Projects, Team

Kick-Starting #QueerQuarrels

A lot has happened since Knight Errant Press was established in March last year. We have been slowly growing, improving and figuring things out.

Of course, the biggest project that took up most of our time and focus was F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary. Ever since we opened our submissions, we have been trying to be a constant presence in your timeline with various updates and our most recent, and the biggest so far, has been the launch of our Kickstarter campaign.

The Anticipation

If you’ve ever planned a big project, then you might know that there is a lot of anticipation that builds up over the course of making preparations and putting things in place. The excitement, mixed with a good dose of stress, kept us on our toes the entire time. Tackling one thing (and sometimes more) at a time made it seem as if the end goal was miles away.

The team got together one day to work on blads which were to be distributed during our launch. Blads, while strange sounding, is a very straightforward concept, it serves as a sample or a taster of an upcoming book.

We mused over the right pieces and parts to include, stared intensely at a screen trying to judge whether the cover’s font should be a point smaller or bigger and tweaked all the little details while consuming large quantities of tea and snacks. I, personally, also got distracted by Rhi’s adorable cats and had to indulge in some cuddles.

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Working on the blads at our Edinburgh base (basically, taking Rhiannon’s spare room hostage).

 

A lot of us are very familiar with being stressed out over intense work. What is harder to describe is what you feel once everything you have been working on is suddenly out there, for everyone to see and scrutinise. Suddenly the thing you have poured all your energy into isn’t yours anymore, you put it out there and wait for the reaction.

The Event

Knight Errant Press hit two significant milestones at once. On the 8th of February we organised our first ever spoken word event and launched our Kickstarter campaign.

We were caught off guard by how quickly it sold out (thank you so much for that!) so expectations were already in place. We arrived early on the day to prepare as best as we could and while we were trying our hardest to be completely cool beans, we were decidedly not. The nerves definitely made themselves known, but once I was standing in the ‘green room’ (i.e the one room in the bookshop that was sort of blocked by a plant for privacy) surrounded by the team and all the authors who have so generously agreed to give us their time and performances, I felt like I was floating from joy.

Seeing our contributors together in one room, nervous, but excited and so supportive of each other was an amazing experience. Hearing them preform and utterly captivate the audience with their words made my ears tingle from all the happiness I was feeling.

There is something really special about the moment when a creator connects with an audience, that moment when their words manage to shake something up and I couldn’t be more grateful to be able to be a part of that.

I was so happy that I must have been grinning like a fool the entire time, sorry not sorry.

We have received an incredible amount of love and support for our work and the project. It is incredible to see that there is so many of you out there who want to hear these stories and believe in their importance. Every time we get a donation to our campaign or someone tweets about it, we get the warm fuzzies that fuel us to keep on working.

So thank you, again, for all the support we have received. Thank you for sticking by us, we cannot wait to share even more with you soon.

Your friendly neighbourhood Marketing Assistant,

Lenka

The Team
L to R: Lenka, Nathaniel and Rhiannon – chill beans!
Projects, Team

It’s Alive! #QueerQuarrels

Kickstarter Launch

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Remember how we kept talking about working on our project F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary?

Well, no more teasing and you having to wait — we are ready to raise funds and be able to share this brilliant book with you!

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We have been working hard since the first open call for submissions and have managed to create and put together something that we are really proud of and eager to share.

F, M or Other started out of the desire to provide a platform for people to project their opinions and experiences with gender and its social construct to a wider audience. Now its ready to do exactly that, we just need your support in order to fully bring it to life.

A combination of hard work (and great luck) has led us to being able to gather over 40 incredible creators and writers whose pieces will be compiled into an anthology split into two volumes. Each piece has a unique perspective on the theme of quarrels with the gender binary. We wanted to make sure that when you pick up the book, you are provided with a range of experiences and thoughts expressed in different forms. Gender means different things to different people — it only makes sense to show this through a variety of formats. The anthology is filled with poems, essays, short stories and comics that are here to shake things up.

Using Kickstarter gives us a chance to reach out to you, dear readers — people who want to read a book that does not try to put anyone into a neatly organised box but instead, is letting the quarrelous nature of gender speak for itself. The crowdfunding page will provide you with information about the project, showing different ways of pre-ordering the book and supporting authors and a small, independent publishing company.

Don’t worry if you dont have any money to spare, we appreciate your support in any way thats accessible to you — pitching in at Thunderclap, sharing the Kickstarter page and using the hashtag #QueerQuarrels will make a difference.

Thank you for your continuous support that reminded us during long work hours and stressful editing nights, that you want this book to exist and you are ready to have more queer writing out in the world.

If you missed the event @Lighthouse Books, make sure to check out our Twitter (we tweeted live) and Instagram (click on Birdie to see live videos).

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Preview Booklets for #QueerQuarrels ‘sold like hotcakes’ – with donations going to support LGBT Health & Wellbeing, a cornerstone local LGBTQI+ charity supporting the “community of communities”(c) Jules in Scotland. You can pick up a copy and donate what you can for the cause @LighthouseBooks. (Browsing recommended, their selection is absolutely fantastic.)

Love, The Team

PA, Team

Public Announcement

We are a Queer Press.

An interesting label, isn’t it? One that we have chosen, as the issues closest to our collective hearts are those that affect the LGBTQI+ communities.

“Queer” isn’t necessarily the right term for everyone within these communities – or even those that we publish – and we are aware of that too.

Recently, our emergent press has been confronted with anger and disappointment online. Apparently we have not lived up to the expectations of one or more persons or groups because of the choices we have made regarding the authors we wish to publish in our forthcoming anthology: F, M or Other: Quarrels with the Gender Binary.

The clue is in the title.

There is scope for publishing a writer whether or not you agree with their point of view. Indeed, in our opinion, it is important to listen to others whether or not you agree with them. It represents maturity of thought, intelligence of response and a desire to be outside the echo chamber of your own thoughts; to invite in the ‘other’, discuss and to evolve. To move forward.

Silencing the voices of those you disagree with is not a means of moving forward. This kind of social censorship is a way of excluding and denying, ultimately learning nothing, receiving nothing and giving nothing. We cannot move forward or have a chance at moving forward if we choose to exclude.

We do have a line. We do not publish hate speech. We are not a ‘phobic’ press by any stretch of the imagination and will not publish content we believe would propagate such opinions. We have debated to the point that it was painful regarding what to and what not to include in this book.

We will not silence. And we will not be held to ransom by those that would.

The approach of excluding voices simply because you are affronted by them is the reason minority presses such as Knight Errant Press have to exist in the first place.

Judging material you have not read and being willing to discount the rest of the anthology in the perpetuation of your own ignorance is a poor example of evolved thinking and one we will not support or pander to. Is it OK to accuse people of perpetuating their own ignorance…? Yes. When it comes to people demanding the same censorship on others as they suffer themselves.

We’d rather have a healthy debate through a plurality of voices than be self-congratulatory and never learn anything.

We hope you’ll join us when our Kickstarter for our quarrelsome anthology launches on February 8th.

Sincerely,

– The Team

 


Image sourced from here depicting art found on the Berlin Wall,  “My God Help me to Survive this Deadly Love” features the Brezhnev / Honecker kiss.