We're excited to celebrate four amazing years of publishing!
Since the beginning, we've been impressed with our authors, but what we’ve done in the past year feels especially…special. We've published books (in alphabetical order) by Rowan Hisayo Buchanan, Justine Champine, Karissa Chen, Micheline Aharonian Marcom, Dennis Norris II, and Robert Vivian. We were also thrilled with the brilliant essayists who wrote for last year's anniversary series on faith. We are always immensely grateful that these talented writers have entrusted our press with their work, and we're grateful for your readership.
The Awst Press team has also grown this year. We added Phoebe Waldron as our Publicist, and words cannot describe the amazing work she does for us. It was a much-needed talent and she has been the perfect fit. Members of the staff have also experienced individual successes. Our editor, Tatiana Ryckman, published another book (I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do)) this past year. It’s her best yet, and she’s been traveling the country to give readings and interviews. Our Art Director, LK James, just finished her degree (MFA in Applied Craft + Design at Pacific Northwest College of Art; see thesis here), just revamped our website, and her first illustrated children's book, The Full House and the Empty House, will be available in February (but you can pre-order now!).
Before the year is up we'll be putting out another full-length title, Donald Quist's linked short story collection, For Other Ghosts. The collection is already generating buzz thanks to Donald's excellent writing and to Jack Jones Literary Arts/Kima Jones' publicity efforts. Pre-order a copy before mid-September and get free, early shipping and a handwritten postcard from Donald.
To celebrate our anniversary this year we decided to take on a touchy topic—money. Within the press, we talk about finances a lot. We talk about how to keep growing and supporting our authors, how to balance generosity with sustainability, and about our financial fears. We talk about how mortifying it would be to find yourself in a situation in which you can’t pay for what you just consumed. We're all conditioned to protect our image of financial security, even if we are just making ends meet. Money, in short, has been on our minds. But we don't think that's unique to us, and that's why we wanted to hear what other people think about it.
In lieu of an essay series, this year we've asked our intrepid associate editor, Liz Blood, to seek out stories from people who may not have told them on their own. Liz has been blazing a trail of accomplishments up in Tulsa this past year. She just ended an impressive run as Editor at the The Tulsa Voice and helped launch the inaugural Tulsa Lit Fest. Most recently, she was named a 2018-19 public fellow at the Oklahoma Center for the Humanities at The University of Tulsa. Her insightful questions guide her guests through the taboo topic of money and facilitate a valuable conversation on something that makes most of us uncomfortable to talk about. We will leave it to Liz to tee up her series later this week.
We can hardly believe it's already been four years, but we're grateful to be growing and look forward to sharing great literature for many years to come.
Keep checking in here or on social media for Liz's interviews.
Wendy M. Walker