‘And Other Stories is inspired.’ Ali Smith

‘And Other Stories: publisher of the month, of the year, of the decade!’ Max Porter

‘And Other Stories is KILLING IT! These dudes are an inspiration to me.’ Will Evans, Deep Vellum Publishing

And Other Stories publishes mainly contemporary writing, including many translations. We select carefully and hope you will agree that the books are good, make you think and able to last the test of time. We aim to push people’s reading limits and help them discover authors of adventurous and inspiring writing. And we want to open up publishing so that from the outside it doesn’t look like some posh freemasonry. For example, as we said in this piece in The Guardian, we think more of the English publishing industry should move out of London, Oxford and their environs. In 2017 we moved our main office out of the South-East to Sheffield and found such a warm welcome.

And Other Stories is readers, editors, writers, translators and subscribers. While our books are distributed widely through bookshops, it’s our subscribers’ support that makes the books happen. We now have about 1,000 active subscribers in over 40 countries, receiving up to 6 books a year.

We also have reading groups where people can help us unearth and discuss great foreign books we could publish in English. Curious about our reading groups? Follow The Guardian or Publishing Perspectives to find out more. ‘The future of publishing?’ Why not?! We love the books we’re publishing and we hope you will, too.

Timeline – Our Potted History

2009

Even before the late 2000s recession made the output of the big commercial publishing houses risk-averse (i.e. boring), there weren’t many publishers choosing books solely for literary merit. In 2009 Stefan Tobler, a translator and now And Other Stories’ publisher, met with fellow translators and writers to brainstorm the idea of setting up a collective to publish fresh, contemporary fiction. There was a lot of enthusiasm for his formula that Publishing = Supply + Demand + Magic.

2010

And Other Stories was born – although it never became a fully-fledged collective, it’s been a collaboration from the start. A special kind of crowdfunding that updates an 18th century idea for the 21st century: readers support risky, adventurous writing by subscribing to the books in advance of publication. And people loved it, with the first subscribers signing up in 2010. Sophie Lewis, formerly of Dalkey Archive Press, moved to Rio de Janeiro and edited most of our books from there for a number of years.

2011

The first four books are published. The very first one – Juan Pablo Villalobos’s Down the Rabbit Hole – became the first translation shortlisted for the Guardian First Book Award, going on to be one of our most-read books, loved for its black humour and precocious and foul-mouthed child narrator. The other three titles were Deborah Levy’s Swimming Home, Iosi Havilio’s Open Door and Clemens Meyer’s All the Lights.

2012

Deborah Levy’s brilliant novel Swimming Home made it to the 2012 Man Booker Prize shortlist and delighted readers send us presents, including a set of coloured spoons.

2013

We set up an office in the US, run by Sarah Russo, and started publicising and publishing many of our titles in North America. Meanwhile in the UK, our American writer Helen DeWitt’s Lightning Rods was shortlisted for the 2013 Bollinger Everyman Wodehouse Prize, almost winning Helen a pig.

2014

Tara Murphy, a veteran of Canadian indie publishing, moved to the UK after she and Stefan got engaged on Brooklyn Bridge at the end of Book Expo America. (As you do.) Soon Tara Tobler, she became a big part of And Other Stories.

2015

Organic, steady growth meant we were finally in a position to move the ‘office’ out of a third-floor small-town flat and into a second-floor small office. We also took on our first full-time employee: the brilliant publicist (and translator from Swedish) Nichola Smalley.

2016

Yuri Herrera won the Best Translated Book Award for his Mexican migration novel Signs Preceding the End of the World. That 2015-published novel and his apocalyptical The Transmigration of Bodies (published summer 2016) were hits on both sides of the Atlantic, proving that the reading public does have great, adventurous taste.

2017

And Other Stories moved to Sheffield, because it’s a great, rebellious, friendly city. We rented our first Sheffield office in the Central Library. (Nicky Smalley meanwhile is given a London desk – London is still where the books media is.)

2018

Our Year of Publishing Women – an effort to counteract the inequalities in the publishing industry, not least a frustrating lack of women published in English translation. We kicked things off with unpublished and long-lost The Unmapped Country by the great Ann Quin.

