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A Note From the Publisher's Desk
July 17, 2019
When I published Green Bike in 2014, I was acting on a dream that had long been under construction in my mind. I have loved reading books for as long as I can remember. And my first memory of "publishing" a book? I was still short enough that I had to stand on a kitchen chair at the table in order to get enough leverage to push down on the stapler to get the cover attached.
In May we began taking orders for Meadowlark's 19th book, and by August, books 20, 21, and 22 will be available. It is looking very likely that we will have a total of 25 books on the Meadowlark bookshelf by the end of this year, and our 2020 publishing calendar is already in motion.
I look at all that Meadowlark has accomplished, and though some days I can only see how far we still have to go, most days I find myself feeling like that kid at the kitchen table again, enormously satisfied with these wonders that my hands have played a role in making.
Last month I was invited to participate in a panel discussion on publishing at the Topeka & Shawnee County Public Library. The only downside to being a participant was that I didn't have the freedom to take notes as I would have if I had just been a member of the audience. But in doing my homework to prepare for the event, and then in listening to the other panelists and learning about their experiences in publishing, I came away with a renewed sense of confidence in Meadowlark's purpose and mission.
What does Meadowlark publish? The books we'd recommend to our friends.
Please take a moment to read Meadowlark's mission statement below. And many thanks to Cheryl Unruh for helping me to find the words for this statement, for helping me find the words all along, and for encouraging me to take chances, to act on dreams.
Much love and good reading!
Tracy Million Simmons
Owner/Publisher, Meadowlark Books
Nothing feels better than home.
While we at Meadowlark Books love to travel, we also cherish our home time. We are nourished by our open prairies, our enormous skies, community, family, and friends. We are rooted in this land and that is why Meadowlark Books publishes regional authors.
When you open one of our fiction books, you’ll read delicious stories that are set in the Heartland. Settle in with a volume of poetry, and you’ll remember just how much you love this place too - the landscape, its skies, the people.
Meadowlark Books publishes memoir, poetry, short stories, novels. Read stories that began in the Heartland, that were written here. Add to your Meadowlark Book collection now.
“World War II was in full swing when I did what I considered my patriotic duty and joined the Kansas Civil Air Patrol. We wore crisp, khaki uniforms and jaunty caps, piped in red, and drilled on the athletic field north of the high school before most folks were out of bed in the morning. Not one to do things halfway, I enrolled in a private pilot course and started taking flying lessons in a 1939 bright yellow, 65 horsepower, Piper J-3 Cub.”
This is the opening to Edna Bell-Pearson’s memoir, Headwinds, a story of one family’s experiences set against the early days of the “Air Age.”
Headwinds takes place over the course of five years and tells the story of Ungerer Flying Service, a family-owned and operated business stationed in Marysville, Kansas. It covers a time when the United States was becoming the largest aviation manufacturing country in the world, and small planes, designed for flight training and private ownership, with innovations never before dreamed of, rolled off the production lines of Cessna, Taylorcraft, Piper, Beech, and others. The GI Bill of Rights made it possible for veterans to take flight training at government expense. Thousands who had washed out or missed out on flying during the war became pilots. As the business grows and thrives, Edna learns to appreciate the importance of the little things: hunting and fishing trips, being a good housekeeper, and crisp, autumnal days without wind.
This memoir examines the importance of family through hardships, and it will leave you appreciating the value of persistence and determination in the face of adversity. Edna loves her job and her life, which is an important piece of this inspirational story.
Readers can now order the book for August delivery via the Meadowlark Bookstore,www.meadowlark-books.com. The book will also soon be available for order through traditional and online bookstores in both paperback and ebook formats.
About the Author: Edna Bell-Pearson’s stories, articles, essays, and poems have appeared in hundreds of magazines, newspapers, literary journals, and anthologies world-wide. She has published six books. She is noted for Fragile Hopes, Transient Dreams and Other Stories, a southwest Kansas saga, chosen during the Kansas sesquicentennial year, as one of “150 Best Kansas Books.”
Wry and rue---it sounds like the recipe for a craft cocktail. But those are really the main ingredients in Ruth Maus’s sly wise and expansive book, even or especially in the poems that really are about cocktails. Most of her poems are short—and a lot bigger than they seem, poems marked by gallows humor and a poker face, and with just a twitch of a tell that reveals how much lies beneath their surface.
~Michael Gorra, author of Portrait of a Novel: Henry James
and the Making of an American Masterpiece
In Valentine, Ruth Maus offers a love letter to the world, powering her lines with the engines of parallel structure, formal play, and bright image. Using diction that is conversational, at times outright rollicking, we’re invited into a world where “the righteousness of salt / on a monster margarita / sings psalm and hallelujah enough,” while the speaker considers romantic temptations, one’s call to art, and what lies ahead. This is a creative and sprightly collection.
~Sandra Beasley, author of Count the Waves
About the Author: Ruth Maus, a native of Topeka, Kansas, has pursued a love of learning around the world, with languages, curiosity, and an appreciation for all beings a constant thread. Valentine was a 2019 finalist in The Birdy Poetry Prize competition.
Final Deadline for Entries: December 1, 2019 - Midnight
Entry Fee: $25
Prize: $500 cash, publication by Meadowlark Books, including 50 copies of the completed book
All entries will be considered for standard Meadowlark Books publishing contract offers, as well.
Submission and contest entry fee of $25 must be received by December 1, midnight.
Full-length poetry manuscripts (55 page minimum, 90+ pages preferred) will be considered. Poems may be previously published in journals and/or anthologies, but not in full-length, single-author volumes. All poets are eligible to enter, regardless of publishing history.