Chicago-based Curbside Splendor (www.curbsidesplendor.com) was established in 2009 with a mission to publish “literary fiction, creative nonfiction, poetry, and art that celebrates the delicate point where gritty urban life and art intersect.” Now the press aims to bring that mission to a larger audience with help from a new distributor. Finalized late last year, a deal with Consortium has allowed Curbside Splendor to expand. “We’ve gone from being a basement press releasing a couple of books a year without distribution to a fully functioning trade indie publisher,” says founder and publisher Victor David Giron. Utilizing their new partnership, the press will release two novels in April: The Old Neighborhood, the story of a family torn apart by gang violence in Chicago, by Bill Hillmann; and Let Go and Go On and On, a fictitious biography of cult film actress Laurie Bird, by Tim Kinsella. Curbside Splendor also publishes titles under three additional imprints: Concepción Books puts out work in English and Spanish; Dark House Press focuses on innovative genre fiction; and Artifice Books, which publishes experimental poetry, prose, and visual art, is an extension of the journal of the same name, one of four that the press offers. While Dark House is currently closed to submissions, Curbside Splendor and its other imprints consider poetry, fiction, and creative nonfiction year-round through Submittable. “We prefer query letters,” says Giron, “but we don’t necessarily dismiss a submission if the whole manuscript is also sent. You just stand a better chance with a solid, professional pitch.” To celebrate the press’s involvement in Chicago’s arts and music scene, Curbside Splendor is also assembling a collection of short narratives, artwork, and photography dedicated to the Empty Bottle, a Chicago bar and music venue; the book will appear in the fall of 2015, and writers are invited to submit personal essays about the bar through the end of May.
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