Tuesday, January 09, 2018

The Winner of Our 12th Annual Chapbook Contest Is...

A Bright and Pleading Dagger
by Nicole Rivas of Savannah, Georgia

Contest judge Rigoberto Gonzalez selected A Bright and Pleading Dagger out of a field of 169 excellent submissions, and the chapbook will be published in August 2018.

You can sign up to receive the chapbook automatically when it launches by becoming a Rose Metal Press Subscriber or Supporter here.

This year's contest finalists include:

Runner-up: A Little Saw by Monique Quintana of Fresno, California

The Liberation Dance by Earl Carrender of Indianapolis, Indiana
Untitled by Anonymous by Andrew Farkas of Lawrence, Kansas
Sometimes You Need to Vanish for a Bit by Linda Michel-Cassidy of Sausalito, California
Support Your Local Legends by Kai Naima Williams of Bronx, New York

The semi-finalists include:
Pansies by Carol Barrett of Bend, Oregon
Scenes from Childhood by Rita Ciresi of Wesley Chapel, Florida
A Trace of a Good Thing by Maya Klein of Tel Aviv, Israel
Re: Memoranda by Michael Martone of Tuscaloosa, Alabama
Abacus of Self-Improvement by Ursula Villarreal-Moura of Cambridge, Massachusetts

Congratulations to Nicole Rivas and all the finalists and semi-finalists, and thanks to everyone who submitted! This year's group of submissions was larger than ever and very skilled—the manuscripts we received showcased the ever-expanding range of styles and techniques being used in the field of short form writing.

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Results of Our 2017 Open Reading Period

This past August we had an open submission period for full-length books in hybrid genres. We received 328 manuscripts—a very strong group that showcased the impressive variety of cross-genre work being produced both nationally and internationally.

We are thrilled to announce we have selected the following three books for publication:

Audubon’s Sparrow by Juditha Dowd

V by Sheila O’Connor

Love in the Ruins: A Survival Guide for Life After Normal
by Nicole Walker and David Carlin

We look forward to sharing these books with you in 2019 and beyond.

We also want to recognize the work of seven finalists:

throughsmoke: an essay in notes by Jehanne Dubrow

Florida Man (A History) by Tyler Gillespie

Dancefloor by Brian Oliu

Chola Mona Lisa & Other Pieces by Monique Quintana

Savage Pageant by Jessica Stark

Proof That Something Happened by Tony Trigilio

Polalka by Karolina Zapal

Congratulations to our four new RMP authors and the seven finalists, and thanks to everyone who submitted to our open reading period!

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Monday, August 28, 2017

Sneak Peek of MONSTER PORTRAITS, releasing in Feb. 2018!

We are thrilled to reveal the cover of MONSTER PORTRAITS by Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar. MONSTER PORTRAITS will release in February 2018. The cover features artwork by Del Samatar and was designed by Heather Butterfield.

By Del Samatar and Sofia Samatar
ISBN 978-1-941628-10-2

Relentlessly original and brilliantly hybrid, Monster Portraits investigates the concept of the monstrous through a mesmerizing combination of words and images. An uncanny and imaginative autobiography of otherness, it offers the fictional record of a writer in the realms of the fantastic shot through with the memories of a pair of Somali-American children growing up in the 1980s. Operating under the sign of two—texts and drawings, brother and sister, black and white, extraordinary and everyday—Monster Portraits multiplies, disintegrates, and blends, inviting the reader to find the danger in the banal, the beautiful in the grotesque. Accumulating into a breathless journey and groundbreaking study, these brief fictions and sketches claim the monster as a fragmentary vastness: not the sum but the derangement of its parts.

Del Samatar's drawings conjure beings who drag worlds in their wake. World Fantasy Award-winning author Sofia Samatar responds with allusive, critical, and ecstatic meditations. Together they have created a secret history of the mixed-race child, a guide to the beasts of an unknown mythos, and a dreamer's iconography. Monster Portraits resonates in a world obsessed with the Other, using captivating nomenclature, fiction, art, and essay to examine society’s damaging desire to define and divide. The monstrous never looked so simultaneously haunting and familiar.

You can read a sample from Monster Portraits at Tin House here.

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Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Printing the Covers for The Passion of Woo & Isolde

On June 6th and 7th, we gathered in Boston to letterpress the covers for the chapbook chosen by judge Amelia Gray as the winner of our Eleventh Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest. This year's winning chapbook is Jennifer Tseng's The Passion of Woo & Isolde. 

Happily, we were able to print again this year at Union Press in Union Square, Somerville, with the amazing and expert help of UP's Eli Epstein. We printed one color a day, cranking roughly 500 covers across the Vandercook press each day to end up with the lovely 2-color covers we used for the 425 finished books in this limited edition run.