2019

Another good year for prize attention. Our inaugural 2018 Northern Book Prize-winning novel Slip of a Fish by Amy Arnold landed on the 2019 Goldsmiths Prize shortlist, while The Remainder by Alia Trabucco Zerán (and translated by Sophie Hughes) was shortlisted for the Man Booker International Prize. Gini Alhadeff’s translation of Fleur Jaeggy’s I Am the Brother of XX won the Society of Authors’ John Florio Prize and Frank Perry’s translation of Lina Wolff’s Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs won the same Society’s Bernard Shaw Prize, while Charlotte Whittle’s translation of People in the Room by Norah Lange and Stefan Tobler’s translation of The Old King in His Exile by Arno Geiger both picked up a couple of translation prize shortlistings.

2020

Emma Warhurst joined the team in February for production work. Just a week before a pandemic sent everyone off to work from home. We also expanded our US office with the creation of two new roles: Jeremy M. Davies, formerly an editor at Farrar, Straus and Giroux, joined and acquired writers including Robin McLean, Adrian Nathan West, Michele Mari and Johanna Hedva, while at the end of the year Tom Flynn, a former bookseller in Chicago, joins us for bookseller and other outreach.

2021

We are crowned Small Press of the Year for the North of England region at the British Book Awards. Nichola Smalley is now not only our UK publicity director, but also an award-winning translator. Her English translation of Andrzej Tichý‘s novel Wretchedness was awarded the 2021 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, an honour it received after appearing on the International Booker Prize longlist in the spring.

2022

Our count of original titles was seventeen, our high-water mark so far. Many books were long- and shortlisted for a number of major prizes, and won them, including (take a deep breath) Phenotypes by Paulo Scott (and his translator Daniel Hahn) for the International Booker Prize, Keeping the House by Tice Cin (for the Dylan Thomas, Jhalak, Desmond Elliott, British Book Award and Gordon Burns prizes), Somebody Loves You by Mona Arshi (for the Jhalak, Desmond Elliott and Republic of Consciousness prizes) and Preti Taneja’s Aftermath (for the Gordon Burn Prize), which it won.

2023

Prize attention included a British Book Award shortlisting for Aftermath in the Book of the Year category and the International Booker Prize shortlisting for Boulder, while our first poetry collection, Pitch & Glint, was the Poetry Book Society’s autumn Translation Choice. In another first for us, And Other Stories won the most prestigious Brazilian literary prize, a tortoise (the Jabuti Prize) for the best foreign publication of a Brazilian Book (Phenotypes).

From this September our new titles appeared in a new series design in cream card and black foil; the concept is simple and radical: we put words first.

2024

In addition to the prize wins and shortlistings for its Australian edition (including winning the very prestigious Stella Prize), Praiseworthy is shortlisted for the James Tait Black and Dublin Literary Award. Meanwhile very first book, Down the Rabbit Hole, becomes a film, plastered up on billboards and looking great.

11 Commandments of Book Selection at And Other Stories

1.

We publish writing that is mind-blowing, often ‘challenging’ (Maureen Freely) and ‘shamelessly literary’ (Stuart Evers) – opening a space for exploration and discovery. Funny often too, at least we think so. Look at the authors we’ve read and published to get a feel for And Other Stories’ tastes.

2.

Our focus is on literary fiction and increasingly on non-fiction too, particularly narrative kinds of literary non-fiction. Our first work of literary non-fiction was Now and at the Hour of our Death by Susana Moreira Marques. A funny and wonderful work in verse by Deborah Levy (An Amorous Discourse in the Suburbs of Hell) has come out too and in 2023 we publish our first collection of poetry, Pitch & Glint by Lutz Seiler, and will certainly publish more poetry.

3.

We publish mainly contemporary writing, which for us means written in the last 40 years or so. There are a lot of good writers to catch up with from other literatures. Books can have slow fuses.

4.

We focus on new publications, but don’t rule out great books from the past that never had the reception they deserved, or which fell into neglect. We’re proud to be growing the Ann Quin fan club with our new editions, for instance.

5.

We publish world-class writing, not ‘world writing’. A lot of translations (because there are so many amazing writers currently not available to readers in English) but always alongside English-language writing. We are happy to consider submissions from translators and agents. Hence . . .

6.

Suggestions and tips are encouraged – send your suggestions in according to our Submissions page guidelines.)

7.

