Happy New Year, Hellions!
2013 was a great year. We published four books and all four are (or were, several times) among the top 25 bestselling small press poetry books at Powell’s. Since UHell Press expanded two years ago, every book we have published has landed in the top 25, as well as made climbs towards the top spot. Poetic Scientifica occupied the #1 spot for several months this year and was recently announced as the #3 top seller for 2013 among all of Powell’s Small Press Section, not just poetry. While we don’t solely measure our success as a press against this, it confirms that our books are finding audiences outside of our inner circle. (Our “inner circle” is you, close friends and fans of us and our authors.)
While we only produced four titles this year (we hoped for at least six; by comparison, we produced five in 2012), we took big strides forward as a publishing venture. We exhibited for the first time at Wordstock. We also partnered up with Write Bloody Publishing, Portland Poetry Slam, Antler Gallery, IPRC, and the new PDX Magazine for a huge blowout literary event at the White Owl Social Club. If you missed that, you missed IT. And IT was special. We look forward to participating in Wordstock again. And we look forward to continued partnerships in the future, we value all of them. And more great events.
2013 saw all of our current (and future) authors published and exposed through myriad periodicals. A few highlights include: 1) The year kicked off with the Willamette Week naming Johnny No Bueno as one of six voices in Oregon to watch out for (along with the mayor and Fred Armisen). 2) Nailed Magazine published Brian S. Ellis’ article on the Boston Marathon that remains their most popular story, a poetry suite by Leah Noble Davidson, a revealing article by Johnny No Bueno, and ongoing contributions from John Barrios. 3) Perpetually Twelve (a zine created and curated by one of our favorite and contributing artists, McHank) published pieces by myself and Tyler Atwood.
2013 also saw us expanding the things we are doing on behalf of our authors. We selected and submitted our nominations for the Pushcart Prize. We also submitted qualifying titles for consideration for the Oregon Book Awards, as well as some other awards and recognitions.
We are looking ahead to a blistering 2014. Here are six forthcoming titles, all of which are scheduled to be released in 2014:
an electric sheep jumps to greener pasture by Tyler Atwood
Here Comes the New Joy by John Barrios
A Murder of Crows by Michael N. Thompson
i want love so great it makes nicholas sparks cream in his pants by Calvero
The Most Fun You’ll Have at a Cage Fight by Rory Douglas
Learn to Swim by Joseph Edwin Haeger
These are the titles we have greenlit so far. We had to suspend open submissions, for the time being, so we could unbury ourselves from the manuscripts we have been inundated with. And there are many promising ones among them; this current production list of six will quickly grow, especially once we reopen submissions.
We will be exhibiting at AWP in Seattle, February 27 – March 1, 2014. In addition to selling our books and passing out more stickers and post cards, we will have University of Hell Press T-shirts! Oooo, aahhh. Shiny. Trust me, you’re gonna want one.
And, even if you’re not at AWP, stay tuned for a really HUGE announcement that includes the availability of said T-shirts online. We’re in the middle of a deal that’s going to change everything. I CANNOT wait to make this announcement, I am chomping at the bit.
Anyway, I really just wanted to take the time to thank you. THANK YOU for your support, THANK YOU for championing us, and THANK YOU for just being rad. From all of us here in Hell, we truly hope you had a great 2013 and are looking forward to an even hotter 2014.
Your Managing Editor from Hell,