Letters from the Editors

State of Trop

Dear Readers,

Today ends Trop‘s first week of existence, so I thought it’d be a good time to explain a few things.

Let’s start with logistics. We’re going to offer five full-length posts per week—one per weekday—and, starting next weekend, one podcast per Saturday. We will be closed on Sundays. We believe that, while one could easily spend an entire week hovering on our site, our readers would be better off taking Sundays to go on walks, call friends, or read writing that’s on paper rather than the internet.

All the creative pieces we run will be parts of columns. Up now are the beginnings of a few, and we’ve got more debuts coming. But these are not standalone short stories. They’re first chapters, with new installments set to come every week or two, with the exception of Acupuncture After the Apocalypse, which gets updated every weekday.

Then there’s The Weather. This group column is an experiment in which all of us talk about the weather in our various ways, from our various outposts around the States. I can’t tell you more than that, because I don’t know what’s going to happen.

Our commentary is there to contextualize our creative work, by telling you whom we’re reading, watching, and listening to, and what we think about them. And, in this interest of creative work first, at all times, we hope to write reviews and essays that stick to the tenets that govern our fiction, with good writing and innovative form just as important as intelligent criticism. Right now, we’re developing review concepts like a dramatic dialogue between the men of a two-man book club, and a testing mechanism for the book blurbs that show up halfway down the page on Amazon.

Now, for a little history.

Depending on how you count, this project had about eighteen different starting points. But I like to think that Trop started in the summer of 2010, when I was living in Milledgeville, Georgia. The summer was hot, the town emptied of its college students, and I didn’t know anyone. I’d spent far too many days in a row reading and drinking alone at a Greek restaurant called Metropolis Café. The weather was ripe for existential crisis.

But then, at Metropolis, or, Trop, I met Roger Sollenberger and Stephan McCormick. They were in the MFA program at Georgia College. Roger was writing a novel with concerns scarily similar to those in my own novel-in-progress, and Stephan had this ultra-technical poet’s approach to writing that I’d never spent time around.

We became friends, and soon, we began to collaborate. Metropolis had a stage, and we put on a series of variety shows. The best of these was probably our fake awards ceremony, in which we delivered lengthy and absurd acceptance speeches for prizes like Most Culturally Sensitive Man and Most Haggard Bastard Alive.

After I moved to LA to go to CalArts, wanting to keep on collaborating, we came up with Trop, recruited our friends, and got to work.

We hope you like it. We hope you’ll let us know what you think. We hope you’ll bear with us as we continue to tweak the website and our editorial strategy. We hope you’ll follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook. And we hope you’ll have as much fun with it as we are.


Tom Dibblee is Trop’s editor. His fiction has appeared in Glimmer Train and his nonfiction has appeared in Pacific Standard, the Los Angeles Review of Books, and the Point. He lives in Los Angeles.