We will read as much as we can. But this is fitted in outside of (normal) working hours, so bear with us. Responses to submissions cannot always be quick.

8.

Reading groups keep our lifeblood pumping (ie books!) – if you would like to initiate one and choose its titles with the core team, get in touch (via the Contact page). They are open to everyone on the mailing list and allow readers to have a say in our editorial decisions.

9.

We spread the love. Names of authors or books generating excitement in reading groups (not necessarily unanimous) should be suggested to the core team for inclusion in their next acquisitions meeting.

10.

Final decisions are made by the core team – ultimate responsibility and blame rests with the publisher, Stefan Tobler. And Other Stories is a balancing act: a publishing house that must act as the core team deems best, and yet whose direction and choice of titles is guided by its active supporters’ intelligent, normally civilised, and always passionate debate.

11.

These aren’t really commandments. Not rules but rules of thumb. There’s always an exception to the rule.

Why not-for-profit

And Other Stories has been set up as a Community Interest Company (CIC, pronounced ‘kick’). This means we are a not-for-private-profit company. In such companies no profits are ever paid out to owners.

But what really gives us a ‘CIC’? (Couldn’t resist!) We make our decisions based on what we think is good writing and a good way of working. This sets us apart from shareholder-driven publishing companies where all decisions are ultimately about increasing profits. Of course, in order to be able to continue our work in the long-term, we certainly can’t lose money. Here’s how we try to do good:

  • We commit to donate 10% of our profits between three organisations who are making a difference. Learn more about the organisations we donate to.
  • Our supporters and subscribers can take part in our reading groups to discuss books we should publish.
  • Slowing climate change and working for a sustainable future for people on this planet is central to our working practices. Read more in our Sustainability Statement.
  • We bank with an ethical bank, the Co-operative Bank, that does not invest in sectors such as oil exploration or the arms trade.
  • We value and pay translators properly. Currently this includes putting their name on the front cover and paying at a rate of GBP £95 / 1,000 words of prose.
  • As a CIC, the company cannot be swallowed (bought) by a larger fish, if that fish’s objectives are commercial. So there’s no danger our aims will suddenly change. (Not that hedge funds tend to buy literary presses, admittedly . . .)
  • We do what we can to promote a diverse literary culture, e.g. by supporting fellow independent publishers and bookshops.
  • We are a charter member of Equality in Publishing (EQUIP), which increases access to opportunities within the publishing industry.
  • We make a point of looking for and mentoring the best new talent. Of giving people a foot in the door. As well as recruiting staff without previous publishing experience, we have given a number of authors, translators and editors their first books, and have run competitions and prizes to find translators and authors.

Jo Higgs

picture of Jo Higgs for And Other Stories staff pageJo is And Other Stories’ new Office Administrator, based in Sheffield. He moved down to the Steel City last year, from Edinburgh, where he had lived his whole life until then, including studying his MA and MScR at the University of Edinburgh, looking at contemporary(ish) Scottish literature. Since school, he has worked in coffee while freelance writing on the side, covering arts, literature, football and music. He also writes a story every now and then.

Stefan Tobler

Publisher Stefan Tobler founded And Other Stories out of frustration at the great books not being published in English. Born to an English mother and Swiss father, he lived in northern Brazil, southern England and eastern Germany before making his home in the Dark Peak, near Sheffield and Manchester. His translations include works by Clarice Lispector, Raduan Nassar, Lutz Seiler and Arno Geiger. He reads in French and Spanish too and obviously he subsidises literary publishing with his fashion empire & Other Stories and his Toblerone chocolate factory. He’s also on Twitter sometimes @stefantobler.

 

Tara Tobler

Tara Tobler, senior editor at And Other Stories, is originally from Canada, where worked for many years for the Canadian independent publisher Biblioasis. Books she has edited for us include two of the titles shortlisted for the 2017 Oxford-Weidenfeld Translation Prize, of which Frank Perry’s translation of Lina Wolff’s Bret Easton Ellis and the Other Dogs went on to win. She is also a writer, freelance reviewer, and mother of three young children.

 

 

 

 

Emma Warhurst

Emma Warhurst is the Production Executive at And Other Stories. She graduated with an MA (Hons) in Spanish from the University of St Andrews and an MPhil in Latin American Studies from the University of Cambridge, where she spent her time researching and writing about witches in Latin American literature. Emma briefly worked in shopping television, before spending several years working in the prison and probation service. She has now left prison and is excited to be working in the less dangerous world of literary publishing. Emma spends her free time reading great books and writing not-so-great ones.