This year we used a Steel Blue-colored paper from the French Paper Construction line for the covers, and used metallic gold and deep brown as our ink colors. In The Passion of Woo & Isolde, the final story of section II, "Zealots," hinges on an argument Woo and Isolde have over a pair of scissors. We felt like scissors made for a good motif and cover image for this book, which features sharp, clean prose and often invokes the feeling of being cut off or separated in some way from one's family, community, or homeland. The similarly crisp title font is Kabel. The cover and interior were both designed by our award-winning designer Rebecca Saraceno. The amazing linoleum cut of the scissors was made by Eli Epstein, a master of creating nuanced artwork for letterpress from linoleum blocks.

The covers came out beautifully and the finished books look terrific, featuring gold and white patterned endpapers and cool white interior pages. The book launches today, August 8, and you can order your copy here.

One highlight from this year's printing fun was that author Jennifer Tseng was able to stop by and personally roll out a few copies of her book's cover! It was the first time one of our chapbook authors has been Boston-based, and it was a pleasure to share our letterpress process with her.

Here are some photos of our printing process this year:
The magical gold metallic ink
The gold ink and Day 1 lock-up on press
RMP intern Sara Henke printing
Designer Rebecca Saraceno checking our gold ink coverage
Day 1 covers drying
Eli Epstein setting the type for Day 2
The lock-up for the brown ink on Day 2
A finished cover coming off the press
Finished covers drying on Day 2
Our letterpress printing team this year! L to R: Sara Henke, Kathleen Rooney, Heather Butterfield, Rebecca Saraceno, Abby Beckel, and Eli Epstein. Also, check out Union Press' amazing work on the wall behind us.

Many thanks to everyone who helped print covers this year and especially to Eli Epstein of Union Press for his help, expertise, and use of UP's equipment and inks.

Order your copy of this limited edition contest-winning chapbook! More details about the book, including the book trailer, are available here.

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Saturday, February 04, 2017

RMP at AWP DC, Feb 9 to Feb 11

We hope to see many of you at the annual AWP Conference, this year in Washington, DC, beginning February 9 and ending February 11. We will be at table 629 at the book fair, with lots of sales and swag! Please come say hello and buy a book or two!

Along with our usual giveaways of bookmarks, buttons, and temporary tattoos, we have 2 special promotions at our table this year! The first 20 people to buy a copy of Kelcey Parker Ervick's The Bitter Life of Bozena Nemcova: A Biographical Collage will receive a postcard hand-painted by Parker Ervick. Here's a sample of these one-of-a-kind giveaways:

Also, if you buy 3 or more books (special rate for 3 books is $36!), you get one of these awesome ROSE ringpops to enjoy while you cruise the book fair. It's the AWP fashion accessory of the year, so be sure to get yours!

Here's our schedule of author events for the conference:


9:00 to 10:15 am

Room 206, Washington Convention Cntr, Level 2
R132. The Long from the Short: Turning Flash Pieces into a Novel, Novella, or Memoir.
(Abigail Beckel, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Lex Williford, Tyrese Coleman, Tara Laskowski) Intimidated by the daunting feel of a longer project? Or simply looking for a different way to craft a full-length project? Novels-in-flash and memoirs-in-flash are growing in popularity as a perfect marriage of the concision of stand-alone flash pieces and the narrative possibilities of full-length books. Authors and editors of the form offer tips on conceptualizing and crafting a longer work-in-flash, highlighting examples, as well as advice on publishing, marketing, and teaching the form.
10:30 to 11:30 am
Kelcey Parker Ervick and Lex Williford signing LILIANE'S BALCONY, THE BITTER LIFE OF BOZENA NEMCOVA, and SUPERMAN ON THE ROOF at table 629 after the novella-in-flash panel.
1:00 to 2:00 pm
Anthology editors Jacqueline Kolosov and Marcela Sulak signing FAMILY RESEMBLANCE at table 629.
3:30 to 4:00 pm
Lex Williford signing his contest-winning chapbook SUPERMAN ON THE ROOF at table 629.


12:00 to 12:30 pm
Kelcey Parker Ervick signing THE BITTER LIFE OF BOZENA NEMCOVA and LILIANE'S BALCONY at table 629.
7:00 to 9:00 pm
OFFSITE READING! Rose Metal Press teams up with The Cupboard Pamphlet and Soho Press for
the best offsite reading of AWP DC at Baby Wale (only a block away from the convention center!). Anthony Michael Morena, Kelcey Parker Ervick, and Lex Williford will be reading for RMP.  Baby Wale, 1124 9th Street NW


10:30 to 11:30 am
Anthony Michael Morena signing THE VOYAGER RECORD at table 629.
4:30 to 5:45 pm
Room 101, Washington Convention Cntr, Level 1
S280. Attempting the Impossible: Strategies for Writing Creative Biography. (Kathleen Rooney, Kelcey Parker Ervick, Anthony Michael Morena, Sarah Domet, Sarah Blake) Traditional biographers aspire to get out of the way of their subjects in order to render objective portraits. These panelists take the opposite approach, emphasizing the impossibility of ever creating such a portrait and using this
not as a failure but as an opportunity for imagination and interactivity. At this event they present examples, research and writing methods, and mixed media techniques for adapting history into literature, offering new modes of presenting the past and the people in it.

