Small and Independent Presses

Many writers who have spent months, and even years, crafting their novel manuscript dream of having it turned into a New York Times Bestseller.  What writer wouldn’t dream of that? But the road to publication can be a hard, and sometimes a long one, fraught with many obstacles to that desired success. 

So how do writers get published?  For some, self-publishing is an option.  For others, submitting their manuscripts to agents is another.  And for those lucky enough to have their manuscripts land across the desk of one of the major publishing houses such as Random House or HarperCollins, this is another way to have that manuscript turned into a New York Times Bestseller. 

With the ever-changing landscape of the major publishing houses, many having to cut costs and lay off workers due this volatile economy, having a book published with them is even more difficult than in years past.  

Another consideration is the small or independent presses.  They are publishing quality books that can rival some of those of the major publishing houses. 

Listed below are some small and independent presses, located in the North Carolina area, that are publishing quality books and winning awards. 

Workman Publishing, Algonquin Books — This company is located in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and publishes literary fiction and nonfiction.  Some titles it has published are Water for Elephants (soon to be made into a movie) and #1 New York Times bestseller A Reliable Wife.  Read more information about Water for Elephants at this link: 

Press 53 — This small press is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  It publishes literary fiction, poetry, and nonfiction.  It also publishes novels, novellas, anthologies by local writers.  Each year the Press 53 Open Awards Contest is held.  The winners for the 2010 Press 53 Open Awards can be viewed here:

Main Street Rag  –This small press is located in Charlotte, North Carolina.   It publishes poetry collections through its annual chapbook contest as well as The Main Street Rag Poetry Award for full-length collections.  Also it publishes a print magazine, featuring poetry, short fiction, photography and graphic images, essays, interviews, reviews, cartoons, and commentary.  More information about the poetry contest and poetry book award can be found here:

John F. Blair, Publisher — This company is located in Winston-Salem, North Carolina.  It publishes nonfiction books, focusing on topics such as history, travel, folklore, and biography.  One to two works of fiction are published each year, and the fiction must have a connection to the Southeast.  Children’s books, short story collections, poetry, or category fiction are not published.  Some featured titles are Rising from Katrina and Banktown.  Read more here:

Parkway Publishers, Inc., is located in Boone, North Carolina.  It is a regional North Carolina book publisher of books about the history, literature, culture, travel, and tourism of Western North Carolina, featuring N.C. authors, writers, and books from the North Carolina High Country.



About Katrina Parker Williams

Katrina Parker Williams teaches English composition and grammar at a community college. She is a Barton College graduate with a B.S. in Communications and a Masters of Education in English from East Carolina University. She is also the author of a fictional novel titled Liquor House Music. Her works have appeared in Charlotte Viewpoint, Muscadine Lines, Usadeepsouth, and on the Wilson Community College website. Her writings have recently been published at The Saints’ Placenta and All Things Girl and is forthcoming in Dead Mule School of Southern Literature and Muscadine Lines.
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