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welcome to the third edition of the ronin press newsletter.

first of all i would like to thank all of our writers and supporters for their help over the last three months. i am happy to announce that we have a date for the first ronin periodical which celebrates our first birthday. the periodical is planned to be launched on december 20th, 2010 - exactly one year after our launch.


the periodical will include work from most, if not all, of the ronin writers, along with contributions from other writers who we have not yet published, but are more than happy to add to our collective. together we form a diverse collective of both poetry and prose writers from around the globe, such as: roy kesey, david gaffney, hugh fox, tyler knight, john greiner, howie good, chris vaughan, rc miller, yossarian hunter, newamba flamingo, myself and others.

the periodical will not be free, though. both print and digital editions will be available to order, although a small free sample will be published so you all get a taste.

despite focusing on the periodical (as submissions are now temporarily closed) we plan to launch two more eBooks before the launch: one poetry collection by fahredin shedu (whose poetry is infused with mysticism) and jon horton (whose magic realism story is sure to make an impression). these books will be the ninth addition to each section, and both will be published in october.

we're also working on a flash eBook viewer which will allow you to turn pages in style. think of the ronin viewer +1.

looking back, the last three months have been very productive. we have published an average of one eBook per month since the last newsletter was distributed, and have seen a positive reaction to each publication.

we have also created a facebook group which you are all invited to join;


i'll now hand you over to our prose editor, chris vaughan, who will say a bit more about PHASE 47.

stay tuned. pressing matters.




Death to the Doomsayer

Literary Doomsayers are like a roomful of colic wracked babies, when one cries the others chime in competitively – ‘Death of the short story’, ‘Death of the papery book – pulp it!’ ‘Death to the literary journal’ ‘Draw and quarter the poem!’ – but when the room is cleared, the sandwich board maniacs carted off, we find that in the corners people are writing, putting together literary magazines, reading real paper books vulnerable to fire but immune to jetlag. Readers, writers and promoters are all out there. We traditionally lament the loss of something before realising how much we have. Ambit, Granta, The New Welsh Review, Pushing Out The Boat – while not all heavyweights like Granta –still have an audience and still produce great work. But the problem today is not the lack of good writers, enthusiastic vehicles or readership.

The American model for short fiction is evidently more effective. British short fiction is given more air time in America than in the UK, look at William Trevor – he is a staple New Yorker writer – but you’d be hard pressed finding one of his stories outside a collection here. Great modern short fiction writers, George Saunders, D’Ambrosio,  T C Boyle, Chris Adrian – they all bloomed in the light of The Paris Review, New Yorker, Harpers and other great, championing, discerning literary magazines. The UK does not have its New Yorker or Harpers. There are no multimedia outlets, no serious newspapers or periodicals willing to feature fiction and poetry alongside news and editorials. They don’t seem to mix in the UK. The huge downside to this is that readers are rarely introduced to what they don’t already know; readers in the UK can’t stumble on a Tobias Wolfe story or leaf from the Economy section to find themselves reading a Denis Johnson piece. This is the reason there are no greatly popular short fiction writers in the UK, not the lack of anything but the unwillingness to mix it up and take fiction as seriously as the reviews of the fiction that could otherwise be in its place. This is also partly due to an attitude that short stories and poetry are what you hang in the spare bedroom, not the lounge. But any discerning reader knows that one great short story can have more clout than a million mediocre novels.

John Cheever told the Paris Review ‘the room where I work has a window looking into a wood, and I like to think that these earnest, lovable, and mysterious readers are in there.’ The same is still true; readers are ephemeral, unimposing, quiet things but never dead or dying.

We have no budget, our reach is as far as our enthusiasm and time can manage, but we have already attracted some invaluable support from people like the legendary Hugh Fox, founder of the pushcart prize, Ken Kesey and on the home soil David Gaffney, the great Manchester based writer.

We intend to do all we can with no budget to secure a place in the UK’s small, but not dying, definitely not dead, literary landscape. We have stocks of blind determination; we are naively idealistic and have enough talent behind us to make it work. So if you are browsing this, thank you; but if you are seeing these words at all then we have taken some small steps toward achieving our goal and intend to see it all the way through to the end, till death of the author, reader, journal, word, paper do us part, amen.

- Chris Vaughan, September 2010


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