Wednesday, 2 September 2009

Oak Tree Fine Press have been shortlisted for the
British Book Design and Production Awards 2009.

It is a great honour to have been selected as finalists in these very prestigious awards and many congratulations must go to Nancy and Bruce for their publication of "On not Winning the Nobel Prize" by Doris Lessing. The Awards ceremony will be held on the 29th October at the Royal Lancaster Hotel and we wish them good luck for the evening.

The Awards are organised by the BPIF, Oxford Brookes University and The Publishers Association and they acknowledge the excellence of the British book design and production industry. Further info can be found on htp:// _winners.asp

"On not Winning the Nobel Prize" was published in December 2008 and is a Letterpress edition of the Nobel Lecture presented to the Swedish Academy by the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature 2007. There are a limited number of copies still available. Order one now.

"To be Continued..." by Günter Grass is our second volume in this series and is due to be published later this year -check out our website for further details.

Tuesday, 25 August 2009

The First Chapter Series takes its place in the Booker Prize Archive

One of Nancy's last duties back in June was to visit Oxford Brookes University Library with Bruce to present to them our First Chapter Series for their Booker Prize Archive.

The Library became the permanent home of the Booker Prize Archive in 2003 and now encompasses the administrative history of the Prize from 1968 to date. The collection includes a diverse range of material, including correspondence, publicity material, copies of both the Longlists and the Shortlists, minutes of meetings, photographs and material relating to the awards dinner (letters of invitation, guest lists and seating plans).

Items from the Archive were included in the exhibition 'The Booker 40 at the V&A' which ran from 6 September 2008 to 17 May 2009 to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the Booker Prize. Perhaps for its 50th we might be lucky enough to get our books included in the exhibition!

There to accept the donation was the Subject Librarian for Publishing, Chris Fowler, together with Dr.Helen Workman (Director of Learning Resources), Eleanor Rossart (Archivist) and Sally Hughes ( Senior Lecturer in Publishing). A pleasant morning out of the office for Nancy and Bruce.

Further information about the Archive can be found on the University website or by direct link:

Friday, 19 June 2009

Bird flies the Oak Tree Nest

After one and a half splendid years at Oak Tree Fine Press, I am off to South America, to work for Guyra Paraguay, one of Paraguay's largest conservation organisations, helping them with their funding proposals and so on. I'll be staying in touch, and am relying on Bruce and Susan to keep me informed on all our books and projects! I've had an unbelievably wonderful time and met so many lovely and interesting people, so if any of you want to keep in touch, you can contact me on nbray6 (AT)! Good luck to you all!

Thursday, 11 June 2009


Oops sorry!! I meant to say latest addition - to the OTFP family. Nancy is off to Paraguay at the end of this month and I will be trying to fill her chair. This will not be an easy task! Despite Nancy being very slender it is a very big chair to fill!! Anyway I'll have a bash.
Speak to you soon!

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

No more Death after Life!

Following on from a feature in The Times yesterday, courtesy of the very charming Derwent May, all our large copies of Gilbert & George's Life after Death are now sold out!

Smaller prints are still available here

Sign up for updates on Oak Tree Fine Press Art - including more Gilbert & George collaborations - here

Monday, 18 May 2009

To be Continued....

"It is a fact of life that writers have always and with due consideration and great pleasure spit in the soup of the high and mighty."

Coming soon: a signed limited edition of Günter Grass' acerbic Nobel Lecture, To be Continued...
with engravings by Abigail Rorer

Friday, 15 May 2009

J. M. Coetzee comes to Oxford!

J. M. Coetzee is coming to Oxford in June! We will be going to hear him at the Sheldonian Theatre on the 11th, and he has also generously agreed to sign some books for us to help raise funds! To celebrate, here, from the archives, is a video of him signing title pages for us at the former Oak Tree Fine Press base in South Africa:

For details of the JM Coetzee event at the Sheldonian, click here.

Thursday, 14 May 2009

Air - Water - Fire - Earth

Had a couple of chaps from Oxfam in the office earlier this week. Oxfam are producing four small paperback publications featuring new and extract texts from numerous well known authors. They are also considering doing a special signed collector's edition and came round to ask for advice. It was pretty heartening to realise how much we have learned over the last few years, and Andy Ray and Frank Atterbury were also both on hand to give expert guidance. Looking forward to seeing what you do, Oxfam!

Tuesday, 28 April 2009

In Perfect English: Woodcuts & Polar Bears

Like polar bears? Love Philip Pullman? Crazy for fantastic woodcuts? If so, be sure to check out Andy English's blog. Andy is one of three woodcut artists who have contributed original woodcut artwork for Philip Pullman's A Outrance.
For a step by step look at how he created his incredible images, check out his blog here.

PS - The other woodcut artists working on the book are Chris Daunt and Harry Brockway.
PPS - sorry about the blisters, Andy

Monday, 27 April 2009

Beside the sea!

