As writers and editors, we at Black Lawrence Press are excited to be working in a time when so many new and exciting developments are happening in the world of independent publishing. Despite frequent gloomy predictions about the fate of the publishing industry, new literary magazines and journals are popping up all the time online and in print; small presses continue to publish new voices in fiction, poetry, and creative non-fiction; and editors in the small press community continue to support writing that they believe in, despite the likelihood that they will never see a profit. Why? Because we love what we do, and because the world of small press publishing never has been about striking it rich—it’s about a community of creative, passionate individuals. It’s about the writing.
So while this is an exciting time, it’s also a time of information overload. With so many small presses and literary magazines on the scene, it can sometimes be hard to identify what information is relevant to you as a writer—will this journal be interested in what I write? Does this press even accept unsolicited manuscripts? Time is a precious resource for writers, especially those who are just starting out as professionals or are hoping to be published for the first time; hence the Black Lawrence Press staff developed Sapling, a weekly newsletter designed for writers beginning to navigate the small press industry sent directly to subscribers’ inboxes each Tuesday.
Each issue of Sapling includes profiles of a literary contest, a small press, and a literary journal; an opportunity to have questions answered by the Sapling editors; and a feature article. Feature topics range from interviews with the editors and publishers of small presses and journals to articles on the small press experience by published authors to profiles of various writing conferences around the country.
Over the course of our first three years, some of our highlights have included:
● interviews with Matthew Zapruder of Wave Books, Abigail Beckel and Kathleen Rooney of Rose Metal Press, Stephen Reichert of Smartish Pace, Matt Bell of The Collagist, and Jen Tynes of Horse Less Press
● feature articles on small press publishing, such as “Best of Luck Placing This Elsewhere” by fiction writer Patrick Michael Finn, “The Twenty-Five Year Plan for Overnight Success: Be Nice to Everyone” by poet Christopher Kennedy, and “Marketing Begins at Home: How to Spread the Word about Your Small Press Book” by poet Mary Biddinger
● inside looks at writing conferences such as the Tin House Summer Writers’ Workshop in Portland, OR and the Colgate Writers’ Conference in Hamilton, NY by writers who have attended
We’re excited to be entering our fourth year of publication, and we have lots more in store for the future. We believe in small press publishing, and we’re committed to providing you with up-to-date, streamlined information to help you navigate the independent publishing world. We hope you’ll join our community here at Sapling.
A one-year subscription (52 issues) is $50; or try out a six-month subscription (26 issues) for $30. Want to check us out before you sign up? Of course you do. Below, you’ll find the link to a sample issue so you can see what we’re all about. New subscriptions begin right away with the next issue of the newsletter. We’d love to welcome you to our community!
Associate Editor / Sapling Editor
Black Lawrence Press