Each chapter centres around the work of a talented mentee from the Lit:Up 2020 mentoring programme; the one-word titles (such as Paint, Room, Conscience) symbolise the change that each wants to see enacted in publishing and beyond.
Industry-leading authors, editors and academics, from publisher and journalist Sam Jordison to novelist Yara Rodrigues Fowler introduce each new writer.
There is no theme or demographics. What the Lit:Up authors have chosen to write, and who else they choose to contribute to their chapter, is their decision – illustrators, poets and published novelists have responded to the mentees’ work. They are the sparks that set the wheel in motion.
Made up of six separate staple-bound pamphlets and a wraparound cover, The Tilt’s been riso-printed in seven different coloured inks by Earthbound Press, and hand-finished with an elastic tie. There are just 200 beautiful copies available in this limited edition run.
Featuring poets to novelists, academics to illustrators, the issue includes:
- Conscience: “The slow pace at which imbalances are being adjusted impassions me to enter the industry and contribute to effecting change from the inside.” Assistant publisher Zoe King’s polemical introduction is itself introduced by Sam Jordison (Galley Beggar Press), featuring an interview between Clare Howdle and Sunny Singh (Jhalak Prize).
- Room: Sofia Abasolo (Lit:Up 2020)’s gut-wrenching, fist-clenching ‘Gusset’ is a story of female survival, introduced by novelist Yara Rodrigues-Fowler (Stubborn Archivist, Little, Brown)
- Longing: In her short story The Home Office Should Deliver Their Decision Within Six Weeks, Sarah Enamorado (Lit:Up 2020) writes a longingly and lovingly rendered LGBT romance, responded to by fiction writer Kirsty Logan, introduced by Booker-nominated novelist Wyl Menmuir (The Many, Salt)
- Ecology: Nicole Jashapara (Lit:Up 2020) explores the literary industry’s role in climate change, featuring poetry by Pratyusha, introduced by editor Jessica J.Lee (The Willowherb Review)
- Paint: A reflection on diverse heroines in sci-fi in April Roach’s (Lit:Up 2020) ‘We Paint With Our Eyes Open’, with a corresponding story from Amy Lilwall (The Biggerers, OneWorld), introduced by C.J.Flood (Nightwanderers, Simon & Schuster)
- Sacrifice: Akvile Peckyte (Lit:Up 2020) writes with barely repressed rage about social capital, with a response from Emily Black, introduced by academic and publisher Anna Kiernan
The aim of The Tilt is to question traditional forms, language, representation and distribution models.
As well as the limited edition riso-printed copy, readers can download an ‘at home’ version, designed to be accessible to all – whether viewed on-screen or printed. Each chapter has been translated into languages chosen by the mentees – Gujarati, Lithuanian and Spanish and is available to listen by scanning the illustrations in the chapter. The visuals were created by educator and cartoonist Esther McManus, illustrator Danielle Doobay and artist Miranda Latimer.
“I am personally thrilled with the unique interplay of illustration, design, text and concept in these pages”
Anna Kiernan, Publisher, The Lit Platform
‘This book is the outcome of the labours of The Literary Platform’s 2020 mentees and mentors. These exceptional writers and publishers have been in dialogue with one another but also with publishing and the creative industries, and The Tilt is the outcome of that playful and ultimately optimistic process. Since the publication of the Goldsmiths Report on diversity in 2020, the systemic inequities in the publishing industry have been in the spotlight. As a fan of books as material objects, I am personally thrilled with the unique interplay of illustration, design, text and concept in these pages but am also excited about the possibilities for digital that this project pilots.’
Phyllida Bluemel, Art Director:
“The Tilt brims with different voices, languages and lives. It’s all about the words, and I wanted to give each new voice their own space and identity – while still allowing for overlaps and conversation between them all. I also wanted to say true to the experimental, mentee-led nature of the whole project.
“I couldn’t resist creating something tactile, with different parts to unpack and shuffle – it’s new writing that asks to be explored, and ’tilted’! The print-at-home version means you can pick-and-choose pages, scribble in the margins, and share favourite stories again and again.
“I was lucky to work with talented illustrators and artists (Esther McManus, Danielle Doobay and Miranda Latimer) who responded beautifully to the text, and to the creative constraints of the riso print format.”
Lily Green, Editorial consultant, No Bindings:
“We are really excited to see the combination of audio and different languages in this publication. Readers will get to listen to The Tilt in Gujarati, Lithuanian, and Spanish, and find a warm familiarity upon hearing these languages that are spoken all over the UK.
“As editorial consultants on The Tilt, it was really important to us to ensure that the mentees were able to invite a person of their choosing to contribute to their chapter. By doing this, each mentee has a room of their own to play and collaborate but also position themselves in the literary landscape on their own terms.
“By bringing together different languages, we hope that The Tilt goes beyond the classification of ‘translated fiction’ as something coming from outside the UK and starts a conversation around what “global literature” really is.”
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