Wednesday, September 13, 2006

New Literary Project: Dzanc Books

Yesterday I received an e-mail from the ever-energetic Dan Wickett (founder of the Emerging Writers Network) announcing that he and author Steve Gillis (founder of 826michigan) are launching Dzanc Books, a not-for-profit literary venture.

From the press release:

Dzanc Books is a 501(c)3 organization set up to operate exclusively for charitable, literary, and educational purposes. Our mission at Dzanc is 3-pronged: To assist literary journals in reaching the largest reader base possible; to develop educational programs within the schools in the areas of reading and writing; and, beginning in 2007, to publish two excellent works of literary fiction per year.

As Publishers, Dzanc's mission is to provide a home for some of the amazing, talented authors out there. Both Steve and Dan are intimately aware of the current state of publishing, which finds well-intended presses unable to offer their authors the necessary editorial or marketing support, particularly when a manuscript doesn't fit neatly into a clear market. We at Dzanc have no such fears. If the manuscript is excellent, we will provide editing guidance and do whatever it takes to find the audience a work deserves. We aren't concerned about a Dzanc book falling into some special niche to market towards as our strategy is far more expansive. Everyone at Dzanc is well connected and aligned with editors, distributors and public relations folks who have years of experience working with literary fiction on a national scale. While Dzanc operates as a non-profit, our authors will receive full payment just as any for profit house. More about submitting can be found at

Beyond publishing, Dzanc Books will assist literary journals with the promotion of their publications. Dzanc Books believes literary journals constitute an invaluable venue for authors to gain exposure for their work. With this in mind, Dzanc plans to provide financial and networking aid in order to assist literary journals in their subscriptions, distribution, fundraising, and overall exposure to the reading community. Dzanc has no interest in influencing any of the editorial decisions of these literary journals. We only want to help journals succeed in achieving their missions, and hopefully relieve some of the stresses that go with doing so. All of our services to literary journals are 100% free, provided as part of our ongoing commitment to bring greater exposure of fantastic writing to the public.

Third, it is the mindset of Dzanc Books that bringing literary fiction into the schools is extremely important. We plan on developing workshops and Writer-in-Residency programs in middle and high schools - having an author spend weekly class time with students throughout an entire school year, teaching and developing their creative writing talents, with the end result being a self-contained anthology. Dzanc Books also plans on furthering current relationships with college professors in order to get literary journals taught at that level, as well as continuing to develop partnerships with some of the wonderful programs currently operating in the schools. While located in Michigan, it is Dzanc's ambition to extend its educational outreach to other schools who wish to participate. As with our other programs, author workshops and Writer-in-Residency programs are 100% free.

Dzanc Books is a culmination of a dream Dan and Steve have had for some time. It is the vision of Dzanc to do all it can to assist writers, journals, and students to continue to experience literature on the highest scale. We are a well-organized, fully-funded and well-oiled machine and we look forward to working with all of you in the future.

Thanks, Dan and Steve!

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