The Galley Club

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Season 2018-2019


2019 Quiz Night at The Water Rats – the result

Tuesday 5th March 2019 – The Water Rats | 328 Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross | WC1X 8BZ London |

Universally Challenged - third place 2019

Gin'll Fix It - second place 2019

The Lookielikees - 2019 Galley Club Quiz winners

9 inch Males - wooden spoons 2019

Well, last night was challenging and a lot of fun. Barry Winkleman held court and gave our brain cells a run for their money. Ouch!

Galley Club Quiz score sheet 2019

For pictures of this event, see and like our Facebook page…some thumbnails below

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Fact or fiction: Why the divide? | Anna Faherty

Tuesday, 5 February 2019 at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.
Fiction or non-fiction? It’s the first decision we make when we enter a bookshop and it defines many of our reading identities. But why, in an age of ‘curation’, does everyone cling to this divide? At best, it helps us know what we’re getting. At worst, it hinders book discovery.
Anna’s talk challenges how publishers and booksellers develop, label and present stories of all kinds, both on and offline; she blurs the lines between fiction and non-fiction, shaking up bookshop tables and sharing her passion for ‘generous browsing’. An evening of diverse and provocative ponderings, from Netflix algorithms to the power of story and the right way to do curation.

Anna Faherty is an award-winning researcher, writer and teacher who has worked in publishing for over 25 years. Anna now collaborates with publishers and museums on an eclectic range of print, exhibition and digital projects. She teaches on publishing and writing courses at City University, Kingston University, Oxford Brookes University, University of the Arts and UCL. Her book States of Mind is a genre-busting anthology of science, philosophy, fiction and art published by Wellcome Collection.

Anna tweets as @mafunyane

PressRelease – Anna Faherty – @GalleyClub 5 Feb 2019

For pictures of this event, see and like our Facebook page…thumbnails below


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The Galley Club Members’ Christmas Party …85 years on…

Wednesday, 16 January 2019; 6:30pm at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.gc party hat

Our annual  ‘Christmas’ party, celebrating 85 years of this club, will be held at our iconic Water Rats venue…

For pictures of  2018′s party see on our Facebook page.

Publishing freelancing – tips for success from Abbie Headon

Tuesday, 4 December 2018;  The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, Kings Cross.

Publishing freelancing – tips for success from Abbie Headon or Successful freelancing – how to do it (and how not to)

Freelancing is an attractive option, freeing you from the grind of office politics and giving you the chance to manage your own time and task list – and as publishers outsource more work to control their overheads, the opportunities seem to be growing all the time.

How can you make a success of your foray into freelancing?

Having worked on both sides of the publisher–freelancer relationship as an editor, writer and general book-wrangler, Abbie shares her tips for success. As one of The Bookseller ‘Rising Stars Class of 2018‘, she knows a thing or two about publishing and how to get where you want to go.

Abbie Headon studied music at the University of Oxford and subsequently worked at Oxford university Press as a science book editor before moving to Germany to teach English to business people. On returning to the UK, she became Managing Editor at Summersdale Publishers, writing gift books and commissioning travel narratives, memoirs and self-help titles.

In 2017, Abbie started a freelance career and now works part-time as Commissioning Editor for Prelude Books, keeping “freelance Fridays” for other projects such as writing books and commissioning articles for BookMachine.

Abbie’s books include Poetry First Aid Kit and Literary First Aid Kit; The Power of Yes; The Power of No; plus titles on unicorns, grammar and ‘seizing the day’, published under various pen names. She tweets as @abbieheadon.



Abram Games and Naomi Games: MAXIMUM MEANING, MINIMUM MEANS – the life and work of Abram Games

Tuesday, 6 November 2018;.The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross.

Abram Games (1914-96) was one of the 20th century’s most innovative and important graphic designers. He produced some of Britain’s most enduring images, which are a now a fascinating record of social history. His career spanned 60 years during which he produced hundreds of posters as well as stamps for Britain, Jersey and Israel, book jackets and emblems, including those for the Festival of Britain (1951) and BBC Television (1953). Other clients included British Airways, Financial Times, Guinness, Shell and Transport for London.

m ag british rail

During World War II, Abram was uniquely appointed Official War Poster Designer. It was Games’s personal philosophy of ‘maximum meaning, minimum means’ that gave his works their distinctive conceptual and visual quality. games' posters

Naomi Games is the daughter of Abram Games. She grew up watching her father work in his studio in their family home and studied design at the London College of Printing, London. Following her father’s death in 1996 she completed his last commission. She is the author of several books for children and also several on her father. Naomi now runs and maintains Games’ considerable archive.

WSHer latest project has been “The Workes of William Shakespeare”, a flickbook by Abram Games which was intended to be part of a commission Abram worked on for Royal Shakespeare Company in 1975, when he produced his iconic poster constructed from the titles of all 37 of Shakespeare’s plays. As far as the family knew, that was the project. However, Naomi discovered the uncompleted flickbook in a drawer since her father’s death in 1996 and has lovingly brought it to fruition.

It has now been published by Pallas Athene.




John Mitchinson – My Life in Books (a tale in 4½ chapters)

Tuesday, 2 October 2018;  The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross.

This evening, John Mitchinson talked us through the 4½ chapters of his virtual autobiography. Co-Founder & Chief Publishing Officer of Unbound, the groundbreaking [model-breaking] publishing company which puts the emphasis on the author and takes its impetus from their audience.

Unbound’s business model is a simple one: submit your title to the usual rigours of the commissioning process. If it passes muster, get enough people to commit to sponsoring your title and Unbound will step up a gear and put it into production; not only that, they will award you 50% royalties. And what success they’ve had: BAMB Readers Awards 2016 -  Book of the Year for The Good Immigrant; The Bookseller Awards 2015 for Book of the Year - The Wake; Futurebook Awards 2014 - Best Publishing Website. John Mitchinson is a writer and publisher and the co-founder of Unbound, the award-winning crowdfunding platform for books.

John helped to create the award-winning BBCTV show QI and co-wrote the best-selling series of QI books.

As a publisher, he worked in senior positions at Harvill, Orion and Cassell. Before that, he was Waterstone’s first marketing director. He is co-host of Unbound’s books podcast Backlisted (@BacklistedPod) and a Vice-President of the Hay Festival of Arts & Literature. | @unbounders   @johnmitchinson  | Skype: johnmitchinson Co-host of Backlisted - giving new life to old books | @BacklistedPod

Members’ Summer Party 2018

On Wednesday, 6th June 2018, we had a lovely time on that terrace AGAIN. Lots of lovely people with their lovely guests on the terrace at Doggett’s Coat & Badge * (Well, it is British Summer Time).

The scene reprised: evening, friends, sunset and dusk in a lovely package with the full vista of the City across the river.

Many thanks to Danny Lyle of Head & Heart, Andrea Vail, intrepid London Guide, Michael Roche and Ruth Sharvell for taking time out to take pics.

See – and like – our Facebook page.

*FOOTNOTE - As is often the way with our locations, there’s a bit of history attached.

In this case, the venue is named after a 300 year-old boat race, which still takes place every year for newly qualified Thames Watermen and Lightermen. It is thought to be the oldest continuing sporting contest in the World. The race is named after Thomas Doggett, an Irish actor and comedian, who came to London in about 1690. After considerable success on the stage at the Drury Lane Theatre he went on to manage the theatre before moving to Haymarket Theatre, again as manager.

Doggett lived in the village of Chelsea and made regular use of the Watermen of the Thames to take him to and from his places of work. These Watermen were licensed to row passengers along and across the River and were the equivalent to taxi drivers. Doggett appears to have taken a great interest in these men and awarded a coat and silver badge to be rowed for by six Watermen in the first year of their Freedom of the River Thames. The race was held on 1st August 1715 to commemorate the first anniversary of the accession of King George I to the British throne.


Tuesday, 1 May 2018;, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

Judith Watts & Irene Friend | The Art of Storytelling & How to Read Aloud

Tuesday, 1 May 2018; The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

If you’re sitting comfortably, we’ll begin… Why do we tell stories?

Wow! Judith Watts told us why; introducing some of the science and psychology behind why we narrate, listen and read, and asks what happens to us – good and bad – when we do.

