Thursday, December 22, 2011

TCR Literary Journal Series: The Notre Dame Review

The Committee Room is happy to begin its series on literary magazines with a profile of the Notre Dame Review, a journal of contemporary and international fiction, poetry, and criticism. Robert Pinsky, former Poet Laureate of the United States, called the Notre Dame Review "a lively, engaging, unpredictable literary journal."  Sponsored by the Creative Writing Program at the University of Notre Dame, the NDR is a print journal published twice a year.  There is also an online companion nd [re]view.  Founded in 1995, the NDR   publishes the work of renown literary figures such as Nobel laureates Seamus Heaney and Czeslaw Milosz along with that of emerging writers.

The NDR also sponsors the Sandeen Prize for Poetry and the Sullivan Prize for Short Fiction.

In 2009, The Notre Dame Review: The First Ten Years,  a "best of" volume featuring the work of Heaney, Milosz, Paul Muldoon, Denise Levertov, Richard Elman, and many others was published by the Notre Dame Press.

TCR recently interviewed the NDR's editor, William O'Rourke, a prolific, witty, and opinionated novelist, essayist, blogger, and former Chicago Sun-Times columnist, to get his take on running a literary journal and on the literary world generally.

A Brief Interview with William O'Rourke

Q: How long have you been at the NDR?
A: I have been at the NDR since its beginning in 1995 and at Notre Dame since 1981. I was the founding director of Notre Dame’s graduate creative writing program, which began in 1990.  My vision was to have three things happen, more or less, at once: create a program, start a national literary magazine, and begin a publishing series of both poetry and prose.  All three occurred.  Valerie Sayers started the magazine in 1995, after joining the faculty a year earlier (and she also took over the program’s directorship at that time). I began the Sandeen/Sullivan prize series with the Notre Dame Press.  Everything needed to be doable, since we were operating with limited resources.  Our program was very grass roots, having sprung out of the work of the interested people in the English Department. It was bottom up, not top down.
"The 60s and 70s were the last golden age of reading, before the onset of technology began to control everyone’s time and attention."
Q: How has the literary world changed, for good or bad, since you arrived on the scene forty years ago?
A: When I began as a writer, I went to Columbia University’s new graduate creative writing program in 1968.  There were only a handful back then in existence and Columbia provided me a port in the storm of New York City.  The growth period for graduate creative writing programs was the 70s-80s (ND got on the bandwagon after the wagon stopped moving in 1990.)    Bohemia was outsourced to college towns as the literary life in the big cities became too expensive for starving artists.  The starving was taken to the suburbs and the depopulating regions of the country.  But the biggest thing that has changed is the nature of reading.  The 60s and 70s were the last golden age of reading, before the onset of technology began to control everyone’s time and attention.  VCRs first, then the internet and all its spawn.  We invited Big Brother into our lives and now contemporary literature plays a far less significant role in the culture (though a larger one in English departments.)   In 2009, the Notre Dame Press published Notre Dame Review: The First Ten Years, a “best of” volume.   It has introductions by both myself and John Matthias, my coeditor, which go into the changes over time in the literary world.  And I have a book coming out in 2012, to be published by Indiana University Press, Confessions of a Guilty Freelancer, which covers some of  the same ground.

Q: What is the NDR's circulation?
A: 1,500.  Five hundred of which are subscriptions and the rest distributed one way or another. It’s about the same press run as novels or short stories published by most small presses. Or even a bit larger.

Q: What are the NDR's distribution channels?
A: Over the years we have been distributed by Ubiquity, Media Solutions, and Ingram, and others,though distributors have been harder to keep, given the general decline in bookstore sales.

Q: Who are the NDR's readers?
A: The same folk who read other literary journals. The young (and old) who hang out at bookstores and all those who are interested in the literary world in general.

Q: What separates the NDR from countless other American literary journals?
A: The taste of the editors.

Q: NDR's submission guidelines state that the journal seeks material that takes on “big issues.” Could you give some examples of stories or poems that take on such issues especially well
A: See the poems and prose in the last issue, No. 31 (or any issue.)  Start with David Matlin’s story “California City,” and John Wilkinson’s poem “Terre Haute”. For those who wouldn’t know, Terre Haute is the city in Indiana which houses the prison which executes prisoners.  And the home of Eugene V. Debs.

