It was such a great experience to get to meet so many fellow writers at the AWP bookfair – some former contributors, and I’m sure some future contributors as well – and be able to share our annual issues and publications with so many new people.

Thank you to all who stopped over. I know for next time to have flyers with submission information, instead of just cards with our website and contact info – I appreciate the feedback for future bookfairs! We got a lot of complements on our covers. Quite a few people seemed excited by our unique publishing model for the chapbooks, too, since paying the winners in copies allows the writer to keep the entire face value of any books they sell, rather than just a royalty percentage. We also sold out of both the 2013 and 2014 issues, as well as Jason McCall’s chapbook; We do have more issues of PN13 and PN14 available now that we’re home, but Jason’s book will now go into its second printing – a first for Paper Nautilus, and we are really excited about it.

Which leads me to another positive result from attending AWP: a new digital anthology. This two-part anthology will include literary works that address and examine the uncomfortable realities of race, class, gender, sexuality, faith, and other influential aspects of identity and experience in America, as well as works that move toward healing or reflect moments of reconciliation. This anthology is the result of some great collaboration with Talisha Shelley before and during the AWP conference, and because we believe that it will be a great resource and reading experience for classrooms, writing groups, and people of all backgrounds, this anthology will be available as a free download once released.

When I asked Talisha what she wanted to pursue for this anthology, she offered a handful of different ideas, but we were both most excited abut this one. When I think of examples of individuals who have truly had their views shaped on these issues of misunderstanding others, it has almost always been through the experience of empathy and growing close to one person – either in life, or through a character – that served to bridge that misunderstanding. An entire anthology collecting all of those specific moments from a multitude of different perspectives has tremendous potential for impact. Talisha Shelley and I will be co-editors, and you can send us your poetry, short fiction, and creative nonfiction here: https://papernautilus.submittable.com/submit/41571

And, of course, our two chapbook contests only have about a month left, so polish up those manuscripts and send them over!

Lisa Mangini

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New releases and AWP15

March 29, 2015

Our three 2014 Vella Chapbook winners are now officially published and available. You can find copies under our “Books” menu.

Copies of all our chapbooks and annual issues will also be available at AWP. Paper Nautilus will be sharing table 430 at the bookfair, so please come by and say hi, pick up an octopus pin, and maybe enter some fun contests!

We are also sending out our once-a-year newsletter, announcing all this good stuff about the chapbook releases and the Vella and Debut Series Chapbook contests. Because of emailing limits, they are being sent in stages, and the addresses are pulled right from Submittable – so if you’ve submitted under multiple emails, you maybe end up receiving two (or more) messages from us. We are sorry for any unintended obnoxiousness from these mailings, and we truly never want to harass you with anything that remotely feels like spam – a major reason why we only send one newsletter each year!

Additionally, if you are a member of a writing community – a literary journal, a college campus, a local writing group – please help us get the word out by sharing our call for manuscripts with the writers in your life. The more manuscripts of fiction, poetry, mixed/anti/hybrid-genre work we receive, the more collections we can support and help bring out into the world.

We are quite busy here this spring, but we thought we’d take a minute to share with you just how many things we’ve got going on.

First, we are in a race against the calendar to finished up the layout, proofs, and printing of our three Vella Chapbook contests winners from 2014. These collections From Allie Marini Batts, Stephanie McCarley Dugger, and Johnathan Harper are superb, and the goal is to have an unofficial release party for them at table 430 in the AWP bookfair.

The conference and bookfair take place from April 8th – 11th, in Minneapolis – which will be my first time visiting the area – and we hope you’ll stop by and pick up one of our issues or chapbook titles, find out more about our two contests currently open, or pick up some fun surprises we have in store. Also, huge thanks to the folks who run the AWP bookfair Facebook, who ran this spotlight for us today. If you’ve ever wondered more about us, here’s your chance:unnamed

Except, way back when we sent this staff image over to the Bookfair folks, we hadn’t yet selected our newest fiction editor. For a volunteer job that pays mostly in frenzied emails and enthusiastic thank-yous, I was surprised and flattered at the response we received. Deciding on these potential editors in many regards was even more difficult than deciding on what writing to publish, since many of these letters of interest were so candid and honest about their desire to be a part of a team of editors.

After some tough decisions, we are happy to be welcoming Keith Lesmeister to our fiction team. Keith, who lives in Northeast Iowa, completed his MFA from the Benngington Writing Seminars. He has been a reader for drafthorse, taught college-level creative writing, and had his work featured in Tin House blog, American Short Fiction online, Meridian, Redivider, River Teeth, Harpur Palate, and others. We are also really bummed his photo is not included in the above promo image.

We do have some other ideas in the works, but despite that we clearly don’t believe in “one thing at a time,” we have to draw the line somewhere. More on these new developments when they’re a little less new and a bit more developed.

Also, we are already nearly one month into our 2015 and – so don’t forget to take another look at your manuscripts and send us your best!