Sunday, March 21, 2004

Tolkien Studies volume I
The first volume of Tolkien Studies is now at the printer and should be available in April. Here you can see a copy of the brochure for Tolkien Studies I from West Virginia University Press. As you'll note from the Table of Contents, we've gotten some truly excellent scholars to contribute to this first issue, and I'm really pleased with how it all came out.

On the other hand, getting a new journal started was a nightmare that has taken years. Doug Anderson, Verlyn Flieger and I decided to found TS back in 2001 or even 2000 (that's how long ago it was; I can't really remember) and it's taken this long to get things together. The problem is one of those chicken and egg things: good scholars don't want to contribute until there is a press and a committment to publish. Publishers won't touch something, usually, until it's actually complete (this is the nightmare problem I'm having with the tenth-century poetry essay collection).

We went with the "if you build it, they will come" approach for TS, but for a long time it looked like we would either have to self-publish (with all the risks, the steep learning curve, etc.), or that the whole thing would collapse into humiliation.

Supposedly no one is starting new journals, and no one is starting single-author journals, so the publication of TS in April is a real tribute to the interest in J. R. R. T. and the quality of the best work being done right now.

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