Award winning books

Twenty percent of our books have won significant awards and literary commendations – an incredible achievement for a tiny indie publisher! We are so very happy and proud of our talented authors.

Here is the esteemed list; titles are linked for more information:

Wesley Yorstead Goes Outside, by Stephanie Harper

WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE, by Stephanie Harper

NATIONAL INDIE EXCELLENCE AWARD FINALIST, CONTEMPORARY NOVEL, 2021

NEXT GENERATION INDIE AWARD WINNER, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

COLORADO BOOK AWARDS, FINALIST, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

WINNER, LITERARY FICTION | CONTEMPORARY FICTION | GENERAL FICTION, Speak Up Talk Radio Network’s Firebird Book Awards, 2021

WESLEY YORSTEAD GOES OUTSIDE was also nominated for the PEN/Hemingway Book Award for Debut Novels.

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CROSS BODY LEAD, by Elie Axelroth

CROSS BODY LEAD, by Elie Axelroth

WINNER, READER VIEWS BRONZE AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2021

READER VIEWS FIVE-STAR REVIEW

READERS FAVORITE FIVE-STAR REVIEW

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LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING, by Stephen Grant

LATE, LATE IN THE EVENING, by Stephen Grant

WINNER, “IPPY” INDEPENDENT PUBLISHER BOOK AWARDS, BRONZE MEDAL, EUROPEAN FICTION, 2022

FINALIST, ERIC HOFFMAN AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2022

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A LIFETIME OF MEN, by Ciahnan Darrell

A LIFETIME OF MEN, by Ciahnan Darrell

WINNER, READER VIEWS BRONZE AWARD, GENERAL FICTION, 2020

WINNER, READER VIEWS Mid Atlantic Regional Award, 2020

FINALIST, ERIC HOFFER DA VINCI EYE AWARD, 2021

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UNTIL WE’RE FISH, by Susannah Rodriguez Drissi

UNTIL WE’RE FISH, by Susannah R. Drissi

WINNER, NAUTILUS AWARD, FICTION, 2021

WINNER, INTERNATIONAL LATINO BOOK AWARDS, HISTORICAL FICTION, GOLD MEDAL, 2021

UNTIL WE’RE FISH was also nominated for the National Book Award, the National Book Critics Circle Award, the PEN Open Book Award, and the PEN/Hemingway Book Award for Debut Novels.

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BOTH SIDES, THE CLASSROOM FROM WHERE I STAND, by Rebecca Potter

BOTH SIDES, THE CLASSROOM FROM WHERE I STAND
by Rebecca Potter

READERS FAVORITE FIVE-STAR REVIEW

KIRKUS REVIEWS Featured Review, included in the print and online editions! “An absorbing and inspiring remembrance” – Kirkus Reviews

Happy Birthday to Us

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We are ten years old this month! Hard to believe, but true. We are so grateful for all of the wonderful authors who have entrusted their work to us over this past decade, as well as the editors and graphics designers who worked so hard to put each book together along with our Team. Thanks to every one of you. Here’s to the next great decade!

We’ve been working on the website, finally getting all of the sections updated to reflect our current status, putting upcoming books in the bookstore, and adding a special section that highlights our Authors. Please check it out when you can. Feedback is welcome.

Submissions opened January 6, and there are dozens already in the queues. We are limiting each portal to a specified number of submissions so we don’t get overloaded. When that number is reached, the portal for that classification will close.

Finally, we’ve shifted our operations a bit – streamlining some things, allowing room for others. Coming into 2022 we feel it will truly be a banner year. It’s clear that after the challenges of 2021, and the rocketing success of 2020 in spite of a global pandemic, we have had some growing pains. Learning along the way is part of what it’s all about, but the commitment to our mission has never been stronger.

It may be cold and snowy outside where you are at this time of year, like it is here in central Virginia. But we have the perfect solution – come read with us! Grab a book and it will take you just about anywhere.

