Dear Readers! As you probably know, in June I took on my new job as Editor-in-Chief of the (then non-existent) Signum University Press, which I’ve been creating from scratch ever since. It’s been an amazing, exhausting, sometimes overwhelming, entirely fulfilling adventure so far. This is really my dream job, since I get to edit, write, research, manage projects, do networking and promotion, learn all about the business of publishing, work with the world’s most stellar team, and still teach my favorite courses to eager students. It’s really astonishing!
Works About Williams
Among the works we’re publishing, there are a few related to Charles Williams, and please make sure you read to the end of this post, because YOU might have something to send us that could lengthen that list even more!
- A chapter in Channeling King Arthur Through the Mediums, an anthology of essays by Signum M.A. students on Arthuriana from Tennyson’s time to our own. The chapter is by Sarah Monnier and is entitled “The Body Sang Together: Charles Williams and the East in his Arthuriad.”
- A long short story, or short novella, or meditative narrative, or creative nonfiction essay or something genre-transcending by Catherine Madsen, entitled “You Will Not Find it Poison.” This work is astonishing. It’s beautiful, and brutal, and the kind of thing we all want to write but thought was impossible.
- A short story in my collection Shall These Bones Breathe? called “Incoherence” in which someone refuses the coinherent nature of the universe and, well, decoheres. Ooops, #SpoilerWarning.
- Then there are a couple more utterly amazing Williams-related projects that I can’t announce yet, because they’re not under contract! But stay tuned, and I’ll post about them in due time.
Then there are several works related to other members of “The Inklings” and so are informative about CW’s social context, themes, friendships, and more:
- Cardinal Vices in Middle-earth, an academic book by Dr. Martina Juričková
- Exploring The Lord of the Rings by Corey Olsen: more or less a book form of his long-running podcast.
- The Silmarillion Primer by Jeff LaSala: a helpful guide to JRRT’s confusing book. Basically just what it says on the tin.
- An interview series with Verlyn Flieger in which she talks about (among many other things) her relationships with members of the Tolkien family, the time she met Owen Barfield, and her work on Tolkien’s books and paper.
- A lecture series by Michael D.C. Drout on Beowulf, in which inevitably Drout’s deep knowledge of Tolkien and of Tolkien-on-Beowulf will come into play.
Finally, a lot of the poetry and fiction we’re publishing has touches of Tolkien, Lewis, Williams, Eliot, and their ilk, or of the literature they loved and that inspired them. We have poetry and short stories by Verlyn Flieger, a novel by Kay ben-Avraham, poetry by James Hamby, an Arthurian novel by Brad Patty, and several more short stories.
How You Can Help
So…. we’re a new, tiny, startup, struggling little Press, and YOU can totally help us to grow and thrive and get more great books out into the world! How, you ask? Thank you for asking! Here’s how.
- You could boost the Press’s signal on social media, if you’re into that sort of thing. Here we are on Twitter, Facebook, and TikTok. If you’d like, retweet, comment on, and share our posts, that would be great.
- You could subscribe to the serial release of my upcoming short story collection or any of our serial release books: besides mine, we have Kay’s novel, Corey’s book, and Jeff’s Primer starting serial release soon. We’re trying out this old/new model of putting out a work in monthly installments. I got to be the guinea pig, and it’s going really well! If you like the idea of getting a story or a couple of chapters to read each month, please sign up. It’s only $2/month for ebook format and $2.50 for audiobook (which is more labor-intensive to produce).
- If you truly believe in what we’re doing–publishing excellent academic studies & accessible popular scholarship & creative literary works, paying our authors high royalties, releasing books in accessible formats, and mentoring emerging writers–you could consider patronizing me or another writer. Making money as an author has always been hard; financial patronage of the arts and scholarship used to be a big part of many civilized societies. So we’ve invented the Author’s Circle: SUP’s way of inviting readers to become part of a special community with their favorite authors.
Looking for a Publisher?
We are currently taking submissions of three kinds; take a look and see if you have anything to send us!
We are gathering individual academic articles to release in monthly installments and eventually collect into anthologies. While we’ll consider anything in the fields of language & literature, we’re most interested in Afrofuturism/Africanfuturism, ecocriticism, fandoms, the Inklings, Germanic philology, medieval literature, and popular culture.
In addition to article-length studies, we are also eager to read academic monographs on any of those topics and will also consider suggestions for edited essay collections. While our popular and literary catalogs are growing quickly, we want to add more works to the peer-reviewed side of the Press, so please spread the word to your friends, former students, and colleagues in academia: in particular to those from under-represented demographics.
We’re also harvesting single short stories to bind into lovely sheaves. We want previously-unpublished short stories of any length, in any genre, on any topic; our readers especially love fantasy, science fiction, mythopoeia, fairy tales, secondary worlds, dystopia, Afrofuturism and Africanfuturism, dark academia, superhero tales, and adaptations of classic myths.
So there you have it! A new publisher, many new opportunities, several risky experiments, and endless good old timeless ideas finding their way into readers’ hands and minds via the Signum University Press. I hope you’ll grab your pocket-handkerchief and join us on this adventure!
Under the Mercy,
Sarah Monnier’s chapter has an intriguing title! I finally got around to reading a translation of Os Lusíadas not so long ago (by the late Landeg White, a 21st-century addition to the Oxford World Classics) and, among other things, it got me wondering if Williams knew it in some earlier translation(s) and if it contributed to his ideas about Pó-Lu (of the various spellings). Lewis mentions Os Lusíadas a couple times in different contexts, and finally getting around to reading Alan Bliss’s edition of Finn and Hengest, I find Tolkien mentioning it, too! I wonder if there is a lot of interesting attention to the Inklings and Os Lusíadas in Spanish and Portuguese, sadly unknown to those of us who do not speak either?