Stairwell Books is a Small Press publisher who specialises in good writing from new writers.
There has been a sea change in the landscape of publishing which has seen patterns of ownership adjust in line with many other business areas where institutional ownership requires more guaranteed and higher returns. In turn large publishing houses are less able to gamble on new authors.
This slack is being taken up by small private publishers who can find and print the next generation of authors. Stairwell Books is well placed with a stable of fancied winners drawn mainly from the York and Yorkshire region. None the less, we cannot turn down good writing, wherever it is found so our list contains a writer or two from around the world.
We are now looking for writing that touches on big themes, brings new insight into ourselves and our past and for today's filmic generation is both literary and visual.
Stairwell Books was conceived by founder Rose Drew who would sit in the stairwell of her home in Connecticut sharing poems with her upstairs tenant, an accomplished ‘cellist. In 2002 Rose, with her then fauxmari, Alan Gillott, produced poetry booklets to sell when they featured at poetry venues in the USA.
In 2005 Stairwell Books published its first book, an anthology of the poets in their First Tuesday open mic which met monthly in Wilton Connecticut. In 2007 Stairwell Books produced a second anthology, this time of the poets they met in York, England, at their open mic, The Spoken Word. This book, The Exhibitionists,caught sufficient local interest that author Nick David asked if we would publish his short novel, Carol’s Christmas, under our banner: this we were proud to do. The Exhibitionists was named in the top ten list of small press anthologies of 2009 by The Purple Patch; and in 2011 Tim Ellis’ Gringo on the Chickenbus was included in the top 20 Poetry collections. More Exhibitionism, published in 2016 is their 50th book, and celebrates 11 years of The Spoken Word.
Since then Stairwell Books has published further anthologies of the best of local poets.
In 2009 in collaboration with Fighting Cock Press, Stairwell Books published Fosdyke and Me by John Gilham to capture for posterity the wonderfully entertaining Fosdyke Stories John had been regaling York audiences with for many years.
Stairwell Books has now taken on responsibility for the publication of the international writing journal, Dream Catcher, starting with issue 24 which came out in April 2011; issue 25, the Silver Issue, was published in January 2012. We published our first full-length novel, Foul Play, a police procedural by a mother-daughter writing team, PJ Quinn; their fourth, Poetic Justice, came out in July 2018.
Stairwell Books emerged from the pandemic with robust national and international distribution channels and nationally recognised authors such as Rebecca Smith and Ali Sparkes.