The Runt Zine Launched

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The Runt is a regular independent publication of new art and literature, aiming to highlight a wide variety of poetry, short stories and artwork. It was founded in 2011 by a couple of recently graduated friends who wished to keep their creative and intellectual fires burning after they had exited the Ivory Tower. These core members pool together their meagre funds to print copies of The Runt, as well as taking responsibility for the organisation of launch events and attempting to get the publication stocked in shops. For all involved, this is a part time endeavour, but we’re no less passionate for that. We maintain The Runt for love of creativity, rather than in any hope of making significant amounts of money from it.

The Runt is a zine; an independently produced and manufactured publication – a manifestation of the DIY approach to art and culture. We at The Runt believe that the arts should be something that everyone is encouraged and able to participate and engage in.

Obviously, in the Internet age, many people have greater opportunities to this than ever before. However, with the Internet comes a sense of the ephemeral, a doubt as to whether the art created is really connecting with anyone, or is merely a drop in the ocean of online content. By producing something physical, we hope to create a sense of ‘cherishable’ art – something that is at once accessible, but also conveys a sense of value, a sense of the work and love that has gone into creating it. Online content is instantly accessible and infinitely reproducible, but with that very accessibility comes a sense of the ‘throwaway.’ Online independent art and literature may only be glanced at amid navigation through a myriad tabs, but through its physicality, a zine commands a certain amount of attention. We’re not alone in this belief; The Library Project in Temple Bar aims to archive and highlight zines, while the ongoing Dublin Zine Fair (Aug 16-17 – The Runt will have a table there) brings together zine creators and readers.

Each issue of The Runt centres around a theme which inspires its contents. Previous themes have included time, sex and love, and music. We like to encourage as wide an interpretation of the theme as possible, both in terms of form (illustration, poetry, prose) and content. The release of each new issue is marked with a launch event, featuring readings from the issue itself, as well as guest performers. In keeping with the goal of creating art which is accessible and engaging, but also conveys a sense of value and significance, the launch works to create a sense of happening. We aim for each launch to be a unique, fun event, celebrating the issue and reflecting its theme, rather than being merely a reading of its contents. Accordingly, launch events will feature special readings and performances which are inspired by the issue’s theme without featuring in the zine itself. For instance, the launch of our upcoming outer space themed issue, ‘Planet of the Runt’ will feature a reading on an interactive ‘choose-your-own-adventure’ story, in which the audience will get to determine the fate of the comically inept space adventurer. We feel that this sense of performance helps transform the experience of art forms usually experienced alone (illustration, prose) into a communal entertainment. Copies of The Runt (the current issue and back issues) are available to be purchased at the launch. In addition to sales at the launch, copies of The Runt can be purchased at various independent book shops around Dublin, including Connolly Books, The Winding Stair and The Library Project.

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While the bulk of The Runt’s contents was initially supplied by its plucky cadre of core members, we have since expanded to seeking submissions from the general public. Submission guidelines and deadlines for each issue are published through our Facebook and Twitter accounts. While The Runt is produced by the group, each issue is under the supervision of an editor appointed on a revolving basis from the core group. The editor draws up the call for submissions detailing the specific requirements and recommendation (word count, elements of the theme that he/she would like to see explored etc). The editor also has the final say as to what is included in the issue; he/she can even reject submissions from core/founding members, if he/she feels they are not of sufficient quality, or do not fit in with his/her vision for the issue.

Though The Runt began as an attempt to provide a creative incentive and platform for its founders, we have since become committed to producing a unique artistic text of genuine quality. Editors themselves do not operate under any guidelines as to style, or what constitutes necessary quality, so in this way, we hope to maintain an open-minded submission process which will work to highlight a wide diversity of artists and writers.

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Follow The Runt on Twitter @theruntzine

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheRuntZine

and You Tube: http://www.youtube.com/user/TheRuntZine

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