Michael Watson

Michael Watson is our UK publicist, based in London. He joined in 2022 from Repeater Books, where he did campaigns in both the UK and US for works including Patrick Wright’s The Sea View Has Me Again, the republication of Junglist by Andrew Green and Eddie Otchere and TIME Magazine book of the year, You’re History by Lesley Chow. In 2021 he was shortlisted for the IPG Bookseller Young Publisher of the Year award. With a distant past working in public history, in his spare time he enjoys searching for lost and forgotten relics in London and elsewhere. He’s also a keen runner and cyclist. You can find him tweeting infrequently at @michaelvvatson.

 

Contributing Editors

Briallen Hopper

Contributing Editor Briallen Hopper is proud to represent And Other Stories in the United States. Briallen holds a PhD in English from Princeton, taught writing at Yale and in summer 2018 moved to Queens to be assistant professor of creative nonfiction at Queens College, CUNY. Her writing on books, movies, religion, and politics has appeared in publications including Los Angeles Review of Books, Killing the Buddha, The New Inquiry, and The New Republic, and her smart book of essays on love and friendship, Hard to Love, was published by Bloomsbury in February 2019. She is on twitter @briallenhopper.

Preti Taneja

As a Contributing Editor, Preti Taneja advises us and is involved in our acquisitions process, for which she accepts full manuscripts. Her debut novel We That Are Young won the 2018 Desmond Elliott Prize and was also nominated for international awards including the Rathbones Folio Prize, the Jan Michalski Prize and the Shakti Bhatt First Book Award. It was a Book of the Decade in The Hindu, a top 10 Book of the Year in The Sunday Times, a Top 10 Literary Fiction Book of the Year in Library Journal, and a Book of the Year in The Guardian and The Spectator. It is in translation around the world. Preti broadcasts for BBC Radio 3 and 4 on world literature and culture; she also teaches writing in prisons and is a Lecturer in Creative Writing at the University of Newcastle.

Advisory Board Members

All our staff and contributing editors are welcome to participate in advisory board meetings. They are joined by:

Michael Barron

From the mail rooms of New Directions, Michael Barron worked his way up to editor, a role he also held at Melville House. He is a recipient of the Axion Foundation / E.L Doctorow Fiction Fellowship at NYU where he taught a class on global literature. His endeavours include assembling a complete English-language online anthology of short stories from every country and region in the world, being a jurist for the National Book Critics Circle award for best translation, and editing the books section of The Rumpus. He has translated literature from the Spanish, reviews for the Washington Post, and is at work on a novel. You can follow Michael on twitter.

Marta Berto

Poetry admirer and book gatherer, Marta moved to Sheffield from Warsaw. She’s currently the Screen Heritage Fund Manager at the British Film Institute, where she supports screen heritage development and moving image archives across the UK. She has in-depth knowledge of development, production and exhibition of the arts, having worked for the European Commission’s MEDIA/ Creative Europe programme and having held a variety of senior roles in the creative industries.

Debjani Biswas-Hawkes

Debjani Biswas-Hawkes currently works in placemaking, with a particular interest in creating inclusive spaces in the public realm. Her practice is informed by a feminist approach and through co-production with diverse communities. A qualified solicitor, Debjani comes to And Other Stories with experience from both the City and the pro bono sector. Throughout, she advocated for marginalised and disadvantaged groups, volunteering with Refugee Action, the International Centre for Advocates Against Discrimination and Young Women’s Trust, amongst others. Her other great passion is reading, underpinned by a BA in English Literature and Language. Having reviewed And Other Stories’ early titles, Debjani has enjoyed watching the publisher grow in recognition and success, and is proud to be a part of its advisory board.

Michelle Chan Schmidt

Michelle Chan Schmidt (she/her) occasionally writes and/or translates, but her most colourful and current caps are that of Assistant Editor for Fiction at Asymptote; 2023 Editorial Fellow at Full Stop; Scholar of English Literature and History at Trinity College, Dublin; and bookseller/tea-drinker at Marrowbone Books, a lovely yellow second-hand bookshop in Dublin’s Liberties. Her creative and critical writing about Hong Kong has been published in La Piccioletta BarcaCha: An Asian Literary Journal, the Trinity Journal of Literary TranslationAsymptote, and other venues. She updates on her writing and editorial work here.