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Submissions open January 6, 2022

We will be accepting submissions in a limited number of categories starting Thursday, January 6, 2022. Believe it or not, we are still working through some of the submissions from last year, in which we received more submissions than all of the last five years combined. The pandemic seems to have been an invitation to many to write down thoughts, to finally start that novel, to craft a poetry collection. This is all wonderful, and we encourage creative writing in all its forms. Because of this, we will be setting submissions caps and deadlines for each category. As the year progresses and we clear through submissions, we will be opening up additional categories, so please check back with us from time to time.

2022-2023 Short Story Anthology

Photo by Aaron Huber on Unsplash

The theme for our Fourth Annual Short Story Anthology is The Natural World. Stories should take place predominantly outdoors or in some natural context, with nature a defining aspect of the work. Man-made environments and situations should take a backseat in the characteristics of landscape, plot, and other elements of your submission. Merriam-Webster defines “the natural world” as “all of the animals, plants, and other things existing in nature and not made or caused by people.” We would love to see stories that explore how interactions with nature cause tension, excitement, wonder, and/or increase the knowledge of the reader and characters in the story. Reconnecting with the natural world is vital in these times of pandemic, resulting in working from home, avoiding crowds, being cooped up in enclosed spaces, away from each other. How can we maintain our humanity without nature? How often should we try to be outside, in nature? What can happen because of it? Without it?

Visit our Bookstore

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Our catalog has grown by leaps and bounds over the past two years! If you haven’t checked it out recently, please hop on over and pay us a visit.

And remember, it’s never too late to start writing. Perhaps one day, you will see your own words on our pages!

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Comforts of Home, and Ancient Wisdom

I don’t know about you, but I really hate shopping.

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Continuing the tradition of food and family togetherness that we celebrate here in the US on the third Thursday in November, when the fridge is stocked with delicious leftovers and the weather outside is chilly, the last thing I would want to do is fight crowds and traffic. No thank you!

Speaking of Thanksgiving, it’s a good idea to think of the indigenous folk who lived in your area prior to the invasion and colonization of Europeans. In our case, that’s Occaneechi and Monacan peoples. Where I was born and where we celebrated Thanksgiving yesterday in a small town near the Virginia/NC border, the Saura people lived in Upper Sauratown near the Dan River. Their numbers were drastically decreased in the Tuscarora and Yemassee Wars, which were partially perpetuated by the settlers, before dying out entirely due to disease brought by traders.

Photo by Richard Ebert of Sauratown Woman on the steps of the Museum of History in Raleigh, NC.

The Monacan Indian Nation, another Algonquian tribe here in Central-Southwest Virginia, has survived over 400 years since European settlers came to Jamestown. After an interminably long battle, in 2018 the Monacans won federal recognition. These people are one of the few indigenous American nations that have continuously occupied ancestral lands.

Photo by Mladen Borisov on Unsplash

Some people have long recognized that the connection that indigenous people have with natural rhythms and seasons reflects ancient wisdom that should be respected, even emulated. Native people have much to teach others about how to live lightly and in harmony with ourselves the earth around us. Some Native societies have a tradition of storytelling during the cold weather months. It is also seen as a time to reconnect with the deeper self, to reflect on the past year, and to channel one’s creative energy into making things both useful and decorative.

Photo by Алексей Мойса on Unsplash

As we move through the winter holidays, I am looking forward to more time to slow down, settle in, and catch up on some of the things we had to put off during busier times. The waning light and cooler temperatures cause our bodies to shift into protective mode, as our metabolism slows, and we crave more rest. The wintertime, for me, has always been a time of quiet, a time to reflect and feel grateful for the life we have. And to share our bounty with others, as best we can.

2020 and 2021 have been challenging, but good to us as a Press. We’ve been able to bring nearly two dozen new books to readers in the past two years or so. Please share our good fortune with the coupon below, which offers an additional 15% off the already low discounted prices in our bookstore. The code is good from November 26 through November 30, 2021. Remember, free shipping always to continental US addresses, and low international shipping to everywhere else.

