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A new literature, arts, and culture magazine that spotlights the spirit and ebullience of storytelling in its many forms.

“Storytellers, by the very act of telling, communicate a radical learning that changes lives and the world”

--Chris Cavanaugh

The Basics:

belles-lettres (bel letr’, -trə) pl.n.[Fr, lit., beautiful letters, fine literature] literature as one of the fine arts; imaginative writings as distinguished from technical and scientific writings, esp. when characterized by a polished, highly literary style

belletrist (bel letrist) n. a writer or lover of belles-lettres

coterie (kōtə rē) n. [Fr, orig., organization of peasants holding land from a feudal lord < OFr cotier, Cotter] a close circle of friends who share a common interest or background; clique

Belletrist Coterie is an independent literature, arts, and culture magazine dedicated to spotlighting the spirit and ebullience of storytelling in its many forms. Our inaugural issue will be released online in spring of 2012. We need your help to fund the print edition. All collected funds will go towards printing/production costs and fulfilling reward promises.  

The magazine began with a reverence for the story as an almost spiritual artifact. With its power to bind and edify, to distinguish, to upheave, to transform and guide history, and to shape the clay of the human myth in its universal tongue, the narrative represents the ongoing glossolalia of our earthly experience. 

The story, then, is a sacred but endangered language. The prophets, bards, and virtuosos that still speak it do so from sundry worldwide podiums and must compete with newer – and often louder – cultural voices: technology, immediacy, efficiency, inanity, entropy, modernity.  The desert of our current world finds the story a trunkless pair of stone legs standing like Shelley’s Ozymandias, a proud but haggard ruin of fading or forgotten grandeur.

As such, Belletrist Coterie is as much about looking to the ancient traditions as it is about contemporizing them, and we’ve made it our mission to haul this hobbling golem into the modern world. Our job is to protect and promote it. We are the oasis, the haven, the home, and the haunt. We are the chrysalis. And thanks to some savvy networking and lucky floundering, some might say that we’re starting a movement.

Contributors

Our initial call for submissions was met with a torrent of original work from around the world, and our acquisitions desk has since become a vault ever-swelling with the bold, delightful, and strange. 

Somewhere between sifting fastidiously through the depths of this vault and cultivating an online following, we succeeded in wooing some big names and personal heroes who were eager to help us spark a true storytelling revival. Thanks to their support and enthusiasm, we have an eclectic roster of major writers, musicians, and artists lined up for Issue One. Click the link below the grid to access our full list of featured contributors:

 BC's Issue One Lineup of Featured Contributors. Delight abounds.

Won’t you Join Us?

As we continue to collaborate with the world’s most passionate storytellers and story-lovers, the idea of “the coterie” strengthens and grows. The coterie now is an elegant but motley crew of venerable raconteurs, quixotic wayfarers, salty sea-pirates, reclusive linguists, travelling gypsies, shanty-singers, obsessive logophiles, and those they inspire. Belletrist Coterie is the storyteller’s community, a bastion of faith in this fantastical tradition. Won’t you join us?

Our primary goal with this print version is to provide our readers not just with a collection of experiences but with something artifactual: something real, and something to hold. This is the ink-and-paper-proof of their involvement – your involvement – with this all-important revival.  

This is a revival eons in the making.

This is a revival that shivers across your skin.

It's only possible with your help. Thank you!

FAQ

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    Every Wanderer Needs Some Karma Reward: You'll get some! Loads of good karma and gratitude sent your way via BC.

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    4 backers

    With Love From BC Reward: Lots of good juju, as well as a heartfelt thank you from the editors on a Belletrist Coterie postcard. The postcard features Austin-based artist Jennifer Siviter's lovely Red-Winged Blackbird.

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    Heteroglossia in Your Hand Reward: A print copy of Belletrist Coterie's inaugural issue, packed full of great stuff, amazing contributors, and eclectic voices! Plus, the aforementioned postcard, and the self-satisfaction that comes with knowing you're helping to keep the tradition of storytelling alive.

