December 13, 2016, by Words on Words
Introducing…The Letters Page, Vol 1
This blog post was written by Annalise Grice, a researcher from the School of English and the current Production Manager of The Letters Page.
“I’m a big fan of The Letters Page. Texts and emails are fine, but there’s nothing like a hand-written letter.” – Roddy Doyle
The Letters Page, a literary journal in letters founded and edited by author and academic Jon McGregor, launched the first of its annual printed editions with two celebratory events on 2 November 2016. In case you don’t already know, The Letters Page is a project initiated by the School of English at the University of Nottingham, where Jon is a writer in residence and Professor of Creative Writing. He edits the journal with the assistance of a team of Creative Writing students, and the invaluable support of the School. All submissions to The Letters Page are handwritten letters, sent and received by post.
After three years as a digital publication – publishing stories, essays and poems by contributors including Colum McCann, Magnus Mills, Eimear McBride, Andrey Kurkov and Evie Wyld – The Letters Page has published a limited-edition boxed set containing loose-leaf reproductions of the contributors’ original handwritten letters alongside an illustrated booklet of transcriptions. The edition, produced in partnership with Book Ex Machina (an independent publisher based in Cyprus), contains a selection of highlights from our first seven issues, including letters by George Saunders, Naomi Alderman, Kevin Barry and Joanna Walsh, as well as a selection of new letters.
The first, on-campus event was a light lunch, featuring a delectable batch of Letters Page branded cupcakes. Attendees perused the letters and we made our first sale to a former contributor who turned up especially for the occasion. Jon made a speech thanking the School of English for its generous support.
The second, evening event was held at a brand new creative space in Nottingham town centre: THiNK, at Cobden Chambers. The venue was, in fact, so new that when we arrived to set up the party, the decorators were still there painting the front door a glossy white. By the time our guests rolled up, however, they were greeted with wine and a mezze platter artfully produced by Beth Marriott of the Kiosk in Sherwood, and the space soon filled with the buzz of literary conversation.
Jon addressed the audience, who were then treated to spirited readings by two of the journal’s contributors, Joanna Walsh and Sam Riviere. Both of these authors also helped run a fascinating creative writing workshop put on for School of English students the following morning.
Incidentally, The Letters Page, Vol. I makes a perfect Christmas gift, and copies can be ordered directly from the publisher’s website, or purchased from the School of English Management and Research Office (A90, Trent Building).
You might also like to know that the first seven issues were published, between Oct 2012 and Dec 2015, as downloadable PDFs. The archive is available here.