Blackwater goes bilingual

We are thrilled to welcome our brand-new team member, Vivien Williams. One of the many fantastic things about Vivien is that she is fluent in not one, not two, but FOUR languages ( and she is working on adding two more to her repertoire). This is a huge perk for us as we can now offer translation services. Vivien speaks English, French, Spanish, Italian, a little German and a touch of Hindi. If you have any projects requiring translation from Italian, Spanish, or French to English, we are ready to assist.

Now, a bit more about Vivien…

n 2010 Vivien Williams moved from southern Italy to Scotland to pursue a PhD at the University of Glasgow on the cultural history of the bagpipe. With several postdocs between Edinburgh and the Warburg Institute in London, bagpipes remain her preferred research – and conversation – topic. She is a Research Associate at the University of Glasgow, working on projects in the digital humanities including Editing Robert Burns for the 21st century; the Hunterian Associates Programme; The Cullen Project; Curious Travellers; Seeking Refugees from Slavery in Sierra Leone; and The Jacobite Officers Database. The freedom afforded by a digital career offered the opportunity to move to a remote Adriatic island, where she currently lives. At the age of seven she wrote and published a little book called Grandi Amici, and in adulthood has won several literary prizes for prose, poetry, and poetic translation. Uncharacteristically for fellow Blackwater Press staff, she does not have a pet, but does tend to name insects who find themselves trapped in her home.


After receiving many fantastic entries, earlier this month we selected the winners of our first short story contest. The winner was Marie Gethins with ‘Birds of Egypt’. Our two runner- up spots went to ‘To Pierce the Dark’ by Malina Douglas and ‘The Field’ by Alexandra O’Connell. The collection, featuring the top ten stories, is now available for pre-order for $14.99[E3] .


Now that the content of our short story collection is in fine shape, we want it to be wrapped up in a beautiful cover. We thought the best way to do this was to invite all of you to get involved and take part in our Cover Contest. This contest is free to enter, and we will select a winning cover to print on the books. The winner will receive a free copy, worldwide respect, and will be credited with the design inside of the book. All we ask is that the cover include our bird logo (attached), and the title: Blackwater Press Short Story Collection 2021.

Send your cover submissions to by July 1.


We at Blackwater Press join the world in celebrating Earth Day on April 22nd 2021. We are called to reflect upon the earth, how it gives to us freely and abundantly, and how we are called to give back, with increasing urgency. Earth Day is about sustainability: ‘Restore our Earth’ is this year’s theme.

What can we do, therefore, to restore our earth? What does the earth need for us to do, concretely? Can a publishing house play its part?

We believe that indeed it can. On Earth Day more than ever we reflect with a sense of pride and self-awareness on our role as a small press. In a world dominated by publishing giants, distribution colossi, and global titans of sales, making the choice of remaining a small independent publisher is an act of courage.

It doesn’t come without its disadvantages. Not using the ‘established’ channels, not walking down the path of ‘sure sales-boosting marketing’, not caving in to convenience, can raise insecurities across all the levels of the publishing business – from concerns expressed by authors, queries from customers, availability of our titles in large chain, and many more. But we stand by what we do, and we believe that this is the way forward. The earth has long been sending signals for humanity to take that step back, and return to a more human-scale lifestyle. Everything which has reached disproportionate levels of ‘success’ has backfired, at some point with consequences on our environment, on our fellow earthlings and people. Is this the meaning of success, then? We don’t think so. We believe in delivering quality, in a world which has tantrums over quantity. We do our best to preserve our moral integrity: we made this promise to our beliefs, to our readers, and – why not? – to our earth.

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