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About Us

(The story of Misfit Press is inextricably linked to the story of Misfit Incorporated, which is inextricably linked to the story of AJ and Melissa Leon. These fascinating stories have been told at length on many other occasions – in newspapers, on TEDx stages, during numerous interviews and chance meetings in wine bars. If you want to explore the weird and wonderful company that is Misfit Incorporated, peruse our site. For the full backstory, check out this video interview.)

Misfit Press itself was established in 2014, with the publication of AJ Leon’s The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit. The little-known backstory to The Life & Times is that it was originally slated to be published by a major American publisher, who headhunted AJ after noticing the popularity of his blog, The Pursuit of Everything. About a third of the way through the writing of the book, AJ began to get twitchy about the compromises involved in traditional publishing: uncompromising editorial pressure, a lack of say on issues such as design and artwork. Not long later, AJ bailed on the contract, and decided to publish the book himself. The Misfit team created and ran a Kickstarter, aimed at raising $15,000 to cover publishing costs. By the time the fundraising had run its course, pledges totalled more than treble that amount. With the excess funds, AJ and Misfit decided to go one better than just publishing a book, and also founded a publishing house.

Since its founding, Misfit Press has steadily flourished. In 2015, we took under our wing Wolftree, the finest arts journal in the American Midwest; we released our 2015 Anthology, featuring the finest creative work we encountered over the preceding year; and The Life & Times of a Remarkable Misfit continued to find readers across the globe. In 2016 we published Destination Shakespeare, the debut poetry collection from esteemed Shakespeare academic Paul Edmondson; and we have more Shakespeare-related publications in the works for 2017, including Shakespeare On The Road, a tale of a Shakespearian adventure across the US.

Last  year was a big growth period for the Press, and there is lots more on the way for 2017. As you’ll see from our Forthcoming Publications section, over the next twelve months we will be publishing Saya Sayama: Three Years in Myanmar by incredible photojournalist Spike Johnson, a photonarrative account documenting a unique moment in Myanmar’s history: the violent shift from General Ne Win’s fifty-year dictatorship to the country’s first steps towards democracy. Also imminent is Tangentially Reading, featuring some of the most insightful, shocking, touching, and hilarious moments from the first 200 episodes of Christopher Ryan’s much-loved podcast, Tangentially Speaking.

These are exciting times at Misfit Press. To keep up to date with everything that’s going on, follow us at our blogFacebook, Twitter and/or Instagram. Into the future, we will always continue to work in the fashion we do right now: with authors we like, on projects that matter, in a way that leaves writer, reader and everyone in-between satisfied. We will also never renege on our One-for-One pledge; for every publication we ever sell, a child in India will receive money towards prescription eyeglasses, via the Misfit Foundation.

w: Matt

Saya Sayama: Three Years in Myanmar

Saya Sayama: Three Years in Myanmar

Saya Sayama: Three Years in Myanmar by Spike Johnson is a photonarrative account documenting a unique moment in Myanmar’s history: the violent shift from General Ne Win’s fifty-year dictatorship to the country’s first steps towards democracy. Saya Sayama‘s immersive account is centred on intimate first-person tales, spanning rural and metropolitan life. The narrative explores violent religious oppression, the decommission of child soldiers, and the effects of international industrial investment.

All of Spike‘s work explores humanitarian themes at the fringes of society. He has received a raft of awards, and been featured in outlets including the BBC, The New York Times, Vice Magazine, The New Yorker, The Washington Post, Foreign Policy magazine, The Daily Telegraph, Human Rights Watch, GlobalPost, Foto8, Doctors of the World and Marie Claire. Spike has exhibited his photojournalism across the US, and his work has been supported by grants from the Pulitzer Center for Crisis Reporting and the Society of Environmental Journalists.

Misfit Press is honoured to be publishing Spike’s first book-length work. Publication is scheduled for mid-2017. Through the rest of the book’s genesis, receive news and updates on Saya Sayama – and access discounted presales – by joining the dedicated mailing list below. (We promise no spam, no nonsense; just select, timely updates.) To see more of Spike’s past work, check out his his gorgeous Instagram account.

Hlaing Thayar. Kyaw Thura, aged 15, after finishing his four month training in Mon State, in Eastern Myanmar. Sittwe. The Bay of Bengal offered the only escape route for the region's oppressed Muslim Rohingya. Hlaing Thayar. Kyaw Thura reunited with his four year old son, after spending two years in military prison.

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    Hlaing Thayar. Kyaw Thura, aged 15, after finishing his four month training in Mon State, in Eastern Myanmar. Sittwe. The Bay of Bengal offered the only escape route for the region's oppressed Muslim Rohingya. Hlaing Thayar. Kyaw Thura reunited with his four year old son, after spending two years in military prison.

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Loyal as a Book #5

6 Songs About Authors

Misfit Press