Humairaa Dudhwala

Humairaa Dudhwala is an Assistant Editor at Manchester University Press, working across the Politics and History lists and commissioning in Middle Eastern Studies. She has a background in book production and is involved with social responsibility work at the Press. In 2024 Humairaa received the London Book Fair’s Trailblazer Award. She is currently studying for her MA at SOAS.

Seb Emina

Seb Emina is an award-winning editor and writer based in Paris. For a decade he was editor-in-chief of The Happy Reader magazine, from its launch until its final issue in 2023; other previous roles include deputy editor at the style and culture magazine Fantastic Man and producer at the arts organisation Artangel. His writing has appeared in newspapers and magazines internationally. He’s the author of The Breakfast Bible, a breakfasters’ compendium. With Silvia Guerra he is co-curator of Five Radio Stations, a series of artworks that are also radio stations. His fortnightly (ish) newsletter is called READ ME.

Daniel Hahn

Daniel Hahn is a writer, editor and translator who, barely out of his youth, has a César Aira-like abundance of books to his name. These include works of non-fiction, literary translations, and assorted anthologies and reference books including The Oxford Companion to Children’s Literature. He has been chair of the Society of Authors, a director of the British Centre for Literary Translation and on the board of many organisations. For us, he has translated Paulo Scott’s Nowhere People and Phenotypes, as well as Juan Pablo Villalobos’s I Don’t Expect Anyone To Believe Me. We are also honoured that he has been a subscriber to And Other Stories from our first books.

Mireille Harper

Mireille Harper is an editorial director at Bluebird & One Boat (Pan Macmillan). Mireille is also a writer, sensitivity reader and PR/communications consultant. Her work has been published in British Vogue, GUAP, Nataal and more. As a communications consultant specialising in creative, cultural and community-led projects, Mireille has worked with Punch Records, BYP Network, ShoutOut Network. She is a trustee of Migrateful and on the advisory board for Africa Writes. Mireille is the author of Timelines from Black History and a contributing writer to Timelines of Everyone, The Black History Book and Migrations. Her essay, ‘Why Passivity Will No Longer Do’ is published in the And Other Stories / Feminist Book Society anthology, This Is How We Come Back Stronger.

Gloria Lin

Gloria Lin is an applied research consultant specialising in philanthropy and greenfield technology in the commercial and arts sectors. She was the inaugural Research Manager at the National Gallery UK, supporting public access, impact, and major acquisitions. Her previous roles include research management at the London Business School and Imperial College. Her consultancy work covers a range of public sector, listed companies and startups across the US, UK, EU, and East Asia. Gloria also served as the First Decade Curator for the Crafts Council UK, supported by the Heritage Lottery Fund. Gloria holds a Joint BA in East Asian Studies and Asian Pacific Studies from the University of Leeds and was shortlisted for the Helen Scott Lidgett Prize in 2014. She is also a poet connected to the Berlin-based experimental publisher, Tabloid Press.

Hope Ndaba

Hope Ndaba (they/she) is a Communications Manager at FMcM, the books PR agency, where they work on prizes and across a list of authors such as Jamaica Kincaid, Kathryn Hughes, Helen Russell, Kirsty Sedgman and others. Prior to their current role, Hope worked at Picador Books, Vintage Books and Profile/Serpent’s Tail on literary fiction and narrative non-fiction titles. Their work in publicity has been shortlisted for an Annual PPC Award and Hope really enjoys being involved in the industry; whether it’s through mentoring, chairing or attending literary events, keeping up with prizes or tending to their own bookstagram. Their poetry has recently been published in the collection, He, She, They, Us (May 2024). Hope is based in London.

Steven Norton

Steven Norton is co-head of executive networks, research, and media at Metis Strategy, a management consulting firm that advises Fortune 500 technology executives. He previously was a reporter at The Wall Street Journal, where he wrote about business and technology (and occasionally literature in translation). Prior to joining WSJ, he helped launch an online community for financial professionals at Thomson Reuters. Steven holds a BA in comparative literature from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is based in Brooklyn.

