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#MainStreetWriters Founder Honored by Publishers Weekly

The award is called PW Star Watch and Laura Stanfill, publisher of Forest Avenue Press, was one of the honorees… Laura Stanfill - Publisher

Laura is also the founder of a Movement I’ve done many posts about—the most comprehensive one is, Main Street Writers Movement ~~~ for: “Everyone who wishes more people were reading and talking about literature.“

Main Street Writers Movement When she was honored, Publishers Weekly said:

“Just over five years ago, Stanfill launched Forest Avenue Press, a publisher dedicated to showcasing Oregon talent on their own turf. Its inaugural release, ‘Brave on the Page’, a collection of essays from some of the Pacific Northwest’s top writers, landed on Powell’s bookstore staff’s top five list and was named Book of the Year by the bookseller as well. Each of Stanfill’s subsequent four books landed on regional bestseller lists.

“When Stanfill acquired ‘Landfall’ by Ellen Urbani, the author envisioned more than a regional reach for her book. At the same time Stanfill wanted to expand her business on the national stage. Their goals aligned to the benefit of both. Stanfill signed a contract with Legato, a division of PGW/Perseus and published ‘Landfall’ just ahead of the 10th anniversary of Hurricane Katrina—Aug. 29, 2015—the setting of the novel. The goal was handily achieved.”

That excerpt is from the article at the link up there that says, PW Star Watch; and, Laura said this about it:

“…the PW article…talks about me as if my achievement of distribution for Forest Avenue was the big reason I got chosen. I’m pretty sure it had everything to do with community building and the work we’ve been doing for five years… because all the presses there had distribution so that certainly didn’t set me apart. And yet, I’ll take it. An industry award, being recognized at our five year anniversary, and getting to go to New York to celebrate with industry members and friends? A dream come true. I’m still starry-eyed.”

And, here’s the Forest Avenue Press article that last excerpt is from…

I’ve been in e-mail communication with Laura since February and can promise a number of future posts about her Movement, which should interest the following folks:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

Finally, here are all my posts about Main Street Writers Movement.
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Interview with a Most Talented and Enterprising Publisher

Do you know this woman? Laura Stanfill

More than likely not, unless you’re a regular reader of this blog; or, you’re involved in the literary scene in Oregon, U.S.A.; or, perhaps, you’ve bought something from Forest Avenue Press

However, more folks could soon know her since she’s been nominated for Publishers Weekly Star Watch, which was created “…to identify and celebrate members of the U.S. publishing community who are on the rise and bring recognition to them on a global stage.”

Some of you who follow this blog may remember that she founded the Main Street Writers Movement

And, I’m happy to say there is a new interview with—drum roll—spotlight onLaura Stanfill !

The interview was conducted by Edwin L. Battistella—instructor of linguistics and writing at Southern Oregon University—author of six books and over fifty academic articles. He “…is on the editorial board of The Oregon Encyclopedia, and the Executive Committee of the Linguistic Society of America. He is the co-editor-in-chief of the Wiley-Blackwell journal Language and Linguistics Compass.” He also “…contributes a monthly blog to Oxford University Press, called Between the Lines with Edwin Battistella.”

As is my usual plan, I’ll share a few excerpts and encourage you to read the Full Interview

As part of her relating what she’s learned in publishing, Laura said:

“I spent two years selling books out of the back of my car—and toting boxes to bookstores for consignment—before signing with Legato Publishers Group…We have sales conferences and reps that sell our books across the U.S., which makes our marketing and publicity efforts even more crucial, because the risk is higher. But the potential reward is higher, too.”

While discussing her choice of Portland, Oregon for her business, she said:

“We…have incredibly dedicated booksellers who write excellent shelf talkers and hand-sell local titles to browsers. When I showed up as a new publisher, I found friends and allies in the indie bookstore world because I had been buying books and attending events for a decade. My mission with Forest Avenue was to urge in-person conversations about literature, so I created an events-based marketing plan that I still use today. My whole business model is centered on independent bookstores. I support bookstores; bookstores support our authors. It sounds obvious, but it’s important. Essential.”

When asked about Main Street Writers Movement, she said:

“It’s a movement geared to encouraging writers to build community at the local level by supporting each other, their indie bookstores, and local presses and magazines. If we can create these invested hubs of community goodness, then the whole national literary ecosystem will become stronger. And touring writers will be able to activate Main Street communities in the places they travel….We use #mainstreetwriters as our hashtag to help members find each other.”

