The beautiful Belfast Barge was the location for the launch of Northern Ireland’s newest digital publisher Whittrick Press.
Whittrick Press is the brainchild of David Lewis and Hugh Odling-Smee. A (mostly) digital publishing company that hopes to ‘take brilliant writing and send it out into the world to bring joy wherever it goes.’ Their first publication Sleepwalkers by Bernie McGill certainly brings that joy – a collection of short fascinating stories that explore the lives of women. ‘From the storm-battered coastline of the north of Ireland to the sleeping villas of Andalusia, McGill’s characters grapple with the consequences of affairs, bereavement, alcoholism, illness and murder.’
The Portstewart writer is no newcomer though, her play The Haunting of Helena Blunden toured Northern Ireland in 2010 with Big Telly Theatre Company and in 2008 she won the Zoetrope:All-Story Short Fiction Award in the US.
Whittrick Press intends to bring 20 e-books to the market by the end of 2014, with plans to develop a non-fiction imprint as well as developing new products to enhance the reading experience.
Whittrick Press takes its name from Edwin Morgan’s poem, ‘A Whittrick’ –
Co-founder Hugh Odling-Smee read a small section of the poem at the end of the launch….
And with great faith in the logic of choice, to find
The end of every beginning, the probable
Haystack in the open field of the possible
And the needle of certainty this haystack holds.
The answer waits in the question that’s half-spoken,
The oak in the acorn, theory in worry,
The poem you write is already foreshadowed
When you pencil the first warm phrase, and every word
Is a choice that lessens choice, till the anxious voice
Picks one last possibility out of silence. “