Sade Omeje

Sade Omeje is a literary fiction editor at The Novelry, and has been a freelance book editor since 2022. Following on from an editorial career at Harper Collins under the 4th Estate and William Collins imprints, Sade explored the world of start-ups, before circling back to her love of books and starting her own literary consultancy. Originally from Manchester, she is the trustee of the Portico Library and a recipient of the Future Female Leaders Award from IESE Business School. Outside of work, she likes to travel and write. She is based in London.

Jonathan Paterson

Jonathan Paterson began his trip down from the North East of England by way of Salford University studying Sociology and Cultural Studies and lived in Manchester for many years working in the finance department of the world-famous Lowry Centre art galleries and theatre. He began his publishing career in London at Transworld but now he is Commercial Director at Hachette UK’s Octopus Publishing Group. He lives in Manchester and London.

Greg Povey

Greg Povey (he/they) is a creative producer and consultant, working to unpick complex challenges and improve access to culture. They are particularly experienced and interested in the areas of art, design, culture/heritage and digital. Previous clients and partners include Barbican, Channel 4, Google Creative Lab, Site Gallery and Sydney Opera House. They live in Sheffield.

Nadia Saeed

Nadia is Translation and International Officer at human rights and literature charity English PEN. She administers its various translation grants and co-edits PEN Transmissions, an international magazine for writers, where she hopes to celebrate young voices from diaspora communities across the UK. She is based in Yorkshire and credits her previous work in publishing and theatre for her passion for bringing people together through writing and storytelling. She received the Diana Award for active campaigner for her work with the Leeds Youth Council, and is a 2024 UK Creative Community Fellow.

Michael Schmidt

Michael Schmidt is a founder and the editorial and managing director of Carcanet Press Ltd (Manchester) and the General Editor of the magazine PN Review. He is a literary historian, poet and quondam novelist, and he is currently a Professor of Poetry at the University of Manchester.

Sophie Tolhurst

Sophie Tolhurst is a Sheffield-based design writer and editor, whose writing features in publications such as Creative ReviewFrieze, and the Financial Times, as well as forthcoming title, The Design Book, part of the DK Big Ideas Simply Explained series. Following a pivot from design to journalism, Sophie has since had the privilege of writing about a wide range of design and the issues it intersects, from Right to Repair to inclusivity in design briefs. Outside of work she can usually be found exploring new landscapes – whether in the pages of a book or out on her bike.

William Weightman

William Weightman is a Director at Swiss Life Asset Managers. He has prior experience in the music industry, where he oversaw the day-to-day running of a record label and artist management division at Chugg Entertainment, one of Australia’s leading entertainment companies. William is a regular guest lecturer on International Business Strategy and holds an Executive MBA from the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM). He is based in London.

 

Sustainability Statement

And Other Stories’ Action for the Climate

  1. Carbon-cutting (incl. No-Fly Policy)
  2. Advocacy and Collaboration
  3. Eco-friendly Production and Business
  4. Donating to an Environmental Organisation

 

  1. Carbon-cutting (incl. No-Fly Policy)

If we want to slow climate change, we have to change our actions as people and companies. Air travel is one of the most significant contributors to carbon emissions and is a major area where we as a press can curb emissions.

With the aim of continually reducing carbon emissions:

  • We don’t fly our staff anywhere or accept invitations from cultural institutions that require flying (e.g. editorial research trips). We don’t organise, encourage, fund or apply to funders for author or translator tours involving flights, but instead lobby for behavioural change across the sector and for all to provide for non-flight alternatives (see ‘Advocacy and Collaboration’, below). Naturally, we respect authors’ and translators’ personal choices about long-distance travel and they make their own travel decisions.
  • The rare exception that proves the rule: once every few years, we may still use air travel for, for reasons of equity, for an author from the Global South or from a people devastated by British colonialism, or for an author or translator who is on the shortlist for a major prize that requires attendance in person.
  • We measure and monitor our total business travel carbon emissions each year and compare against pre-pandemic levels.
  • We always consider digital options for events, especially a) to cut the carbon footprint and b) to make artists’ work, talks and performances widely accessible (including outside major urban centres).
  • We remember the need for equitable exchange (Global North / Global South – urban / rural), and we look to create opportunities for those at the edges. We commit to ensuring that any loss of promotional opportunity through our no-fly policy is balanced out by work in other ways, including in monetary terms, with greater investment in other promotions and advertising.
  • We help staff to make carbon-cutting life choices by providing extra days of leave through the Climate Perks scheme for each year they don’t use flights for personal travel. This allows them extra time to travel by slower means. We recognise that some staff can go no-fly in their personal lives more easily than others, and are open to introducing further incentives for carbon-cutting life choices.

