The EWU Press, Eastern’s literary publishing house,continues its twelfth year of operation this fall. Revitalized in1992 by James McAuley and Robert Herold from what had been a”moribund and rudderless publisher of academicpamphlets,” to a now respectable, financially stable literarypress, the Press has a backlist of 44 titles, nine being added thisyear.
“This has always been a literary press,” saidJennifer Reid, assistant managing editor. “(We are) moreconcerned with putting quality literature out into theworld.”
The mission of the EWU Press is to “serve the publishingneeds of the Northwest in those fields not adequately served”and to publish high-quality works with a national and internationalreadership, publishing works which reflect the”cross-disciplinary and multi-cultural orientation of theuniversity.” The EWU Press also provides graduate studentsthe opportunity to learn about and gain experience inpublishing.
The Press, which has no real ties to Willow Springs,Eastern’s literary journal, publishes an average of eightbooks a year, focusing mainly on poetry, due to the smaller, moreexact market. Business is running strong, with seven possiblepublications already planned for this next spring. In the past fouryears, the staff has grown from two full-time employees to six,including two graduate student interns, with a nationwide searchfor a director to be conducted next year.
Although the Press receives about two or three unsolicitedmanuscripts daily from authors nationwide, “of those maybeone or two have been published in the history of the EWUPress,” Reid said. Nearly all of the books the Presspublishes are by returning authors whose work is known by thestaff, including three EWU professors: Christopher Howell,professor in the Creative Writing Department; Dr. Perry Higman,Spanish instructor and director of the University Honors Program;and John Keeble, also in the Creative Writing Department.
Manuscripts pass through a rigorous gauntlet of editors. Internsscreen all manuscripts twice, passing it to the senior editor ifapproved, who then gives it to an outside professional reader. Thenit is passed back where the staff decides on its possiblepublication.
Books published by the EWU Press are sold at bookstoresnationwide, including local retailers such as Auntie’sBookstore and local branches of book giants Borders and Barnes& Noble. They also sell at trade shows and directly to thepublic. To order from the EWU Press, or for submission information,call 509-623-4286, or visit online ewupress.ewu.edu.