Community of Writers

Press 53 has announced the winners and finalists of its Open Competition, and it's exciting to welcome these authors into the family.
One thing about being part of an Indie publisher like Press 53 is that, year by year, you see the community grow and make connections with other writers from coast to coast - and beyond. Among the winners and finalists this year were friends from the Triad - Michael Gaspeny, Ray Morrison and others. Their work emerged from blind judging, along with that from writers from as far away as Bellingham, WA; Watsonville, CA; Brooklyn, NY; and British Columbia, Canada. It will be fun to get to know them through their work in the 2012 anthology.
Publisher Kevin Morgan Watson often speaks about choosing his first two poets, without knowing where they were from, and finding after he decided on the manuscripts that they were from Greensboro (me) and Winston-Salem (Joseph Mills.) Although the press publishes North Carolinians, its reach is nationwide, with a recent strong connection to Washington State.
As the publishing industry reshapes itself, small presses like Press 53 are gaining readers - and prestige. Just consider that the National Book Award this past year went to a novel (The Lord of Misrule) published by indie press McPherson and Co.
Congrats to the Open honorees, one and all!

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