Q: What are the NDR's sources of funding?
A: We are subsidized by the College of Arts & Letters of the University of Notre Dame and by “Sustainers” listed in the magazine, as well as by subscribers and purchasers of the magazine.
"We intend to shock the bourgeois only by the merit of what we publish."
Q: Does the NDR's connection a Catholic university (probably the most prominent Catholic university in the US) influence its content in any way?
A: We are firmly set in a global literary tradition, humanistic in its values, aware of the mission of the University.  We haven’t had any censorship issues (though that isn’t to say we couldn’t have encountered them).  We intend to shock the bourgeois only by the merit of what we publish.  

Q: How does the NDR or any university-based, MFA program connected, literary journal keep from becoming an academic publication read only by people in the “field” of creative writing?
A: By getting out into the public and being recommended by those in the field to those who are not in the field. And we have had short stories and poems republished in the Best American and Pushcart series.  Those anthologies, especially the Best American, have wider circulations.  And, of course, there is the internet, and who knows who is looking through that keyhole?

Q: How many submissions does the NDR receive in a typical month?
A: Over a hundred a month. We take submissions from September to March and nearly a thousand -- roughly half prose, half poetry -- arrive.

Q: What is the NDR's editorial process?
A: Everything gets read.  Often more than once by more than one person.  Graduate students do the first reading but a faculty editor looks at everything they read, so at least two people have read everything. The poetry side is very efficient; the prose side not as good.  The fiction editor champions multiple submission, in order to feel less guilty.

Q: What percentage of submissions don't get past an initial reading?
A: About eighty percent doesn’t go to the upper editors.

Q: What are some common reasons why manuscripts are rejected?
A: It’s the usual mix of reasons: subject, execution, reach, level of accomplishment, general literacy and effect.

Q: What is the role of the NDR's online element nd [re]view?
A: It is an extension of the magazine, extra material that would make any issue too long (we now average around two-hundred fifty pages per issue) -- photographs, other pieces of poetry and prose, more interviews and the endless links. I believe that the internet is “free”, only insofar that one can fill it up with material and not sacrifice any trees or printing budgets.

Q: In a 2010 interview with the Huffington Post you said – “It's an aural-visual world today, not a literate one...Poetry  might well profit over time, given its usual length, size, but not, alas, I think, fiction.” Could you elaborate on that?
A: The paradox of the internet is, though, as mentioned above, it can print endless reams of work, it is a medium that seems to entertain short attention spans and is most suitable for short lengths of both poetry and prose.  As Chekov didn’t say, brevity is the sister of the web site.   And the search engine makes the part greater than the whole.

Q: What are the biggest challenges one faces in running a literary journal?
A: Other than answering interview questions?  Doing what matters and making it matter, while not deepening one’s own cynicism.  In other words, staying generous.
 Additional Reading

"17 Literary Journals That Might Survive the Internet," Huffington Post, August 14, 2010.

Monday, December 19, 2011

TCR Literary Journal Series Begins Soon

The Committee Room is pleased to announce its Literary Journal Series will begin soon.  The series will offer fresh, original interviews with editors and staff members of literary journals -- both print and online -- to get their first-hand views on finding and presenting quality prose and poetry in the 21st century.

Each entry in the series will focus on a particular journal.

Turn to The Committee Room to help expand your world.

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

TCR Publishing Series: Gival Press

The Committee Room begins its series of articles on publishing with a look at the Gival Press.  Founded in 1998 and based just outside Washington, DC, Gival's focus is on publishing high quality literary works in English, French, and Spanish. Gival also sponsors fiction and poetry contests and the literary journal ArLiJo.

Gival's founder and chief Robert Giron recently sat down (figuratively speaking) for an interview with TCR.

Eighteen Questions for the Head of a Small Publishing House

Q: Why did you want to start a small press?
A: The idea begin back in 1980 when I translated a Mexican poet's poetry collection; I tried unsuccessfully to find a publisher for it. I left El Paso in 1981 with the idea of one idea starting a press; this did not happen until 1998 but after I had taken courses in publications management and after working as an editor.

Q: What does Gival mean?
A: I made up the name with the first two letters of Giron, but I wanted a word that could be pronounced in English, French, and Spanish, which it can. Later on, I discovered that there are streets in France and Israel with the name.

