Artists through the centuries have joined forces to rebel against the status quo, and challenge the establishment... Afsana Press' vibrant new writers' collective is a literary movement for our time
A writers' collective for the modern age
Literature and the artistic vision are at the very heart of our work. In parallel to the Afsana Press publishing house, our aim is to form a vibrant writers’ collective in the time-old tradition of artists and writers through the ages, to help profile the work of like-minded authors, and give authors the chance to support, encourage and inspire each other.
From the master sculptors of ancient Greece who worked together to establish marble workshops in the quarries of Milos, to the rebel painters of the French revolution, to the Bloomsbury group of the early 20th century who so radically shook up the stuffy restrictions of the Victorian establishment, artists and writers have always come together to push against the boundaries and restrictions of popular culture. Together, artists have formed powerful movements that challenge the institution at large, sharing social, political and aesthetic ideologies, and exploring radical new alternatives to mainstream art and culture.
Artists are being silenced
There has never been a better time for authors to form a collective. The publishing market is shifting more and more towards the commercial, with agents and publishers focused on easy-to-market stories that follow certain trends, prioritising stories by established, bestselling authors, seeking books that sell simply because of who the author is, or the size of their social media following, and curating the market with a zeal that borders on censorship.
Sadly, all this is very much at the cost of writers’ freedom and artistic potential. As the novelist Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie points out, literature is in peril. Our cultures are composed of many overlapping stories, says Adichie, yet agents and publishers seek a single story, and risk censoring many others. Extraordinary stories are falling through the net. Voices are being lost. Artists are being silenced.
Discovering lost stories
It is in this context that Afsana Press will seek to lift authors up and elevate literary works, by publishing books with the same quality and standards as the book production industry, but in smaller quantities. Our aim is to prioritise beautiful, meaningful writing, showcasing wonderful stories via bookstores, online retailers, festivals and events. We will actively seek out amazing fiction that has not, for whatever reason, made it via the conventional, mainstream publishing market, despite its undoubted quality. We will provide a way for those stories to touch the hearts and minds of readers who would otherwise miss out on them.
Meanwhile, as a collective, Afsana Press will support authors to further polish their work and present it to their peers. With this in mind, we are seeking ways to profile authors’ literary work and take steps towards publishing it, from organising authors’ meet-ups and events, to supporting authors throughout the process of preparing their manuscript for publication.
Becoming a member of our collective is free of charge. However, members should be willing to play a role in the collective, by providing support, advice and help to other writers along the way. Afsana Press will seriously consider the work of members, though being a member of the collective does not guarantee your work will be published by Afsana Press. You can join us by sending us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org to tell us about yourself and your motivation to become part of the Afsana collective.
The collective is here to help authors polish their work into publishable manuscripts.
Afsana Press will publish a selective number of books per year, and will publish other books as e-books and print-on-demand, undertaking production, distribution and marketing and publicity.
Authors who are members of the collective support each other on literary matters and all aspects of writing etc, but, where relevant, Afsana Press will undertake publication aspects.
Art is a lonely pursuit: we know this only too well. But together, we hold power in our words, in our ideas, in our consummate ability to question the status quo. As the Japanese writer, Ryunosuke Satoro, once said: ‘Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.’