March Hamilton is based in the South West of England and can be contacted through:
March Hamilton was founded in Somerset in 2012, with a focus on producing high quality books that belonged in the loving hands of young people everywhere. Working with Beth Webb and Helen Harvey, March Hamilton produced a backlist designed specifically for young bibliophiles- just like those working for the company!
When Melissa took over the company in March 2018, fresh from her BA course in Publishing Media at Oxford Brookes, she had a vision for this small independent. Working closely with authors to get the best deals possible, reaching out to the underrepresented both in terms of writing and working in the publishing industry to provide them with a route in, and generally striving to produce high quality stories that young people love and need were the aims she had in mind when she relaunched March Hamilton.
Still based in the heart of the South West, March Hamilton is building relationships with local booksellers and the communities surrounding authors and readers alike. Publishing has been London-centric for most of its life, but we want to show that it doesn’t have to be that way forever!
In their own words
When did you start publishing?
I took over March Hamilton in March 2018 and re-launched in April 2019. This was just before my graduation from the Oxford Brookes Publishing Media BA so I am still fairly new to the business!
What made you want to start an independent publisher?
I didn’t start the company, I took it over from the original founder. I wanted to go into indie publishing because I could see that indies took the biggest risks, championed the books that larger publishers would turn away. I also wanted to publish books by authors who felt shut out by publishing by factors like their race, class, geographical location etc.
What genres do you specialise in?
March Hamilton specialises in books for children and young adults in the hope that by getting representative books into their hands that young people can see themselves reflected in literature.
Where are you based?
The company is based in Somerset, just outside of Bristol.
Do you have a submission window?
This year (2019) we are holding our second round of open submission windows. They are:
8-14 July: window for BAME authors and POC
15-21 July: window for working class/low income authors
22-28 July: window for LGBTQ+ authors
29 July-4 August: window for disabled authors/authors with chronic illness
12 August-1 September: Fully open
What is your submission procedure?
We accept full manuscripts for picture books and the first three chapters of Middlegrade and YA fiction. We also ask for a synopsis and cover letter to get to know the book and the author. All of the extra details are currently on our website, including the email address to send the submissions to.
Who are you?
March Hamilton is a one man team at present, with our director Melissa Eveleigh (recently longlisted for the LBF Trailblazer Award) carrying out all of the day to day roles. We also have the help of some very talented freelancers!
Background in the book industry?
I am a lifelong reader but outside of that I also have a degree in publishing as well as a whole host of freelance work under my belt!
Talk about some of your books
We publish the backlist of Somerset author and storyteller Beth Webb. In 2019 we are publishing FRUIT FORBIDDEN, a debut YA novel by Ellen-Arwen Tristram about a young woman’s life with anorexia nervosa. We have also acquired transcribed stories from Sarah Mooney, a series of picture books on WOC who made history by Jen Elvy and Poppy Kamel Sall, and some other exciting books in the pipeline!
Dreams for the future
I want to publish books that help young people navigate the confusing world we live in and to put the South West on the map when it comes to the publishing industry. I hope that March Hamilton will be able to offer opportunities to authors and aspiring publishers outside of London for many years to come.