Irene Friend explored this way we tell our stories and how to make best impact; what difference posture makes; how to breathe properly; how to get those endorphins working for us – some of the technical, physical and vocal tricks that can be used to enhance story for both the audience and the teller.

Judith Watts & Irene Friend2

Judith Watts is well-known to Galley Club members, having lectured to us before. Currently, she combines lecturing to publishing postgraduates at City University and new ventures of pop-up publishing and a new family-run vinyl record shop Her work in the industry includes 10 years at Routledge, a marketing services start-up, and freelance project management. She took a publishing career break to do an MFA in Creative Writing and is a published poet and writer. Much of Judith’s work is erotically flavoured and she is author of Hodder’s Teach Yourself Erotic Fiction. She us currently finishing her PhD on Mills & Boon.


Irene Friend is an accomplished voice coach, an author and promoter of public reading via her enterprise Ink17. She is a graduate of the National Conservatoire of Wales with a BA Hons in Acting Studies from RWCMD.

Irene has worked independently in Voice and Confidence coaching for 2 years. The youngest daughter of two lawyers with three older sisters, Irene spent her young life learning not just how to communicate; also how to listen. She grew up observing and imitating those around her (whether they liked it or not).


Publish & Be Damned: A Fleet Street History

Tuesday 17th April 2018. From St Paul’s to Blackfriars.………………………………….
Publish and Be Damned!

Publish and Be Damned! A Fleet Street history

Andrea Vail is a qualified City of London Guide, and a member of the City of London Guide Lecturer’s Association. We took a walk down Ludgate Hill, via Stationers’ Hall, Fleet Street and the back streets, meandering down to Blackfriars. The very knowledgable Andrea told us about the monks, knights, and lawyers who made this area their home in the middle ages, the rise of mass-market book publishing, and how Fleet Street went from having the City’s first printing presses to becoming a 24-hour news operation. We met the typographic innovator who set up shop in Fleet Street – Wynkyn de Worde – a famous collector of words – Dr Johnson –  and a few of the book publishers who were based in the area.

Originally from eastern Canada, Andrea moved to the UK in 2007.  The reason why? London of course. Andrea has been enamoured with London since childhood. It only took two holidays to the capital before she made the move across the pond to be a part of this amazing city. Andrea’s day job is in IT for a well-known publishing company on the banks of Thames. She finds guiding a great way to share her enthusiasm for all things London – its rich 2000-year history, transport network, architecture, and any and all other bits of trivia and interesting information.

  • Andrea’s twitter name for those who would like to follow is @avail

Donna Barkess – The Understated Ampersand

Tuesday, 3 April 2018 at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

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Donna Barkess very kindly came down from her Northumbrian castle to explain to us how the ampersand – 27th letter in our alphabet – has taken over her life, and why the ampersand is so much part of our lives; arguably the most expressive and versatile of characters,  evolved from the Latin et, meaning ‘and’. It is steeped in history.

Donna has explored the ‘&’ and its history over two millennia; how the symbol has been pushed and pulled around artistically by typographers, calligraphers, designers and artists and is everywhere, from company logos to our computer or phone keyboards. It is also an important character in computer coding.

The ampersand is one of the oldest alphabetic abbreviations; by its very nature, history and definition, it is inviting and inclusive. Its versatility is astonishing. Whatever the designing of a new font inflicts upon it, the ampersand holds its own. Still recognisable after flourishes are added, or elements of its anatomy pruned back. Looking at the ampersand within any font reveals so much about the character of the typeface.

Donna recently curated a successful exhibition to celebrate the beauty and versatility of the Ampersand and garnered much fascinating information about this outwardly innocuous and ubiquitous character. The exhibition explored the history and evolution of the ampersand, exploring how well it has stood the test of time. As well as taking the viewer through the intriguing life and times of the ampersand, the exhibition featured the work of many local and international artists and designers, who submitted pieces of artwork to celebrate the beauty and versatility of the ampersand.

Donna is a graphic designer, illustrator, typographer and lecturer. She currently works at the University of Sunderland part-time, and spends the rest of the week working as Creative Director within a design consultancy. Her links to industry are strong, so she is able to draw upon her professional practice and use this a teaching tool. Predominantly lecturing in graphic design, Donna has taught across other programmes, such as advertising and illustration.

Her main area of research during the past decade has been linked to sustainable design practice and the role of the contemporary designer. Currently researching ‘creative protest culture’ that considers the benefits and implications of creative protest in both theory and practice; aiming to demonstrate that creative and unconventional approaches to protest can be more effective than ‘traditional’ methods, thus examining the role of designers and creatives within a political context.

More information can be found at:

Twitter handle: @DBarkess   The Understated Ampersand

The Members’ Quiz Night – slightly challenging and febrile 2018

The Water Rats | 328 Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross | WC1X 8BZ London |

Tuesday 6th March.….RESULTS are in and the Booking office now CLOSED for another year.

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Graeme Hawley — The Joy Of Spines

Graeme Hawley — The Joy Of Spines

Tuesday, 6 February 2018, at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

The Joy of Spines

London Première. 

“If you have been interested in anything, ever, you will find it here.”

Juxtaposing the hilarious with the moving, this show received 4-star reviews when performed for a week at the 2016 Edinburgh Fringe Festival and has now received 5-star accolades from our publishing community who saw this inspirational performance for the first time in London on this historic stage.


Right in the heart of Edinburgh are 120 miles of underground shelves that store the National Library of Scotland’s collection of 26 million publications on those shelves. Graeme Hawley is responsible for over 14 million of these things, most of them with spines. In this rapid-fire slideshow of hundreds of those spines, Graeme manages to not only tell the story of one of Europe’s largest libraries, but shines a light on the astonishing world in which we live.

General Collections Manager at the Library, Graeme presented this unique slide show and found poem, comprised entirely of book spines. Amusing, thought-provoking, and unexpectedly moving.

Graeme Hawley is a Chartered Librarian and Manager of the National Library of Scotland’s general collection, with a team of curators and assistants who are bringing to life the 20th and 21st century UK published collections of the NLS through the excellent work they do.

Outside work, he is a poetry slam champion, performance poet, poet generally, and in a band called ’56n’. They released their first album, Sleevenotes, in February 2014.


Seen by over a thousand people so far, this is the first London performance.

See and like the photos on our Facebook page.

What others say:


Search #joyofspines on Twitter for what others thought…

More information can be found at:

Twitter:  @colonpress   #joyofspines

The Galley Club Members’ Christmas Party

Wednesday, 10 January 2018;  The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.gc party hat

This year, our party was held at the iconic Water Rats venue…and we were very happy indeed to host ‘Big Alan Craig and Loon’ on that famous stage for a set during the evening.Big Alan Craig and Loon

With thanks to our party organiser, Moira Ashcroft <>, and our capable Treasurer, Ruth Sharvell <>.

This event was exclusively for our members and their guests, and it did not disappoint as you can see on our Facebook page.

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Gulwali Passarlay — My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee

Tuesday, 5 December 2017, at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

Gulwali Passarlay gave us a fascinating insight into the lives of so many refugees who go to enormous lengths to escape from whatever horrendous life awaits them if they stay put.

Gulwali Passarlay at The Galley Club, Tuesday 5 December 2107

Gulwali Passarlay at The Galley Club, Tuesday 5 December 2107

He was sent away from his home in Afghanistan by his mother at the age of twelve to save his life. Smuggled into Iran, Gulwali began a twelve-month odyssey across Europe via Turkey, Greece, Italy and France; spending time in prisons, suffering hunger, cruelty, brutality and nearly drowning in a tiny boat on the Mediterranean. He finally arrived in the UK, no longer an innocent child, but by then still a boy of thirteen. Here in Britain, he was fostered, won a place at Manchester University and was chosen to carry the Olympic torch in 2012. Now a young man, he is intent on changing the world.

See his interview with Russell Howard on YouTube.  

Unseen Good News: Russell Howard speaks to Gulwali Passarlay

Gulwali talks to Russell Howard

  Gulwali is an Afghan political refugee currently residing in the UK. He left Afghanistan in 2006 and is now reading Politics and International Relations at the University of Manchester. He is an ambassador and advisor for many prestigious political, aid and youth groups and is fast becoming a key spokesperson for refugees in Britain. He has already appeared on BBC and Channel 4 News and given a TEDx Talk.

