Courtesy of the New York Public Library

Dec. 22nd, 2020 marks one year since I married my husband — a feat which I felt certain until the very moment that it happened that I would never accomplish.

I have always had a skeptical view of marriage and relationships, driven largely by the poor example I grew up witnessing and the instability my parents’ respective undoing had on my family and my childhood. Marriage never seemed like a beautiful lifelong journey you embark on with a partner, but rather a thing you were supposed to do — like going to college, buying a home, or having kids. …

Photo by Nick Fewings on Unsplash

If more than half a decade in small press publishing has taught me anything, it’s that not all writers have a natural knack or intuition for marketing their books. Aside from a few self-marketing savants I’ve worked with, that’s pretty par for the course.

And that’s OK — provided the author has the resources they need (read: people and money). But, if you’re a small press or independent author, chances are both of those things are in tight supply, which means, quite simply, it’s time to get busy.

This list offers a fundamental strategy for enhancing your sales and ensuring…

Photo by Patrick Fore, courtesy of Unsplash

As writers, we often develop a laser focus on our stories. Whether you’re a devoted children’s book author, the queen of Young Adult (YA) literature, or a murder mystery maven, it’s easy to get hung up on the story you want to tell. But to focus solely on the storytelling at hand is to lose the forest for the trees — a dangerous mistake in the world of small press and independent publishing, for it’s the forest, not the trees, which will largely dictate your success as an author.

In 2019, there were roughly 45,000 authors living and publishing in…

Photo courtesy of Jorge Alcala, Unsplash.

“If you don’t like it, then why don’t you just leave?”

It’s a phrase we’ve all heard before, once uttered by elementary school children, and now the rallying response of the conservative American right.

It was only weeks ago — during a moderately heated back-and-forth that began with the United States’ impending election — that a family member first volleyed this retort in my direction.

“If you aren’t proud to be an American,” she snapped, “then maybe you should leave.”

The Privilege of Leaving

At its origins, the “just leave” rejoinder is problematic on many levels — not the least of which is the…

This week marked eight weeks since my job became 100 percent remote. That’s 56 days, 1,344 hours, and two month’s worth of hives since I stopped looking forward to my next vacation and started looking forward to the next trip to the grocery store.

Friday, March 13th

It’s the last day in the office. No one wears masks, we don’t stand six feet apart. We don’t even know what social distancing really means. But we have been washing our hands emphatically.

Leaving the office — my second monitor, wireless keyboard, and trackpad pressed to my chest — I decide to avoid Metro in…

Amid a pandemic — and the mothering of two young boys in a time of social distance — Megan releases her fourth collection of poetry, Before the Fevered Snow. What’s it like to publish a book in times of quarantine? Megan shares her thoughts on that and so much more in this interview with the poet.

To hear Megan read from her collection, tune in Saturday, April 4th at 2pm EST for Stillhouse Press’ first-ever virtual book tour, “Readings from the Field,” featuring Megan and three other talented small press writers with recently released or forthcoming titles.

Moonshine Murmurs: Can you speak a bit to the experience of publishing amid a global pandemic?

Megan Merchant: In…

The Mosel River in Germany

“Have you seen the movie SOMM?”

As a sommelier, I get this question invariably once a week.

The answer is no, I have not.

To which some variation on “Oh, you definitely should. You would love it,” usually follows.

We have been hearing it for the better part of a decade now: The national birth rate is falling and it’s a total doomsday scenario.

The Centers for Disease Control released its National Vital Statistics report in early January and, for the third year in a row, the general fertility rate (GFR) has dropped again. According to the report, the GFR has decreased 3 percent since 2016, hitting a 30-year record low.

It’s the millennials. [Insert blame here].

We are nothing like our parents. We change jobs more frequently — often several times during our most productive working lives —marry…

Photo by NordWood Themes on Unsplash

From the minute details recounted on our Facebook pages to our Instagram “stories,” 240-character laments, and Pinterest-inspired DIY needlepoints, for younger generations, the digital narrative has existed for much of our lifetime.

Social media is woven into the social fabric of our lives. We created it, grew it, and [in]advertently developed a culture around it. And, as it has grown and morphed into a daily fixation, we have also adapted it to fit our needs, sharing mundane, thrilling, and sometimes profoundly personal experiences in a much more public way than the generations before us.

Author of the new grief memoir, Dragonfly Notes: On Distance and Loss

By Sean van der Heijden

Anne Panning is the author of a bold and brilliant memoir out today from Stillhouse Press. Dragonfly Notes: On Distance and Loss dives deep into the sudden loss of her mother, becoming a moving portrait of loss, love, and what it means to be a family. I sat down with Anne to talk about her writing process, what dragonflies mean to her, and more.

Sean van der Heijden: There are so many signs throughout the book that seem to be from your mother…

Meghan McNamara

She/Her. @StillhousePress founding editor, marketing maven, creative writer, book fiend, kitty lover, ardent traveler, sommelier, yogi socialist.

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