Oak Tree Fine Press has received a wonderful report from volunteers at Thusong Children’s Centre in Kimberley, South Africa, in which they describe a trip to the seaside over the Easter Break. Fifty four children from the Centre visited the beach, went on a coastal walk with other kids from a local children’s centre, went shopping in the huge Port Elizabeth mall, enjoyed a game drive at Addo Elephant Park, went on an airport-tour, ate a lot of good food, competed in a dance-off at a specially organised disco and even caught a dolphin show at the Bayworld Aquarium!

“We worked hard to make this trip happen because we wanted to give our children the opportunity to get a bigger world view. Most of the kids have never been on holidays or seen the ocean before. It was great for them to swim in the sea and explore a different part of their beautiful country.”

Oak Tree Fine Press is a longstanding supporter of Thusong Children’s Centre and, with your help, assisted in funding the travel for this trip.

Tuesday, 21 April 2009

From tiny seeds grow mighty oaks... kinda...

Following on from Bruce's interview with Jo Thoenes on BBC Radio Oxford (see here), we are now featured on the BBC website under the surprising headline 'Seeds of Change'. We were even the feature story on for one glorious day! This is fantastic stuff, even if the article does suggest that we're married (wanna see a picture of Bruce and Nancy Bray, anyone?) and that Bruce both started the company and subsequently joined it... All good laughter fodder for a sunny Monday. To read the article click here.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Oligarch editions?!!!

Drawing your attention to a funky little item on the First Chapter Series by Magers & Quinn Booksellers. As "the biggest independent bookstore in Minneapolis" I think they can afford our books! A very funny blog which doesn't hold back on the sarcasm, so it's good to see we get the thumbs up!

Man Booker Website

Just a quick note to point out that we've got some pretty good coverage of our Booker Prize First Chapter Series on the Man Booker Website. We're really inspired by the way they've taken an interest in our Series and got behind us with loads of support. Their website contains loads of interesting interviews, articles and discussions related to the Booker Prize, and it's great to see our books included.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

WANTED: Designer Bookbinders...

A very limited number of copies of Philip Pullman's À Outrance will be hand bound by the best Designer Bookbinders around. Designer Bookbinders are involved (they do prize bindings for Man Booker) and these books are going to be just about as amazing as they come!

If you know anyone with exceptional bookbinding skills who might be interested in working on this unique charity project, please get in touch for further details. Experts from the US , Europe and further afield are more than welcome! (example photo is a binding in goatskin and gold leaf by Christopher Shaw)

Tuesday, 17 March 2009


Bruce was interviewed on BBC Radio Oxford yesterday - on the Jo in the Afternoon show. I think it makes for a pretty excellent introduction to Oak Tree Fine Press, so please do listen to it on BBC iplayer here

Friday, 13 March 2009

Jo Brand, slippers and a fag

Crazy day today! The Gilbert and George prints are selling like mad! The key reason seems to be a new thread posted by trapnel on the Banksy forum site here. THANKS TRAPNEL! All good stuff until the thread degenerates into idle speculation on what the lovely people at the end of the phone at Oak Tree Fine Press might look like...

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Line of Beauty

We have just released Volume VII of the First Chapter Series: The Line of Beauty by Alan Hollinghurst with signed artwork (Death after Life) by Gilbert and George. This is such a perfect match I can't believe the two haven't been brought together before (have they?) On a slightly shallower note, I really love the blue cover, which were chosen to match the original first edition book. Check out the books and prints here

Books in Brackets

So much news and so little time... Have just sent off my article to the editor of the American Parenthesis, the official journal of the Fine Press Book Association. Will let you know when it is appearing...

Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Reflecting Midnight's Children

Wanted: thoughtful suggestions for artwork and artists for the following books:
  • Schindler's Ark

  • Vernon God Little

  • Midnight's Children
Selecting art for our books is a rewarding process, and I love exploring the links, contrasts and questions thrown up by the pairings, even after the decision has been made. For example, what was it in Margaret Atwood's novel that moved Yoko Ono to contribute her drawing? Or how do our responses to the work of Jo Ractliffe and Colbert Mashile echo or contradict our response to J. M. Coetzee's text?

As we plan the publication of new titles in this series, we want to ensure that future editions will offer a commentary as valuable and fascinating, with artwork to match the creativity contained in the world's greatest contemporary literature. We're currently looking for artists for the books listed above - so get in touch if you think you know the perfect match!

Happy new year!

Had a wonderful day in London last week, meeting up with the good folks of Hurtwood Press to discuss plans and designs for an upcoming title. Andy English was also there, contributing ideas, and I spent a lovely afternoon with him at the British Library at St Pancras, investigating old manuscripts.

Back in the office, we've been processing all your orders - no complaints there! Keep them coming! - and working on the final stages of production and the marketing for The First Chapter Series Volume VII: Line of Beauty. This moving Booker award-winning title by Alan Hollinghurst is accompanied by a stunning signed print by from Gilbert & George, the in/famous art duo whose work recently formed the largest retrospective of any artist held at Tate Modern.

I'm also trying to put together an article on our work for Parenthesis, the journal for the Fine Press Books Association. Hopefully we'll see it published in issue 17...