Lots in the MIEL pipeline: here’s a sketch.
In July and August we’ll be on tour in the US as our editor launches her second collection. If you’re in one of the cities we’ll be in, we’d love to see you—come to an event (they’ll all be listed on that page as soon as details are firm) or maybe meet us for a cup of tea somewhere. We’d love to see you.
We’re now within to our open reading period, which began June 1! Read our extensive and overly picky guidelines and then send us your stuff. We do have a €10 reading fee this year—we need to cover Submittable fees and the publication of the books we choose—but we’ll send you a copy of one of our in-stock chapbooks in return.
Later this year we’ll be putting out a chapbook containing a long poem by Shana Youngdahl, and we can’t wait. The designs are already in process—let me just say printed vellum and handmade paper are making appearances here. Jonathan’s already getting antsy thinking about all that hand-binding. We’re aiming for a September launch.
We’ll be in London on September 6-7 for a reading and for Free Verse. Can’t wait! This is a great event, and this year it’s in Conway Hall on Red Lion Square—an equally great space. Come by if you’re in London then (and don’t worry, we’ll remind you!).
We’re also looking forward to publishing a chapbook of prose by Vanessa Ramos, a short collection of fragments by George Szirtes, and a very special book-object by Nancy Campbell.
And, of course, we’re excited for our writers’ retreat in November (and plans are afoot to raise money to provide at least partial scholarships—more about that soon).
That all will take us almost all the way up to the new year—at which point we hope to be hard at work on our next monograph, photographs by Andrew Schroeder, and of course on whatever the reading period this June brings to our list.
Thanks (unutterably full of thanks) for the support you lend—by your visits here, by your purchases, by your submissions and your reviews. We appreciate it hugely.
Findings, file under Movement:
Monsanto’s genetically modified crops contribute to increasing numbers of suicides among farmers in India.
Thanks from the bottom of our hearts to those of you who supported our drive to fund writers’ residencies in Belgium. While the campaign wasn’t fully funded (& so we won’t be able to offer the scholarships we wanted to) the retreat is ON and we’re still going to try to work out ways of funding those who might not be able to afford it alone. If you have ideas, want to come on retreat with us, or would like financial help doing that, pls don’t hesitate to be in touch (email@example.com).
Thank you again, so much, for demonstrating your support for this project.
The upshot of all this information is a statement of ethics.
We would like to be able to pay writers. If all goes well (a big if in the tiny-press world) we will be able to, sometime in the next five years—if we make it that long. We do pay in copies, but acknowledge that a copy of your chapbook/a literary journal won’t buy groceries or pay the heat bill.
But as much as we would like to pay for the real work of writing (learning, reading, writing, revising, submitting, etc.), at the moment, we cannot afford to pay. Why? Math.
The chapbooks are generally a better balance. We pay chapbook authors in copies. Our first books paid for themselves (in part because we don’t pay ourselves for binding, editorial work, bookkeeping, admin, post-office runs). Our second set of books paid for themselves.
111O is another story. The two issues of 111O in 2012 did not pay for themselves (they are more expensive to print, and fewer people purchase them than purchase books). We had a grant from Arts Council England that helped make up the shortfall and cover some printing. Technically it should have paid us for our work as well, but in the end it made more sense just to use it all for production—a kind of bet on future books.
The grant money is gone now; we are floating, suspended by the small cushion of pre-orders. The last of the grant money (paid to our account for book design—paid out of our account for printing 111O/5) is gone. Printing 111O/5 cost about £400. That’s not too bad in terms of return (and this issue is selling much more briskly than normal—it looks like we will actually cover printing; that would be a first). But then here we are in Belgium, with the obscene costs of the Belgian postal service. Mailing our contributors’ copies ended up costing almost €400. Yes. €400. Poof. There are 45 contributors in 111O/5, plus me (one of my drawings is in the issue). That’s just under €10/person for shipping, plus let’s say the €2/copy. Note also that the shipping doesn’t include packing supplies, and it certainly doesn’t include payment for time (which is okay; it’s a fact of the matter that I accept. I do the work gladly. But it should be out there that it’s unwaged). That is the reason we don’t—can’t—pay right now. Maybe a thing to do would be to say contributors could have either a copy (and the implied shipping) or €10. I hope people would prefer the copy, especially as we move away from the book-only model. (In any case I think the way the business is set up making payments would be very difficult—we’d have to get an invoice from each contributor.)
All that said—this is only in the interest of transparency. We knew this press would likely never be a source of (real, dependable) income. We knew it would likely require (as it has) each of us to use our own money from time to time. In one way I think of that as a gift we can offer writers & artists who trust us with their work—our own smallish sacrifices and labor. I don’t feel bad about the fact that the press is money-poor, because it has definitely been beauty-rich. But I do want to put it out there that we also value the work of our contributors and want to be able to pay them—and that one day we will.
Upcoming issues of 111O: /6 will be a collection of broadsides packaged in an illustrated envelope. /7 will take an as-yet-undecided form, but will contain only writers whose names or pseudonyms begin with A. Submit here.
And we are still raising money—only a few days left—for our writers’ retreat scholarships campaign. Please consider helping or sharing if you can.
Findings, file under Movement:
Arguments for a fine arts education: “Fine Arts students, whether in Theatre or Music, Creative Writing or Visual Art[s], learn early on that they had better cope constructively with intense and often very public criticism, or they are not going to survive. They have to learn how to respond quickly and offer feedback to their peers—tactfully and not boorishly. Arts students must engage fully: it’s not possible to mentally check out, play solitaire or surf through Facebook on your laptop or sleep in the back of a performance class. They learn to work together in pressure-cooker situations, multi-task, and project manage—as much if not more so than in business schools, because the results are real and not imaginary.”
Amiri Baraka reviews Angles of Ascent, a new anthology from Norton.
We’ll be traveling around the US in summer 2013 as our editor promotes her own second book—and we’d love to meet up with writers and readers. As our events become settled, we’ll post them here.
July 12-15: Minneapolis, MN
July 16-18: Tucson, AZ
July 19-21: Los Angeles, CA
July 21-22: Santa Barbara, CA
July 22-26: Oakland/San Francisco, CA
July 26-30: Portland, OR
July 30-August 1: Seattle, WA
August 1-2: Minneapolis, MN
August 4-5: Environs of Philadelphia, PA
August 6-7: New York, NY
August 8: Boston, MA
August 9: Hartland Four Corners, VT
August 11: Farmington, ME