Q: Can you explain Gival's bird symbol?
A: The thunderbird is a major icon in the Southwest Indian tribes and the triangle (three is a magical number) in the logo is pointing downward--from the heavens to Earth. The triangle is important because during  WWII gay men had to wear a pink triangle while in prison. The wings go outward to encompass the words Gival Press, like the global scope of the press.

Q:What experience did you have in publishing?
A: I took classes at George Washington University and worked an as independent contractor and editor for publications in Washington, DC. This was after I had taken courses in creative writing at the University of Texas at El Paso before moving to Washington in 1983.

Q: What were the biggest challenges in getting started?
A: The publishing industry has changed since 1998 and while we have been small we have been able to keep it small and change quickly and prepare for what is happening in the publishing industry. The major publishing companies of New York are just now finally catching up but is quickly changing the future of publishing.  That plus keeping the cash flowing in to keep up with the expenses. Fortunately, I have been able to invest heavily in the business which has kept it going.

Q: How many people work for Gival?
A: We are a small independent press. I'm the main person and I hire independent contractors to do: the book design, editing, distribution, and reviewing, etc.

Q: Gival's guidelines state that "we publish work that has a social or philosophical message."  Could you elaborate on that?
A: We want works that are truly well written but I also want the work to have a purpose other than to simply entertain but this purpose should not be didactic. The story and the characters are the important elements but how one tells the story makes the purpose clear without hitting someone over the head with a frying pan.

Poet John Gosslee reads in Gival Press event at
 Arlington (VA) Arts Center, October 2011
Q: Can you tell us some of Gival's current titles?
A: In Fall 2011 we have the following coming out:

Fiction: The Winner of the Gival Press Novel Award, Gone by Sundown by Peter Leach, which is about towns in Missouri which would routinely force "colored" people out of the town during the Depression.

Fiction: Show Up, Look Good by Mark Wisnieswki about a Midwestern woman who moves to New York City and survives post 9/11.

Fiction: The Pleasuring of Men by Clifford Browder about a young man in the 1890s who goes into male prostitution to survive in New York City.

Poetry: The Silent Art, Winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award by Clifford Bernier, a collection centered around jazz. 12: Sonnets for the Zodiac by John Gosslee in English, French, and Spanish.

Poet Clifford Bernier reads in Gival Press event at
Arlington (VA) Arts Center, October 2011
Q: Gival's Poetic Voices Without Borders 2 won the 2009 National Best Book Award for Fiction and Literature Anthology from USA Book  News.  Can you tell us something this anthology?
A: I wanted to have a collection that was trilingual, so this has poems in English mostly, but also in French, and Spanish. In addition, it has the winners of the Gival Press Oscar Wilde Award for the best poem about GLBT life. This has done well.

Q: How many copies do Gival books usually sell?
A: This varies per book and title. Poetry varies from ten to one-hundred. Fiction from twenty to four-hundred.

Q: How many titles do you publish per year?
A: Usually about four per year; six in 2011

Q: What have been Gival's biggest sellers?
A: As a literary press, we haven't had a NY-type "hot seller" but certainly the memoir by Elis Avery titled The Smoke Week about 9/11 has sold well. Another good seller has been Maximus in Catland by David Garrett Izzo about a cat that saves the world--great for cat lovers and science fiction.

Q: Gival sponsors four annual contests -- a novel contest, a short story contest, a poetry volume contest, and a single poem contest.  What benefits are derived from running a contest?
A: We see lots of mss from a variety of authors: both established and emerging writers. This is the most interesting aspect of publishing for me. The excitement comes through in the work but as an educator I often have to teach the emerging authors the business sort of speak. The contests also put the name of the press out there and as a result we have gotten many well known authors.

Q: What happens when a manuscript is received at Gival?
A: Prior to the Wall Street crash in 2008, we used to have an open reading period for poetry and fiction, but we have not opened it up again. In truth, because we get so many good mss via our novel award and poetry collection award (both annual contests), there are many mss which do not win which we would like to publish. In fact, we have published some that didn't even place as a finalists. I keep notes of those mss I feel have potential and have gotten in touch with authors after the contests. With these mss, I certainly have little time to seek out others; nonetheless, authors do contact us and we ask only those we are truly interested in to send us their ms for our consideration.