Gulwali with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News

Gulwali with Jon Snow on Channel 4 News

The Lightless Skyis his gripping and often harrowing tale of survival against all the odds; an extraordinary, and often terrifying, journey; shedding light on the murky world of the people smugglers – from puppet-masters to fixers. [Published in hardback and paperback editions by Atlantic Books].

The Lightless Sky: My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee  Gulwali Passarlay  with Nadene Ghouri  £7.99 paperback  ISBN 9781782398479

The Lightless Sky:
My Journey to Safety as a Child Refugee
Gulwali Passarlay with Nadene Ghouri
ISBN 9781782398479

Writing the book meant revisiting deeply painful experiences. Gulwali says, ‘I want people to at least consider my story and the stories of those I met along the way – and know what they have overcome and what they are running against. Many survive the journey only to live in poverty and discomfort at the fringes of society. Only a very few, like myself, found success in their adopted countries.’



Mark Ovenden — Johnston & Gill: Very British Types

Wednesday, 8 November 2017 at The Water Rats, Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross.

Johnston & Gill - Very British TypesThis evening, Mark explored the evolution and adoption of the Johnston and Gill typefaces; the subject of his book “Johnston & Gill: Very British Types” * ; where with the support of Frank Pick of the London Underground, Edward Johnston (1872-1944) and Eric Gill (1882-1940) unwittingly developed two of the world’s most enduring typefaces—Johnston still stands as London’s primary ‘wayfinding’ lettering, while Gill Sans is the type of choice within many public and private organizations across the UK today. Each face has had a profound impact on Britain’s visual language over the last 100 years.

Mark is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society with a large following on social media and lives in London. He has toured the world delivering talks, visiting transit systems, studying corporate identity, typography and way-finding; an expert on public transport maps, lettering and design: a self-confessed “geek”. His infectious enthusiasm in print, on TV, radio or in person, brings insight and accessibility to what otherwise might appear dry or technical subjects.

Others say:

The New York Times called his books “pure catnip”; The Daily Telegraph and The Guardian both chose “Two Types: The Faces of Britain”, presented by Ovenden as their picks for the day (BBC4, 31st July 2017), The Guardian calling it “fascinating”.

*“Johnston & Gill: Very British Types” is published by Lund Humphries.

Johnston & Gill - Very British Types; published by Lund Humphries

Johnston & Gill – Very British Types; published by Lund Humphries

More information can be found







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Toby Faber – Digging in the archives

Tuesday, 3 October 2017, at The Water Rats, Gray’s Inn Road, King’s Cross.

Toby Faber was Managing Director of Faber & Faber until 2001, since when he has concentrated on his writing and more generally on his quality of life. Nevertheless, Toby remains non-executive director of Faber and Faber, and is Chairman of Faber Music; trustee of Liverpool University Press (UK) and a non-executive director of the Copyright Licensing Agency (CLA). He is author of “Faberge’s Eggs” and “Stradivari’s Genius”.

Toby FaberThis evening at The Water Rats, Toby gave us fascinating insight into the family archives, letters to from T.S.Eliot, for example; and shared some of the secrets found whilst delving into the Faber archives and much more besides.

Toby lives with his wife and two daughters in London. Born in Cambridge, England, in 1965. After graduating, he became an investment banker, and then a management consultant before joining the family firm, Faber and Faber, which was founded by his grandfather in 1929.


Toby on Twitter @Toby_Faber
















Season 2016-2017

Wednesday 14 June 2017 -  Members’ Summer Party at Doggett’s Coat & Badge

members and guests at Doggett's

Our spooky run of gorgeous weather continued and we enjoyed another balmy evening well into dusk.

Lots of lovely people with their lovely guests on the terrace at Doggett’s Coat & Badge.

The scene: evening, friends, sunset and dusk in a lovely package with the full vista of the City across the river on 14 June 2017.

If you don’t believe our continuing luck, check out Lucy Llewellyn’s blog at Head & Heart for summer’s past.

See – and like – our Facebook page.



June 2017

on the terrace at Doggett’s













Tuesday 2 May 2017 at The Water Rats

Catherine Dixon—Making Books Brazilian streetkid-style

Dr Catherine Dixon

IMG_6541Catherine’s much-anticipated talk on her sabbatical in Brazil was inspiring and educational. Richly-illustrated, this talk evoked all the atmosphere of downtown printing in one of the largest cities in the world, bringing to life the colourful characters who continue a tradition of community printing. Yet more warmth to be found in the touching story of a cooperative project to teach typography to kids in a favela and how, in using an old printing press, these kids at the very edges of society have found a value in having a voice in print and an ongoing publishing programme of remarkably beautiful books.

What was surprising was the hidden power of the physicality of the old technology in being able to engage with those kids in  surprising and, perhaps, intuitively predictable ways; such as the use of letterpress characters was somehow able to re-connect those kids with literacy and concepts of design that are possibly innate.

See some of her pics here on our Facebook page.

See also - from Inspired Selection – Abigail Barclay’s blog of her interpretation of the evening’s proceedings and the thought-provoking nature of the whole experience presented to us .

Catherine Dixon is a graphic designer and writer who teaches typography at Central Saint Martins, London. As a designer she works with text-based projects, including covers for the award-winning Great Ideas series for Penguin Books. As a writer, she contributes regularly to international conferences and design journals such as Eye and co-authored with Phil Baines, the book Signs, lettering in the environment (2003). In Spring 2011, she took up a one-year post as Visiting Professor at the University of São Paulo, Brazil.

Twitter handle: @ThinkingType

Tuesday 4 April 2017 at The Water Rats

Roger Christiansen — Digital transformation in Publishing Industry: Brave New World


Roger gave a broad overview of his experience in relation to e-business transformations and how, after the initial digital shock, some of the major players in the publishing industry adapted to the new digital world and come out stronger and fitter for the future using mechanisms such as virtual stock.

See the slides from his presentation here - Galley Club presentation 040417 - and a very helpful summary of Roger’s talk by our members Suzy Astbury and Abigail Barclay of Inspired Selection – on their blog here. Pics, courtesy of David McCarthy on our Facebook page.

Roger has spent most of his career as a marketing professional working in hi-tech companies big and small; from start ups like Research Machines to global brands IBM and Ricoh. His main focus is in transforming business through better marketing; looking beyond the tactical to seek strategic, long-term solutions.

In his career he has often been involved in taking new technologies to market, such as one of the first global e-learning solutions, to high speed print-on-demand colour inkjet in the books market.

New business development – especially new business and customers – is another key focus. Roger has devised and lead a number of initiatives to reach different sectors such as Publishing and Vocational training solutions.

He is now building a new career as a Freelance Marketing Consultant and lecturing at Abingdon and Witney College.

Tuesday 7 March 2017 – THE BIG HUMUNGOUSLY GIGANTIC Quiz Night 2017 at The Water Rats

By special request, Quizmaestro Barry Winkleman said he would be dumbing it down this year!

HE DID NOT! More pics on our Facebook page

Barry the Quiz





.....the Lookielikees

1st. The Lookielikees

For Book's Sake

2nd. For Book’s Sake

All Sweetness and Light

3rd. All Sweetness and Light

Results 2017



















Tuesday 7 February 2017 at The Water Rats

Hazel CushionPublishing is both sexy and sensible


The talk was all about how to innovate in one of the UK’s oldest industries.

Hazel Cushion is the founder and Managing Director of award-winning publisher Accent Press. She started it in her front bedroom when she was a single mother to 7 year-old triplets.

Hazel founded Accent Press in 2003. This year Hazel launched the new book publishing and marketing services company Octavo, and the bookshop café Octavo’s in Cardiff Bay. Hazel has won numerous business accolades and been invited to Buckingham Palace to meet the Queen in recognition of her contribution to business in Britain. She is on the board of the Independent Publishers Guild.

An excellent summary of the event is given by the blog on Inspired Selection’s website:

Twitter @HazelCushion @AccentPress



Thursday 19 January 2017 at Yorkshire Grey, Theobald’s Road, London WC1

The Galley Club Members’ January Party

No-one disgraced themselves on Thursday 19th January 2017. Our members and their guests just enjoyed each other’s company at

The Yorkshire Grey, on the corner of Theobald’s Road and Gray’s Inn Road, London WC1 @ 6.30pm. All photographic evidence has been embargoed.




