Baltimore Book Festival: Independent Presses


Well, it’s now another year to wait until the next Baltimore Book Festival (sigh), but this past weekend’s festival was absolutely fantastic! Not only were we able to sit in on a free, 15 minute preview of a new play on Edgar Allan Poe (that’ll be premiering in Baltimore soon), but we were also able to pick up more than a few fabulous books from some fresh, indie presses. And, because they so interested me, I’d like to go ahead and spotlight a few of these publishers here:


Exter Press (Big Pulp)

“Exter Press is the home of Big Pulp magazine, a quarterly journal featuring fantasy, mystery, horror, science fiction and romance fiction and poetry. Since 2008, Big Pulp has brought readers exciting, thought-provoking, literate and fun fiction and poetry from the best new, emerging and established genre writers from around the globe.

Exter Press is independently-owned and distributed, and a proud member of the small press.”


BIG PULP is a quarterly print and electronic journal featuring a wide range of pulp and genre fiction poetry. Our definition of genre fiction is very broad, running the gamut from literary fiction and experimental poetry to locked room mysteries, sword and sorcery, and space opera.

Our ideal is the newsstand of the Golden Age of pulp and popular fiction, where lucky readers could find literally dozens of magazines catering to all manner of interests and tastes. Instead of publishing only one kind of story, we hope to recreate the feel of those fantastic newsstands, where science fiction stood shoulder to shoulder with jungle adventure, and romance vied with true crime for the hearts of readers.”


Post Mortem Press

“With over 60 books in print since opening in late 2010, Post Mortem Press has grown from a distraction against the worries of a corporate career gone awry to a successful independent publishing concern. Post Mortem Press apparently did something unusual; they combined business acumen with a love of the written word and respect for the authors who create them.

We have earned the respect of many luminaries in the world of dark fiction.

The likes of Clive Barker, Joe Hill, Harlan Ellison, Johnathan Maberry, F Paul Wilson, Jack Ketchum, and many more have graced the pages of Post Mortem Press anthologies.

The singular goal of Post Mortem Press is to answer opportunity’s call by providing an outlet for new and established writers of speculative fiction. Founder Eric Beebe brings practical experience in both business and publishing, but not the publishing business (a good thing – really), allowing for a sustainable small press.

Our business model allows us to consider publishing works that may be overlooked by the mainstream. Unlike many other publishing concerns out there, we don’t want anything from our authors other than their support in promoting their books. This process provides for a payoff for the author’s creative sweat equity.

Post Mortem Press covers the cost associated with creating a professional book and pays royalties for each sale, while offering author copies at prices just above our cost.”


***Another bit of exciting news from PMP is that they’re going to be launching their own literary magazine soon! So keep an eye on their website for when they begin accepting submissions (they hinted to me that their first issue may even include a bit of new fiction from Harlan Ellison, if you can believe it!).


Baltimore Review

“The mission of The Baltimore Review is to showcase Baltimore as a literary hub of diverse writing and promote the work of emerging and established writers.

The Baltimore Review was founded by Barbara Westwood Diehl in 1996 as a literary journal publishing short stories and poems, with a mission to showcase the best writing from the Baltimore area, from across the U.S., and beyond. Our mission remains just that. However, in our online format, we can now bring that fine writing to the world’s attention, more frequently, and at less cost. We can also explore new ways to bring the world of writers and writing to the reader’s attention.”


Getting Down to Business: CPAs for Artists

According to The Guardian’s “Ten Rules for Writing Fiction,” author Hilary Mantel’s first rule for writers is:


Get an Accountant!


So, as I’ve only started writing and editing full time very recently, I’ve been in the market for an accountant who specializes in helping out the self-employed artist.

