Hello and welcome to publisher spotlight, where we at Turnaround ask a publisher what they do, why they do it, and why their work is culturally relevant/generally excellent.
Today we’re handing over to Helena Earnshaw from Honno Welsh Women’s Press, who was kind enough to drop by to help us celebrate St.David’s day in style by discussing perhaps our favourite Welsh export, women writers. Turnaround are proud to distribute Honno titles in the UK, Ireland, Europe & The Middle and Far East. Helena’s words below show why:
HE: Honno Welsh Women’s Press began in 1986, set up as a co-operative press with the following principles as its foundation: to provide a feminist perspective; to give Welsh women writers an opportunity to see their work published; to get earlier important, but neglected, writing by Welsh women back into print; and to provide employment in publishing for women in Wales. 30 years later Honno is an award winning publisher and still believes passionately in the company’s founding principles.
Honno is open to all the broad range of writing that Welsh women want to write: Welsh and English, fiction and non-fiction, genre and literary. We mostly publish fiction, from a wide range of genres – one of our novels, The Mysterious Death of Miss Austen, by Lindsay Ashford, is a fictionalised account of the death of Jane Austen, which went on to be dramatised on Radio 4. We remain true to our feminist roots with titles such as Walking to Greenham, the biography of Ann Pettit, progenitor of the march to Greenham Common, (for which we have just sold the TV/film dramatisation rights option) and Bread and Roses Award winner Here We Stand, a unique anthology about contemporary women campaigners and how they were changed by the process of changing the world. Our Classics list brings back into print virtually forgotten literary texts by Welsh women from the past, for a new generation of readers.
One of our key aims is to give new writers an opportunity, in both fiction and non-fiction anthologies – many of whom, such as Patricia Duncker, Sian James, Sarah Jackman, Jo Mazelis and Francesca Rhydderch have gone on to establish successful writing careers. For our 25th anniversary we put together a selection of pieces from these anthology in All Shall Be Well, a wonderful and absorbing collection.
Honno has achieved much but is still a small independent publisher; to have survived thirty years is a great achievement and a testimony to all the women who have contributed. It’s also, hopefully, just the beginning.
Thanks so much Helena.
If this post has whetted your appetite for welsh women’s fiction, why not browse a full range of Honno titles on our website. Or, why not head to twitter and let us know who your favourite welsh women writer is and why.