Katie Morris & Sheerin Aswat — Taking Words Further

— for The London Book Fair & London Book & Screen Week

Katie and Sheerin discussed the changes and challenges presented by The London Book Fair, previewed the events as part of the associated London Book & Screen Week 2017 and expanded on the LBF tagline: ‘Taking words further, content across media’.

Katie will be on stage 6 December

Katie Morris is Event Manager, The London Book Fair & London Book & Screen Week has been in events for 10 years, having joined Informa Exhibitions after university where she gained marketing experience across their Print and Health Food Portfolios. She joined Reed Exhibitions as Marketing Manager within the IBTM World Portfolio in 2010 where she led the Middle East & China marketing teams. Her keen interest in books as well as events saw her to move across to The London Book Fair’s marketing team a year later. Instrumental in growing LBF’s social media presence, in launching year-round customer-focussed events and in the move from Earl’s Court to Olympia, Katie was appointed Event Manager on this award-winning international business to business show in April 2015.

Sheerin Aswat is Head of Sales & IRC Relationship Manager, The London Book Fair

Sheerin Aswat is Head of Sales & IRC Relationship Manager, The London Book Fair. She joined The London Book Fair in 2013 as IRC Relationship Manager moving up to Head of Sales and Market Focus Territories in 2016.  Sheerin has worked in the book industry for over 10 years, starting her career in  public relations, working for Colman Getty (now Four Colman Getty), where she helped to launch and run the digital department working across brands including World Book Day; The Man Booker Prize for Fiction; National Poetry Day and the Olivier Awards. In 2011,  she moved to Midas PR as Event Manager and in her 2 ½ years there she was instrumental in the organisation of  large book launches and publishing events both in the UK and abroad.  She is a graduate in English Literature and lives in East London.

Twitter pages: @LondonBookFair @LBandSW          Website:

Galley Club pics on Facebook - Like ‘em?



TUESDAY 1 NOVEMBER 2016. at The Water Rats

Anna Faherty—Divergence in publishing

Tuesday 1 November 2016 at The Water Rats.
Anna Faherty — Diverge! How thinking differently could boost your career

Anna took to that stage like a duck to water on thinking differently. In an industry that outsources most of its physical tasks and processes, what’s the one thing that can set you and your organisation apart from your competitors? The way you think…

Check out the bullet points of the talk courtesy of Bookmachine here:

Anna’s provocative session encouraged us to employ new ways of thinking in order to embrace uncertainty, make sense of complex situations and – ultimately – innovate beyond the development of new products; challenged us all to open up our minds, explore multiple possibilities. This session was all about how to boost your own creative thinking skills and shape a divergent future for publishing.

Anna Faherty is an award-winning researcher, writer and teacher who has worked in publishing for over 25 years. Anna now collaborates with publishers and museums on a diverse range of print, exhibition and digital projects. She also holds academic posts at Kingston University, Oxford Brookes University and UCL.

Twitter page: @mafunyane

Website: Strategic Content

Makes you think!


anna diverge strip








TUESDAY 4 OCTOBER 2016 at The Water Rats.

Karine Nicpon—How to keep your skills relevant

Karine Nicpon takes to The Water Rats stage

Karine took to the stage and talked eloquently about changing skillsets within publishing (with a focus on production) and how you can keep your skills up-to-date and relevant.  How to adapt to changing roles and make transitions in your publishing career.

After completing her MA in Publishing, Karine spent a few years as an Editorial and Legal Assistant at Editions Points (trade publishing) in Paris. She was in charge of the editorial committee and of all the contracts and negotiations with foreign publishers and agents. Karine joined Atwood Tate in September 2013 and now looks after Editorial roles in Business Information and STM publishing. Previously, Karine covered Production, Editorial Production, Design, Digital and Operations roles across all publishing sectors, giving her an overview of the skills needed across the industry.



Atwood Tate blog for news, interviews and advice and Karine’s blog on this talk is here:

Karine on stage



For more photos from the evening, see our Facebook page


Season 2015-2016

Tuesday, 3 May 2016 at The Water Rats..

Emma Barnes— Seven years: what happens when the coding kids graduate?

Remember when PCs came in, and all the secretaries disappeared overnight? Another disruption event is coming: when the kids who’ve been learning to code since they were 6 start to graduate. You’ve got seven years: more than enough time to become a competent programmer. Or will you find yourself on the scrap heap?

Emma Barnes took to the stage in The Water Rats to evangelise on learning to code. She presented her views succinctly with the aid of PowerPoint slides; the last one of which details many online website links to coding resources, should you wish to investigate further [details given below and on our ‘useful links’ page on this website].

No need for us to go on too much  about what she said in her talk because so many of our colleagues have been reporting very capably on the evening already.

Take a look at the following blogs from our friends and associates and check out the occasion on our Facebook page :-


Publishing and technology:       

Product, UX, design:                       

Product management:   

Code learning:

15-minute Ruby tutorial: 


Online courses:

Evening courses:



Emma is founder and CEO of Bibliocloud (winner of the 2013 Futurebook Best Technology Innovation Award) and MD of Snowbooks (previous winners at the Independent Publishing Awards). She is a total geek when it comes to bibliographic metadata; according to her Twitter pages she is also into, rights, royalties, production, scheduling, ONIX, marketing and contracts.

Emma is also very funny.

Twitter pages:@bibliocloud @snowbooks



Tuesday 6th April 2016 at The Devereux.

Clive Ince & Paul Herbert—A Matter of Privacy, Defamation, Publishing and The Law

Want a barrack room publishing lawyer? Ask a member of The Galley Club.

Do you know anything about the law when it comes to defamation? Did you know that the law in relation to Privacy is relatively new to England & Wales? It was introduced with the European Convention on Human Rights 1952 – and a good thing too. In particular, we explored Article 8: Right to respect for private and family life and, in many ways the counterbalance to that, Article 10: Freedom of expression. All fascinating stuff.

This talk was a double-hander dealing with topical issues in (i) the law of privacy (ii) the law of defamation. This was a ‘lightweight’ look about the issues of privacy and defamation; it will studiously not descend into the dark chasm of technical legal issues, and rather, will consider the way the law is moving and consequences — both intentional and not.

Clive Ince and Paul Herbert are part of the strong legal team at Goodman Derrick, a leading commercial law firm in the City of London, providing high quality legal advice across a range of practice areas including Art & Cultural Heritage, Charities, Media, Publishing, Recruitment, Sport and Technology; specifically this could be copyright and art theft, museum loans, insurance, art finance, dispute resolution, imports and exports, intellectual property, and taxation. and cross-border transport, to restitution of illegally exported antiquities and art wrongfully taken in time of war including Holocaust-loot, through to the organisation of international exhibitions. Clients include artists, art galleries, private collectors, charities and agents.

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For more photos from the evening, see our Facebook page





Tuesday, 8 March 2016 at The Water Rats

Silvan Hexspoor – How to Cook a Book











Silvan Hexspoor wowed our audience in The Water Rats club room with his range of special recipes for finishing a good paperback. His Masterclass on creative bookbinding was very special. Hexspoor is driven to satisfy an insatiable desire to educate the book world on how to bind a good book, and the pitfalls of choosing the wrong glue, selection of materials and/or printing against the grain direction of the paper; simple lessons in the quality and range of binding styles that are still available for the discerning buyer. A complete tool for any designer, publisher, purchaser and printer was provided free to all the attendees.

Typically receiving all their work from printers, the Hexspoor bindery was founded in 1945 and the company is now managed by the third generation of the Hexspoor family. Hexspoor also have a thriving logistics company.

Twitter – @silvanhexspoor @binderijhexspoor



See more of the occasion on our Facebook page

boekjes box HowToCookaBook2








Wednesday 2 December 2015 at Ye Olde Cock Tavern

David Pearson—Money for old rope: repackaging the classics

DSC_0350_S Have you ever admired Penguin’s Great Ideas, Great Journeys and Great Loves series covers? David Pearson was full of great ideas and gave us great insight into the logic of Penguin campaigns of the past – and present.

