The University of Houston-Victoria will become the new home in August for the independent press Fiction Collective Two (FC2), which the university will operate in conjunction with its new Master of Science in Publishing program.
School of Arts & Sciences Dean Jeffrey Di Leo released the news this afternoon at a lecture by Lance Olsen, chairman of the Board of Directors for Fiction Collective Two or FC2. Olsen's lecture was part of the spring UHV/American Book Review Reading Series.
"I'm very pleased to announce this latest chapter in UHV's literary renaissance," Di Leo said during the noon lecture. "To operate a distinguished literary press like FC2 in collaboration with a new publishing program is an amazing opportunity for our students and this university. It puts us in a league with very few universities in the country."
FC2, formerly based at both Florida State University and Illinois State University, is a 35-year-old independent press that publishes five to six books a year. Rather than producing scores of titles like many of the corporate publishing houses, this author-run, nonprofit press focuses on publishing a few high-quality, innovative works each year. The original Fiction Collective was formed as an author cooperative in 1973 and reorganized as FC2 in 1989 to better accommodate the growth of the venture.
"UHV has shown a great commitment to the literary arts by hosting the American Book Review and the literary journal symplokē," Olsen said. "It will make a very comfortable – and appropriate – home for FC2."
Olsen noted ABR was founded by Ronald Sukenick, the same man who started FC2.
Top UHV officials welcomed the press's arrival.
"UHV is quickly becoming nationally recognized for writing and the literary arts," UHV President Tim Hudson said. "I'm proud to have FC2 at our university, and I'm honored by the faith its board is demonstrating in UHV by entrusting us with this literary treasure."
The move was approved by the FC2 board on March 27, Olsen noted.
The press will be an integrated part of UHV's new master's program in publishing. Starting in the fall, graduate student interns at UHV will gain experience acquiring manuscripts, editing copy and negotiating business deals for new books for the press in the first phase of its move to UHV.
In the second phase, UHV students will participate in designing and laying out FC2 titles and in the marketing of the newly published works, Di Leo said. This last phase will begin in August of 2009. The works then will be printed and distributed through a cooperative arrangement with the University of Alabama Press.
"Students will be required to complete a six-hour internship before they graduate," Di Leo said. "This will give our students hands-on experience in every aspect of the publishing industry and give them a distinct advantage in securing employment this growing and highly competitive field."
Students will be rewarded at the end of the process by participating in a mini-book tour with FC2 authors around Houston and Victoria, Di Leo said.
The two-year publishing program is awaiting approval by the UH System Board of Regents and the Texas Higher Education Coordinating Board, a process which should be completed this summer, Di Leo noted.
FC2 is funded primarily by donations and in-kind support from universities, Olsen said. UHV will set up an endowment to help underwrite the press indefinitely.
UHV will begin accepting the applications in May for 15 available spaces in the program. Perspective students should contact the School of Arts and Sciences at (361) 570-4200 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.