In case you’re in the same boat as I, here are a few I came across during my search (although I cannot vouch for any of them personally, of course; these are just a few names I came upon who advertised on working with artists):


Accountants for Starving Artists in Baltimore, MD:

Jonathan Mayo,

Thomas Bowen,

According to Baltimore’s WTMD:


New York, NY:

Steven Zenlin,

Steinberg Shebairo,


Austin, TX:

Layne Lauritzen,


Los Angeles, CA:

Rick E. Norris,


St. Louis, MO:



Chicago, IL:

Julie Herwitt, Herwitt & Associates LLC,


West Palm Beach, FL:

Harless & Associates,


Boston, MA:

Ercolini & Company,

Jack Kerouac : The Dharma Bums

Check out this terrific review of and commentary on Jack Kerouac’s classic, The Dharma Bums. J Haeske’s blog, Retracing Jack Kerouac, is full of great material on the Beats and on Kerouac in particular. It’s definitely worth checking out for any Beat fan 🙂

Retracing Jack Kerouac


The Dharma Bums has always been one of my favorite Kerouac books. What I loved from the first time I read it is the relaxed, peaceful and serene atmosphere described in most chapters, such as in the ones in which Ray (Kerouac) and Japhy Ryder (Gary Snyder) are sitting in a cabin, talking and having dinner or tea or are out on the various hiking trips taking place throughout the book. The writing is lucid and concise, reflecting his state of mind during that period in his life. His descriptions of nature and the scenery of the various places in Marin County are lovely. To somebody like me, who is constantly (and so far unsuccessfully) trying to lead a more sedate and simple lifestyle influenced by nature, these chapters are exuding a strong fascination.

The question always springing to mind when I reflect on it, is ‘How would Kerouac’s life…

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Writing Advice – Prep for NaNoWriMo

Well, everybody, it’s that magical time again — time to start preparing for this year’s NaNoWriMo. And, to get the ball rolling, here are a few choice sites offering some great writing tips, advice, and pep talks:

– On Writing with Meaning from Orion Magazine by Kathleen Dean Moore and Scott Slovic: 7 Ways to Write to the Future

Tips from Jack Kerouac, Courtesy of the Gotham Writer’s Workshop

– Colin Nissan’s The Ultimate Guide to Writing Better Than You Normally Do from McSweeney’s

– Writer Holly Lisle’s Creating Conflict

– Michael C. Munger’s 10 Tips on How to Write Less Badly (for academics mainly though its got some good basic advice for all nonfiction writers generally) from The Chronicle of Higher Education

How to Write a Novel, Chuck Sambuchino, Writer’s Digest

Mother Jones’ Asawin Suebsaeng, “The Most Important Writing Tip the Late Elmore Leonard Ever Gave”

The Atlantic’s Maria Popova’s “‘Nothing Any Good Isn’t Hard’: F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Secret to Great Writing”

The Guardian’s “Ten rules for writing fiction”

“How to Write a Novel” from Creative Writing Now

– And, of course, DEAR SUGAR’s classic, Write Like a Motherfucker, from The Rumpus

My advice? Find a comfortable spot, and get to work!

I hope you find these helpful and inspirational! I’ll be posting more on writing tips, NaNoWriMo updates, and related topics throughout the rest of this month, October, and through November.

Best of luck!

J.J. Green Company

If you’re at all interested in the Beats and especially Jack Kerouac, you’ll definitely want to take a look at J Haeske’s blog: Retracing Jack Kerouac, wherein J follows Kerouac’s On the Road through photographs. Check it out!

Retracing Jack Kerouac

Jack Kerouac and Neal Cassady are talking about the ‘J.J. Green Company’ at 1923 Market Street, Denver in one of the long conversations that Kerouac recorded on tape and that are featured in ‘Visions Of Cody’ (p.209 Flamingo  Modern Classic edition).  The building set back from the street on the left of the first photograph now does stand at this address, but is probably not the same building standing in that address back then.

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Day Jobs of Famous Writers: Librarians, Postmasters, and Oyster Pirates

As someone still searching for that mystical post-grad school day job, this post really got me grinning.

The Bewildered 20-Something Writer


Did you know that Kurt Vonnegut was the manager at the first Saab dealership in the United States? Or that Stephen King was a high school janitor and it was there that he came up with the idea for the opening girls’ locker room scene in Carrie? True story. In honor of Labor Day, it seems apt that I supplement last Friday’s Day Jobs of Poets post with a longer piece on some of the kooky day jobs of famous and successful writers, including a few that they never stopped working at even after they made it big!

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