Small Press Celebration: Inkandescent

Inkandescent is a small press based in Dalston, East London and the very first independent publisher being celebrated here at

Founders Justin and Nathan
Inkandescent was founded in 2016 by Justin David and Nathan Evans to champion ideas and voices underrepresented in mainstream publishing. Threads, their first publication (and collaboration) was funded by Arts Council England and long-listed for the Polari First Book Prize, of which their second publication AutoFellatio by James Maker was the inaugural winner. The Guardian described their third publication The Pale Ones by Bartholomew Bennett as an ‘impressive debut’.

Justin David is their publisher; he’s also a writer and photographer. A child of Wolverhampton, he now lives and worked in London, graduated from the MA Creative and Life Writing at Goldsmiths, has read for Polari Literary Salon at Royal Festival Hall and was a founder member of Leather Lane Writers with Kit de Waal. His novella The Pharmacist is published by Inkandescent.

Nathan Evans is their editor; he’s also a writer, director and performer whose work has been funded by the Arts Council, toured with the British Council, archived in the British Film Institute, broadcast on Channel Four and presented at venues including Royal Court Theatre, Royal Festival Hall and Royal Vauxhall Tavern. His collection CNUT is published by Inkandescent.

Championing underrepresented writers from LGBTQ+, BAME, working class and financially disadvantaged backgrounds and bringing new diverse voices to the readership.

They’ve got some really interesting new books coming out soon that you should check out!

Twenty-four-year-old Billy is beautiful and sexy. Albert—The Pharmacist—is a compelling but damaged older man, and a veteran of London’s late ’90s club scene. After a chance meeting in the heart of the London’s East End, Billy is seduced into the sphere of Albert. An unconventional friendship develops, fuelled by Albert’s queer narratives and an endless supply of narcotics. Alive with the twilight times between day and night, consciousness and unconsciousness, the foundations of Billy’s life begin to irrevocably shift and crack, as he fast-tracks toward manhood. This story of lust, love and loss is homoerotic bildungsroman at its finest.

Forthcoming anthology of stories from the edges, MAINSTREAM, will be released in the summer of 2021 and is available for pre-order now on partner website, UNBOUND.
(I’m a backer!)

Mainstream brings thirty authors in from the margins to occupy centre-page. Queer storytellers. Working class wordsmiths. Chroniclers of colour. Writers whose life experiences give unique perspectives on universal challenges, whose voices must be heard. And read.

The collection places emerging writers alongside some of our favourite established authors. Contributors are Aisha Phoenix, Alex Hopkins, Chris Simpson, DJ Connell, Elizabeth Baines, Gaylene Gould, Giselle Leeb, Golnoosh Nour, Hedy Hume, Iqbal Hussain, James Maker, Jonathan Kemp, Julia Bell, Juliet Jacques, Justin David, Kathy Hoyle, Keith Jarrett, Kerry Hudson, Kit de Waal, Leone Ross, Lisa Goldman, Lui Sit, Nathan Evans, Neil Bartlett, Neil Lawrence, Neil McKenna, Ollie Charles, Padrika Tarrant, Paul McVeigh, Philip Ridley, Polis Loizou.

We’re still crowdfunding for this project. Great news! Mainstream has been funded! And it wouldn’t have been possible without so much support from our loyal customers.

We’ve reached our 100% minimum target, which means we can pay the authors and print the book. We’re now aiming for 200% so we can pay also our team of designers, editors, readers, etc. Please continue to help us get the word out there.

There’s still time on the clock for your friends to have their names printed in the back of the book. We’ll continue to keep everyone in the loop as the book makes its way through the publishing process. We’ve received around half the stories from the authors and are about to begin editing. Exciting!

Also coming in 2021—we’ve sat on this for a while but the cat is now out of the bag: we’re overjoyed to announce that we’ve acquired the rights to publish Neil Bartlett’s new book of fiction!

‘Address Book’ is a collection of seven interconnecting stories spanning three centuries. From a new millennium civil partnership celebration to profane love in a Victorian tenement, from a council-flat bedroom at the height of the AIDS crisis to a doctor’s living-room in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic, these stories lead us through decades of change to discover hope in the strangest of places. In paperback and ebook from October 2021.

If any of this gets your fancy then you can follow the team on Twitter Facebook Instagram and visit their website where you can sign up for their newsletter to be the first to hear about their titles.

Thank you to Justin for sending me the photos and info to put this together.

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