Earlier this year, Claire Armitstead said in The Guardian: ‘…any publisher called Dostoyevsky Wannabe, frankly, has to be worth a ticket to Manchester, which – along with Sheffield and Norwich – is becoming a soul city of micropublishing’ – and who, frankly, are we to argue?
As well as national press coverage, largely as a result of finding their way onto the boutique 2018 shortlist of über-on-trend the Republic of Consciousness Prize for Small Presses, the two-strong team at staunchly indie publishing house Dostoyevsky Wannabe are making waves from their base in Manchester with a burgeoning list of novels, non-fiction titles and collections. Since getting underway four or so years ago, Victoria Brown and Richard Brammer have published 51 or so books, under different imprints (Original, Experimental, Cities, and so on). They’ve just enjoyed two weeks on The Publisher’s Table at the South London Gallery. They’re being interviewed right now over at 3:AM. Hell, they even have button badges.
Isabel Waidner’s Gaudy Bauble – a Dostoyevsky Wannabe Original – got them on that RoC list (won, incidentally, by Influx Press for Attrib. and other stories by Eley Williams, so we won’t complain too loudly). Manchester-based Richard Barrett and Steve Hanson’s co-authored and hot-of-the-press The Acts – a Dostoyevsky Wannabe Experiment – will be showcased at the Manchester Independent Books And Arts Fair (aka Dostoyevsky Wannabe Goes To Manchester).
Look out also for the even-hotter-off-the-press anthology Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities: Manchester, featuring contributions from prose and poetry writers Bryony Bates, Tristan Burke, Sian Cummins, Valerie O’Riordan, Lee Rourke, Anthony Trevelyan and Peter Wild. Oh, and your favourite Creative Tourist Literature Editor. It’s the latest in an international DW series so far featuring Bristol and aforementioned and fellow UNESCO City of Literature Norwich, with Brooklyn, Coventry, Dundee, Glasgow, London, Madrid, Nottingham and Santiago hot on its heels.
Alongside Dostoyevsky Wannabe, there’ll be a stall run by London-Manchester publisher Dodo Ink (whose Thom Cuell commissioned Dostoyevsky Wannabe Cities: Manchester), representatives of some of Manchester’s finest indie presses, including if p then q, Knives Forks & Spoons and ZimZalla, and Manchester-based arts collective Generic Greeting.
Basically, you can go home happy with armfuls of lovely books, pamphlets and zines, tees and maybe some cassettes. We’re heading towards Christmas – what are you waiting for?