My son found her by the riverbank, or rather she found him. She has been a delightful addition to our household. She often traipses across the keyboard while I am writing, adding characters as she goes. Not sure exactly what she’s trying to tell me, but I’m trying to figure it out!
After realizing how many authors seem to find inspiration (or, at least, avoid procrastination) thanks to the felines who keep them in the chair, I began a blog series called Cat Editors. The series began with my own cat editor, Theo, who is also General Manager of Ashland Creek Press and basically keeps us both in our chairs.
Several Ashland Creek Press authors have shared their cat editors’ stories with me, and I’m delighted to share two of them here, especially since we have brand-new reasons to celebrate these two authors: Mindy Mejia and Jean Ryan both have new books out in the world!
Mindy Mejia‘s novel, Everything You Want Me to Be, is a page-turning mystery that we guarantee you won’t be able to put down. If you’ve read The Dragon Keeper, you know what we mean — but don’t just take our word for it: Mindy’s new novel is also a People magazine Best New Books Pick, one of The Wall Street Journal’s Best New Mysteries, recipient of a starred Booklist review, and so much more! Visit Mindy’s website to learn more.
Author Mindy Mejia lives and writes with a cat named Dusty.
On working with Dusty, Mindy says:
Dusty’s main editorial talents lie in encouragement and prioritization. He usually lounges on the table or in my lap, purring his approval at whatever scene I’m working on, and if I start daydreaming he’ll jump directly on top of the computer or manuscript (see picture) as if to say, “Oh, you’ve got better things to do than write? I guess I’ll just make this my new bed.” It never fails to refocus my energy, which I’m sure is his intent.
Jean Ryan is the author of Survival Skills: Stories and a novel, Lost Sister. Those of you who are familiar with Jean’s gorgeous short stories will love her newest book, Strange Company, a collection of essays featuring the same exquisite prose and astute observations on nature and life. Strange Company is available from MadeMark Publishing in paperback and will be available as an audiobook on March 31. Visit Jean’s website to learn more.
Author Jean Ryan writes with Tango.
Of working with Tango, Jean says:
Tango does not want me to get too comfortable with my writing. She urges me to stay on the edge, to persevere through difficulty, to remember that the deepest truths are found outside my comfort zone.
Thanks to Mindy and Jean for sharing their writing processes with us, and thanks to the cats for making it possible! We look forward to reading much more of Jean and Mindy’s work.
I’m pleased to announce that we are open once again for general submissions.
Thanks for your patience. We expect submissions to be open until June 1, 2017.
You can submit here.
As always, there is no submission fee for regular book submissions, but please carefully review the types of books we’ve published so far, as this is a good indicator of what we’re looking for.
Writing for Animals Anthology
We are 90% complete with articles for this forthcoming anthology of essays for writers. But we’re still looking for one or two more excellent essays, and submissions will remain open until March 31, 2017.
Thanks for your continued support of Ashland Creek Press.
We are delighted to announce the winner of the 2016 Siskiyou Prize for New Environmental Literature: Katy Yocom, for her novel THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR.
Judge JoeAnn Hart writes, “THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR begins with a focused lens on the endangered Bengal tiger then expands its reach with every page to reveal the interconnectedness of the natural world and fragility of all life. Weaving together the worn threads of ecological balance, this ambitious and moving novel addresses scarcity, climate change, family dynamics, cultural conflict, human accountability, women’s economic autonomy, and most of all, love, in all its wondrous forms. This is a story not just about saving the tigers, but ourselves.”
Katy Yocom was born and raised in Atchison, Kansas. After graduating from the University of Kansas with a degree in journalism, she moved to Louisville, Kentucky, where she has lived ever since. Her fiction, poetry, essays, and journalism have appeared in Salon.com, The Louisville Review, decomP magazinE, StyleSubstanceSoul, and Louisville Magazine, among other publications.
In conducting research for her novel, THREE WAYS TO DISAPPEAR, she traveled to India, funded by a grant from the Elizabeth George Foundation. She has also been awarded grants from the Kentucky Foundation for Women and the Kentucky Arts Council and has served as writer-in-residence at Kimmel Harding Nelson Center for the Arts, Crosshatch Hill House, and Hopscotch House. Her short fiction has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and her poetry has been translated into Bulgarian. She holds an MFA in Writing from Spalding University.
As the Siskiyou Prize winner, Katy will receive a four-week residency at PLAYA and a $1,000 cash prize.
It was a very competitive contest this year, and we would also like to congratulate the finalists and semifinalists:
Small Small Redemption: Essays by Sangamithra Iyer
The Heart of the Sound: A memoir by Marybeth Holleman (published by Bison Books)
Song of the Ghost Dog: A YA novel by Sharon Piuser
Karstland: A novel by Caroline Manring
Rumors of Wolves: A novel by C.K. Adams
The Harp-Maker of Exmoor: A novel by Hazel Prior
Thanks to everyone who submitted and to everyone who writes with the goal of making this world a better place. And please stay tuned for announcements for the next Siskiyou Prize!
“Raymond’s prose often lights up the poetry-circuits of the brain…” — The Seattle Times
I’m pleased to announce that Ashland Creek Press has published the third edition of Midge’s Raymond’s award-winning short story collection, Forgetting English.
In this new, expanded edition of her prize-winning collection, which includes a reading group guide, Midge Raymond stretches the boundaries of place as she explores the indelible imprint of home upon the self and the ways in which new frontiers both defy and confirm who we are.
The characters who inhabit these stories travel for business or for pleasure, sometimes out of duty and sometimes in search of freedom, and each encounters the unexpected. From a biologist navigating the stark, icy moonscape of Antarctica to a businesswoman seeking refuge in the lonely islands of the South Pacific, the characters in these stories abandon their native landscapes—only to find that, once separated from the ordinary, they must confront new interpretations of whom they really are, and who they’re meant to be.
Forgetting English won the Spokane Prize for Short Fiction. Here’s what two reviewers had to say:
“Raymond has quiet, unrelenting control over the writing; each story is compelling and thrives because each detail and line of dialogue reveals just a little more about the characters and the evocative settings.” —The Rumpus
“All of her stories are heartbreakingly honest … I wouldn’t be surprised if she started getting compared to Alice Munro or Jhumpa Lahiri.” — Seattle Books Examiner