It’s Release Day! (Prizes, Prizes, Prizes…)

The cover of Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life was created by the fabulously talented Gigi Little, whose essay “Mentor” appears in the collection.

Hurray, hurray, it’s release day! To celebrate, this post is the official unveiling of the cover designed by Gigi Little. Isn’t it amazing?

Brave on the Page: Oregon Writers on Craft and the Creative Life, $14, 200 pages, is available now at the downtown Portland Powell’s Books (in the purple room), at an Espresso Book Machine near you (check the hours of operation before going), or online at ondemandbooks.comBrave on the Page is being released by Forest Avenue Press, a small independent publishing house in Portland, Oregon. I’m the founder of the press and the editor of this collection.

The book features interviews and essays by forty-two Oregon writers, including Lauren Kessler, Bart King, Gina Ochsner, Scott Sparling, Kristy Athens, Yuvi Zalkow, Jon Bell, Kim Cooper Findling, Matt Love and many more.

Although I’m launching the Seven Questions Series of writing books with an Oregon-specific volume, it’s really a universal look at the craft, including behind-the-scenes publication stories and advice on many writing-related topics.

There are essays on where characters come from, using overheard dialogue in fiction, faking errands to get a kiddo to fall asleep (and thus earning writing-in-the-car time), how movement generates ideas, not to mention an ode to writing implements and a poem about “the Write Life.” I envision this book on a shelf of writing craft books in New York, or Texas, or wherever you live. It’s about authors in different stages of their careers, and why we summon the courage to face the blank page when we could be doing so many other things. And investigating that drive, that impulse to create, is what makes this book universal.

Onward to prizes!

This is my mom, holding Brave on the Page at Politics and Prose in Washington, D.C.

If you live near an Espresso Book Machine, other than the one at Powell’s, and if you go there to get your copy of Brave on the Page made to order, please send me a photo! It can be of you and the book, or the book and the machine, or your local Espresso staff member holding the book. Or your mom holding the book (hi, mom!). As long as Brave on the Page is in the picture, and you send me caption information (who and where you are), and you are okay with me posting the picture here (or on the Forest Avenue Press blog), you are a guaranteed winner of a three-page critique by me. I’d be thrilled to read a piece of a story or a novel or whatever you want to send. I’ll do them as fast as I can, but remember to be patient, because I’m only one person. You can send the photos to laurastanfill at hotmail dot com. And remember to include the caption information. I’m especially interested in which machine you visit! Once I get your photo I’ll send specific instructions for the critique prize.

Sorry, Portland residents. This critique giveaway is only open to out-of-towners as an incentive for them to find and use their local Espresso Book Machines. But if you want to go to Seattle to check out the machine at University Bookstore, I’d be happy to read three pages of your work!

Now–more prizes! Here’s what you can win just for commenting on this post. I’m giving away a copy of Scott Sparling’s novel, Wire to Wire, published by Tin House in 2011, and a copy of Yuvi Zalkow’s novel, A Brilliant Novel in the Works, published by MP Publishing in August 2012. The third prize, if you prefer, is the cassette tape of mid-’90s synthesizer music my would-be employers sent me when they were supposed to send my (earnest, heartfelt) high school flute tape back. If you missed it, the full story on that odd relic is here.

All you have to do is comment on this post by Friday, October 12, at 5 p.m. West Coast time for a chance to win. If you link to this post from your blog, or leave a comment saying you promoted it on Facebook and/or Twitter, those will count as additional entries. I’ll draw one winner, who will get to choose one of the prizes. I’ll draw a second winner if we have comments from 30 people or more (so not 30 comments, but comments from 30 different people). I’ll draw a third winner if we have more than 80 people comment.

If you want to stay updated about Brave on the Page, consider following my new blog, I’ll be posting there regularly with book news, photos and details on the future of Forest Avenue Press.

Questions? Thoughts? Have you published a book, and if so, how did you celebrate? Any advice for me?


About Laura Stanfill

Publisher, Forest Avenue Press
This entry was posted in Books, Community, Espresso Book Machine, Reading, Writing and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

60 Responses to It’s Release Day! (Prizes, Prizes, Prizes…)

  1. annewoodman says:

    Congratulations, Laura!

    • Thanks, Anne! It’s so exciting to have the book out in the world after these months of coordinating with authors, making decisions, editing and doing page layout. It’s now real. Hurray!

