As the founding editor of the Cincinnati Review, Nicola Mason has a strong track record of spotting talented writers early in their careers. Under her leadership the review published the early work of fiction writers Caitlin Horrocks and Jamie Quatro and poets Jill Osier and Mai Der Vang. As Mason explained to Cincinnati magazine in June, after watching these writers and other contributors go on to win prestigious prizes and publish books, she thought, “We’re becoming talent scouts for everyone else; why can’t we become talent scouts for ourselves?”
So in 2017 Mason founded Acre Books, an imprint of the University of Cincinnati Press, where, along with poetry series editor Lisa Ampleman, she publishes two poetry collections, two novels, and two story collections each year. The press also welcomes hybrid forms. “I’ve always felt the boundaries separating genres and disciplines to be artificial,” says Mason. “Why shake one’s finger at innovation?” Mason also hopes to publish literary nonfiction but hasn’t yet found a book that’s the right fit. “I find a lot of creative nonfiction has an ‘all about me’ quality,” she says. “We want work that is grounded in self but that travels beyond it.” In October, Acre will publish Faylita Hicks’s poetry debut, HoodWitch, which Mason describes as “an absolute knockout full of power, pain, beauty, and magick.” Submissions in all genres are open via the press’s website; writers should include a brief description of the manuscript and ten sample pages. There is no reading fee.