David Pearson is an award-winning London-based designer working in all areas of print, specifically book design and branding.

David studied at Central St Martins in London (1999–2002) before taking a job at Penguin Books as text designer and later, cover designer. He left to establish his own studio –Type as Image – in 2007.

He is a regular visiting lecturer and runs workshops in design schools around the world, among them Central St Martins, the University of Reading and the Typography Summer School.

David was appointed a member of AGI (Alliance Graphique Internationale) in 2013, has been listed as one of Britain’s Top 50 Designers by The Guardian and was named by Debrett’s as one of Britain’s 500 most influential people in 2015.

DSC_0348_S DSC_0346_S DSC_0343_S DSC_0344_S DSC_0336_S DSC_0328_SPEARSON COVER EVENT 021215-2


Wednesday 4 November 2015 at Ye Olde Cock Tavern.

Kate London—a novel foundation for writing

Kate London speaks novels

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Wednesday 4 November 2015 at Ye Olde Cock Tavern.

Kate London gave us a self-assured, animated presentation on some key aspects of what it was like to be a London cop in the Homicide Squad and how that experience and her previous roles translated on to the page and the central characters of her first book; a fascinating insight of the transition from the beat to the book.

We look forward to book 2 which will take up with some of the characters already well-drawn in Post Mortem. [Ed. She told us the title, but we’re sworn to secrecy.]

Kate graduated from Cambridge University and moved to Paris where she trained in theatre. In 2006, Kate joined the Metropolitan Police Service. Like all police officers she started in uniform, working for two years on a response team, and then moved into the CID. She qualified as a detective constable then went on attachment with the Police Nationale in France and finished her career working as part of a Major Investigation Team on SC&01 – the Metropolitan Police Service’s Homicide Command. She resigned from the MPS in August 2014.

Post Mortem is her first novel; published by Corvus in August 2015.

Twitter page – @kate_katelondon

Wednesday, 7 October 2015

Digital print forum – the next 5 years

Mark Gedye7

Digital print forum hosted by Mark Gedye of Ricoh; an engaging discussion on this technology and where we’re going with it in the next few years. It was an animated affair and one which everyone present took part in what was an open, exhilarating talk – ultimately fascinating.


gedye freize


Season 2014-2015

Wednesday 3 June 2015

Members’ Summer Party

#galleyclubpartybythamesLots of lovely people with their lovely guests had a great time; the weather was kind to us as usual with a beautiful sunset on the terrace.Picture the scene: evening, sunset and dusk in a lovely package with the full vista of the City across the river or check out Lucy Llewellyn’s blog at Head & Heart for another perspective. See – and like – our Facebook page from images captured of previous times.


Wednesday 6 May 2015

Tom Bonnick—Digital Marketing v Digital Content

As it was the eve of the General Election, Tom Bonnick asked his audience to vote on which optional talk they would like to hear and they got what they wanted: an engaging, fascinating talk which explored several key questions:

  • Where does marketing end and content begin?
  • What (and who) can you influence?
  • How do you reach an audience?
  • What works, and what doesn’t?
  • What lessons has Nosy Crow learnt in the process?

Tom explored the relationship (and increasingly blurred lines) between digital marketing and digital content at children’s publisher of books and apps, Nosy Crow. Tom is the Business Development Manager at Nosy Crow and works on all of their digital publishing, including its highly-acclaimed programme of apps and the innovative Stories Aloud project; he also has responsibility for digital marketing across the print and digital lists, community and brand building, events, their presence on the web and across all social media platforms, and other new and experimental projects.

Tom Bonnick at The Galley Club

Wednesday 1 April 2015.

Suzanne Collier—How not to get caught in the Publishing Skills Gap


Suzanne Collier is no fool; although she did fool some people on April Fool’s Day with Daisy Pollarfo, the well-known anagram, @bookcarers.

Suzanne is the person to see if you want to get ahead in book publishing and she delivered an insightful talk – without notes – and then set up an impromptu advice clinic; much appreciated.

What did we learn?

  • Digital is key
  • Production people with good level of digital experience earn about 10% more than those who don’t
  • Disregard job title – any job is what you make of it
  • Training is essential: be proactive about your own training as publishers’ training budgets are often low/non-existent. If your company doesn’t do it, then you need to address that shortfall yourself
  • Talk to your colleagues; talk to people at The Galley Club
  • ‘Digital natives’
  • Vary your Twitter following to keep the flow fresh and new; remember Twitter is ‘like the office water cooler’
  • If you were educated in the 60s and 70s, you are more likely to understand the difference between ‘wondering’ and ‘wandering’; ‘careers’ and ‘carers’
  • ‘If you don’t learn something at work every day, you’re dead’. Eek

The founder of, Suzanne has been in the book business for over 30 years and has worked in every department and in trade and academic publishing, for both independents and conglomerates. It has been said that her Filofax reads like a Who’s Who of publishing. Suzanne is fully qualified in careers guidance, listed as a registered practitioner of the Career Development Association and a winner of Women in Publishing’s prestigious Pandora Award (given for a significant and sustained contribution to publishing).  She advises private clients on Career Development and works with Managing Directors downwards in ensuring they have career success.  Most notably, under the name, Suzanne runs a periodic salary survey of the industry, which helps identify trends, risks and threats to employment.

Amazingly, as well as all this, Suzanne also works as a Sales & Marketing Manager within the industry, so keeps abreast of changes first hand.

Follow Suzanne on Twitter @suzannecollier @bookcareersSuzanneCollier_01-04-15_01s

Tuesday 3 March 2015

The Big Quiz Night

Winners – All Sweetness & Light.

Those intrepid teams took on the challenge on  and it was a fantastic occasion in the glittering lights of The Punch Tavern.

Big Quiz results 2015

The full results of our Big Quiz in detail here.  As you can see, it was all very tight. Congratulations to the winners - All Sweetness & Light – and thanks once again to our illustrious Quiz Master, Barry Winkleman. Click on the chart below for a full view of the results. Last year’s winners- The Lookilikees – came creditable runners up only being beaten by a killer tie-break question [let's just say there was only 60 pairs of shoes between the scores]; close on their heels were Northern Soul, coming in at third place. Grabbing the wooden spoons with gusto were The Counters, with their brave rear-guard action, who apparently had designs on the wooden spoons from the start [something to do with a patisserie course and suchlike]. For other photos from the event, check out our page on Facebook

first prize - All Sweetness & Light -2

Second - Lookilikees -2

third - Northern Soul -2

wooden spoons -  The Counters



Wednesday 4 February 2015

Judith Watts—Making Love: What the Mills & Boon archive reveals about publishing relationships.Judith Watts08sJudith Watts14s

How did Mills & Boon become a household brand? What can we learn about publishers as content and market-makers? Just how far should the bedroom door be left ajar?

In this evening’s session, Judith gave us a fascinating insight into the archives in 5 simple ‘lessons’ on how to build a brand:-

  1. Cherish your brand;
  2. Love your authors;
  3. Have a passion for your product;
  4. Get close to your reader;
  5. Embrace change.

What a lovely, humourous, engaging talk  which provided so much understanding of earlier publishing days – some of which is very relevant to current times, and some which just would not pass muster in terms of acceptable language and attitude.

Judith Watts11s
Judith lectures on the Kingston University Publishing Masters and can also be found in the The Archive of British Publishing and Printing where she is researching for her PhD [The Limits of Desire: the Mills & Boon Romance Market]. Her work in the industry includes 10 years at Routledge, a marketing services start-up, and currently two new business ventures and She took a publishing career break to do an MFA in Creative Writing and is a published poet and writer. Most of Judith’s work is erotically flavoured and she is author of Hodder’s Teach Yourself Erotic Fiction. Judith Watts02sWhen not reading hot poems at events and in pubs she is Editorial Manager at Kingston University Press.


Wednesday 21 January 2015, was 6.30 pm ’til late….….

January Party 2015

Festive fare, frivolity, friends.

…at The Punch. What happened next?

We returned to historic, beautiful, grade II Punch Tavern, Fleet Street - imprinted in our industry’s history - for our Winter party for members and their guests.


