Luath Press

Luath Press
Luath Press
An indie publisher that’s based in my home town, I’ll definitely have to organise a visit the next time I’m up and we’re allowed to meet people.

Especially since the view from their windows are going to be stunning!

Committed to publishing well written books worth reading.

Established in 1981, Luath Press is a leading independent book publisher with over 500 books in print including modern fiction, history, politics, travel guides, poetry and much more.

Luath Press Ltd.
543/2 Castlehill
The Royal Mile
Telephone: 0131 225 4326

Twitter: @LuathPress
Instagram: @luathpress

In their own words…

When did you start publishing?

Luath was found in 1981 by Tom and Rene Atkinson in Barr (near Givan in Aryshire). They set about writing and publishing the Luath Guides Series. Other books by other writers followed including a number of popular titles that have remained in print for many years, such as Mountain Days and Bothy Nights, Bare Feet and Tackety Boots and more.

In the meantime, Tom’s daughter Dee Atkinson had taken over the running of Napiers Herbalists and Tom found himself running Napiers Mail Order alongside Luath.

Tom died in 2007. In his obituary in The Guardian he was described as ‘the Alistair Campbell of Indonesia’. As a teenager he had gone to Spain to join the International Brigade, only to be sent home as he was too young to fight in the Spanish Civil War. In WWII, he was in the RAF Servicing Commandos and at the end of the war he was heavily involved in securing independence for Indonesia. He subsequently worked directly for the new president for over 15 years, in which role he wrote a speech on the status of smaller nations delivered at the UN. After ‘retiring’ from Luath in 1997, two further books by Tom were published by – Napiers’ History of Herbal Healing and Spectacles, Testicles, Fags and Matches – the latter recounting his experiences in WWII and afterwards in Indonesia.

Following Tom’s retirement, Gavin and Audrey MacDougall took over the running of the company and moved it from Barr to Edinburgh.

Since 1997, Luath has built on the sound core of well established books first published by Tom and Rene, and created various new series (On the Trail Of…, Walk With Luath, The Quest For, Let’s Explore, Luath Storyteller, Viewpoints, Wild Lives) and launched various new writers and poets (Alison Irvine, Daniel Gray, Rab Wilson, Mark Thomson and many more).

We are now situated in Edinburgh and we remain committed to publishing well-written books worth reading.

What made you want to start an independent publisher?

Tom had recently returned to Scotland and, finding there were no good descriptive guides to the popular parts of Scotland, was inspired to write and publish the Luath Guides Series.

What genres do you specialise in?

We publish a variety of genres from fiction to poetry to photography but we especially love politics, history and travel.

Where are you based?

Edinburgh’s famous Royal Mile. 543/2 Castlehill, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh EH1 2ND

Do you have a submission window, if so when?

Our submissions are always open!

What is your submission procedure?

If you think you have written a book that may fit with Luath’s publishing programme, and would like to make a submission to us, please post to our offices:

  • A clear synopsis of up to 250 words
  • Which genre you would categorise it as (use our website categories as a guide)
  • Sample chapters or manuscript
  • A short biography
  • A pre-paid addressed envelope large enough for your manuscript to be returned in, should it be unsuccessful

Please try to ensure everything you send can be easily stored together – for example, held together with a paperclip or all put in a cardboard folder.

Please note that we cannot accept electronic submissions, only paper hard copies. Submissions or proposals sent by email will not be accepted.

If you do not enclose a pre-paid envelope, we will assume that you are happy for us to recycle your manuscript. You will still receive a letter notifying you of our decision. Do not send original copies or artwork. Luath Press cannot take responsibilty for any items sent to us. We do aim to respond to everyone who submits a piece of work but if you have not heard from us after a year, you can assume your submission was unsuccessful.

Talk about some of your books if possible?

Our best known book is Darren McGarvery’s Poverty Safari which won the 2018 Orwell Prize and was reviewed by the elusive J.K. Rowling. We have also recently published a fictional retelling of George Orwell’s life (Barnhill: A Novel by Norman Bissell) in celebration of the 70th anniversary of the publication of Nineteen Eighty-Four. And, we have an upcoming book by Ellie Harrison, The Glasgow Effect, which is partially a reaction to Poverty Safari and in part the inspiration for Poverty Safari. The Glasgow Effect looks at many of the same themes of poverty and social mobility as Darren did but Ellie also discusses the climate emergency and what we can do about it.

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