Margaret Atwood calls us "uncanny." The Guardian calls us "a wonderful repository of experimental lit." TheMillions.com says theNewerYork is "one of the most exciting places to read." The Lit Pub says "theNewerYork is one hell of a project."
What is this?
theNewerYork Book II
- We've had 1, 2, 3 successful Kickstarter campaigns and over 470 happy backers.
- In the past 3 years we've published over 700 writers, 450 artists, made 1 movie, published 5 books, and put on 30+ events. .
This Megafounder project and our previous Kickstarter campaign will pay for the following things (nitty gritty details below):
- Designing, printing, and shipping ~3000 copies of the full-color, pocket-sized (4.25"x 6.6875") paperback book on sustainably forested paper-stock
- Thanking each of the 40 contributors with $25 and a copy of the book
- Turning book IV into an interactive literary carnival in Portland, NYC, LA
- Commissioning the adaptation of an animation or short film out of a story in the book. Backers get to choose which story gets converted and also get a producer's credit
This isn't a metaphor, this is a movement:
It's simple, paragraphs and stanzas are fascist. They restrict the way we communicate with authoritarian zeal. We're taught from a young age that paragraphs are the way to convey the written word, and we are given no opportunity to dissent. Do you think in rigid blocks of thought aligned nicely in your brain? No. So why should you read that way?
This isn't poetry. This isn't a short story. This isn't a personal essay. This is theNewerYork and we are hell bent on changing the literary world and hopefully other worlds.
What is our mission?
- Be Daring: We don't have to publish standard short stories, poetry, or novels to be a literary publisher. Let's publish everything else.
- Be Accessible: We can be experimental without being obtuse or exclusionary.
- Be Compassionate: We must treat our authors, artists, and customers with the utmost reverence and respect.
- Be Everywhere: We will make movies, animation, art, and performance out of as many stories as possible.
- Be Open: We will take submissions, free of charge, 24/7/365. All our submissions will be blind; we don't care what school you went to, what your name is, or where else you've been published, we care that you can write.
A word from the citizens of theNewerYork:
Video by Patrick Berry.
A Note From Josh Raab (editor) on changing the world through literature:
My dream is to change the world using creative writing. I don't consider it hyperbolic, though I can understand that it's hard to see from the outside how a little book of stories and art could do this. It's been done before. From religious texts to lawmaking, writing alters the world around us and the work we choose to read alters how we see that world. In the words of the poet John Mark: "All love poetry is anti-war poetry." Expounding upon this, I believe all writing, whether explicitly or not, is political. If done correctly, if appreciated wholly, a reader should close the book and see the world anew, see new possibilities, experience nuances of compassion previously overlooked.
theNewerYork has grown from a little book I made in my room 4 years ago to a worldwide experiment in literary publishing. From group collaboration to bizarro literary events to movies and art and advocacy, our fictional city gains new citizens and dimensions everyday. With some time and care we can be an enriching force in the global world of arts and literature. Thanks for believing in us.
Our books are pocket-sized collections of fiction and art, knitted together into a unified storytelling experience. Read it in order, out of order, upside down, and sideways. They are measured to fit in your back pocket. So take us with you on your journeys.
Here are some spreads:
A story by Christine Tierney and art by James Gallagher
Fictional definitions paired with art by Jake Kean Mayman
Story by Sarah Woods and art by Karl James Mountford
Yelp reviews by J. Bradley and art by Stefan Zsaitsits
Art by Jeannie Lynn Paske
Writers: Carabella Sands, Christine Tierney, Gerar Edizel, Shelly Weathers, Manuel Abreu, Ghada Khalil, Jeff Friedman, Richard Penner, Sara Woods, Jesse Bradley, Alice Atlas, Evan Allgood, A.M. O'Malley, Nadia de Vries, Brad Garber, Max Miroff, Mollie Boutell, Steve Vermillion, Michael Shirzadian, Ani Bakhchadzyan, Kait Heacock, Chuck Young, Gessy Alvarez, Andy Valentine, J.H Yun, and Joelle Schumacher.
Artists: Kim Roselier, Jeannie Lynn Paske, Nils Davey, Stefan Zsaitsits, Stephen Lipman, Aniela Sobieski, Ben Stainton, David Lee Price, James Gallagher, David de las Heras, Karl James Mountford, Jake Kean Mayman and Ryan Humphrey.
