Anne Tannahill is one of the foremost publishers in Northern Ireland. She was Managing Director of Blackstaff Press from 1980-2003, retiring shortly after the firm celebrated its 30th birthday. Under Anne’s direction, Blackstaff Press achieved many awards including Irish Book Awards, Irish Times Literature Prizes, and design prizes from the British Federation of Printers, and the Bookseller. They were three-time winner of the Ewart-Biggs Prize for The Narrow Ground, by ATQ Stewart (1978), Rethinking Unionism, by Norman Porter (1995), and In Search of a State, by Fionnuala O’Connor (1993). The publishing house also received a special citation from the Ewart-Biggs Prize in 1990, and were honoured by President Mary Robinson, in recognition of their work in improving communication between Ireland and Britain. In 1992 Blackstaff Press achieved both the UK Small Publisher of the Year and AIB Better Ireland Communications Award. During Anne Tannahill's time as Managing Director of Blackstaff Press she was responsible for producing approximately 600 books on a wide range of local topics from politics to poetry. She oversaw all aspects of publication, including editing and proofing, design, financial and legal matters, printing and production, and marketing and distribution. Among their many books, Anne produced Holocaust survivor Helen Lewis’ memoir, A Time to Speak, in 1993. She is known for her definitive publishing guide, Publishing for Success: A Practical Guide, which she published with the Northern Ireland Publications Resource in 2008. Anne Tannahill has dedicated her career to excellence in publishing, and in 2013, she was among 31 authors, including Christina Reid and Anne Devlin, who petitioned as part of the Libel Reform Campaign to defend publishers’ rights to freedom of expression, calling on the Northern Ireland Executive to introduce libel reform.
This archive contains two papers about Blackstaff Press and Anne’s experiences of publishing in a small community, as well as photographs of the Blackstaff Press team, and various awards ceremonies, and a copy of Anne Tannahill’s curriculum vitae outlining her journey and achievements in publishing.