Oxford, United Kingdom, August 12, 2009 --(PR.com
)-- Year Zero Writers is a group of 20 authors from as far afield as Hong Kong, the USA, England, France, Dubai, Greece, and Finland who have joined forces to bring their unique brand of contemporary fiction direct to readers. The group started as a response to a publishing industry reeling under the impact of the recession, and dominated by market trends that are beginning to squeeze out original, edgy fiction.
Year Zero Writers has a simple manifesto, based around the principle that literature is a living conversation between readers and writers, in which a publishing industry that demands editorial changes and toning down of content has no place. The group’s first project, started in March 2009, was a novel, The Man Who Painted Agnieszka’s Shoes, written in real time as a dialogue with readers, and given away for free on the social networking site, Facebook.
Dan Holloway, a founder member of the collective, says, “We’re about giving readers the words we write, and letting them decide for themselves. Quality is essential – whether it’s cover design or avoiding sloppy formatting. We are doing this because we care about readers, we care that what they read is in no way censored or diluted or made to some arbitrary model. Because we care about them we want to give them something different to mainstream publishing, but of equivalent quality.”
Thirteen of the Year Zero Writers have provided samples of their work for the collection Brief Objects of Beauty and Despair, which the collective is giving away as a free pdf (available from the website) to showcase its work. This is only one of a set of marketing strategies that embrace new media such as the microblogging site Twitter, where the group’s writers already have a devoted following of over 1000.
The first novels by members of the collective will be released on September 1st and will be available through Amazon and other booksellers. The first titles will be Benny Platonov by Hong Kong resident Oliver Johns, which tells of an exile from the former East Germany who believes he can save Hong Kong’s homeless with his stories; Glimpses of a Floating World by Larry Harrison, an elegy to the lost underbelly of '60s London; and Songs From the Other Side of the Wall by Dan Holloway, the heartbreaking story of a teenage girl growing up in post-communist Hungary who dreams of following her mother to “The West”.
“It’s time writers started thinking less parochially and traditionally,” says Larry Harrison, “and more like those musicians who happily give their songs away to their fans, or the artists prepared to rally round a common ideal. It’s time writers came out of their attics and embraced their readers. That’s the movement we want to start.”
Year Zero is a collective of writers with a common set of beliefs about and interests in the future of fiction. It provides a means for writers to identify their work with its principles, but itself owns nothing.