Naropa’s Small Press & Journal Fair

Tonight Naropa hosted From Writer to Read: An Evening with the Players in Publishing ?. To start there was a Small Press & Journal Fair. A good many small presses set up tables to hand out submission information and sell copies:
? Bombay Gin (now accepting submissions)
? Farfalla, McMillan & Parrish
? Square One
? Hot Whiskey Press
? Dirty
? Pinstripe Fedora
There was a panel discussion with Laird Hunt, Melissa Grella (literary agent with Kneerim and Williams), Arsen Kashkashian (head book buyer at Boulder Bookstore), and Brandy Vickers (manager from Houghton Mifflin).
During the discussion Brandy Vickers was introduced as getting her start as a bookbuyer for Josephbeth Booksellers. So afterward I waited among the crowd introduce myself and talk with her about Kentucky. Josephbeth Booksellers is a Lexington based independent bookstore (even though the flyer says based in Cincinnati, Ohio ? that is only where the offices are located, the original and largest bookstore is located in Lexington).
I’m no good at these literary events when it comes to waiting to talk to one of the speakers. I feel awkward and like to keep my personal space (and respect other peoples). I got cut a half dozen times and so was the last person to talk with her. I also let the person next to me cut. She had an actual book project she wanted to talk about.
You can go ahead. I just want to talk to her about Kentucky, ? I said. ?The woman thanked me and said, ?Oh, you want to network. ?
Well yes and no. I don’t think most people outside of Kentucky really understand what it’s all about. There’s a connection, a personal connection, especially among the literary community.
Ms. Vickers asked about Lynaugh’s and we both lamented the closing of it’s music venue. I happened to have a copy of The Total Light Process in my hand, so we talked about Jim. She asked if I’d seen Elizabethtown yet, and recommended the soundtrack.
She did her undergaduate studies in engineering, also. She recommended On the Nature of Human Romantic Interaction, a collection of short stories by another engineer turned creative writer, Karl Iagnemma.
Also, adjunct faculty member Andrew Wille handed out a list of publishing websites. Very soon I’ll go through them and add them to the Resources ? section on the right.

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