Here’s where you can read more about or join Main Street Writers Movement

Again, I encourage you to read the Full Interview; but, here’s a final excerpt to help you decide to go over there :-)

When asked what she looks for in an author, Laura said:

“I look for someone who has been actively building community, because it’s really hard to sell books by authors who are only invested in promoting their own work. Debut authors are a favorite, because so many of them have spent years honing their craft, and it’s a huge honor to launch an author’s first title.

“I love working with authors who have a strong sense of their own craft and want to work together with our team to get the book to reach its full potential. That kind of collaborative spirit is essential.”

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News about the #MainStreetWriters Movement

I must begin this post with a “Prologue” <— something actually hated by some writers
Main Street Writers Movement

If you get bored at any point in this prologue, just scroll down to And, Now The News

You see, this blog has way more visitors from Google searches than from folks who sign up to Follow it.

And, while I have a natural inclination to “favor” the folks who have opened a space in their digital life that let’s this blog in, I also “favor” folks who just happen to drop by because the words they put in Google search happen to be what I’ve used as Tags in my posts.

So, many days, I sit here and weigh the “relative” “value” of speaking to the “fans” or speaking to the “most-welcome-visitors”…

Yep, I just used a bunch of quoted words and I have to, because I don’t “favor” anyone who might read my blog posts—that would be kind of like favoring your family but telling all others they must obey the family “rules”; or, favoring all visitors at the expense of family…

All these words to say something I’ve said multiple times here with must less fanfare…

I tag my posts with keywords that “describe” the contents (somewhat…).

And, for the sake of “posterity” I have a Top Tags widget down a ways in the left side-bar (hang on dear subscribed family and thank you for your infinite patience...)

That Top Tags widget could also be called a Tag Cloud—basically a place to see keywords that guide you toward groups of posts that have some “similarity”—tags with larger font having more posts in the collection…

Some folks might even call the Top Tags widget a Research Tool—there are now more than 2,300 posts on this blog, all tagged and grouped in that widget

O.K., almost done with the dreaded Prologue…

This post will be tagged with “Main Street Writers Movement” and this post will now also refer folks to the Tag “Main Street Writers Movement“; plus, this post will be in that archive…

Yes, I know I may have lost some readers over that prologue; but, some of the family may have forgotten the “value” sitting in the Top Tags Widget; and, some visitors from Google search may become members of the family :-)

And, Now The News

Main Street Writers Movement, itself, may be news to some of you; so, here’s the elevator description:

“The Main Street Writers Movement urges experienced writers to strengthen the national literary ecosystem through passionate engagement at the local level. Let’s honor and amplify our communities’ underrepresented voices. Let’s buy from local bookstores and small presses. Let’s leave our houses and dance in the streets to the sound of each other’s words.”

And, here’s who should consider aligning with this new Movement:

“Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

I do hope you’ll explore all the posts about Main Street Writers Movement; but, if you like what this post has to say, you can Sign Up Here (No Cost)…

The enterprising novelist, award-winning journalist, editor, knitter, and Founder of MSWM is, Laura Stanfill, publisher of Forest Avenue Press.

Here are some of Laura’s comments from a recent email conversation… Main Street Writers Movement

On her current schedule:

“I’ve been quiet on Twitter lately, and summers are always a mish-mosh of trying to get things done between kid camp hours. I’m determined to have a summer with my kids this time instead of working through it while they play…. And I’m revising my own novel for an agent—very exciting but I’m doing my best to balance everything…. Main Street is still cooking but I think the next big push will be this fall.”

And, about the monthly MSWM Newsletter:

“A newsletter is coming out this week; it’s written, I just need to click send.”

About a major article that will soon appear:

“The next Main Street article will be in the Independent Book Publishers Association magazine… I’m really excited because it’s the first piece of publicity that came organically from the movement, instead of me sending out information.”

Main Street Writers Movement Then, there’s what she’s going to be doing, In Person, to spread the Movement:

“The next tradeshow I’ll do where I am actively signing people up will be the Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association in October—all booksellers and librarians, but they totally fit our mission—and then Wordstock in November. I expect good boosts of numbers and visibility at both of those festivals.”

Finally, there are some details of what’s happening with an upcoming Major Video Interview:

“He has the footage back from the videographers now but wants to add “B roll” of filming here in Portland, with a few other editors and authors, before he turns it into a viewable mini documentary. I think it’s going to be amazing. His questions were great. He’s doing a series of these—one with a bookseller, one with a publisher (me), and one with a reading series/literary magazine collective.”