Wednesday 3 December 2014

Moira Dennison1Moira Dennison

The November Project – thinking globally, acting locally

Moira Dennison stepped in, at very short notice of a few hours – thus demonstrating how apt their other catchline is: “The tide will provide”. She give a the lowdown on this fascinating, worthy project to open a venue in the middle of the Thames on an old barge. It is a book in the making - if you are wondering where the publishing connection comes in – and will be much in demand for book launches amongst other things. It may not relate to our industry in a specific way, but is certainly most important in a general way for the health of our planet.

Named after the original moniker of the barge in question, The November Project brings tidal power to the heart of London. A new low carbon living hub with research and development for sustainable energy solutions, which will function as an exclusive events venue, attracting customers to its high-profile location on the River Thames, moored directly between the Houses of Parliament and Lambeth Palace.

A significant and unique aspect of The November Project is its energy consumption is 100% renewable with zero carbon emissions – the entire venue - including the shuttle boats that will ferry patrons to and from shore-based piers; and all on-board powered systems utilise the tidal flow of the River Thames.

Furthermore, The November Project will actively demonstrate this renewable technology, making it clearly visible in a new intuitive manner that both demonstrates and educates, making it interesting, understandable and, especially, fun for our customers. The mission of The November Project is to create an environment that satisfies the changing tastes and expectations of those customers; with a working research and development lab and workshop designed to fulfil multiple purposes:

• firstly, to provide a unique backdrop for our green-themed events;

• secondly, to demonstrate and inform our customers on:

o what is sustainable technology?

o what is available?

o how can it improve their lives and save them money?


november plannovember visual

For your reference:

Follow on Twitter @TheNovProject

Like on Facebook


Wednesday 5 November 2014

chris mcVeigh angleChris McVeigh

‘Best Marketing Consultant in the World’

Well, apart from forgetting the indoor sparklers, Mr McVeigh did lighten up our evening. Chris delivered an insightful, engaging, personal take on the way things are in Publishing World these days. There were dissenters which provided the frisson and he had his camp followers; and lots of interaction with his audience. A healthy debate. All-in-all he gave us a candid view of what he believes we’re doing wrong and who he thinks is more likely to get it right. In Chris’s view, publishers have lost direction with the confusion of “technological disruption” and a recession as a backdrop; “as an industry we’ve become timid and our marketing reflects that”. The setting of the room in Ye Olde Cock Tavern provided an unexpectedly intimate atmosphere which added to the aire of engagement with his audience. A good evening.

Chris McVeigh has spent a decade working within publishing corporations, notably Elsevier and Thomson, before breaking out on his own in 2003 as a consultant to publishers on marketing issues and “emerging technologies”. During this time, he became a vocal advocate of the benefits of search-engine optimisation and is widely regarded as having been a pioneer in this field. Now based in Santa Monica – Los Angeles to you – he operates as a business analyst advising media and technology companies on the many and varied opportunities in the publishing sector.

On Twitter, Chris describes himself as “Post-Punk icon gone to seed. Publishing gun for hire. Roughneck. Sweary. Debaser.”


Chris’s website:

Wednesday 1 October 2014.

Tim Davies_2014-10-01_cTim Davies

The Titanic and beyond

Tim Davies of The History Press told us about evolving publishing compaigns. Tim is MD of The History Press, Non-Executive Chairman of PR agency, Authoright and founder of Swift Publishing, a self-publishing company.  He  has held senior commercial and general management positions at HarperCollins, Faber & Faber, Oxford University Press, Baker & Taylor and Author Solutions; and has been a independent business development consultant. In a rapidly-changing and dynamic marketplace, where retail sales have shifted from terrestrial book shops to online retailers and eBooks now represent a significant proportion of sales, The History Press is in transition from a print-led, B2B ‘legacy’ business, to a print and digital D2C-led operation.

This evolution has necessitated considerable on-going reorganisation within THP; its publishing, pre-press, sales and marketing departments have all been affected, as have its authors, who are actively encouraged to take a leading role in their book’s marketing campaign.

In this brief case study, Tim Davies explains how THP has utilised short-run and POD printing technology, grown its eBook sales, launched a new community and D2C website and incorporated social media as a core component of its marketing; all the while ensuring that its ‘traditional’ high street and heritage retailers continue to be well looked-after.

Season 2013-2014

Wednesday 4 June 2014

20140604_214657View from the Terrace Bar of Doggett’s Coat & Badge

Summer Party 2014

Decent weather turned up just in time for our party in the Terrace Bar of Doggett’s Coat & Badge. Lucy J Loves’ blog sums up the scene nicely. In the end, we had the drama of an ‘Independence Day’ style cloud formation coming over us, dumping some rain while we ate inside, and then it opened up to a beautiful dusk and sunset panorama from the terrace by the Thames with many of our members and friends taking in the spectacle. See our Facebook page for more captured images.


Wednesday 2 April 2014

graham bellGraham Bell

Metadata Matters (aka ‘Fifty Shades of Metadata’)

On this evening, Graham Bell embraced the challenge given him and accomplished something that might seem impossible to the unenlightened amongst us; namely, Graham made the significance of metadata, not only sexy, but thoroughly engaging and entertaining. It is indeed now abundantly clear; the huge importance of metadata to publishing these days and what difference it can mean to the success of a publication and publisher. He outlined the history of metadata from its origins, through the influence of Brian Glover [illustrative clip from Porridge shown], to its current stage and the development of the next generation, beyond ONIX. He explained the elementary details, such as URI, and gave a tantalising insight into the future processes. Take a look at this diagram for starters; who knew that ‘linked data’ is not the same as ‘linked open data’? Then look at for a flavour of the intricacies. As a stunning climax to our meeting, Graham’s shocking closing remarks gave us all silent pause for thought before the questions began to flow.

We were privileged to be the first industry group to which Graham has presented since he became Executive Director of EDItEUR with effect from 1 April 2014 [no joke], in succession to Mark Bide who has retired from the organisation. EDItEUR is a non-profit-making, international group which, despite its size (employing four people), is central to global coordination and development of the standards infrastructure for electronic commerce in the book, e-book and serials sectors. Graham joined EDItEUR in 2010 as Chief Data Architect.

Currently, he is focussed on the continuing development and application of ONIX for books, and he also works on other EDItEUR standards for both the book and serials sectors. Previously, Graham worked for Harper Collins, most recently as Head of Publishing Systems. He led the development of bibliographic and digital asset management systems, and was involved with the launches of many recent HarperCollins digital initiatives including e-audio, e-books and print-on-demand programmes. He has over a decade of experience with ONIX for books. Prior to HarperCollins, he worked as an editor and in IT roles within the magazine industry with Redwood Publishing and BBC Magazines.

Wednesday 5 March 2014  

The Big Winkleman Quiz Night

See the full results of our Big Quiz which was held on 5 March in The George. Congratulations to the winners - The Lookielikees – and thanks once again to our illustrious Quiz Master, Barry Winkleman. Click on the chart below for a full view of the results. Scratch team - The Four Hacks – came creditable runners up; close on their heels were Dead or Alive, comprising one or two members of last year’s winners [ex-Atlantic Books], coming third place. At the other end of the table, the three members of The Four Musketeers were unchallenged in their brave rear-guard action; their performance rewarded with this year’s wooden spoons.

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Lookielikees - 1st - oh yesThe Four Hacks - 2ndDead or Alive - 3rdThe Four Musketeers - all 3 of them!The prize-winning teams



Wednesday 5 February 2014  

 Hazel Cushion_0002Hazel Cushion, Xcite..

Hazel Cushion delighted those of us who weathered the storms and ignored the tube strike and resultant traffic jams to listen to a thoroughly engaging, frank, honest and fun talk from a lovely publisher working in what is now a crowded market. We were well-rewarded with an insight into a genre which we haven’t really explored before:- the fine line between pornography and erotica; the guiding principles of safe, sane and consensual; the ‘Aural’ range (or was it ‘Oral’?); that spanking is very popular – a genre in which discretion naturally favours ebooks (70% of their income last year was digital). As one of our members commented to Hazel afterwards: “We’ve never had so many questions before.” We like Hazel a lot and hope she’ll return for another envogorating session.Hazel Cushion_0001Hazel founded Accent Press in 2003 and Xcite Books in 2007 and it is now one of the UK’s largest erotic imprints. Xcite Books has since won ETO Best Erotic Book Brand for the last four years and received the IPG Specialist Publisher Award 2013. Hazel started Xcite because she realised there was a gap in the market for thinking girls’ erotica – feel-good books that celebrated female sexuality in all its forms.Originally the company produced Five Minute Fantasy short story collections because these offered women a great way to switch out of day mode and into play mode – the tagline was “Five minutes from mother to lover….” Sex therapists recommended the books as they offered body positive content and helped introduce new themes and ideas into a long-term relationship. As Hazel says: “There’s a reason that monogamy and monotony are such similar words!”The range has now extended into three imprints:
  • The Secret Library offers romance novellas with hot sex;
  • Xcite publishes mainstream erotic short story collections and novels;
  • Xtrm publishes fetish, BDSM, and Femdom novels.