Q: Gival recently started an online journal ArLiJo. Why?
A: After we stopped the open reading period, I wanted to give authors a venue for getting their work out there and to help create an audience for them. ArLiJo, which stands for the Arlington Literary Journal Online, costs little to sponsor via Gival Press and it gives authors a link to an established press. Some of these authors we have published or have gone on to publish. Payment for online publication on ArLiJo is any book published by Gival Press.

Q: What are the distribution channels for Gival Press books?
A: We distribute books via BookMasters in Ohio and they have contracts with Ingram and other outlets for bookstores, etc. Plus we sell books on and In addition, we now sell Nook and Kindle ebooks. Before Nook and Kindle, we used to have ebooks with but it was bought by and then the industry changed. We waited to see how the ebook industry was going to do before we entered it again. Now we make all books available as softcover and Nook and Kindle ebooks.

Q: What are the biggest challenges in keeping a small press going?
A: Keeping up with the changes in the industry and maintaining quality and making sure all the bills are paid.

Q: What advice would you give someone interested in starting a small press?
A: Think twice about doing it. Keep your day job (unless you have tons of $$$ you can put into the press) and learn about the industry. You have to love what you do and have a commitment to work day and night and weekends, knowing that many may not acknowledge you or appreciate what you do, but somewhere there are folks who do and once in a while they tell you in person or via email and that makes all the difference.  Then I know that what I believe in has changed someone's life for the better--going back to the mission we created for Gival Press, to publish works that have a message and that have the power to change lives, even if in the the smallest way for as it goes this accumulates like a snow ball and rolls into a huge boulder that will affect the globe.  Remember our outreach is global not just the USA. In fact, I jokingly say the universes.

Friday, December 9, 2011

TCR Begins Publishing Series

The Committee Room is excited to announce its series on publishing starts Monday, December 12.

Get informed. Not overwhelmed. Read The Committee Room.

Monday, November 28, 2011

TCR Story of the Month for November: "The Time of Plenty" by Judith Slater

The Committee Room is pleased to inaugurate its Story of the Month series with Judith Slater's lively and wise "The Time of Plenty."  The story takes us back to small town America on Election Night 1960. Opposing social and political forces that would explode later in the decade were gathering strength, even in friendly middle class neighborhoods.  Seen through the eyes of a child, "The Time of Plenty" subtly depicts the adult characters' feelings of optimism in the midst of regret and of discontent while surrounded by comfort.  

Judith Slater's work has appeared in many publications including the Greensboro Review,  Redbook, Seventeen, Ascent, Story Quarterly, and A Different Plain: Contemporary Nebraska Fiction Writers.  

"The Time of Plenty" was published in Carve Magazine (Spring 2011).

Slater's collection of short stories The Baby Can Sing, winner of the Mary McCarthy Prize for short fiction, was published by Sarabande Books.

To read "The Time of Plenty" click here

TCR Chats with Judith Slater

Judith Slater
Q: How long have you been writing?
A: I've been writing since I was a child -- the result, I think, of growing up as an only child.  I had to rely on reading and my own imagination for entertainment.  That more than anything else shaped me as a writer; I certainly wasn't encouraged to be a writer.  I come from a family of practical, hard-headed business people who were a bit suspicious of the creative arts. My parents wanted me to be a legal secretary so I'd have a secure job.

Q: Where and when did your first story appear?
A: My first published story was in Seventeen magazine, back when they published a story a month; that was a huge thrill, and the editor was wonderful, helping me shape what was certainly not a polished publishable story when it came across her desk.  I was in my twenties.  I'm still proud of that story, and grateful to that editor for taking a chance on me.

Q: What inspired "The Time of Plenty?"
A: I don't consider myself a political writer by any means, and "The Time of Plenty" is probably as close as I'll ever get.  Everyone, of course, is fascinated by the Kennedy mystique, and I wanted to find a way to approach it from a different angle -- small town politics set against the larger political culture of the time.  Also, when I was a child, my parents -- those practical, hard-headed business people -- had an unlikely friendship with the couple next door who were very much like the Matt and Irene in the story, social workers, liberal Democrats.  That's rare -- and even rarer now in these divisive times -- for people with such different beliefs and politics to be able to forge a friendship.

Q: Who are some of your favorite "classic" writers?
A: The writer who has most influenced me is John Cheever -- I suppose because he explores the culture of the 1950s, which is a subject I'm interested in, but also because he writes those beautiful, glorious sentences.  I have three copies of his collected stories -- the one with the red cover -- and reread them all the time.  He's influenced me as a writer since I was an undergraduate.

