Merchiston Publishing

Edinburgh Napier University's Press, run by our postgraduate Publishing programme

Books Behind Bars

Merchiston Publishing is the imprint of the Scottish Centre for the Book based at Edinburgh Napier University.

The publications – print, ebook and online – are managed by staff and powered by students on MSc Publishing.

Books Behind Bars

Imagined_CornersWorking with HMP YOI Cornton Vale, the national facility for female offenders for both remand and convicted prisoners, we published a new edition of Imagined Corners by Willa Muir.

Books and learning resources were distributed to all 119 prisoners. A female writer, whose reputation and skills surpassed her husband’s, Willa Muir had to put her career aside to conform to the expectations of society. Her work was out of print and neglected, and both it and her life story resonated with the women behind bars at Cornton Vale.

By helping these women to read her book and connect with her story, we hope to spark a love of reading that would not only help in their rehabilitation but be transferred to their children.

Collaboration and contributions were secured by Cherie Blair CBE QC (née Booth), wife of the former PM Tony Blair, who wrote the Introduction, and Kirsty Wark (journalist) who contributed the Foreword.

To date, over 500 copies have been distributed free of charge.

Some of the students who worked on this project have since gone on to work in Third Sector organisations and national Literacy Programmes.


… a project that [Edinburgh] Napier University runs, which allows publishing students to manage the whole process of publishing and printing new editions of Scottish classics … The books are given free to schools, so that great Scottish literature is made more widely available to pupils. Does the Cabinet Secretary agree that this virtuous project is worthy of recognition and will he join me in congratulating the Napier [team].

–– Aileen Campbell MSP, Cabinet Secretary for Communities and Local Government

Please get in touch to find out more.


Books Behind Bars: Our work focuses on providing books to disadvantaged readers. Books Behind Bars is one of our initiatives. We edit, design, create, publish and distribute (donate) books to prisons and prison libraries. Find out more about our other book advocacy:

Books to Bairns

Books to Bairns: Our work focuses on providing books to disadvantaged readers. Books to Bairns is one of our initiatives. We edit, design, create, publish and distribute (donate) books to schools, hospitals, prisons and other institutional libraries. Find out more about our other book advocacy:

The production of many of these titles is supported by charitable trusts and other bodies. Such copies are therefore distributed freely, although a handling charge may apply. To find out more, please email a.gray@napier.ac.uk

Find out more about our Postgraduate Publishing programme.

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