In the first few years after the CityLit Project was founded in Baltimore in 2003, the nonprofit was primarily focused on establishing not only an annual literary event (the CityLit Festival takes place every April), but also a series of well-attended writing workshops (Write Here, Write Now) and a youth program (CityLit Teens), in an effort to get the people of Maryland excited about the literary arts and to connect its community of readers and writers. It was only a matter of time before the nonprofit launched a publishing imprint. CityLit Press extends the organization's mission by providing a venue for writers—from the Baltimore area and beyond—who might otherwise be ignored by larger independent or commercial publishers. The press's first book, published this month, is City Sages: Baltimore, an anthology of short prose by writers who have called the city home, from Edgar Allan Poe to Alice McDermott. CityLit also sponsors two annual poetry chapbook contests—the Clarinda Harriss Poetry Prize; and Black Infinity, the Adele V. Holden Prize for New African American Poets—and publisher Gregg Wilhelm says the press plans to release three stand-alone titles per year. Writers can find submission guidelines, as well as some pretty handy writers resources, on CityLit's Web site.
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