  2. Pingback: Brave on the Page — yuvi zalkow

  3. 4amWriter says:

    What a great idea this is to promote sales and generate attention to your book! I haven’t looked to see if I’m anywhere near a machine, but I will. I told my mom-in-law about this, and she got all excited. She loves watching things at work. 🙂 Good luck with your marketing and sales and, of course, your press! Such an exciting time for you, Laura.

    • 4amWriter says:

      Just to let you know, I promoted this on FB, Twitter, and linked this to my blog. I’ll be excited to hear how your sales go. 🙂

    • Thanks, Kate! I love the fact that this technology is still relatively new, and that more machines are planned for various parts of the country. I hope there’s one near you! There is one at the Northshire Bookstore, because my aunt and uncle live near there, and a friend from upstate New York goes there regularly.

      And thanks again for hosting me! It was great fun to sit down and write about bravery, and your audience is always so thoughtful in terms of commenting.

      • 4amWriter says:

        I have to agree–I have a wonderful audience. I’m really proud of my peeps. 🙂

        And they certainly enjoyed reading your post. The conversation was great!

  4. Liz says:

    Well done, Laura. Very well done. i have just posted a link at my blog:

    • Thanks so much, Liz! I’ll be posting everybody’s coverage over at, one at a time, as I can get to them. If you want to send me a photo of you, or a Pocket Shrink image of some sort, I’ll post that with your link!

  5. Pingback: Being Brave as Writers « 4amWriter

  6. Well done – I wish you all the best.

  7. limebirdbeth says:

    Congratulations! 🙂

  8. Nice cover… Congratulations Laura!
    I posted it on twitter and Facebook… Good luck and breakout the bubbly. xx

    • Thanks, Maggie! Gigi is a great designer, and she did a wonderful job reflecting the personality of this writing craft book through images.

      Bubbly? Sounds like a good idea! So far I am celebrating by going to my dentist appointment. Amazing to realize that six months ago I didn’t have an inkling that I’d be putting together a collection of author thoughts and having a launch day.

  9. Emma says:

    The cover is looking good, Laura. It will probably take awhile for those espresso machines to make it across the pond.

    • They’re actually international, Emma! There’s one Espresso Book Machine in London and there are two in the Netherlands. I’m not sure if the plans to launch another 40 by the end of 2012 include more international locations, or if that’s just America, but it’s worth keeping tabs on. It’s a great option for getting well-made print books into the hands of readers around the world. I chose this method due to the distribution opportunities.

      • Emma says:

        I will keep an eye out for them coming to Ireland. I’d be interested in using them for my own work too.
        Best of luck anyway.

        • Feel free to ask me questions if you do get one locally. I feel like I’m pushing the envelope with launching a press around Espresso machines, and I’m getting a lot of questions answered from the helpful staff. It’s really an exciting time for publishers!

  10. Liz Prato says:

    Whoo-hoo! I posted on FB just now.

  11. Woot and great new, Laura !! I don’t have a book machine near where I live in Florida. I will post your link to my Facebook page in case any of my readers have one hear where they live. Enjoy the moment 🙂

    • Thanks, Florence! It looks like that part of the country is underpopulated with Espresso Machines… but the company is expected to unveil another 40 by the end of the year. I’ll let you know if I find out there’s a Florida one, or if you need some writerly inspiration ASAP, you can always order online!

  12. Gypsy says:

    Very exciting! Lots of good folks in there. Time to head to Powell’s. And give Liz another point, because I wouldn’t have known about this without her Facebook post 🙂

    • Will do, Gypsy! Thanks so much for stopping by. Liz is amazing, isn’t she? Her interview includes info about how she became such a force in the local writing community, and I really respect her ability to connect with so many folks–as well as her writing talent, obviously!

  13. Yuvi says:

    Congratulations, Laura! This is sooooo fabulous. I just posted about it on my blog and on that facebooky thingy! Can’t wait to see you tomorrow at noon…

  14. Hey, congratulations! I hope to get my copy today.

    • Well, or tomorrow… Sometimes, as Anthony found out this weekend, it might be best to call ahead to make sure the Espresso Book Machine is open for business. If the bookstore or library is open, that doesn’t necessarily mean the machine is being staffed during the same hours. Portland’s, for instance, is temporarily closed on Sundays.