Q: Who are you favorite contemporary writers?
A: There are so many wonderful contemporary writers that it's hard to choose just a few.  I really love the work of Julie Orringer, a young writer whose story collection How to Breathe Underwater is just wonderful.   I love writers who are able to combine humor and sadness -- George Saunders, John McNally, and my late husband Gerry Shapiro, whose collections From Hunger and Bad Jews have the funniest, wisest stories I've ever read.  Tobias Wolff, Amy Bloom, Andrea Barrett, Richard Russo. That hardly begins to scratch the surface.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

TCR to Begin Story of the Month Series

The Committee Room is pleased and proud to announce its Story of the Month series.  The series will highlight some of the best short fiction available online. TCR's editorial staff carefully searches the web for engaging, intelligent new fiction.  Material is selected from stories published online within the previous twelve-month period. Story of the Month postings will offer a brief interview with the author and a link to the story as it appears in its original publication.

Look for November's Story of the Month coming soon.

There's lots of good stuff out there.  TCR is helping you find it.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Hemingway's Recommended Reading List

Hemingway reading , Finca Vigia, Cuba
Here is Hemingway's Recommended Reading List (in his own words, from By-Line: Ernest Hemingway).
  • War and Peace and Anna Karenina by Tolstoi
  • Midshipman EasyFrank Midmay and Peter Simple by Captain Marryat
  • Madame Bovary and L'Education Sentimentale by Flaubert
  • Buddenbrooks by Thomas Mann
  • Joyce's Dubliners, Portrait of the Artist and Ulysses 
  • Tom Jones and Joseph Andrews by Fielding
  • Le Rouge et Le Noir and La Chartreuse de Parme by Stendhal
  • The Brothers Karamazov and any two other Dostoevskis
  • Huckleberry Finn by Mark Twain
  • The Open Boat and The Blue Hotel by Stephen Crane
  • Hail and Farewell by George Moore
  • Yeats's Autobiographies
  • All the good De Maupassant
  • All the good Kipling
  • All of Turgenev
  • Far Away and Long Ago by W.H. Hudson
  • Henry James's short stories, especially "Madame de Mauves;" also The Turn of the ScrewThe Portrait of a LadyThe American

List courtesy of the Ernest Hemingway Foundation of Oak Park which maintains Hemingway's boyhood home and Hemingway museum in Oak Park. Illinois, just outside Chicago.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Hemingway Letters

 The first volume of Hemingway's letters (The Letters of Ernest Hemingway, Volume One, 1907-1922) was released recently (Fall 2011) by the Cambridge University Press.  The letters are said to be the only remaining Hemingway material heretofore unpublished.

Here's more information --
Also of interest --

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Margaret Atwood Addresses O'Reilly TOC Conference

Canadian novelist, poet, and essayist Margaret Atwood stands a good chance of someday joining the canon of the English literature greats. The always engaging Atwood gave this talk on writers and new media -- "The Publishing Pie: An Author's View" -- at the O'Reilly Tools of Change in Publishing conference earlier this year in New York City. It's well worth a look. And it's funny.

Additional Sources:

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

One More Page Books, A Newly Opened Bookstore

One More Page Books
A rapidly changing bookselling and publishing environment and a slow economy did not deter Eileen McGervey from following her dream of owning and managing a bookstore.  In January 2011, McGervey's store, One More Page Books, opened in Arlington, Virginia, just outside Washington, DC.  McGervey worked for more than two decades as a marketing consultant to high tech and telecom companies and had no experience in the bookselling business.  The Committee Room recently talked with McGervey.

Q: Why did you want to own and operate a book store?
A: I have always loved reading and to be around books.  My first job was shelving books on a bookmobile and I thought – what a great job to be surrounded by books every day.

Q: How much time passed from conception of the store to its opening?
A:  Almost 2 years (about 22 months)

Q: What was the biggest challenge in getting the store up and running?
A: Finding the right location and the permitting/inspections process.  The location the store is in now was the third place I had tried to secure.

