Ain’t No Party Like an SYP Scotland Party

Posted on December 18, 2018 in Scotland

Last week saw the annual SYP Scotland Christmas party and boy was it a goodie! Despite the freezing temperatures in Edinburgh, our lovely SYP Scotland members joined us at The Mad Hatter for an evening of Christmas jumpers, mulled wine and jolly good publishing chit-chat. Our wonderful co-chair Jamie Norman opened the night’s proceedings, complete with light-up Christmas jumper, and introduced the first of our wonderful speakers for the evening.

First up was the fabulous Heather McDaid from 404 Ink, who gave us a quick run-down on the highs (many) and lows (a few) they faced in 2018. From the Glasgow School of Art fire that saw hundreds of copies of We Shall Fight Until We Win become trapped in the BHP Comics office to the growth of their team and the success of Chris McQueer’s second book HWFG, 2018 was a transitional year for 404 Ink as they learnt that everyday problems will always occur but it’s better to be transparent about the challenges you face and try to have fun whilst doing so! 404 Ink has published loudly this year and we don’t doubt they will continue to blow us away with their amazing work in 2019.

Next up was the lovely Samuel McDowell from Charco Press who has had a phenomenal year with their second book Die, My Love being shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize 2018 as well as co-founder Carolina Orloff winning the Saltire Society Emerging Publisher of the Year 2018. Charco Press has been shaking up the book industry by introducing Latin American authors to Scotland and championing the richness and diversity translated literature brings to the UK market. They’ve faced many challenges but have been encouraged by the support and help they’ve received from their peers in the Scottish publishing world and are looking forward to another fantastic year in 2019. With 6 new titles on the way, we can’t wait to see what other magic they have in store for us.

Last but by no means least was the inspirational Laura Waddell who outlined the challenges and successes of Gutter Magazine in 2018. After the liquidation of owner Freight Books, Gutter Mag was at threat of disappearing but Laura and 6 other amazing editors banded together to try and keep the much-loved mag on our shelves. A collaboration with EIBF resulted in a hugely successful summer issue for the magazine and with the help of funding, they are looking forward to another amazing year in 2019. They’ve overcome some unimaginable challenges but are looking forward to broadening out to an international audience as well as championing home-grown Scottish writers next year. It’s an exciting time for Gutter Magazine and we’re so excited to see where they go.

After hearing from our lovely speakers it was time for the much-anticipated raffle with amazing prizes including a copy of HWFG, Die, My Love and Issue 18 of Gutter Mag as well as the obligatory tin of Roses, of course! And what Christmas party would be complete without a Best Jumper competition? It was a tough choice, but a 3D carrot-nosed snowman was our champion and took home the highly-coveted Bibliophile: An Illustrated Miscellany. Our brilliant night was topped off by the news that our raffle had raised £82 for Shelter – hoorah!

So that wraps up another amazing year for SYP Scotland. A huge thanks to our speakers and all our fantastic members who came along to celebrate, we can’t wait to see you all next year!