All from the comfort of your own home – no need to brave crowds or traffic. So reconnect with yourself, pick a new story, or share with someone you love. Peace and blessings to you all.

http://www.visitourbookstore.com

Everyday Assays

An assay is an investigative (analytic) procedure in laboratory medicine, mining, pharmacology, environmental biology and molecular biology for qualitatively assessing or quantitatively measuring the presence, amount, or functional activity of a target entity. The analyte can be a drug, biochemical substance, chemical element or compound, or cell in an organism or organic sample. (Wikipedia)

Photo by Propertius Press

Our fourth Short Story Anthology will dive into the everyday, but not in the usual manner. Taking a hard look at the quality and quantity of the moments of our lives, the 2022 Short Story Anthology will explore the mundane as a part of the sublime whole of our lives, sifting, mining, and measuring those brief seconds and weighing them in counterpoint to the value and meaning of life itself.

Are you a writer who is up to this challenge? Let us know your thoughts in the comments, and join us as we dream of the possibilities in the whole, disarming, and fabulous array of precious and wonder-filled, everyday moments of our lives.

All in a Day’s Work

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In 2019, Lee and Low published an important Diversity Baseline Study showing statistics among publishers related to the “the racial, gender, sexual orientation, and ability makeup of their employees.” Perhaps unsurprisingly, they found a diversity problem, which was reflected in the major offerings in the catalogs of most publishing houses. We began our press with diversity in mind and have resolved to do better, and hope that our offerings continue to show that even small, independent presses need to take seriously the call for diverse books.

Late in 2020, The New York Times sought to take the temperature of the publishing world: were things improving, and if so, how and where? The results were disappointing. While slightly more books of fiction were being published by minority and ethnically-diverse writers, publishing wasn’t paying them as well, and there were still vastly more books overall by white authors. When surveying the most popular books of the period 1950 to 2018 in order to provide a comparative baseline of current author diversity among the largest US publishing houses, an overwhelming 95% works were found to be authored by white writers, while non-Hispanic white persons make up about 60% of the US population. In 2018 alone, 89% of published books were by white authors. Clearly there is room for improvement.

Both studies found that the makeup of publishing houses tended to be factors in what was chosen for publication, and the majority of employees in publishing were, and still are, white. It was noted that during the tenure of Toni Morrison, the percentage of non-white published authors rose at Random House, and dropped notably when she left. Marie Dutton Brown, a contemporary editor at Doubleday who is now a literary agent, has noted that the fluctuation in publishers’ support for Black writers may be attributed to the news cycle, “which periodically directs the nation’s attention to acts of brutality against Black people. Publishers’ interest in amplifying Black voices wanes as media coverage peters out because “many white editors are not exposed to Black life beyond the headlines,” Ms. Brown said.”

Where does Propertius Press lie on the spectrum? We thought we should take a close look. Of the thirty-two (32) books that we will have released by November 20, 2021, fully nine (9) of them are wholly or partially written by those who identify as Black or Minority Ethnic (BAME). This includes Latin, Asian, and Jewish writers. This calculates to about 28% of our catalogue. Seven (7) include works by LGBTQ+ authors. These include our three short-story anthologies, fiction, and non-fiction works. We still have a ways to go before we will be satisfied that our catalogue fully reflects the diversity that it should. Finding statistics on worldwide racial population is actually a bit difficult – Wikipedia, for example, gives population by country but not by race specifically. The closest thing I could find is this pie chart offered by an independent researcher:

Screencapped by Quora Reader, here: https://www.quora.com/What-are-all-the-races-and-their-world-population-demographics-the-entire-world

So we don’t actually have a good goal in mind, but we try to be aware of the makeup of our catalogue as it grows. In the past, we have limited certain types of submissions categories only to BAME writers. Currently, we are not accepting submissions while we evaluate all of what we have to-date. In the future, we expect the percentage of Black and minority authors in our catalogue to grow. We are open to suggestions about how to do this better, please leave these in the comments below. Thank you so much for your support and readership.

Follow us on Patreon and visit our bookstore to view with our latest efforts

Small. Not-for-profit. Indie.

