Jackson, author of the short story collection The Melancholy of Anatomy and, separately, of a story called ‘Skin’, in which I am a ‘Word’. It’s a story that’s published on the bodies of 2095 volunteers, in the form of tattoos. My word is ‘After’, but that’s the extent of what I’m contractually allowed to reveal about the story.

What is your favourite book?

Black Water: The Anthology of Fantastic Literature (Picador) edited by Alberto Manguel.

What made you start the press?

I love short stories, and I love chapbooks. The initial inspiration was Joel Lane’s story ’The Foggy, Foggy Dew’, published as a chapbook by Mark Valentine in 1986. Short stories are special; they deserve their own covers, their own cover art, even an ISBN, if you want to go that far. I started Nightjar in 2009, working with John Oakey Design and, for the first decade, assisted by Claire Dean on the website front.

What is the best advice you can give people who are considering submitting work to Nightjar?

The most welcome submissions come from writers who have ordered some of our titles and spent some time thinking about what we publish and whether their work has the potential to be a good fit.

Thanks, Nicholas, for answering those few questions.

I met Nicholas at the recent Northern Fiction Alliance showcase at Hyde Park Book Club when he kindly signed by a just-purchased copy of Manchester Uncanny from Confingo Press. That was where I became aware of Nightjar Press and their interesting selection of chapbooks. Small, yet beautifully put together, each chapbook has a wonderful story held within its pages, and after reading The Dissolving Man by Douglas Thompson, I’m intrigued by the rest of the catalogue and highly recommend that you head to their website and buy one or two yourself.

Thank you for reading this month’s Brief Chat.


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