Please come by table 629 and see us and support our authors!

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Wednesday, February 01, 2017

The Winner of Our 11th Annual Short Short Chapbook Contest Is...

The Passion of Woo & Isolde & Other Stories
by Jennifer Tseng of Brookline, Massachusetts

Contest judge Amelia Gray selected The Passion of Woo & Isolde out of a field of 162 strong submissions, and the chapbook will be published in August 2017.

You can sign up to receive the chapbook automatically when it launches by becoming a Rose Metal Press Subscriber or Supporter here.

This year's contest finalists include:

Runner-up: Winter in Prague by Vincent Poturica of Long Beach, California

Mistransformation by Tori Bond of Perkasie, Pennsylvania
Dizzy by Sarah Greenslit of Madison, Wisconsin
The Book of Tongues/O livro das linguas by Amy Sayre Baptista and Carlo Matos of Chicago,

The Civil War War by Marc Sheehan of Grand Haven, Michigan

The semi-finalists include:

Mapping the Territory by Jane Hammons of Austin, Texas
Flavored Water by Dan Nielsen of Racine, Wisconsin
The Adventures of a Kelly Girl by Charles Rammelkamp of Baltimore, Maryland
Taking a Bath in the World Today by Anji Reyner of Missoula, Montana
Failed Fantasies: A Practical Guide by Tatiana Ryckman of Austin, Texas
The Legend of Steve Prefontaine by Todd Seabrook of Hamilton, Florida

Congratulations to Jennifer Tseng and all the finalists and semi-finalists, and thanks to everyone who submitted! This year's group of submissions was larger than ever and very skilled—the manuscripts we received showcased the ever-expanding range of styles and techniques being used in the field of short form writing.

We are also thrilled to announce that the judge for our 12th annual chapbook contest will be Rigoberto Gonzalez. The contest submission period begins November 1, 2017.

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Thursday, November 17, 2016

2017: A Different Kind of Year for RMP

In January 2016, we celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Rose Metal Press. It's been 10 amazing and busy years of hybrid genre publishing. We've published 29 books and 239 authors, and have organized hundreds of readings and events. We're proud of and humbled by all we've been able to do with donor/subscriber support over the last decade.

As we move into our second decade, we've decided to make 2017 a year of planning and improvements. We will only be publishing one book in 2017, the winner of our 11th annual chapbook contest (submissions are open now and we’re thrilled to have Amelia Gray judging this year), which will publish next summer. In the time we would normally spend editing, designing, publishing, and promoting the fall and spring full-length books, we are going to be:

  Completely overhauling our website and online book-buying experience, including a redesigned website and shopping cart interface.
  Creating e-book versions of all our backlist fiction and prose poetry titles to give those books and authors more exposure worldwide and promote classroom use.
  Working to increase readership and college course adoptions of our backlist titles.
  Moving our publishing schedules for 2018 and beyond earlier so that we can better promote our authors and their books.
  Taking a long look at how the literary and hybrid genre fields have changed in the last 10 years and making a plan for how we can continue to best serve our mission and publish books that push new boundaries.
  Reading new submissions and accepting books for the coming years.

We’re really excited about 2017—we can hardly wait to unveil our new website and we’re looking forward to making upgrades to all aspects of our operations as we also assess the publishing needs of the hybrid genre field. With such a small staff—just the two of us plus our amazing freelance designers, interns, and website help—it’s sometimes essential to take a short break from our regularly scheduled programming to make needed improvements for the future. It's the right thing to do to better serve our authors, readers, and the literary field.

In 2018 we will resume our regular three-books-a-year schedule with Monster Portraits by writer Sofia Samatar and artist Del Samatar in spring 2018; the winner of our 12th annual chapbook contest in summer 2018; and Ghostographs by Maria Romasco Moore in fall 2018. And no, we are not becoming a horror publisher—both Monster Portraits and Ghostographs delightfully subvert the ideas of monsters and ghosts with innovative forms and terrific writing. We look forward to sharing those books with you.

In the meantime, we hope you will continue to support us in 2017 with your donations and subscriptions. Though we will be printing fewer books, the new website and the 6-7 e-book conversions represent large expenses in the 2017 budget year, and your continued support will be crucial to accomplishing those goals. 

Thanks for your support for our mission and our authors! 
Happy reading,
Abby and Kathleen

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