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.
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.
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?
I don’t know about you, but I really hate shopping.
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.
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.
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.
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.
You can now pre-order your print or digital copy of the fantastic new novel by Adam Phillips, Something Like My Name. Pre-orders allow you to receive your copy at a substantial discount and before many online or brick-and-mortar dealers have the book in their stores. Books will begin shipping next week, and if you order now, we waive the shipping charges!