 

  1. Advocacy and Collaboration

As a publisher, we use our public platform to advocate. We publish books that deal with the climate emergency, such as Rita Indiana’s Tentacle, which gives a Caribbean perspective on the climate emergency.

We advocate for behavioural change in our sector and for the sharing of knowledge of how we are all changing. It’s important to explore the positives of the new ways of working, which – beyond carbon reductions – include a widening of access for all via more virtual options and the way that slower travel by public transport gives people more time to switch off and read.

We communicate to our partners that we want virtual meeting opportunities to continue (e.g. in hybrid sales conferences). We ask prizes, festivals and foreign cultural institutions to offer no-fly ways to promote books. We ask printers and paper mills to reduce their impact, for example by using renewable energy. We have been an active member of the Publishers Association’s Sustainability Taskforce since its foundation and have been involved in developing tools for the publishing community to measure its environmental impact, as well as in drafting the Publishing Declares pledge:

Publishing Declares

We, the undersigned, pledge to:

  1. Join the global climate effort to limit warming to 1.5°C by setting ambitious, measurable targets across our own operations and extended supply chain to achieve net zero as soon as possible and by 2050 at the latest.
  2. Protect nature and biodiversity, working with supply chain partners that are resource efficient, use sustainable materials and processes wherever possible in the content we produce, and constantly innovating to make use of new and recycled materials.
  3. Collaborate with our peers, authors, illustrators, supply chain partners, and business partners to translate our climate aspirations and commitments into tangible actions to safeguard our planet for future generations.
  4. Empower our colleagues to become climate literate and support them to bring that knowledge into the work that they do.
  5. Use our expertise, platform, and voice to raise awareness and drive positive climate action wherever we can.

 

  1. Eco-friendly Production and Business

We use environmental, low-carbon printers, where production is respectful of human and animal rights. Our books are printed on acid-free, long-lasting papers obtained from sustainable, Forestry Stewardship Council–certified sources, where the wood is harvested responsibly. They are printed with soy and vegetable oil–based inks, and we avoid the use of laminates (plastic) on the books’ covers. Through the Publishers Association’s new tools (tools commissioned in 2021 for development, see ‘Advocacy’ section above), we will be able to investigate our supply chain more closely.

In addition, And Other Stories (and our partners) have stopped using plastics in packaging and aim to work with partners who are eco-friendly and ethical. For example, we bank with the Co-operative Bank, as it does not invest in or loan money to businesses in the fossil fuel industry or other environmentally negative industries.

 

  1. Donating to an Environmental Organisation

We are a social enterprise and our legal form is the community interest company (CIC). In such companies no profits are ever paid out to owners. Profits are re-invested in our work, but we also commit to donate 10% of the profits, sharing it equally between three organisations, of which at least one will always be chosen for its positive impact on the climate. Learn more about the organisations we donate to.

Of the three, APIB was chosen in part for its climate impact:

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)

Donate to APIB

It’s clear that preserving rainforests and other natural environments stops extra carbon being emitted, and we donate to the people who are best placed to preserve these environments. APIB is an organisation of Brazil’s indigenous people. Many of them live in the Amazon rainforest, while others are living with the trauma of dispossession, which is a story told in the novel Nowhere People by our Brazilian author Paulo Scott.

 

Postscript: Readers may notice that we are not planning to purchase any carbon offsets. This is because they are ineffective. For more on this, please see this Greenpeace article or this Pro Publica article.

Equal Opportunities Policy

Inequality and discrimination exist against people due to age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership status, ethnicity (race), religion or belief, gender (sex), and sexual orientation. These are the protected characteristics in the Equality Act 2010. We also recognise inequality and discrimination exists based on a person’s socio-economic and geographic background. And Other Stories commits to make sure it is open and accessible; that there is equality of employment; to prevent harassment, and make sure everyone is treated equally and with respect; and to ensure any complaints we receive about discrimination or harassment are taken seriously. We have an Equality Action Plan which we discuss and revise regularly. Its actions include our current commitment regarding workforce and artistic work (see below).

