WarmPorch Publishing is a very small, independent, labour of love.

In one form or another, I have been involved in publishing things for twenty years now. In 2002, I set up and ran Sandman Magazine in Sheffield, while also writing for the Sheffield Telegraph, before running away to Canada’s Caravan Farm Theatre in 2007. Returning to the UK, I worked at Edinburgh’s The Stand comedy club and then the Glasgow Comedy Festival as well as for The Skinny magazine. Since 2012 I have been working for Oxford University Press.

WarmPorch was initially created to publish some extracts from my grandmother’s journals, The Search for Freeland Gardens [2009]. This small book covered the arrival of my family, 50 years previously, to open a nursery garden in a small West Oxfordshire village.  

Over the last few years, I have been working with the sculptor Steve Hurst on the first volume of his memoirs, Drawn From Life: The Ruskin Diaries 1949-53, which is also based on contemporary diaries. Drawn From Life [2022] is the first full length WarmPorch book and Steve is currently working on a follow up, covering his experiences as a national serviceman during the Malayan Emergency in the 1950s. We hope to publish this in 2023.

Looking further ahead, my grandmother wrote her journals between 1931 and 1974, and they are a lovely piece of continuous thought, tracking the author’s life from a shy teenager about to embark on her nursing training during the early years of the Depression, to an older, hardy, market gardener contemplating retirement. Ideally I’d like to publish three volumes of these journals. The entire text has been transcribed (about) 1.3 million words, the next task is to edit them down. Watch this space.

Jan Webster