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    Storytelling Chic Reward Package: Support your love for the craft with a custom made Belletrist Coterie t-shirt. Look sharp and savvy sporting the ever-fashionable Red-Winged Blackbird on the front as well as a Muriel Rukeyser quote on the back: "The world is made up of stories, not atoms." Also, a copy of the print magazine, your name on a permanent Kickstarter Founder's Wall on the Belletrist Coterie Website, and a postcard to sweeten the proverbial pot.

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    Modern Bindlestick Reward Package: A sweet canvas tote with the BC blackbird, perfect for carrying around the accompanying inaugural issue and heartfelt postcard. Also, your name on a permanent Kickstarter Founder's Wall on the Belletrist Coterie Website.

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    The "Just Say YesYes" Package: Everything you get in the Storytelling Chic Reward Package, PLUS one of two beautiful (albeit dangerously subversive) books of poetry from perennial BC compatriot YesYes Bøøks! One copy apiece of Nate Slawson's "Panic Attack, USA" and Gregory Sherl's "Heavy Petting" are available on a first-backer, first-choice basis, and both are cooler than Miles Davis in a liquid-nitrogen bubble bath. You know you love it. What else is there to say but "YesYes"?

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    Storytellers Workshop Reward Package: Personal consultation with either the Editor in Chief or the Senior Editor on any story, poem, song, or artwork of your choice. You will receive direct and helpful personal feedback by email or Skype, or both. You will also get a BC post card, a copy of the inaugural print issue, and your name on a permanent Kickstarter Founder's Wall on the Belletrist Coterie Website

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    The Well-Read Gypsy Reward Package: A killer combination of totebag, t-shirt, magazine and postcard. This also includes your name on a permanent Kickstarter Founder's Wall on the Belletrist Coterie Website. What's stopping you from going on a ramble with all this swag? Absolutely nothing.

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    Sri Lankan Gypsy Reward Package #1: Beautiful, handmade, one of a kind, abstract batik by internationally renowned artist and featured contributor Eric Suriyasena. Included in the package is the inaugural issue of BC as well as a handwritten postcard. Your name will be permanently engraved on our Kickstarter Founder's Wall on the Belletrist Coterie Website, and you'll be given written acknowledgent in the print issue.

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    Sri Lankan Gypsy Reward Package #2: Beautiful and intricately designed handmade batik (see Tumblr or Facebook for examples) created and signed by artist and featured contributor, Eric Suriyasena. Each one is unique and amazing, available on a first-pledged, first-choice basis. At the time of your donation, we will send you pictures of the signed batiks so you can make your choice. You will also receive a copy of the inaugural issue, a permanent spot on the Kickstarter Founder's wall on the BC Website, and an acknowledgment in the magazine.

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    The Big Story Package: Everything that is included in The Well-Read Gypsy bundle, as well as a personalized video thank you from the editors, and credits in the magazine as an associate editor. Not to mention our undying love and grateful affection.

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    The Ultimate Sri Lankan Gypsy Reward Package: Everything you get with the Sri Lankan Gypsy reward packages, but we're substituting one very special, large-scale batik from the artist's private family collection! This is a gorgeous, dyed cloth piece depicting horses in motion. The process to create something like this is intensely laborious and time-consuming. ABSOLUTELY ONE OF A KIND!

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    High-Rolling Raconteur Package: Become a Gold Star Patron and official member of the Coterie! This package contains all of the previous rewards (choice of ONE batik), plus induction as a part of the team. This means a special mention on the FIRST page of the magazine as well as an invitation to be a part of the Coterie in the form of workshopping and featuring a poem, story, interview, or piece of art (within reason) for publication on our websites and in Issue 2. You'll also be invited to participate in BC's BardCircle, a forthcoming video storytelling series scheduled for release on our Youtube channel. Moreover, you'll receive heaps of gratitude and admiration from us. After all, you're a high-rolling raconteur now. On par with the likes of, say, Homer.

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