Why Tuscany Press?
We at Tuscany Press have been asked many times: Why Tuscany Press?
Let me start by inviting you into the world of Catholic readers as I have experienced it. After being a part of parish book club for many years, I noticed if we wanted to read good Catholic fiction we had to reach back to the writers of last century - Flannery O’Conner, Walker Percy, Graham Greene, and then further back to JRR Tolkien and GK Chesterton. Good contemporary Catholic fiction did not exist.
We asked our selves: How could that be? There are writers, perhaps great ones, who are Catholic. Why wasn’t there Catholic fiction? We tried to find a publisher dedicated to Catholic fiction, but we could not find one. We tried to find a Catholic Fiction Literary Prize that might guide us to recent works of Catholic fiction but we could not find one.
As Catholics and all Christians know, we live in a world filled with the presence of God – a living God. We have always believed that our stories should reflect this fact – this reality. We believe in redemption, forgiveness, grace and love – a true love born from God. We may live in a broken world with fallible people, including ourselves, but God’s grace breaks into this reality.
Maybe it was a nudge from above, or simply a human insight that caused me to found and launch Tuscany Press. Certainly it was, in part, because of my strong belief that the stories we read should reflect the truth of God’s presence – a loving presence.
As for the Tuscany Prize for Catholic Fiction, I believe there are great unpublished works of contemporary Catholic fiction somewhere in the world. The Tuscany Prize is our invitation to gifted writers to dare to bring their creations to the world. We are determined to discover and present both the works and the writers to the readers of the world. - PJM, Founder and Publisher
I’ve been asked what makes a piece of writing a Tuscany Press story, what makes a work a Tuscany Press work?
First of all, as an editor who’s read many texts—both fiction and nonfiction—I look not just for good writing, but writing that’s stellar, and writing that compels me to think, to imagine. Yes, I may want to be “merely” entertained, but I also want to see the world differently after having read a story. I want a piece of writing to stick with me after I finish the last page and close the book.
Second, I’m looking for writing that’s not just stellar and original, but also writing that has a Catholic perspective. The story may, but not required, have cultural Catholicism (e.g., kneeling, genuflecting, praying, the presence of clergy in the story, a character who prays the Rosary or who goes to Mass regularly), but most importantly Catholic meaning—that is, small instances of a protagonist’s faith, or doubt, sprinkled throughout the story, culminating in a Catholic theme that somehow presents a Catholic message or truth that we (and maybe the protagonist) can discover or realize more fully or in a new way.
Good, Catholic writing delivers all this—and often much more. I believe wholly in good, solid writing and the themes of redemption, forgiveness, hope, and more. We can see, all around us and in each Tuscany Press story, that the world can be full of evil and despair, but as human beings—and as Catholic human beings—the world is also home to light and care, goodness and God's grace. Tuscany Press seeks to promulgate this message. - EC, Editor
Sign up for Catholic, Ink.
and receive our FREE weekly e-newsletter and the exclusive article "What is Catholic Fiction?"