It began with a craving for a specific story…
I have wanted to start a small press for years. Anyone who has spent more than two seconds with me has inevitably heard about it.
I was once part of a small, start-up as a media intern, during which time I grew close to an incredibly talented group of writers. We went through tremendous pains together when the press folded, and I’ve not stopped envisioning a rebuild since.
There have been many chances along the way when I wondered, is this the right time? Do I have what it takes? But there would always be something that gave me pause. Whether it was strain in the planning team or my own personal development, there would come this moment where I felt like we were trying to induce labor on something that wasn’t ready to be born.
It’s not that I wanted perfection. I wanted a sense of peace, that good feeling that comes when things click into place, despite the stress of organizing something so ambitious.
Then I found it in Lizzie.
I think the key is that we weren’t trying. Lizzie and I had been Twitter pals for a while, occasionally exchanging DMs to discuss life as editors, bouncing questions and ideas off each other concerning our respective projects.
Till one day, I had a story craving. I’m a sucker for stories about writers. I love novels with author MCs who struggle to write, fit in, or process the journey of finally being published. I even like it when they have absurd details, like when a character gets a huge six-figure deal, immediately cashes it in, moves to New York, and lives the high life. (I hate to break it to you, but advances don’t work quite like that.)
I also love the warm feel-good emotion of the Chicken Soup for the Soul books. So, in a fever, I tweeted about how badly I wanted an anthology that featured indulgent stories for writers about writers.
Lizzie quickly commented, saying she’d dreamed of this project too. And so it was, after a sheer overload of shared enthusiasm and squealing voice messages, Cardigan Press came into this world.
Now, yes, Chicken Soup for the Writer’s Soul is a “thing.” Twice over, actually. But this is an opportunity for something current from our very own community. The debut of Cardigan Press is most importantly a debut for this anthology project and a long awaited chance for me and Lizzie to offer a publishing opportunity to the loads of people we have worked with and befriended through our editing careers.
No doubt, we want to see this project do well enough to support a second project and so on until we reach the point where we are stable enough to take subs for full novels and support our authors with advances. But we are also happy to live in this moment and slowly consider opportunities as they come.
In this sense, we’re a rather soft launch whose success directly depends upon your excitement and effort to participate. So please, consider submitting, follow us on our media, and tell everyone you know about us taking our first steps toward becoming your community press.
Co-owner and Editorial Co-Director