Last year, Fifty Shades of Grey caused a complete sea change in attitudes and got erotica off the top shelf and onto the supermarket shelf. E-books and audio also offer a new discreet accessibility to the genre.

Wednesday 22 January 2014

New Year 2014 Party @ The Punch

fireworks….historic, beautiful, grade II Punch Tavern  ’twas our our winter party venue for members and their guests.



Wednesday 4 December 2013

Philip Jones: That Was The Year That Was

Philip Jones1

2013 in retrospect and 2014 contemplated. In a highly apt talk for the last meeting of the year, Philip Jones, editor of The Bookseller, offered an insightful look back over the year in publishing and speculated on what 2014 may hold in store for the UK book trade. As editor of the trade ‘bible’, Philip is in a unique position to take an impartial overview of all areas of our industry, from publishing conglomerate boardrooms to shop floor.

A highly respected trade journalist, Philip joined The Bookseller in 1996 as its financial news reporter and after a break to travel and freelance from 1999 to 2001, he returned to the magazine to lead the development of its online operation, He has since held the positions of managing editor and deputy editor and was named editor in 2012.

Philip assessed the implications of the most significant developments in publishing in 2013, including the Penguin/Random House merger, Macmillan’s volte face on ‘agency model’ ebook pricing, the seemingly inexorable growth in digital publishing, and much more (even including Charlton Heston). He explained how The Bookseller itself has had to re-position in recent years to reflect and keep in step with the technological changes in the industry, meeting the growth of blogging and news dissemination via social media and the decline in print issue advertising; his view on how the book trade has evolved during his time as a journalist observer; his personal thoughts on what the industry should be doing to face future challenges.


Thursday 28 November 2013 -

111th Anniversary Inaugural Dinner of the London McGonagall Club

Never to be forgotten for a very, very, very long time!

McG place settingWilliam Topaz McGonagall Supper, 28th November 2013, 7 p.m. for 6:30 pm at The George.

Gentlemen, the Queen!

©Charles Nasmyth 2013

An historic event of monumental significance in the poetic annals of this island.  As far as we know, an event of  this nature honouring this amazing bard – who will be remembered for a very, long time – has never before been held south of the border.Participants were shocked into joining in with community singing, verse and active toasting ["McGonagall! William Topaz McGonagall: may he remembered for a very, very long time"]. Everyone dressed accordingly for such a disastrous occasion: lads in cap, scarf, old jacket, ‘nicky tams’ (trousers tied up around the calves with string) and a pair of old boots; collarless shirt perhaps; for ladies, tasteless headscarf (over curlers perhaps), cardigan, slippers…

McGonagall 3 McGonagall 4 McGonagall 1 McGonagall 2 Queen Victoria at the McGonagall Supper McG dinner 2103

McG_cover58c3e4 going daan

Illustration from “The Comic Legend of William McGonagall” created by Charles Nasmyth and published by Waverley Books ©Charles Nasmyth 2007



Wednesday 6 November 2013

Jeremy Tankard - Disturbing Type Designer

fontsSince graduating at the Royal College of Art, Jeremy has gained a worldwide reputation for the high quality and unique designs of his typefaces. Following six years working in corporate design, Jeremy Tankard Typography was established in 1998 giving Jeremy the freedom to focus purely on type design and related projects. The growing typeface collection includes many internationally recognised typefaces, which are used around the world.

Jeremy Tankard

There is more information at together with a list of the typefaces.Jeremy gave us a unique insight into his notes for the development of several of his typefaces - such as Bliss, Corbel and Redisturbed – as well as some of his inspirations and the challenge which face someone designing a digital typeface.



Wednesday 2 October 2013

Patrick Neale – Books are his bag

Patrick Neale at the Galley Club, October 2013

Patrick Neale, co-owner of Jaffe & Neale Bookshop in Chipping Norton and President of the Booksellers Association, told us about the current state of the bookselling industry and what the future holds, plus some tips for aspiring booksellers.

According to his Twitter page @Jaffeandneale, Patrick is a farmer’s son turned bookseller, now with three sons of his own (who want to turn his beloved bookshop into a pet shop).

Season 2012-2013

Thursday 26 September 2013

Summer Party 2013 in The Press House

This year’s Summer Party moved across the river and down several floors. The Press House inhabits part of what was the crypt of St Brides. The existing crypt is worth a visit too if you can find the time – and also St Brides’ Institute and Library next door.

We had a great turnout from established members and met lots of new members and made new friends during a lovely evening in the City.

The Press House, 1 St Bride’s Passage, City of London, EC4Y 8EJ

Wednesday 1 May 2013

Great expectations

Ron Grosset

Ron at McGonagall Supper 2012

Ron Grosset, Publisher and bon viveur

. Oh, how we laughed at the jinks, japes and capers as Ron recounted of The Dandy and The Beano rivalry; those expert artists over the decades in D.C. Thomsonland and the humour which permeated the air with topical gems of Scottish character an’ such post-modern anes like – “the only kindle we have in Scotland is one you light and have with your tea”.

Ron has worked for over years 30 years in trade and mass-market book publishing and production; initially with William Collins, Sons & Co Ltd, Glasgow and London, where he was Head of Product Development, and now as publisher of Waverley Books specialising in children’s books and reference books of a Scottish flavour.


Ron is an advisor to the Scottish Arts Council, the Scottish Parliament, chairs various committees for Publishing Scotland, is a Trustee of the Edinburgh Unesco City Of Literature organisation, and acts as consultant to paper mills and print groups in Europe and Asia. He is a skilled procurement expert, sourcing pre-press, book and magazine work in huge volume around the world. Ron advises on economic product design for print media, materials development, procurement and production buying and lectures on these and related subjects in the UK and overseas.

He has been responsible for publishing such seminal works of literature as Whaur’s Oor Wullie? and History Of The Beano. His talk this evening focussed on a history of The Dandy; some of his recent ventures The Art and History of The Dandy – 75 years of Biffs Bangs and Banana Skins and Maw Broons’ Cookbook. The Dandy is the longest running weekly comic in the world, but it just stopped publishing in print last December. He talked about the Scots favourites The Broons and Oor Wullie, both which started as cartoon strips in The Sunday Post newspaper in 1936 and continue to this day, and engaged the audience with tales of the Dandy from the beginning, through its peak circulation in the ’50s and ’60s of over 2M copies sold per week – 120M per year – to the end [the last paper edition was published on 4 December 2012]. He explored the impact resident artists like Dudley Watkins had on their audience and the circulation.

Monday 22 April 2013

Return to Royal Academy


Our group from The Galley Club had the privileged opportunity to visit the Rare Books Library in the Royal Academy, Piccadilly, as guests of Librarian Nick Savage. What a lovely evening it was for all. As he promised, Nick retrieved some priceless works by the likes of Aldus Manutius, Albrecht Durer, Don Francisco Goya, Roald Dahl, Quentin Blake, to name a few – a special selection just for us. He knows that Galley Club members actually do like books. If you want to see more, take a look at the pics on our Facebook site. [not the cookery guys in Palma de Mallorca].


Wednesday 3 April 2013

Not all sweetness and light

David Hicks

David Hicks, Book Trade Charity

BTBS is 175 years old this year. View the BTBS 175th Anniversary video here

To donate to the charity, visit: .

What is the impact of the technological and environmental developments in our  “digitised” industry?

What support do we give to charitable causes in our Big-Issue generation?

