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 Otherstarted 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 it’s 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 don’t have any money to spare, we appreciate your support in any way that’s 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.
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.
– 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.
Our first project, the anthology, is taking shape and is finally looking like an actual manuscript (!) and that, folks, means that our Kickstarter crowdfunding campaign as well as our launch event are just around the corner – more on this here.
Meanwhile, in January, whilst everyone is recuperating from the festive period, we will be preparing for our February launch [cue] keep an eye out for sneaky cover previews, WIP’s and behind the scene shots of our preparations.
IN 2017 WE:
launched Knight Errant Press in March
by August we gathered 3/4of our first anthology
later that month we launched our creative writing workshop series – They Come from Within
to date we’ve done 6 workshops in Edinburgh, Falkirk and Glasgow and they’ve all been well-attended and received positive feedback, with a few regulars returning for word-brewing bonanza led by us and our creative pals!
and are officially being registered (80% through, the paperwork is done, we’re waiting on the approval of Companies House) as a Community Interest Company. What’s that? Well, it really is quite straightforward:
A community interest company is a business with primarily social objectives whose surpluses are principally reinvested for that purpose in the business or in the community, rather than being driven by the need to maximise profit for shareholders and owners. – trusty Wikipedia
making solid steps towards realising our first project
THIS ONE’S A DREAMER
2018 is shaping up to be busy. F, M or Other – Volume I will be launched in early February, followed by a release in March upon the successful completion of our crowdfunding campaign; Volume II us currently scheduled for June-July.
We’ve been quietly working away at a few smaller projects and with a couple fantastic submissions received last year, we hope to publish some of them this year. For now, until the time is right and so as not to jinx things, we will keep the details under wraps. Stay tuned, we will keep you in the loop throughout the year.
We are not planning a large project akin to F, M or Other in 2018 but are open for submissions: short story, flash fiction, novellas, novels, poetry, graphic narratives, speculative fiction and YA!
In 2018 we’re going to really weigh in with our social objectives – collaborating with charitable and creative organisations for more and better LGBTQIA+, migrant, BAME and translation representation, storytelling and learning opportunities.
They Come from Within:the creative writing workshops will continue, with more one off events like the SF/F workshop with Eris Young. In August, we will start putting together what we hope will become an annual publication of writing inspired by the workshops. Another ambitious plan of ours is to expand our sessions to Dundee – if you know anyone who might be interested in taking up the reigns for us there, feel free to drop us a line.
2018 has a lot in store for us and we hope to be able to attend some of the bookish events across the UK and Scotland in full capacity as a publisher – more on this as we carry on. In addition to the above, we will be applying for funding opportunities in order to expand our possibilities.
OUR 2018 RESOLUTIONS:
Successfully fund and publish both volumes of the F, M or Other anthology.
Push our social objectives to the forefront: more LGBTQIA+, BAME, migrant and translated voices.
Continue at a steady pace with They Come from Within – with more tailored workshops and hopefully a few guest led workshops.
Expand TCFW to Dundee.
Release some of the smaller projects into the wild early on in the year and work on the bigger ones to be ready for release in the second half of the year.
Apply for funding opportunities to expand our possibilities.
WHAT ABOUT THE HUMANS?
We have had a lot of support this year. Seriously, thank you folks. The kind words, the follows and retweets, for attending our workshops and spreading the good ol’ word-of-mouth, but especially for having faith in us and our project. We really appreciate it.
We’ve been to a few bookish events (in Scotland) this year – the Zine Library opening in Edinburgh’s Central Library, Glasgow Comicon, SYP Scotland’s annual conference, Edinburgh Comic Art Festival – and met a lot of great, talented people who inspired us to work even harder towards our goals.
Over the summer, our core team was approached and joined by Lenka, Tanisha and Kanika – for a short and sweet summer they became our trusty interns. They’ve helped us a lot – they proofread and gave feedback on accepted submissions; researched crowdfunding and compiled a marketing strategy for Kickstarter and helped set up and launch our creative workshops. You are our heroes, thank you.
In 2018 we will be a smaller team, consisting of Nathaniel (a resourceful human, jack of all trades and Responsible Adult), Rhiannon (editor, production wizard and the Voice of Reason) and Lenka (the soothing camomile tea of our team, social media child and marketing assistant) and, of course, our most valued team member (it’s hard work being photogenic, regal and getting enough sleep) – Kuzya the Expert Office Dog.
Here is to a fair and exciting year ahead – onwards and upwards!