Dorothee Lang is the editor of Blue Print Review, an online journal of literature and art. It began in April 2005 when Lang found a book titled If Nobody Speaks Remarkable Things by Jon McGregor. The title alone helped the idea of making an e-zine about stories and photos that were remarkable, but that weren’t meant to be published grow.
Twenty three issues later, Blue Print Review has grown and expanded from just a few pages to 14 pages of stories, poems, photos and art sent in by a large following. In fact, Lang considers issue 22 to mark the current development of Blue Print Review.
“The concept of this issue was to invite pre-published pieces only. Which then lead to an own dynamic, like the discovery of old e-magazines thought lost,” said Lang. “This also started the idea to add a “Re:”-page to the issue, with more backgrounds and links and notes, which now is part of every issue.”
When Blue Print Review started out, the idea was to create an e-zine, but after contact with some Blue Print Review authors, Lang decided to add on a Blue Print Review Book Page.
“The idea for the book page really came through the contact to Blue Print Review authors who currently worked on / or just had a book published,” said Lang. “To help to spread the word, I started the Blue Print Review book page – and from there, also inspired by all the book launches in the small press / indie press, and by new presses, the idea rose to create a book blog.”
That is how the Daily s-Press was born. Daily s-Press is Blue Print Review’s book blog that Lang put together. The blog features newly released books and blogs/websites that feature a collection of stories by different writers about different topics.
Although Lang has a lot on her plate already, she still found time to put together her own micro novel. Inspired by her travels, In Transit is a 64 page paperback not merely about her travels, “but more on the (e)motions of travelling.”
“It took several approaches and seasons until the right time and concept came together,” said Lang about In Transit. “I tried a number of approaches in the sorting, and finally started to sort the texts in widening circles – starting with the country I live in: Germany. From there, the routes move through Europe, then cross into the USA and into Asia.”
In the beginning, In Transit was meant to be a chapbook that Lang was going to put together herself. But when the story grew too large to be considered a chapbook, the idea of making it a micro novel presented itself. Lang wanted to stick with her plan of putting the book together herself, and the micro novel was also a way for her to experiment with another way of publishing.
“When I started with “in transit”, the size I had in mind was more of an chapbook – and I wanted to put the copies together myself, as this also would have matched the way I travel mostly: alone, on my own, without travel agency or hotel reservations or tour guide,” said Lang. “While working on that, I had a longer talk with a post office person, about the best formats to send out books – and as it turned out, they had cut down the options severely. But the talk brought the idea of the micro novels, as smallest version for a book that is sent by mail.”
When Lang was putting the finishing touches on “In Transit” she decided to open up submissions on Blue Print Press for other micro novels. Of course, Lang had to place a description of what exactly a micro novel was. A micro novel is a handmade book that can fit inside an envelope. Length wise, a micro novel would come before the short story, but just below novella: novel – novella – micro novel – short story. Submissions were to be around 4,000-5,500 words.
“I received 27 micro manuscripts, which ranged from historic to futuristic,” said Lang. “It wasn’t easy to move from long list to short list, and then to the final 2 micro novels to be published.”
The two micro novels chosen were The Republic of Love by Nora Nadjarian and My Apartment by Michael K. White.
Dorothee Lang lives in the South of Germany near Stuttgart. She works as a freelancer for web projects part time. Learning about Folded Word through Mel Bosworth’s Heron in August 2009, Lang started visiting Folded Word regularly. In January 2010, Lang began submitting to PicFic and in April her piece (t)here was selected. She also wrote a travel novel called Masala Moments based on her journey through India.