David Hicks told us how the Book Trade Charity [BTBS] has developed. He enlightened us on the social and cultural influences which were behind its establishment in the first place, the key developments in its history,  the context within which it operates and where it goes from here. He expounded on competition and cooperation between charities during the 35 years he has been in the voluntary sector. David also announced a very interesting co-operative relationship now unfolding with the Matthew Hodder Charitable Trust and hinted at another development with another institution, but still filed under “confidential. Most importantly, David made us pause for thought and ponder where we draw our personal “lines in the sand” about which charities we deem worthy of our support; which are not and are, for example, the national government’s responsibility to address; and which are beyond the pale.

BTBS has been around for 175 years

David Hicks is Chief Executive of  The Book Trade Charity (BTBS). Following schooling in Fareham, Hants, and studying for a BA in Business Studies, David worked with his sponsoring company, De La Rue, for one year. Deciding that industry was not the place for him, he worked for The (C of E) Children’s Society as Fundraising Organiser  for 7 years, then moved to London HQ in fundraising administration to complete 10 years. There followed time with Royal National Institute for Deaf People,  John Grooms Association for Disabled People, and The Brendon Care Foundation (an elderly care charity in Winchester).

A passion for books and 16 years’ experience in charities set David up for appointment as Chief Executive of BTBS where he has been since 1994. In 2012, he became a Liveryman of the Worshipful Company of Stationers and Newspapermakers and considers himself more a part of the book trade, than the voluntary sector.

View the BTBS 175th Anniversary video here

To donate to the charity, visit:

Wednesday 6 March 2013

Quiz Night at The George 2013.

. Our Quizmaestro, Barry Winkleman, did us proud with challenging questions on a range of topics from the publishing world and far beyond. Certainly it was a full house; although sadly one team failed to make it in because of transport problems.


2nd place 1st prize International performance from Canada, Sweden and LithuaniaSerious quizzing












As you can see from the results, it was a close finish with only single points separating the teams at third, fourth and fifth places – and a tie-break being necessary for third-placed Etruscans to come through, beating the Rain Men to the spot (and the chocolates). A worthy second place went to the Windmill Street Irregulars, who were a clear 5 points ahead from those in third, whilst The Atlantic Galley Slaves managed to top the field, also by a 5-point margin.

Honorary mention goes to an international team of recent MA publishing graduates from Kingston – hailing from Canada, Sweden and Lithuania – who made a game effort to negotiate their way through this very British pastime of pub quizzing; the determination of Adam’s Army was finally rewarded with the most distinctive of wooden ladles. All participants thoroughly enjoyed the occasion, and the generous portions of food laid on by the team at The George satisfied all.

The final results can be seen Quiz Night Results 6th March 2013 here or downloaded as an Excel spreadsheet on the link below:

Quiz Night 2013 Placement








Wednesday 6 February 2013






Wednesday 6 February 2013

What ‘Angry Birds’ can teach publishers

Anna Faherty with some Angry Birds

Anna Faherty, Lecturer and writer

Anna Faherty is an experienced publisher and an award-winning lecturer and writer. She works on a range of print and digital media projects across the publishing, museum and learning sectors for clients such as OUP, Quercus, SAGE, Wiley-Blackwell, the National Maritime Museum, the V&A and the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew.

This evening, Anna told us the lessons publishers can learn from the development process and business decisions behind the most successful mobile game in history – ‘Angry Birds’ – and how will publishers need to change if they want to secure a similar level of digital success.

Four years ago Finnish mobile games developer Rovio was at rock bottom. Long development times and high overheads were pushing the organisation towards bankruptcy; 38 of the company’s 50-strong workforce were let go. Rovio’s next product not only just needed to sell, it needed to sell enough to save the company. The make-or-break game was ‘Angry Birds’, which became a global phenomenon and catapulted the once struggling company to a $100m revenue business.

Anna is currently working with two major publishers to develop bespoke training materials relating to innovation and digital publishing. She also teaches on the MA Publishing course at Kingston University, where she leads the Product Design and Editorial Management module.

Wednesday 23 January 2013

The Christmas/New Year Party 2013

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The historic, beautiful, grade II Punch Tavern was the venue for our Christmas Party (either late for Christmas 2012 or early for 2013 – you choose).

Wednesday 5 December 2012

A future for bricks and mortar bookshops?

Philip Downer speaks at the Galley ClubPhilip Downer, Retail Consultant

In this session, Philip Downer focused on the future of traditional high street bookshops and what they should be doing to compete with online retail competitors and ebook downloads. He also discussed the broader retail environment and give an insight into why Borders’ UK operation closed.

Philip announced publicly for the first time that he and former Borders colleague Andy Adamson will be opening a new store called Calliope,¹ after the daughter of Zeus and the muse of epic poetry. He said: “We envisage a store and an online offer with a combination of books, gifts and other merchandise. I’ve been saying for some time that bookshops have to diversity and that being an expert 100% bookshop shows a profound failure to understand how customer expectations have changed. There is an opportunity to sell quality books to a broad consumer audience”. It will have a mixed offering with less than 50% being books – all to be beautifully-produced works; an online dimension and a “community resource”.

Philip spent 30 years in retailing – as CEO of Borders UK, and before that at Waterstone’s, WH Smith and Our Price Records. He has worked extensively in the UK and the US, and is now dividing his time between consultancy work and writing/speaking.

He is a Director of the retail consultancy Front of Store.

¹Downer also said he was more inspired by the old steam organ of the same name towed around the country by horses,  which produced the fairground noises featured in “Being for the Benefit of Mr Kite!” on “Sergeant Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band”.

Thursday 15 November 2012

Writing with Scissors

Graham Rawle speaks at the Galley ClubGraham Rawle, Writer, illustrator and collage artist

Graham Rawle’s visual work incorporates illustration, design, photography and installation. His weekly ‘Lost Consonants’ first appeared in the Weekend Guardian in 1990 and ran for 15 years. He has produced other regular series, which include ‘Lying Doggo’ and ‘Graham Rawle’s Wonder Quiz’ for The Observer, ‘When Words Collide’ and ‘Pardon Mrs Arden’ for The Sunday Telegraph Magazine, and ‘Bright Ideas’ for The Times; described by Tom Phillips as the Houdini of verbal escapology and Stakhanovite of the scissors and paste.

Among his published books are The Wonder Book of Fun, Lying Doggo, and Diary of an Amateur Photographer. His collaged novel, Woman’s World, published by Atlantic Books, pasted together from scraps of text cut from 50s and 60s women’s magazines took five years to produce and received wide critical acclaim. The Times called it, “A work of genius…The most wildly original novel produced in this country in the past decade”. His reinterpretation of The Wizard of Oz won 2009 Book of the Year at the British Book Production & Design Awards. His latest novel, The Card, published this year – also by Atlantic Books.

Graham lectures and exhibits internationally, most recently in Uncanny: Surrealism and Graphic Design, curated by Rick Poynor, at the Morovian Gallery in Brno, Czech Republic and the Kunsthal Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands. He teaches on the MA Sequential Design/Illustration and MA Art and Design by Independent Project courses at the University of Brighton and regularly gives lectures about his work at academic institutions, literary festivals, museums, theatres, art galleries, cinemas and bookstores.

Graham’s talk to The Galley Club focused on the books he has produced; particularly Diary of an Amateur Photographer, Woman’s World and his recent work, The Card. Each book uses visual elements and experiments with the interplay between text and image (or text as image). He discussed how this can affect both the creative process and the reading experience. Crucially, he also addressed various critical issues such as why dogs are funnier than cats.
Wednesday 3 October 2012

Your online presence: Reach, Trust and Discovery

Laura Austin and Gavin SummersLaura Austin and Gavin Summers, founders of Bookmachine

. BookMachine is a fast growing book publishing network which consists of an engaging website, which is updated daily, and regular events in London, Oxford and Edinburgh. BookMachine uses a range of online channels to reach book publishing professionals globally.

This session focused on the sociological impact of online publishing communities, and the best way to build your online brand. Whether you run your own business, work for a publisher or are looking for work, there is more to your online presence than simply having Twitter, Linkedin and Facebook profiles.

As online communication develops, there will be a number of factors which determine your success online. Laura and Gavin suggest that reach, trust and discovery are key.

more info…click here for Earlier Seasons

Earlier seasons