“To work together.”
Humans are meant to be at work in some undertaking.
Humans were made for community.
Wandeling Press seeks to lean into that reality by creating a publishing space that draws together writers and illustrators, poets and artists. Emily Dickinson describes the poet as the one who “distills” reality: taking what is ripe and raw to make something stronger, sweeter, fuller: heady and filling. We would stretch her term to embrace a whole host of artists.
This small, independent publishing house serves women writers and illustrators in particular because it affirms the female artistic voice and perspective as distinct from the male in the way, we might say, that honey distilled into mead tastes deliciously different from grain distilled as a stout. And we drink to that distinction.
Wandeling Press, furthermore, intends to provide creative, vocational platforms for women that inspire, invigorate, and enliven other simultaneous dreams they are pursuing. It is a difficult thing to make a vocation of writing and illustrating. And it is a further challenge to balance the demands of working, graduate school, motherhood, or running a start up with the time demanded for creating and composing. But the two are not necessarily in opposition. This is not a zero-sum world. Instead, thankful for the accessibility and collaboration available to us in the 21st century, we seek to confront the attitude of scarcity (whether money, time, connections, and resources) that preclude women from publishing by offering such women with talent and drive a place to launch their artistic literary endeavors.
This press exists to create stories for children because stories belong to them. Stories belong to children in the way that maps belonged to Magellan. Primarily they teach children about the wild terrain of this rugged world that they live in. Stories introduce realities of order and disorder, of order restored out of disorder, of worlds gone wrong, and worlds made right. Reality rushes at us without discrimination– a wholesale onslaught of all the senses every waking moment. Stories provide distance from raw experiences, teaching children possible ways to organize the many sounds, sights, smells, and tastes they are absorbing.
As maps keep record of new territories, so also children play cartographers with stories. In their discovering, their adventuring, their wandeling, they create narratives simply by seeing new things in old realities. Children must have a secret muse, for when spiders parachute on the wind, it is the little ones that chase them, willing success to their air-borne escape and trumpeting their victories. And we, we chase the children.
There are stories merely written in ink and then those drafted with lives first. We are a publishing house of the second sort. We use the same materials to make our books: printers, paper, scissors, and glue, but just as often as we write, we find ourselves making snowflakes with that very paper and sometimes aiding little sticky fingers in gluing glitter all over them. As those snowflakes spin and sparkle, we publish, for our stories take shape alongside those snowflakes.
To this end, Wandeling Press will launch its first Kickstarter Project on November 20, 2015 to fund the start-up costs of the press and to publish its first book, “Woolies for the Winter.” We would love to have you join us in this grand adventuring.