PNW Presses & Journals
Updated: Nov 12, 2020
Hello, little loves. Welcome back to the English Experience. Today's post is regarding Pacific Northwest presses and journals that can be helpful for you as an author, or as a writing student, or as an English junkie who loves words; it's a one-size-fits-all around here. Without further ado, lets dive into one of my experiences as a WSU undergrad.
Finding the right press can be extremely stressful and intimidating as a new author. If you're around the western side of the country, like me, then these small-business presses may be just the thing you're looking for.
Tavern Books, located in Portland, Oregon, partners with small bookstores throughout the U.S., as well as locally. Their mission statement has been carried out since 2009, where they are dedicated to translating books for English readers, revising poetry collections, promoting young, female poets, and commission and utilize artwork from world-class artists for every title that they publish through the Heidelberg presses they own. What’s more, they strive to assure each author when signing a contract that their book will never go out of print – it is literally written in their contract. A more personalized form of your poetry collection could not be found anywhere else.
Each year Tavern Books holds a Wrolstad Contemporary Poetry Series that exists to “champion exceptional literary works by young women poets through book publication in The Living Library, the Tavern Books catalog of innovative poets ranging from first-time authors and neglected masters to Pulitzer Prize winners and Nobel Laureates.” This opportunity is open to women forty or younger who have the chance to get published and express their voice through this annual event.
When I first learned about Tavern Books, I was writing a "publication profile" on presses in Oregon for a project for English 357. However, my interest peaked in small presses, because of the personalization and intimacy that comes with the publication. I know that if I was to be an author, I would want the best small press for my needs. And I hate to sound biased, but I think that might be this one for me. Fear not, though, friends: I have more suggestions coming your way if this one wasn't your cup of tea.
More information about Tavern Books can be found here: https://www.tavernbooks.org/.
Airlie Press was recommended to me by Lauren Westerfield, a professor of English at WSU, and who I consider a good friend of mine. This press, also located in Portland, Oregon, is a "nonprofit publishing collective dedicated to cultivating and sustaining fine contemporary poetry." They produce books of poetry by Pacific Northwest poets, and they have been founded and running since 2007. The press only consists of six to eight members - all whom are poets - and are all a part of the press process to ensure authors are satisfied.
One of the statements they made on their website really stuck out to me; like Tavern Books supports female poets, Airlie Press works to produce works of underrepresented voices: "As a press, we commit to participate in the ongoing conversation and practice regarding inclusion and equity. To this end, we encourage submissions from underrepresented voices and poets from marginalized communities." Not only is this an amazing mission to have, but it is an important one in the world of writing, especially in times like the present. Though submissions are annual, only one or two poetry books get published a year. However, the perks and the author contract sound like a pretty good deal.
To read more about the Airlie Press, see http://www.airliepress.org/.
There are other presses out there that are not specifically poetry-related; I have a passion for poetry, so therefore I am just a tad bit biased. However, if you would like some more suggestions for other small press publishers that do not involve poetry, please see the list below:
Beyond Words Press - Hillsboro, Oregon: specializes in mind, body and spiritual novels
Coffeetown Press - Seattle, Washington: specializes in fiction and nonfiction novels
Epicenter Press - Kenmore, Washington, but founded in Fairbanks, Alaska: specializes in history, memoir, adventure, nature, and Native American culture
If you would like more information on local presses, Google "Small Presses in the Pacific Northwest," or visit https://www.publishersweekly.com/pw/by-topic/industry-news/publisher-news/article/72082-publishing-in-the-pacific-northwest-indie-spirit.html to find more.
Maybe you're not looking for a press; perhaps you would rather go for a literary journal. Don't worry, I've got you covered there too.
First, and obviously foremost, I need to shamelessly plug my college neighbor, University of Idaho's, literary journal fugue. This journal has been running since 1990, and publishes a mixture of written works in their volumes. Completely edited and managed by UofI graduate students, fugue has been printing two issues a year: one in the summer/fall that is print, and one in the winter/spring that is completely online.
More information about fugue can be found here: http://www.fuguejournal.com/.
Blood Orange Review
Of course, I can't go to WSU without also including Blood Orange Review, which is the literary journal that I worked for during my final year. BOR, like fugue, takes fiction, nonfiction and poetry submissions, as well as art pieces. Founded in 2006, BOR works to publish "historically and aesthetically underrepresented writers" in the Eastern Washington area. An internship opportunity was made available by Bryan Fry in 2008, where students like myself could learn about the literary process, try their hand at being an editor, and make connections and have experiences that would last a lifetime.
To learn more about Blood Orange Review, see: https://bloodorangereview.com/.
Crab Creek Review
Last but certainly not least is the Crab Creek Review, located in Seattle, Washington. This woman-run journal was founded in 1983 by Linda Clifton, and has remained in the hands of women since. This journal features poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction. Crab Creek Review is dedicated to "publishing new voices, as well as emerging and established writers" in the Northwest and beyond. This journal, like some of the small presses mentioned, carries a Crab Creek Review Poetry Prize that is run in early "spring." Submission guidelines for this prize, as well as their general submissions, can be found on https://crabcreekreview.org/index.html.
Like earlier, if you would like some more suggestions for other literary journals, please see the list below:
Portland Review: accepts submissions for poetry, creative nonfiction and fiction
Moss: accepts submissions for poetry, nonfiction and fiction
Pacifica Literary Review: accepts submissions for poetry, creative nonfiction, fiction, photography, and art & design (not to be biased at all but their website and written content is amazing)
If you would like more information on local presses, Google "Literary Journals in the PNW."
There you have it, folks. A rough outline of PNW presses and journals that you can begin your search with. I hope this was helpful, informative, and fun to read. The best advice I can give an author looking to publish is: Figure out what is most important to you - your values, ideals, goals - and find a place that will represent that, either in a press, journal, or elsewhere. Have courage, and good luck!
Until next time, little loves.