Stay Tuned for more News about #MainStreetWriters and, in the meantime, Consider Signing Up
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#MainStreetWriters Founded by Persevering Publisher

This is my seventh post about the Main Street Writers Movement <— that link goes to the main post with All the details… 

Main Street Writers Movement

Click this Image to find out How to Join…

One quick and important quote from the Movement:

It’s for “writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

And, joining gets you the newsletter as well as, “…earning you access to literary community building tools, industry insights, and connections with #mainstreetwriters who are creating new opportunities in their cities.”

Laura Stanfill - Forest Avenue Press

Laura Stanfill – Forest Avenue Press

I’m going to share a bit from the second newsletter (yes, the Movement is new…); but, I thought a quote about the Founder, publisher Laura Stanfill, would let you know more about the impetus behind this phenomenon:

“…Laura Stanfill, defies natural law with her energy and presence at literary events, and seems able to balance (and savor) the beauties of business, motherhood and art…I’ve watched her take the women-powered Portland press to national distribution, each act of business done with sterling quality and panache.”

Leigh Anne Kranz


So, the second newsletter for MSWM had some sharing from this powerhouse publisher under the title, Who Recharges You? Who Catches You?:

“Main Street Writers Movement launched last month in Washington, D.C., during the annual Association of Writers & Writing Programs conference. When I returned to Portland, I crashed. Really hard….My freakout wasn’t much different than those really tough writing days when putting a few words together feels futile, when a project feels too complicated, too big, too risky.”

Then, after she talks about her friend who helped her recover, she says this:

“If I’m exhausted or doubtful or on deadline, and if I can’t mentor everyone who asks, it’s okay, because when Main Street Writers Movement launched last month, it stopped being exclusively mine. You’re here too. Lots of us are here. We have members in Michigan, Colorado, California, New York, North Carolina, Mississippi, Texas, Utah, Missouri, Maryland, Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio, Oregon, Washington, and London, and new members keep joining each week.”

She also says:

“I’m on the faculty of the Independent Book Publishers Association’s Publishing University, April 7-8, in Portland, Oregon, so come say hello if you’re in attendance!”

And, if you can’t go, you can still join Main Street Writers Movement :-)

Read more posts about Main Street Writers…
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#MainStreetWriters – Joining Together to Improve the Literary Landscape

Main Street Writers Movement

Click this Image to find out How to Join…

Since I published my first and the most complete post about the Main Street Writers Movement, I’ve begun my own little campaign in my own location—Akron, OH, USA—by emailing info to the local library’s Adult Services Librarian and receiving a very positive response. I’ll be calling local bookstores, writers’ groups, and publishers next.

Actually, I’m hoping I meet someone else during this process who’s also promoting the Movement :-)

I must share that MSWM is not just for writers; it’s for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”

So, when the founder of Main Street Writers Movement, Laura Stanfill, tweeted a link to a story in Oregon Coast Today, I knew I had to blog about it

The article was written by journalist and author, Lori Tobias, and here are a few excerpts:

“Today, for what might be the first time since Girl Scouts, I took a pledge. It involves the simple promise to join other writers in supporting each other. A given, right? Not necessarily.”

A critical comment about the lack of support when her novel was published:

“After Wander found a home, I was overwhelmed by the genuine happiness for me. But I was also sucker punched by those who claimed to share my joy, but soon bowed out of my life.”


“…when Laura Stanfill…mentioned she was forming the Main Street Writers Movement to encourage other writers to support each other, I got it. As a publisher and novelist herself, Stanfill has seen what can happen to writers when the community lets them down.”

And, about the potential of the Movement:

“Stanfill launched the movement barely a month ago, but already she’s seeing the impact. When a publisher and an author, both from Ann Arbor, separately contacted Stanfill, she connected them. They are now friends and supporters of each other’s work. She’s had people take the pledge from all over the country and even as far away as London…”

Then, Lori quotes Laura:

“What I want to do is encourage writers to celebrate each other and to honor each other’s successes and efforts, so we’re all stronger and less lonely. By talking about the market and sharing stories, writers start to feel better about themselves. We are better and happier when we are allies for each other.”

If you have any interest at all, do go read the full article; and, don’t forget, this Movement is for “Writers, readers, booksellers, publishers, editors, publicists, agents, and anyone who wants to participate in the literary conversation.”
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