Can Everton Jones find out how his father stole Emperor Bokassa’s diamonds and, more importantly, where he hid them; before the world and his brother get there first?
Click on the picture link in the sidebar to read an extract of my first novel, which was published by Paradise Press in August 2012.

Sunday, 20 October 2013

Treehouse Press

Back in November 2011 I was at the London literary salon ‘Polari’ to see if fellow Paradise Press author Timothy Graves would win the ‘Polari First Fiction Prize’ for which his book Homo Jihad had been shortlisted that year. In the end James Mayfair won with Auto Fellatio and I’m sitting on my hands trying to avoid making any cheap cracks about the title so hard they’re losing circulation! NB Polari the Literary Salon should not be confused with Polari the online queer journal.

As part of the evening’s entertainment there was an appearance by Shaun Levin, the founding editor of the now sadly defunct London-based queer literary magazine Chroma. He was giving a very entertaining talk about ‘how one becomes a top/daddie’. But the reason for this post is that in his introduction, the host, the wonderful Paul Burston, mentioned that Shaun had started his own indie press. Following the unfortunate demise of Gay Men’s Press any news of another queer imprint being born is good news. One of my intentions in this blog is to list and describe gay publishers, bookshops, writers etc., so I duly took note. This is my first post on this subject.

Finding Shaun Levin and his press online wasn’t hard, despite a spelling mistake in the notes I made at the time. The press is called ‘Treehouse Press’ (Careful to distinguish it from,,, and no doubt many others!)

Looking at their website, Treehouse Press have eight publications to their name at the time of writing. I don’t want to get into the politics of labelling things as ‘gay’ or ‘queer’, but it was noticeable that Treehouse Press doesn’t make a big thing about publishing gay books. In fact of their eight titles just two are identified as ‘gay’ (and one of those was about queer women, for which I found the ‘gay’ label misleading). From the website I gather that Shaun Levin has a day job teaching creative writing and so I suppose it came as no surprise, or at least was understandable, that two of their titles are anthologies of writing arising from courses I presume he taught. More of a surprise was the absence of a ‘gay’ label for Shaun Levin’s own book, Snapshots of the Boy, a collection of ‘sixteen short lyrical pieces’. In fact almost the entire output of Treehouse Press consists of collections of one sort or another. The only title which was a single piece of extended work was a graphic novel by a lesbian writer and again it was labelled as ‘gay’ rather than ‘lesbian’ on their website’s homepage.

Treehouse Press’s website doesn’t have a ‘submissions’ link, which I suppose reflects their slow trickle of titles, but I would have thought they would be fairly easily tracked down via the Treehouse Press facebook page:

For the record, here is a list of their publications to date:

Snapshots of the Boy (1 Nov 2009) by Shaun Levin. Thirty-two pages including 16 photographs. Each photo has a ‘short lyrical piece drawing meaning and memories … from the author’s childhood in South Africa and adolescence in Israel’.

The Joshua Tales (27 Sept 2009, 64pp) is a sequence of poems by Andra Simons.

Words Made Flesh (20 Nov 2010, 206pp) comprises twenty-one short stories and novel extracts from participants in the ‘Complete Creative Writing Course’.

The Hex Artist (25 Oct 2011, 60pp) by Lou Dellaguzo is the winner of a ‘three-in-one Chapbook contest’ organised by Treehouse Press and promises three great gay love stories.

Lost Souls (14 Sept 2011, 56pp) by Becky Mayhew is a collection of three short stories about three different women.

Zakkum (15 Aug 2011, 54pp) by Beldan Sezen is a graphic murder mystery with a glimpse of gay life in Istanbul. The interview with the author identifies her as a queer woman.

Writers in the Crowd (30 Jul 2013) is an anthology of writing by those participating in the ‘Write around town’ courses. The Treehouse Press website says this is the first in an annual series. Doing a bit more digging I discover the second anthology is planned to be called Writers in the Crowd II and that there is a course running from 19 October to 7 December this year (2013), which would suggest a publication date in 2014.

Things that have Happened (20 Nov 2012, 70pp) is a collection of stories by five different authors.

Treehouse Press’s facebook page says that Belden Sezen has another title: Snapshots of a Girl in progress.

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