      • Well, i finally got it! I’ve already read quite a few of the flash essays. I may do a whole blog post where I respond to things people wrote in the flash essays.

        • laurastanfill says:

          Whoo hoo! That sounds like an amazing idea, Anthony.

          I am going to do a post at some point on how I organized the essays, because that was one of the fun challenges of this project. I think of the subject groupings as micro chapters.

  15. onmounthood says:

    Congrats, Laura! Looking forward to seeing it now that it’s in the world. Thanks again for letting me be part of it!

    • Thank you so much, Jon, for jumping in and participating near the end of this project. I look forward to posting your interview here in the next week or two so everybody can read it. Your insights about writing, freelancing and the iconic Mount Hood are a great addition to the book.

  16. Congratulations!! The cover looks amazing!! 🙂

    • Thanks, Emerald! Yes, Gigi is awesome. She did such a great job–and that was after one short conversations about the contents and color and whatnot. I love my Forest Avenue Press logo, which she designed, too.

  17. Kecia Adams says:

    Congrats on your release day, Laura! Such a great project. I will have to search out an Espresso Book Machine (I think closest for me is DC). Kudos.

    • Thanks, Kecia! Hurray for Politics and Prose. That’s where my parents picked up their copy. I hope you enjoy watching one print, and I’d love to hear your thoughts about the experience! (And remember to take some photos!)

  18. jmmcdowell says:

    Congratulations on the launch, and that is truly a great, eye-catching cover! Looks like there’s an Espresso Machine just down the road in DC!

    • laurastanfill says:

      Oh awesome! My parents went to Politics and Prose to get theirs, and they said the staff was super friendly. My parents called ahead with their time of arrival to make sure the glue was warmed up, and that worked really well. I guess turnaround time depends on the store; a New York store promises books within 48 hours, I just heard, where at Powell’s we can just walk in and order and get the book made (most of the time). I expect as they’re printing my big order of copies there will be someone who wants to print something but has to wait or come back later.

      I hope you go and take pictures so I have the opportunity to read a few of your pages, jm!

  19. Tracy Stepp says:

    Soooo excited for you, Miss Laura! The literary talent on display in this book (including your own!), is fantastic! We are lucky to have you in Portland 🙂
    I’ll post the link on my FB page later this evening … I’ll also do my best to get to Powell’s tomorrow for your noon non-launch!!
    Woo hoo, congrats again!!

    • Oh thank you, Tracy! I feel like I’m the caretaker of this special body of work. All these authors trusted me with their thoughts about writing, and combined, these 42 pieces create something far bigger in scope and far more beautiful than anything I could have imagined or created on my own. The contributors are the real stars of this project! It was my honor to put it together.

  20. jerushajones says:

    Congratulations, Laura! This is so exciting! Will you be celebrating at Wordstock this weekend, too? Would love to stop by if you have a booth and say hi.

    • laurastanfill says:

      Absolutely! I was too late to get my own booth, but I’m going to hang out at the Espresso Book Machine booth inside the Powell’s Marketplace from 10-1 both days.

      I’d love to see you there!

  21. char says:

    Congrats! That’s a great looking cover, and the meat inside sounds delicious as well.

    • It is quite yummy, Char! I had so much fun reading (and rereading) and organizing (and reorganizing) the hors d’oeuvres, the main course and the dessert. At some point I’ll post pictures of the tiny pieces of paper I moved around and around, trying to decide which essay went where and which interview went where. So fun!

  22. Debra Kristi says:

    Wow! The day is finally here. Hard to believe, isn’t it? It looks fabulous, Laura! Congratulations.

  23. Pingback: Partying in Portland! | Laura Stanfill

  24. Emma Burcart says:

    Woot woot! I got my copy! And a picture I’m going to email you. It was totally worth the wait. 🙂

  25. Emma Burcart says:

    Oh, and I blogged about it, facebooked it, and tweeted a link. I hope that puts me in the running for the tape of bad wedding music! 🙂

  26. Pingback: Your Chance to Learn from Scott Sparling | Forest Avenue Press

  27. congratulations, laura. this is so exciting! and it really is a beautiful cover. i look forward to having my own copy soon.

  28. Thanks to everyone who commented and promoted the launch of Brave on the Page! The two winners are onmounthood and Tracy Stepp! Congrats, you two. I’ll contact you shortly.

  29. gigi little says:

    Gal, you are a class act. Nice work all around!

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