Beyond the Book
We believe every story stuck in black ink on a page, when ignited, contains the potential energy to be exploded into several forms. While remaining distinctly literary, we adapt stories into movies, art, and performances. We split the proceeds with the authors and creators!
If successfully funded, we will create one short film out of a story in the book. All of our backers will get to vote on which story gets adapted. All of our backers will get a producer's credit. As an example, here is an animation, generously made by Matt Kresling, out of August Smith's short story "Depressed Obama."
The Literary Carnival
If successfully funded, we will adapt the stories and books into literary carnivals and have performers act out the stories at a theater in Los Angeles, Portland and New York City. We will have literary activities like fictional biography writers, Rorschach flash-fiction tests, letter lotteries, MadLibs, word-caricatures, and more. We've done it before; here's a re-cap from our last Literary Carnival in Los Angeles (also funded on Kickstarter):
Roughly $3500 of the Kickstarter funding will go towards funding these three events, which includes paying our actors, set design, promotional materials, and space rentals and insurance. All of our backers at the $25 level and higher will get free tickets.
We convert stories into posters and art and split the proceeds with the writers. We plan to do this with several pieces from Book IV! Backers at certain levels will receive prints. Here are some past designs:
Words by Richard Penner / Design by Nils Davey
Bomb Boy by Christopher Morgan, Design by Nils Davey
The postcard books are formatted to let you tear off cards individually or flip through them like a book
Sample tote bag of ours. Made by American Apparel 14 3/8" x 14
What is Experimental Lit?
To us, it's work that pushes the boundary of the written word. It's about form as much or more than it is about content. It's about having an idea, an experiment, and executing it carefully. Experimental lit is characterized by the chance of failure. As editors and publishers, we select the experiments we deem successful.
Experimental literature puts a lot of emphasis on form and design. Things need to look good as well as feel good. But the design and the form have to lead to the reader to a more visceral experience rather than distracting or confusing them.
What is designing theNewerYork like?
We put painstaking detail into every page. You can see the animated geneses of some spreads below. Almost every page goes through several iterations and art pairings. We try to complement the art and add to the experience of the story without getting in the way. Sometimes our writers submit stories that are already designed but more often we get a plain-text document and then turn it into something sexy.
The Incomplete List of Phobias by Ghada Khalil
Résumé by Brad Garber
Nils Davey is theNewerYork's designer. His style is clean, organic, abstract, and rock n' roll. He has worked on projects for Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Courtney Love, the Lumineers, The Rapture, and others. Visit his website: NilsDavey.com
We currently have strong relationships with McNally Jackson, MOMA Bookstore, Powell's Books, Printed Matter, The Strand, St. Mark's Bookshop, Spoonbill & Sugartown, Bookcourt, WORD Brooklyn, Skylight Books, Stories Books and Cafe, Dog Eared Books, Alley Cat Books, and many more. Book IV will be found in these stores.
We don't participate in the current distribution model used by the book industry. It's rigged against small publishers and we will not fight upstream to be part of it. Our distribution is done through a personal network of connections, targeted personal outreach to independent bookstores, and of course all of our books are available through theNewerYork.com, Amazon, Kobo, Scribd, Creatavist, etc.
About the book:
105 pages, paperback, matte laminate cover, full color inside and out. 4 1/8 x 6 11/16 inches (measured for Levi's 511 back pockets), 40 pieces of fiction. 30 pieces of art. Literary Forms include: Yelp reviews, letters, Horoscopes, flash fiction, lists, math equations, tallies, and other worded weirdness.
Left to right: Assistant editors Melissa McDaniel (New York), Max Miroff (Virginia), and Eric Boyd (Pennsylvania); Art & Events Manager Michelle Favin (California); Lead Decliner Steve Vermillion (California); Assistant Editor Megan Willoughby (California); Books & Interviews Editor Daniel Bullard Bates (Portland). Front: Founder & Creative Director Josh Raab (California); Website & Managing Editor: Chuck Young (Massachusetts). The bird: Artistic Director and book designer Nils Davey (California).
Our Kickstarter video and music is inspired by Canon's "Bring it" commercial. We found it to be an exciting, eloquent, and beautiful way to get our point across.