Autumn House Press is pretty well known, especially in the Pennsylvania area since the press is local to Pennsylvania. But it has reached further than PA, it is known throughout New York since is publishes a fair amount of poets and writers local to New York. It also seems to have a decent fan base in more New England areas like Boston.
Autumn House Press was started in 1998 by a Micheal Simms, a poet who noticed that poetry wasn’t getting the attention it deserved in the literary world. Frustrated by this lack of attention on poets, especially young poets Micheal decided to start his own press. For a brief time Autumn House only expected poetry, but that trend soon died when the press grew in popularity. Soon the press started expecting pieces ranging from poetry to fiction and non fiction, a trend it still keeps to this day. The goal of Autumn House Press is to publish young and new writers who do not get much attention from the more “commercial publishers.” As said by Assistant Editor Christine Stroud, Autumn House has two full time editors Christine Stroud and Giulianna Certo, both hold an MFA in Creative Writing, and a BA in English Literature. The creator of the press Micheal Simms is the author of five collections of poetry, and both the editors have been published in some larger name literary magazines, like Ninth Letters and The John Carrol Review.
The press strives to publish those who they feel are the next writers to make a splash in the literary world. A goal of Autumn House Press is to become more of a classroom resource for those studying Creative Writing. In an effort to reach that goal Autumn House selects works pf prose and poetry that not only stand out on the paper, but tend to have some visual aspects as well. By doing this Autumn House creates a unique grounding for themselves in the literary world, they strive to make the actual books of manuscripts they have selected match the contents of the work as best they can. But they also do this in a cost efficient way so that way they keep the overall price of the pieces down so they are easily affordable to the masses.
Although Autumn House enjoyed work with unique form they do encourage and accept pieces with more traditional form.
Autumn House runs a yearly chapbook contest, in which they accept submissions of poetry as well as fiction and prose. These works are read by a group of judges who have been previously published by Autumn House, then a selection is made. There are separate submissions for each caterory, a book is produced from each genre. What the judges look for in these submissions are works that can stand the test of time, will they be relatent after publication, will this be useful as a tool to fellow writers? These contest is a huge deal because Autumn House has gained a rather large following, that has a lot to do with the amazing work produced as well as the events they host on an almost regular basis. The winners of the chapbook contest are rewarded with, 1,000 advance in royalties, as well as 1,500 grant to cover travel expenses to promote their book. Autumn House has the author play a role in the promotion of the book because it gives the writer a chance to explore how they describe and convey their writings. It also gives audiences a chance to meet and connect with the author on a more person level. Autumn House is one of the few presses that still accept paper submissions, as well as digital submissions.
Autumn House is not only an awesome press that seeks to publish new and unique wirters but it also serves to be a more commonly used tool in the classroom setting. Another way Autumn House tried to fill the gaps in the writing community is by hosting events every so often. These events range in topics from readings by the contest winners, to lectures on writing and building the writers tool belt. All these events are clearly shown on the Autumn House website, with the location of the event as well as contact information for those in need of any addition information. All in all Autumn House seems like an awesome press that I am thinking of submitting too. They look to connect young writers with publications as well as serve as a tool for young writers to grow connect and understand.