The Brewed Awakenings anthology soft launch, held March 2 at the Urban Institute for Contemporary Arts in downtown Grand Rapids, Mich., provided strong early momentum for Caffeinated Press’s first public release. The evening event featured short readings from the anthology as well as a question-and-answer session with the editorial team and a coffee-and-snack service.
John Winkelman, an anthology contributor and Caffeinated Press’s chief operating officer, noted that any literary event where guests outnumber authors is, by definition, a success. All eight authors read excerpts of their novelettes to a crowd numbering above 30, including members of the community with no direct connection to any contributor.
The inaugural release of the Brewed Awakenings house anthology features stories by eight West Michigan authors. The volume’s overall theme, loosely applied within each story, is the writing prompt “all goes dark.” Stories include Jessica Ann Booth’s Darkness Underneath, Jennifer C. Browning’s Frayed and Threaded, Jason E. Gillikin’s Providence, Lilith A. Heart’s The Garden and the Grave, AmyJo Johnson’s She’s My Favorite, Melanie Meyer’s The Watcher on the Island, Jason Reene’s Squidnapped and John Winkelman’s Hvalur. Assisting with editing were Angela Craft, Lianne Crouthers, Tabitha Maloley, Alaric Reinstein, Brittany Wilson and John Winkelman.
Early sales of the anthology, before the volume passes through to market partners through the Ingram network, have proven robust, pushing the volume to nearly the break-even point in just the first week of sales. The print copy remains available for purchase through the Caffeinated Press online store.
The UICA venue and the institute’s staff offered an ideal setting for a literary event.
Caffeinated Press will host another event on April 6 at 7 p.m. at Schuler Books and Music in Grand Rapids.