My Application to De Montfort Literature

I've applied to this unique publishing company. I think they have the potential to radically change the entire industry over the next few years if their model works. I'm going to include everything I've sent them here. Let me know what you think of it.

Jonathan De Montfort had to sell his soul to become rich, which is how he described it, but now he owns his own hedge fund in England. He wrote a novel, possibly as part of trying to reclaim his soul, that's my conjecture. When he started sending it to publishers he thought the publishing industry was very odd indeed. The author took all of the risk. Since he's rich he decided to launch his own publishing firm. He decided to turn the risk on its head and put it on the publishing firm instead of the author.

Authors will be paid while they are developing their novels, 24,000 British pounds per year. But, you cannot sign up with another publisher for two years after you leave De Montfort, and any ideas that you discuss with De Montfort becomes their intellectual property. Steep prices, steep rewards. You will also have something like weekly assignments to complete. I am willing to accept these things. Here is the first thing that I submitted through their website.

I think I'm exactly the person you are looking for.

How did I get started? Well, I was writing philosophy essays, but many people have a hard time reading philosophy without falling asleep. I decided to put some of the concepts into stories to make them more engaging. After I had worked on that for a little while I realized that it might be more enjoyable to just write stories and let the subconscious/unconscious do its part in providing the deeper meaning. I've been working on developing my skillset, and this appears to be the perfect program for that.
Here is a short science fiction piece that I wrote.
And, here is an odd history inspired piece that I wrote.
I went a different direction with the philosophy essays and decided to make them more personal to increase engagement and understanding. Here is an example of that.
In addition to fiction and philosophy, I also write about my views on literature and some of my work with students who are learning English as a foreign language at
Here is an example of my study of literature and aesthetics.
I would love to join you on this adventure of remaking the world of publishing and literature.
Jeff Martin
After 11 days I sent this follow up email.

I'm sure you have a large influx of applications for the program. I'm overly eager and wanted to follow up on my application. I've read that the next step in the process is psychometric testing. There are four psychological profiles that I have publicly available on my website. Also, I'm a member of the high IQ society Mensa, which accepts the top 2 percent. I hope that some of these markers are ones that you are looking for. I think your program has the potential to turn the entire industry upside down, and I would love to join you.
Here are the direct links to the reports.
Jeff's Temperament Analysis Profile
I know that many people are scared of sharing their story ideas. I am not. Here is an article I've written that proves that. Also, I believe that such an open platform has the potential to deeply engage with readers as my audience grows. I've already started that process.
Jeff Martin
And finally the video.
Probably about a week later they posted something on Facebook and Twitter stating a few things. First of all, they have thousands of applications. Second, they are looking over some of the things in their contract and that's going to change. Third, there's going to be an unknown delay in the process because of one and two. I posted this in response on Facebook and Twitter. And I think I sent it as an email as well.

You asked why I applied.

In early December 2015 I was lying in a hotel bed in Mombasa, Kenya. My money had been stolen, the metal door had been locked from the outside, I was vomiting blood over the side of the bed, couldn't stand up, was hallucinating, and was told I was going to be left and would probably die.

After that ordeal, I ended up surviving through an odd series of further misadventures, I wanted to do... something. I wanted to do something with my life that I loved, that would make a difference, and that had meaning. I did not know what that was. I had already delved deeply into things like the meaning of life before any of this, but many people find philosophy confusing and boring, and for good reasons. But, what if I incorporated philosophical concepts into stories? Then they wouldn't be boring, and maybe they wouldn't be confusing. A short story can contain more extensive and deeper truths than a textbook - and the story is fun to read.

I started working on the skill of putting philosophical concepts into stories. When I took my first test for the University of London's philosophy program I put the concepts into stories. I wasn't sure what academia would think of it. They gave me a B, which was okay. But something more important happened while I was writing that exam. I realized that all stories contain philosophy anyway. It's impossible to write a story without metaphysics and ethics, and so much else.

As a matter of fact, I would propose that the whole point of literature is an extension of childhood play, which is not just an idle pastime. Play, and literature, are for exploring and learning. Preparing for experiences you haven't had yet. Helping you to practice the skill of living. I've written blog posts on this and it is quite astounding how deep the subject goes. 

Stories are the keepers of the meaning of life. Humans are built to understand stories, to think in stories, to create stories, and to live stories. That is why I applied to De Montfort Literature.

Jeff Martin

It still remains to be seen what, if anything, will come of this. But, it's an interesting opportunity no matter how it comes out.

Update 7/5/18

As part of the application there is a spot to submit ideas. The way it was set up I assumed (incorrectly) that it was to demonstrate previously published books. I did another application that included ten ideas and this.

I made an entire blog post about my application to De Montfort Literature. In my previous application I thought the book section was for previously published books rather than ideas. I will offer some ideas in this application. Here is the link to the article, it includes a lot of information about me:

Also, I've done some idea generation on my blog. Here are those posts:

Let me know if you like any of the ideas.

As an overview of why I'm a good fit for this program I would say that I've done what Lawrence Block says is useful for a professional writer, accumulated a lot of life experience and non-specific research.

Starting from an early age I was a reader. My father struggled with reading and knew from experience that it's highly important. I was, and am, a voracious reader. When I was ten there was a contest in school for who could read the most chapter books. I kept reading at my normal pace, finishing one book a day, and won easily. In my late teens I slowly transitioned from fiction to non-fiction. I'm always reading some of both, but the mix has had definite patterns of fluctuations over the years. Over the last few years I've been moving back toward fiction. I have very rarely ever tracked my reading pace, but the most books I've read in a week was 14. That was in my mid-twenties. It was a fun week. I especially like reading epic fantasy at the moment. I also enjoy a range of things from philosophy, history, literary theory, psychology, and business. This urge of curiosity has also compelled me beyond literature.

I realized in my late teens that I could not gather enough information from books to really understand and feel meaning in life. I decided to explore the world directly. Adventures like skydiving, climbing Mt. Rainier, whitewater rafting, running with bulls, scuba diving, being on a winter luge team, learning how to jump horses, sailing, taking roadtrips, falling in love, experiencing two miscarriages, plummeting out of love, teaching chess, teaching English, getting poisoned and becoming sick in Kenya, learning to ride a motorcycle, competing in public speaking competitions, taking painting classes, going to a coding bootcamp in Silicon Valley, and quite a number of other things have helped me to explore the world in a visceral way. To take the theoretical and see what happens when it contacts reality.

At this point I am embarking on a new adventure. Exploring the world through the creation of new worlds, through writing. I would love to work with you on this endeavor.

Postscript: I put some extra in the SubGenre so that it will jog my memory when we discuss them. I included ten good ideas here.

As an addendum - here is a short book list and the weirdest resume in the world (which includes a book list).


I've written two fictional pieces that I like so far.

"The City of Peace" - A future history science fiction utopia/dystopia action adventure in a framed story of a father telling his son a story about the child's grandfather.

"The Birth of Hanniba'al" - A dark, somewhat alternative, historical origin story for the Carthage General Hannibal.

Here are three of my most popular posts.

"The Making of a Great First Line in Fiction"

"A Letter to My Niece in 2034"

"The Most Important Question in Philosophy - Part 4 of 4"

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