Small Press Points

From the January/February 2010 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

For a fiction writer in the tricky position of attempting to place a piece of writing too long for a literary magazine and too short for a traditional book publisher, there are precious few options. Send it to One Story, Melville House Publishing, and maybe a handful of others, and hope online journal BlazeVOX in 2000, and four years later, the small press BlazeVOX Booksfor the best. But now there's a new home for the long story or novella: Madras Press. Founded last fall by Sumanth Prabhaker in Brookline, Massachusetts, the nonprofit press publishes individually bound stories and novellas in series of four 5 x 5–inch paperback originals. The inaugural series, published in December, includes Aimee Bender's The Third Elevator, Trinie Dalton's Sweet Tomb, Rebecca Lee's Bobcat, and Prabhaker's A Mere Pittance. In an effort to keep costs down (and the price of each book at six to eight dollars), Prabhaker didn't pursue commercial distribution; instead, he reached out to dozens of the largest independent booksellers about carrying the books, which are also available online. And proceeds from each title are given to a charity of the author's choice. The first list will benefit InsideOUT Writers, the Theodore Payne Foundation, River Keepers, and Helping Hands.