On 31 October Vincent will give a guest lecture about the project at the English department of the University of Oxford:
Stephen King’s IT From First Draft to First Edition: A Look at the Many Documents Produced Along the Way
Stephen King’s horror epic IT was originally published in the USA in September 1986 as a beautiful hardback trade edition with artwork by Bob Giusti gracing the cover. Six years earlier, King “cranked up some rock ‘n’ roll” in his office, rolled a sheet of blue paper into his IBM Selectric typewriter, and wrote the novel’s opening sentence. In my lecture I will describe “how IT happened” during those six years. I will focus primarily on the many documents that were produced along the way in both the writing and the publication process: original typescript and manuscript pages, photocopies for proofreaders, correspondence, floppy disks, printouts, in-house publisher’s photocopies, photocopies for the sale of rights, unbound and bound page proofs, printer’s galleys, preliminary concept sketches for the artwork, point-of-sale promotional items, review copies, and so on. Most of these items are in King’s archive and in private collections, some, unfortunately, are unaccounted for and may be lost, or in a dark attic somewhere.
I had a long and lovely talk about the project with Matt and Simon of Kingsize, a Stephen King podcast based in the UK. The episode is called “Insights With Stephen King scholar Vincent Neyt”. It can be found on all podcast platforms, or via this link:
The first ever public appearance of Pennywise the Dancing Clown was on the evening of the eleventh of November, 1980, six years before the publication of IT. David Morrell, the author of First Blood (1972) and professor of American Literature at the University of Iowa (UI) at the time, had invited King to speak and read at the Macbride Auditorium in Iowa City.*
This two-part video offers a (brief) collector’s guide to Stephen King manuscripts, galleys, proofs and ARCs. They can take many forms: from an original “idea notebook” handwritten by King, to a review copy that is identical to the first edition book except for a publisher’s sticker or stamp and the letter from the editor that came with it.
In this video I hope to introduce the many types of documents produced during the writing and publication process of the work of a best-selling author, that inevitably sometimes make their way onto the collector’s market. The first part deals with manuscripts.
Part two of the guide is about the sometimes confusing world of proofs, galleys and ARCs (Advance Reading Copies) and takes IT as a running example.
Who are the lucky people that get to read Stephen King’s first drafts of his novels? Here’s a look at some of the main people that King has relied on throughout his long career to proofread his manuscripts, going all the way back to his student days: Burt Hatlen, Susan Artz, Tabitha Spruce King, George Everett McCutcheon, Russ Dorr, Owen King and Joe Hill.
I tried my best to credit the photographers in as many of the photos I used as possible.