You’ve seen these words on our social media and website, and they may have made you wonder: What does this mean, exactly?  Well, to begin with, we’re so small, we don’t have one “location” or place of business, as it were. Our staff numbers less than twenty, including editors, graphic artists, formatters, and marketing staff, all of whom work remotely – from all over the US, Canada, the Caribbean and Central America, as well as Great Britain and France. Some of us are part-time or retired, but we are all dedicated to carrying each book all the way through the process and into the hands of readers. We don’t earn a profit, but we do pay taxes. Each dollar received after covering the costs of making each book goes back into making more books – paying our authors, graphics folks, editors, and the rest of the Staff who bring these works to life.

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Propertius Press is a member of the Independent Book Publishers Association (IBPA), the National Book Critics Circle, the Community of Literary Magazines and Presses (CLMP), and many of our editors are members of the Editorial Freelancers Association (EFA).

And finally, we’re not affiliated with any one market or outlet – we’re available internationally and domestically through the widest distribution network in the world: Ingram Content Group. What this means is, anyone, anywhere in the world can order and purchase the books we publish through their local bookstore, library, or online at their favorite ebook site. We aren’t limited to solely Amazon, Barnes & Noble, the Apple iStore, or anywhere else. You can find us wherever books are sold, as well as at our exclusive online bookstore, www.visitourbookstore.com!

Juneteenth Thoughts

We have so much to learn. Such a long way to go.

Black Americans, we see you. We hear you. And we honor you.

Corleone Brown, on Unsplash

We see your ancestors, who were taken from their homeland and enslaved with no rights for their own bodies, their own minds, their own substance. We see your fathers and mothers, who fought for basic rights and did their best; in spite of everything managed to create homes and businesses, music, beautiful art, families. Who lived and endured the unspeakable disrespect of an entire people during Jim Crow, during the civil rights movement, and who were beaten, abused, and killed by those who swore to protect all citizens.

Black Lives Matter.

Heather Mount, on Unsplash

We honor all of them. Our hearts break as we learn their stories. We are in awe of their strength, their presence, and perseverance.

Heather Mount, on Unsplash

And we are sorry for our contributions to their pain throughout history. It’s not enough to apologize, we must, we will continue to be anti-racist. We push back against intolerance and inequality.

Rom Matibag, on Unsplash

So often, it appears that there is so little we can do. But by using our privilege, holding space for those who need to be seen and heard, by listening and offering our hands and hearts, our work, and yes, our cash – sometimes, it helps.

Emmanuel Ikwuegbu, on Unsplash

We will continue to try to do more. We believe in freedom, for all, for each one. We celebrate black lives, black creativity, black fortitude, black art, black writing, black history, and so much more.

Nathan Dumlao, on Unsplash

We will continue to tear down the vestiges of white privilege, to shine the light on the erasure of history. Juneteenth was the day that all former enslaved people in the United States were finally freed. Two years after the Emancipation Proclamation was signed.

Here’s a small token of our gratitude, and our promise to continue to work hard, and fight hard, on behalf of ALL black lives.

In honor of Juneteenth, ALL of our currently available ebooks are FREE all weekend! (Preorders not included.)

Celebrate Black History Month

Today marks the beginning of Black History Month, a time to recognize the achievements, contributions and sacrifices made by Black Americans and the numerous ways they have shaped America. To celebrate, the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture will be offering free virtual programming, including book discussions (with Ibram X. Kendi, National Book Award Winner and Director, Boston University Center for Antiracist Research) and programs for young readers. The museum will also host a Wikipedia Edit-a-Thon, in which participants will create and edit Wikipedia pages for Black STEM professionals, highlighting the community impacts they have made.

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It’s a privilege to educate ourselves about racism instead of experiencing it. Let’s listen, learn, and join hands today and every day to end racism in our lifetimes. One way to start is by reading books by black and minority ethnic writers. We are actively seeking submissions in this category, and encourage anyone who has a story to tell to visit our Submissions portal.

Send us your words.

Books by black and minority ethnic writers at Propertius Press may be found in our Bookstore and wherever books are sold. Thank you for visiting!

Holiday week

As busy as we all have been this month, it’s no wonder the holidays crept up on us. However, it is our hope that you will be looking forward to a healthy, safe, and happy time with family and perhaps a few close friends. Here’s to quiet moments, and lots of reading.

Peace and blessings,

The Team at Propertius Press

www.propertiuspress.com