Congratulations to Alice James Books who, after nearly 30 years of programming with the University of Maine at Farmington has relocated to an independent office in New Glouster, Maine. [Video of new office space.] “This is a major breakthrough for the press!” say Carey Salerno, Executive Director & Editor, and Anne Marie Macari, President. “Our team is excited to concentrate our focus more fully on AJB’s core values and mission-driven work. The move comes at the moment we are about to celebrate our 50th anniversary in 2023, highlighting what’s always been important to us: publishing books that matter by poets who have something important to say.” Founded as a feminist press, Alice James Books is “committed to collaborating with literary artists of excellence who might otherwise go unheard by producing, promoting, and distributing their work which often engages the public on important social issues.” Visit their website for more information.
I previously commented on Jane Friedman as one of the best resources for writers looking to publish—most especially for book publishing. Her book The Business of Being a Writer should be the most required textbook for MFA programs across the country. A recent blog post on her site explored the question, “Is Hybrid Publishing Ethical?” Following her blog and/or signing up for her newsletters will continue to provide authors with helpful advice like this.
Another great resource is Writer Beware, a literary watchdog group that “shines a bright light into the dark corners of the shadow-world of literary scams, schemes, and pitfalls.” Co-founder and published author Victoria Strauss and other guest writers provide in-depth posts that are truly educational for writers, not the click-bait “# of Things Writers Need to Watch Out For” that fills the internet. A recent article that offers a good example is “Publishing Contracts 101: Beware Internal Contradictions,” in which Strauss provides contract language from a variety of “publishers” that reveal either their sloppiness or downright intentional evil – publishers whom Writer Beware never shies away from publicly naming. Using Writer Beware as continuing education as well as a resource to background-check your literary partners could go a long way in helping writers avoid the dark side of publishing.
Lush and allusive, tuned to a background in translating Nepal Bhasa poetry, Running Out of Words for Afterwards gives voice to cycles of desire, loss, and renewal. Like the many rivers that flow through this book, David Hargreaves’ poems, in various turns, can be urgent, expansive, unpredictable, or calm, conveying the reader through landscapes both mystical and mundane, through illusions of selfhood, and the struggles of language to accept its own limitations. “A truly exquisite book of poems.”—Charlotte Pence
Need something to keep your mind busy? Try a literary magazine. Our Guide to Literary Magazines includes hundreds of options for you to delve into.
Subscribe or order an issue of your favorite print magazine, or filter by online magazines to get quick and easy access to quality writing right on your phone or computer. This is a great way to familiarize yourself with what their editors are looking for, so see who’s currently open for submissions, or make a note of reading periods for those who aren’t accepting work currently.
And if you read something you loved, let the writer know! Drop a note on social media or send them an appreciative email. Stay connected and show support while the world feels a little wild at the moment.
The Rainbow Book List Committee is proud to announce the 2020 Rainbow Book List. The List is a curated bibliography highlighting books with significant gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender, or queer/questioning content, aimed at children and youth from birth to age 18. This list is intended to aid youth and those working with youth in selecting high-quality books published in the United States of America between July 1, 2018 and December 31, 2019.
This year, our committee has noticed an abundance of genre fiction, as well as books whose plots do not revolve around anxiety concerning a queer character’s identity. Micro trends that we’ve noticed this year have been books about birds or with birds in the title, and books about queer witches. We’ve also seen an increase in books with non-binary, asexual-spectrum, and bisexual characters.
The book publishing industry has many problems, but the one I find most chilling as a former book editor who now reports in the industry is that people who have vital information about our democracy are rewarded for putting such info in books rather than coming forward.
For book lovers such as myself, the silver lining of Trump’s election was the possibility that readers would be looking for escapism and big ideas in art. So it’s particularly demoralizing to watch publishers package the ongoing debasement of our country as entertainment. If Trump’s best political weapon is being at the apex of an infotainment media system that is consumed like cable news, then publishers aren’t obligated to play his game.