The last day of a year that taxed our collective national consciousness draws to a close. Many of us offer a sigh of relief, cut by a sliver of hope that 2017 will prove to be more tranquil and fulfilling. Or at least, marked by less drama and fewer tragedies.
For us at Caffeinated Press, 2016 proved to be a time of learning and growth. Some highlights:
- We transitioned into volume 2 of The 3288 Review, our quarterly journal of arts and letters. At the time of this writing, final acceptances are being sent for issue 3, marking work on the seventh consecutive issue of this journal since its launch in late 2014.
- We published Brewed Awakenings 2, the second volume of our house anthology.
- We published Grayson Rising, a young-adult novel partially set in Grand Rapids.
- We presented as panelists at the Get Published! 2016 conference sponsored by MiFiWriters.
- We attended several literary-flavored sales events, including the Kerrytown Book Festival, the Rust City Book Con, Tulip City and the Ann Arbor Book Fair.
- We welcomed a summer intern, Mary, from Notre Dame.
- We conducted a series of business-of-writing seminars attended by local writers.
- We engaged in talks with groups including the Great Lakes Commonwealth of Letters to foster a stronger sense of literary community in the West Michigan market.
Of course, not everything went smooth-as-silk. Several works — most notably, the anthology — were released later than anticipated. Revenues are still wildly variable. The local literary community still appears fragmented and tribal.
Yet we see opportunity on the horizon. And for that, we have a series of informal goals that you’ll see over 2017:
- As current work-in-progress falls into a regular cadence, now that we’re a bit more established, we expect to have more books published on a more predictable cycle.
- We’re working with several bookstore owners to develop a robust local book-distribution network. This network will not only increase our product placement across the region, but it’ll also offer venues for author readings and other literary-focused events.
- Our seminars, which have received rave reviews, will be augmented by an online classroom where people can purchase lessons and consume them at home, at their own convenience, no matter where they live.
- We’ll continue to look for ways to grow a community of authors and readers across West Michigan and beyond.
We hope that you’ll take 2017 to continue to hone your individual callings as readers, writers and editors. Best wishes for a safe, happy, healthy and profitable new year!