Loyal as a Book #6

David Beckham, Paul Gascoigne, and the fates of the famous

One Month in a Nepalese Monastery

A Letter From Gandhi to Hitler

Quiz: Which famous author said this about writing?

Sunday Bloody Sunday

The 228 ways to call someone drunk in 1736

“Totally unoriginal, feebly plotted, instantly forgettable.”

Why do we need art?

Christmas in a Siberian labour camp, with Dostoevsky

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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.


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Loyal as a Book #6

“There is no friend as loyal as a book.” – Ernest Hemingway Misfit Press’s Loyal as a Book series is composed of short, illuminating interviews with readers. It uncovers and explores the reading lives of people from across the globe, coming from all walks of life. Peter Gregson was born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1987, and lived there until...

654 words

Loyal as a Book #6Matt

David Beckham, Paul Gascoigne, and the f...

ports and literature are often regarded as polar opposites, enacting a series of dualisms. Sports is about the body; writing is about the mind. Putting pen to paper is about brains; chasing inflated objects in competition with others is about brawn. This division has a hallowed place in school clichés, wherein the sports stars mock the pale kids reading poetry, who go home and call the sporty...

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David Beckham, Paul Gascoigne, and the fates of the famousMatt

One Month in a Nepalese Monastery

Jon Waterlow is a writer and podcaster who spent one month in a Buddhist monastery on a hilltop in Nepal, entirely cut off from the outside world. In this post, he shares his experience, and the lessons he learnt, with Misfit Press. ‘Couldn’t you just bribe the guards or climb over the wall?’ I...

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One Month in a Nepalese MonasteryJon Waterlow

A Letter From Gandhi to Hitler

Mahatma Gandhi, leader of the Indian Independence movement, wrote two letters to Hitler during the run-up and outbreak of World War Two. His first letter – the shorter of the two – is dated 23rd July 1939, a little over one month prior to Germany’s invasion of Poland, which was to be the catalyst for war. The second,...

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A Letter From Gandhi to HitlerClare

Quiz: Which famous author said this abou...

It’s time for another one of our monthly quizzes! This time, test out how well you know your favourite authors’ attitudes towards writing by matching the quote about writing to the author that said it. If you choose to enter your email address at the end of the quiz, you’ll not only be signed up to...

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Quiz: Which famous author said this about writing?Clare

Sunday Bloody Sunday

Dane Johnson is a published poet and award-winning lyricist from California. Currently, he works as a freelance writer and contributes to causes and companies around the world. You can learn more about his work here and creep on his Instagram here. The following is Dane’s essay taken from the book Song Stories: Music that Shaped Our Identities and...

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Sunday Bloody SundayDane Johnson

The 228 ways to call someone drunk in 17...

enjamin Franklin (January 17, 1706 – April 17, 1790) is one famous American. A Founding Father and legit polymath, his face adorns the $100 bill, and countless towns, streets and schools are named after him. Amongst his other achievements – like inventing bifocal glasses, and founding America’s first library – Franklin was an accomplished writer and editor. In 1728, at...

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The 228 ways to call someone drunk in 1736Matt

“Totally unoriginal, feebly plotte...

In 1977, the first ever Star Wars film (later retitled Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope) was released. It was a huge hit, surpassing Jaws (1975) to become the highest-grossing film of all time. However, not everyone was a fan. In the immediate wake of the film’s release, and amidst near-universal acclaim, the brilliant...

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“Totally unoriginal, feebly plotted, instantly forgettable.”Matt

Why do we need art?

Kris Faatz (rhymes with skates) is a pianist, writer, and teacher. Her debut novel To Love a Stranger was a finalist for the 2016 Schaffner Press Music in Literature Award, and her short fiction has appeared in journals including Kenyon Review, Reed, and Glassworks. She holds Bachelor’s degrees in music and engineering from Swarthmore...

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Why do we need art?Kris Faatz

Christmas in a Siberian labour camp, wit...

In this humble Englishman’s opinion, Fyodor Dostoevsky (1821–1881) has a strong claim to be the greatest novelist who ever lived. If I could take one book to a desert island with me, The Brothers Karamazov – described by Kurt Vonnegut as a book that “can teach you everything you need to know about life”...

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Christmas in a Siberian labour camp, with DostoevskyMatt

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