A Network of Writing and Community Publishers



Republishing
TheFED Texts as E-Books

04 May 2012


Some of Steve Parks students at Syracuse University have converted TheFED publications into 'Kindle' format. 

You can download TheFED Kindle Publications, free of charge here.

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Hi all  


Sorry I've been out of touch for a while... busy times in higher ed health education, or perhaps a double cuts wham
my!  

TheFED has been concerned about what to do with the archive, currently stored at Pecket, and the rich but fragile legacy of community writing and publishing which had been developed in some cases over 40 years. I've been talking with Steve Parks over the past year about seeking out and republishing community publications as e books through New City Community Press, but in conjunction with existing publishers, in the US. I've already made a few enquiries with some publishers.


So far we have republished The Republic of Letters, and  intend to produce e-books of Writing, the first FWWCP anthology, the 30th anniversary edition of Federation Magazine and Once I was a Washing Machine. These classic texts are unavailable, and our aim is, like the
Voices resource which has republished all the orginal issues of Voices magazine, to keep this valuable material accessible.  

We're looking to bring out 15-20 e books a year, in a downloadable format that will probably be based on the original text layout. We hope to work from computer files of the text but in many cases the books or publications were produced before home computers were widely available and the pages will have to be scanned in, which will be done by the people at New City Community Press.


There are of course thousands of potential texts, but we think the ones which will probably be of most interest are those with a strong autobiographical or community produced element.


In such a diverse literature it is hard to be selective, but we're looking for material that might be 'classic', for example the Centerprise 'Working Lives' Series, the autobiographies that Centerprise, Bristol Broadsides, and QueenSpark (for example) produced in the 1970s through to the 1990s (some of the authors are on this weblist!); some of the Working Press books such as Incurably Human or Writing on the Wall; Stevenage Survivors workshop books and some of the literacy resources and texts, for example, which were produced by Centerprise and Pecket Well College. Some poetry anthologies, such as the early Survivors Press books are also very important, as are many of the individual poetry anthologies (for example Ripyard Cuddling, Lotte Moos and Siggy Moos, Gladys McGee), and some of the themed anthologies (such as Every Birth it Comes Different, possibly some of the Crocus anthololgies produced by Commonword) though at this stage we can't really consider general group anthologies of poems.


It is possible that you are aware of texts that really ought to be made available again this way. The way in which the texts were presented doesn't matter - some of the most important community publications were put together on whatever material people had to hand - as you might see if you get some of the original copies of Voices.  


There may be some income from these republications. Steve needs to cover costs, but thinks around 90% will come back to the group/author. We think these books will be of interest to a range of people looking at social history in the UK, community literacy and writing, and developing similar projects to the FWWCP and TheFED and their members.  

There can be complications around the copyright in community published texts arising from the way thay were produced and edited and in connection with this I'd certainly be appreciative of any help people can give in tracing people who may hold copyright to writing published by groups now defunct, such as Bristol Broadsides, and indeed this is an issue form some of the other groups which continue but with a totally different membership, for example Centerprise. I am also aware that other groups such as Eastside, New Leaf (formerly Gatehouse) and QueenSpark are working on the republishing of some of their books, and it is possible that we may be able to work something in these cases which will widen their distribution.


Both of us are very concerned to make this important literature available to a wider audience and to inspire other people. I still use community publishing books as teaching resources and have been presenting papers on them, and get a lot of interest, so know all the writing people are doing and have done has a lot of potential to make an impact.   

If you are interested, perhaps on behalf of something you've written, were involved in, or your group's publications, please get in touch.


My work number is 0114 225 2416 - my work email is
N.Pollard@shu.ac.uk - if I am not around to talk to leave me details of a time I can get hold of you.  

Best to all  


Cheers  


Nick Pollard  





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