Q: How did you choose your location and how much does location matter?
A: Location is critical.  You can have the best store, but if no one comes to the store, it’s meaningless.  One of my key criteria was that it needed to be in walking distance of neighborhoods, complexes.  If someone has to get in their car, they can go anywhere.  I wanted to be in an area where I am not the only business. Again, foot traffic is key.  And it couldn’t be crazy expensive because the margins are low in the bookstore business.  This was a challenge in the Arlington/Falls Church area.  Also, it’s very helpful to have a landlord who is willing to work with you.  We’re very happy with our location – we love the neighborhood and have a good relationship with our landlord.

Q: How big is the store and how much does size matter?
A: The store is just under 1,500 square feet.  Size matters in that while more revenue is generated in a larger store, expenses are also higher a square footage increases – more fixtures, higher rent and more inventory.  But you have to be big enough to cover your fixed expenses of rent and utilities.  It’s a challenge to find the “sweet spot.”

Interior, One More Page Books
Q: Have you received any financial backing from any government agency such as small business development assistance or cultural affairs support?
A: No financial backing other than myself and a few friends.  For a person starting a new business in field where they do not have previous experience, there is little financial support available.

Q: Who selects the titles that go on your shelves?
A: The staff and I, plus we work with publishers on upcoming titles as well as feedback from our customers. Several of our most popular books are ones were suggested by customers.

Q: What are the criteria for selection?  For example, do you stock bestsellers regardless of what you think of their quality?
A: We do not because traditional best sellers are not generally what our customers are looking for – they are often looking for different, indie books.

Q: Who are your customers?
A: Our customers are generally local to the area, many within walking distance of the store.  They are well educated, book lovers, inquisitive and interested in learning about new books.

Q: Why should someone shop at One More Page Books and not at the Barnes and Noble a short distance from your store?
A:  A couple of reasons.  Often when folks go to B&N, they are looking for a specific book. Many of our customers are not looking for a specific book, but to get a book that is new to them.  They browse the tables where we display new books, our favorites, recommendations from other customers.  I think they like that we have come to know many of them and them us and also that they frequently run into friends in the store.  They enjoy the community aspect of our events, like the wine and chocolate tastings, book discussion groups and author events.  A number of them have told us how important it is to them to support local business and independent books stores.  And from a practical aspect, since many of them walk to the store, they don’t have to battle the traffic. They can just stroll to the store, look at books and then get a snack or lunch at the cafe across the street.

Q: One More Page Books belongs to IndieBound, a subgroup of the American Booksellers Association.  What are the rules for belonging to Indie Bound and what benefits does IndieBound offer?
A: A store must be (or plan to be) a bricks and mortar store retail bookstore to be part of IndieBound. Indie Bound provides a community for indie bookstores and also uses the buying power of all the member stores to make arrangements with vendors on services/products stores need.

Q: Why should someone shop at your store and not just download a desired book to an e-reader?
A: A brief answer is that a number of our customers also download books to their e-readers - it’s not an either/or situation.  One of our biggest customer advocates is also a big Nook user.  People are looking for something new to them, which they wouldn’t know to download. Also, people tell us there are some books they like to read in print.

Q: One More Page Books sells wine and chocolate as well as books. Why is that?
A: Something fun and different.  It gives people multiple reasons to stop by and more things to buy while they are here.  We have a lot of fun talking about our wine and chocolate with our customers and really   enjoy that our tastings have become a popular event where our customers get to socialize with each and    with us. Besides, I love books, wine and chocolate, so who wouldn’t want to be surrounded by their favorite things.

Q: What do you think One More Page Books will be like ten years from now?
A:  To be honest, I haven’t thought about it.  Things change too quickly to predict the future very far out.

Q: What's your main piece of advice for those considering opening up a bookstore?
A: Do your homework.  Plan on it costing more money and taking longer than you expect.  Make sure there are compelling reasons for someone to come to you versus B&N or Amazon.  Enlist support from others.  That got me through some very difficult times.  I love the store and feel so fortunate to have so much support in making it happen.

Additional Reading:

Welcome to The Committee Room

Books in my B&B room in Cambridge
Photo by Chris Freeland via Flicker
Welcome to The Committee Room.  Our aim is to explore literary culture including writing, reading, bookselling, and publishing.We offer original TCR-produced  interviews and articles along with links to exceptional material found on other websites and blogs. We hope to make connections between the different facets of the literary world and make it easier for you to keep well-informed. Our name is taken from a story in James Joyce's Dubliners and emphasizes our purpose as a place of discussion.

- Mary Kalfatovic, editor