Small Press Points: Forest Avenue Press

From the January/February 2016 issue of
Poets & Writers Magazine

There’s a classic quality, perhaps even a primness, to our catalogue,” says Laura Stanfill, publisher of the Portland, Oregon–based Forest Avenue Press  ( “Our authors use language and story in beautiful and occasionally whimsical ways to delve into hard subjects, propelled not so much by outrage or despair as by a desire to investigate a subject and to bear witness.” A quick tour through the fiction publisher’s list illustrates Stanfill’s point. There’s poet Kate Gray’s novel, Carry the Sky, which follows teachers and students coping with the pressures and isolations of a prep school in Delaware; Dan Berne’s novel, The Gods of Second Chances, about an Alaskan fisherman and his relationships with his granddaughter and estranged daughter, who has returned from prison; and Ellen Urbani’s novel Landfall, about two teenagers living in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. Established in 2012, the press only publishes one to three titles a year, in part to give authors what Stanfill calls “the boutique experience.” Forthcoming titles include Robert Hill’s second novel, The Remnants (March 2016), and Jamie Duclos-Yourdon’s debut novel, Froelich’s Ladder (August 2016). The press is open to unagented submissions during the months of January and February; writers should submit the first fifty pages of a novel manuscript via Submittable. There is no reading fee. “A number of our upcoming releases have fabulist components, so during this submission period we’re hoping to find some grounded, realistic fiction,” says Stanfill. “We love plot and imagination-fueled writing; obscure or experimental works aren’t a fit for us.”