Authors Come First

It is important to us that our press is welcoming, safe, and supportive. We wish to make clear that abusive behaviour of any kind will not be tolerated, and in our relations with media we continually advocate for coverage that is respectful, accurate, and work-focussed. Our authors’ comfort and mental well-being are paramount; we have in the past pulled out of significant media coverage because the author felt that boundaries we had set beforehand were violated, or when the author otherwise felt bias creating an unsafe or confrontational space. We want all our authors and others who work with us to feel comfortable coming to us with concerns of any kind.

Anti-racism Statement

We are currently thinking a lot about this and are discussing what we need to be doing better. We are setting up a working group with board and staff members which will, among other things, work towards a public anti-racism statement in 2023. One thing out in public already is our editor Tara Tobler’s opinion piece on anti-racism in The Bookseller (the UK’s trade magazine for publishing). In the article, she talks about the need for more anti-racism work and advocacy from the white publishing sector.

Workforce

Our focus is to have recruitment practices that work to correct the representation biases in the industry, and to maintain a working culture that is safe and supportive to people of all backgrounds.With our main office in Sheffield, South Yorkshire, we are happy to be providing publishing work in a region where there are less opportunities in the sector.

Acquisitions

From 2025 onwards And Other Stories is committed to publishing 50% writers of colour, as well as continuing to support work from the LGBTQ2S+ community, writers from the North of England, and working-class writers. We aim to continually interrogate and refine our acquisitions process, with the goal of minimising bias and challenging it when it is found.

Year of Publishing Women 2018 & Gender Parity Pledge

Kamila Shamsie gave a talk that lit a fuse by talking about the fact that books by and about women are still significantly less likely to win literary prizes or to receive as much recognition as their male counterparts. She therefore challenged publishers to have a Year of Publishing Women in 2018. We were the only publisher who took up the challenge.

We remain committed to gender parity, and because we are one of the major publishers of literary fiction in translation, by focusing on this we hope to encourage real change in the industry in this area.

Open Publishing

We see the actions we commit to as a continuation of our ongoing project to open up publishing, which started with our brainstorming events before we launched (about what kind of a publisher people wanted), our subscriber supporter base and our reading groups for discussing foreign language books we could publish. Let us know what else you’d like to see us and other publishers doing!

We commit to donate 10% of our profits, sharing it equally between three organisations who make a difference in the areas of climate change and social justice.

The staff and advisory board will review the list on occasion, and are open to suggestions, but at present the organisations we’d like to support are:

The Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB)

Donate to APIB

It’s clear that preserving rainforests and other natural environments stops extra carbon being emitted, and we donate to the people who are best placed to preserve these environments. APIB is an organisation of Brazil’s indigenous people. Many of them live in the Amazon rainforest, while others are living with the trauma of dispossession, which is a story told in the novel Nowhere People by our Brazilian author Paulo Scott.

Joint Enterprise Not Guilty by Association (JENGbA)

Donate to JENGbA

A UK grassroots campaign, run by volunteers, that is fighting against a ‘joint enterprise’ law that is leading to convictions for people who are not guilty, people largely from minority and working-class backgrounds. Preti Taneja’s Aftermath brought the law and this organisation to our attention. This organisation is fighting it.

ASSIST Sheffield

Donate to ASSIST Sheffield

Most national Western governments’ are less than welcoming of people who need to seek asylum. One ray of hope is that local communities often offer welcome by other means, including as cities of sanctuary. And Other Stories’ main home is in Sheffield, which is part of the City of Sanctuary movement. ASSIST Sheffield helps people whose initial application for asylum has been turned down, which entails losing any legal right to housing, benefits or other vital support. ASSIST offer accommodation, information and access to essential services. Two of the And Other Stories’ books that offer perspectives on the experience of people seeking asylum are Juan Tomás Ávila Laurel‘s novel The Gurugu Pledge (tr. Jethro Soutar) and Wolfgang Bauer‘s reportage Crossing the Sea: With Syrians on the Exodus to Europe (tr. Sarah Pybus). By some kind of symmetry, both translators are Sheffielders.

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