Well, even though I wasn't there when the Vice-Chancellor of Nottingham University pushed the send button at 4.30pm this afternoon, I was really quite excited when the first edition of 'The Letters Page' arrived in my inbox.
This is a new literary journal edited by their writer-in-residence, Professor Jon McGregor. Not only does he have the time to send us loads of informative postcards (see previous blog entries) but he has also overseen the production of a correspondence-themed literary journal with the written letter as its primary form. All the submissions were handwritten and posted in the traditional way, with envelope and stamp. They have been transcribed, but extracts have been reproduced and sprinkled throughout the pages, so you get to see what Colum McCann's handwriting looks like.
I came across the Tumblr blog that Jon was running about the topic of starting a new literary magazine about this time last year, and I was instantly drawn in. It felt like listening to a man alone in a room talking to himself. Why start a literary journal? Weren't there enough already? Look at the pitfalls, the problems, the potential difficulties... I was hooked. It helped that he ran a competition to win a book of George Saunders short stories. I ended up writing him a letter.
A year on, and that letter is rubbing shoulders (pages?) with Magnus Mills, Claire Wigfall and the aforementioned Colum McCann, amongst others. It is a fine journal. You can download it by going to the website which also has details of how to sign up for a newsletter and submission details for the next issue. Rumour has it that Kevin Barry has posted his letter. You should too.