On the Shelves in Oxford this week we are celebrating one of the greatest scientists of the 20th century, Alan Turing, as well as one of the greatest Victorian novelists, Anthony Trollope. Jack Copeland’s biography of Turing reflects on all aspects of his life and work, from his important role at Bletchley Park to his tragic personal circumstances and death aged just 41. Anthony Trollope’s An Autobiography and Other Writings is the only autobiography written by a major Victorian novelist and also one of the strangest ever written. Trollope sheds light on his novel-writing style, and explains how he created richly comic novels such as Barchester Towers - also on our shelves this week.

You can never read your own book with the innocent anticipation that comes with that first delicious page of a new book, because you wrote the thing. You’ve been backstage. You’ve seen how the rabbits were smuggled into the hat. Therefore ask a reading friend or two to look at it before you give it to anyone in the publishing business. This friend should not be someone with whom you have a ­romantic relationship, unless you want to break up.
—  From Margaret Atwood’s 10 Rules of Writing, via Brainpickings
I know a lot of people start writing early in the morning. I’ve tried it, and it’s not me. My mom always made me feel so lazy about sleeping in. I like to sleep late, and I’m so done feeling guilty about it.
—  Back in April, Dreamworks announced its plans to adapt Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell for the silver screen, with the author writing the script. A few months later, Rowell published a new book, Landline, that marked a return to adult fiction. At The RumpusAmanda Green sits down with the author to talk about YA, her productivity and the importance (or not) of getting up early to write. FYI, our own Janet Potter reviewed Eleanor and Park and Fangirl.

We were delighted to see OUP authors get involved in ‘Books are my Bag’, a nationwide campaign to celebrate and support UK bookshops. Caroline Shenton, author of The Day Parliament Burned Down, and Nick Groom, author of The Gothic: A Very Short Introduction, are pictured above supporting the campaign at their local bookshops in Chipping Norton and Bedford respectively.


Apparently we were trending on Tumblr over these last two days, and because of that we’ve gained over 4,000 new followers. HELLO, EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU. THANKS FOR FOLLOWING US. NICE TO HAVE YOU HERE.

If you’re interested, we are also on Twitter and Facebook, where we promote a lot of other indie stuff happening all over North America!

This is totally surreal and insane, but we figured we should do a little introductory post to give everyone a run down of who we are and what we do!

We are an artisan micropress created by emerging artists, for emerging artists. We are writers, editors, and publishers who got tired of how hard it is to be taken seriously if you’re anything less than critically acclaimed already. So we made words(on)pages, a community we’ve used to promote emerging artists, new events, and other artisan and experimental presses in an effort to grow and strengthen indie lit and culture in Toronto.

(Necessary aside: we’re based in Canada, and tend to have more of a focus on Canadian work, but we always make at least a little room for international writers! Especially on here.)

Want to get involved with words(on)pages? We want that too! Hopefully you can find something we do that you like, and we can start a relationship.

We have a few places you can send your writing:

You can also get in touch with us if you’re interested in featuring at our monthly reading series, words(on)stages. We’re open to anything: poetry or prose or comedy or music or small-scale theatre or something that doesn’t quite fit any of those categories. But remember, we’re based in Toronto. Check out the words(on)stages page for a gallery of past readers and more information.

Thanks again for the follows! If you’re a writer and you want us to take a look at your work, we encourage you to submit, but if you reblog this we’ll try our best (we’re just two people also working day jobs, though) to take a look at your blog as well.

Description is where the story is, and also where the postmodern complaint with the story is. It’s where the poetry of the writing is. Those writers of literary historical fiction over the past forty or fifty years who have become fed up with traditional, novelistic historical storytelling have often revived the Platonic quarrel with poetry, in questioning of the usefulness of that leap to fiction. Description, though, is what Flanagan revels in. He is a storyteller in the mythic sense, of lives determined by emotion, error, and turns of coincidence and fate.

Heading to London in the near future? Stop by the British Library’s new Terror and Wonder, which bills itself as the UK’s biggest Gothic exhibition in history. To whet your appetite, you can read thisGuardian piece by Neil Gaiman, in which the Sandman author names Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein the apex of Gothic fiction. Related: our own Hannah Gersen on Frankenstein and the “Year Without a Summer.”

Book sales depend crucially on buzz and word of mouth (which is why authors are often sent on grueling book tours); you buy a book because you’ve heard about it, because other people are reading it, because it’s a topic of conversation, because it’s made the best-seller list. And what Amazon possesses is the power to kill the buzz. It’s definitely possible, with some extra effort, to buy a book you’ve heard about even if Amazon doesn’t carry it — but if Amazon doesn’t carry that book, you’re much less likely to hear about it in the first place.

So can we trust Amazon not to abuse that power? The Hachette dispute has settled that question: no, we can’t.