The North Recommends: Fly on the Wall Press

Fly on the Wall Press is a social enterprise company and a not-for-profit publisher, based in Manchester. We publish innovative short stories, poetry and photography books on pressing issues, from exceptional authors around the globe, all with a socially conscious theme. We believe words have the power to change opinion and effect change.

This year managing director, Isabelle Kenyon, moved into the city centre (before there was A LOT of book lugging on trains…) and since then we’ve loved developing deeper friendships with the quirky readers and organisations in the North.

Social action is intrinsically linked into our books, and has been since the Press was established in February 2018. Our flagship anthologies work in two ways: each sale fundraises for the chosen charity and each reader continues our conversation, tackling the issues highlighted. 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’ve just published Muscle and Mouth by Louise Finnigan, which is actually a limited edition as part of Shorts Season 2021, but it has fast become one of best-sellers! Main character Jade has set her sights on Durham University, and every adult around her encourages her ‘to get out’ of her Manchester council estate. But she feels her roots are ‘dark with energy’, full of northern spirit and grit – and is that really an identity to be ashamed of? (We certainly think not!!)

You can find out more about the season here –this year we are celebrating short form, political fiction, and the artform which is required to create memorable characters and plots which pack a punch in less than 15,000 words!

In event news, we want all northerners to come say hello at Manchester Central Library this year! We are running our much-loved Northern Publishers’ Fair on Saturday 24 July 11.30am-4pm which will be free but ticketed to ensure distancing. Friends such as Bluemoose Books, Saraband Books and Stairwell Books will all be there – and you too, of course!


What does A Publisher With A Conscience mean in relation to our authors?

We are proud to always offer our authors up to four times the recommended royalty rate from the Society of Authors and to be transparent about both our contracts and the publishing process. The publishing industry has been quiet about money for too long! We take time to edit, design and market our books to the highest standards, always in consultation with the author. We take on 12 – 14 authors maximum per year to ensure that each author is given the marketing campaign and publicity which they deserve. We are a small Press with ambition, recognised for our innovative PR campaigns by The Bookseller and celebrated at the 2020 and 2021 British Book Awards.


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