It’s been a year since Papercuts J.P., the Green Street-located independent bookstore, burst onto the scene to the delight of word nerds and bookworms all across the Hub. With such a milestone reached (no small feat in the digital age’s bookstore landscape), the team led by owner Kate Layte—a former associate production editor at Little, Brown and Company of the Hachette Book Group—decided to mark the anniversary in the most apropos manner: They’re launching their first literary anthology.
Titled What Happened Here: Year One at Papercuts J.P., the book will be published through the crowdsourced publishing company Inkshares. I caught up with Papercuts media and events coordinator Katie Eelman to get the rundown on reflections on the first year and about what to expect in the forthcoming tome.
What are some of the high watermarks of your first year (besides this project)?
We’ve had some really fantastic events, like the ones with Joan Wickersham and Celeste Ng, Jabari Asim and Emmett G Price III, and Edan Lepucki. We’ve also won [awards], and on Oct 3, PCJP owner Kate Layte will be giving a TEDx talk on the vitality and importance of the indie bookstore. It’s been a phenomenal year.
Describe how you selected the pieces for the anthology from the different writers.
We actually solicited works from the authors we wanted to participate in the collection. We reached out to every author who has been kind enough to visit us in the store in our first year of business. Many of the authors responded enthusiastically.
How did you break up the new versus collected material?
We asked authors to consider writing something new, but to please submit something for reprint if they were pressed for time. The anthology will be about half and half new to collected.
Do proceeds go to the store, or the writers, or both?
The proceeds go to both the bookstore and to the author contributors.
Could local writers, upon hearing about the anthology, submit their own work for a future anthology? What are the criteria to be included?
We are not currently accepting submissions for future anthologies, but readers and writers can keep an eye on our website, Facebook, and Twitter pages for updates on additional contributors in this anthology.
Who picked the winning selections? Was it a team effort or lead by you/another?
Kate and I are editing the anthology, but there was no contest with winners.
What’s your pick for one of the pieces in the anthology that is a good representation of the anthology as a whole and why?
I’m excited about Christopher Irvin’s new story that will be published in the anthology. Irvin is a local author writing crime and noir fiction, and his new book of shorts, Safe Inside the Violence, will absolutely have readers asking for more. The one that we are lucky enough to include is an original, never before published, and takes place in Boston. It’s unique and nuanced, and expertly crafted, which is a great representation of the writing in What Happened Here. Kate Layte is most excited for a short story by Paul Tremblay, author of the terrifying novel A Head Full of Ghosts.
Do you have plans for a yearly anthology, or is this a one-off?
We hope that this anthology is the first of many.
WHAT HAPPENED HERE: YEAR ONE AT PAPERCUTS J.P. FOR MORE INFORMATION AND PREODERS, VISIT PAPERCUTSJP.COM/THEBOOK
Dan is a freelance journalist and has written for publications including Vice, Esquire, the Daily Beast, Fast Company, Pacific Standard, MEL, Leafly, Thrillist, and DigBoston.