Kaylie Jones, a member of the faculty in the Wilkes University graduate creative writing program, is launching Kaylie Jones Books. The publishing venture, which is an imprint of Akashic Books, a Brooklyn-based independent publisher, is offering students in the Wilkes creative writing program opportunities to work as interns and graduate assistants.
Jones’ publishing venture also is publishing the work of several graduates of the Wilkes creative writing program.
The new imprint allows good literary fiction to be published when mainstream publishers may have passed on books for commercial reasons. It is committed to publishing books that shed light on serious issues – historical or contemporary – still relevant today.
“As a publisher, it is crucial to me to publish books that are a hard-sell in mainstream publishing,” Jones says. “Many of them are first novels of literary merit that are not necessarily an easy commercial sell.”
The new imprint complements Akashic Books’ mission, which is publishing urban literary fiction and political nonfiction by authors who are either ignored by the mainstream, or who have no interest in working within the ever-consolidating ranks of the major corporate publishers. Akashic publisher and editor-in-chief Johnny Temple also teaches publishing courses in the Wilkes University graduate creative writing program. Kaylie Jones Books complements the study of independent book publishing for Wilkes master’s degree students.
Jones, the daughter of acclaimed novelist James Jones and a successful author herself, describes her imprint as a collaborative in which the writers she publishes support each other. Writers publishing under the imprint are contributing their time reading submissions, editing and advertising the books.
The new imprint will launch with the publication of Wilkes graduate Laurie Loewenstein’s novel Unmentionables in January 2014. The book, set on the Chautauqua lecture circuit of 1917, focuses on feminism, reflected in part in changes in women’s dress in that era. Loewenstein, a resident of Rochester, N.Y., has been invited to participate in the Heartland Fall Forum in Chicago, the midwest’s largest annual convention for independent bookstores.
Other Wilkes MFA graduates who have signed with Kaylie Jones Books are:
Barbara Taylor of Scranton, Pa., whose novel Sawdust Trails is the first in a trilogy about a coal mining family in the Providence Square section of Scranton.
Jason Carney of Flower Mound, Texas, whose memoir Starve the Vulture: One Man’s Mythology chronicles his struggles with childhood sexual abuse and drug addiction and his redemption through his career as a spoken-word poet.
About Wilkes University Graduate Creative Writing Program
The Wilkes University graduate creative writing program is an accredited, nationally recognized program offering both a M.A. and a M.F.A. in creative writing with five areas of concentration: fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, screenwriting and playwriting. A low-residency program, students spend eight-day residencies in January and June on campus and complete the project semesters online. For more information, please visit http://www.wilkes.edu/creativewriting or call 570-408-4527.
About Kaylie Jones Books
Kaylie Jones Books is a New York based- imprint of Akashic Books that will create a cooperative of dedicated emerging and established writers who will play an integral part in the publishing process. It is dedicated to publishing literary novels and a few extremely unusual memoirs. Books published by Kaylie Jones Books will address serious issues—historical or contemporary—relevant to society today. Kaylie Jones is the author of the memoir Lies My Mother Never Told Me. Her novels include A Soldier’s Daughter Never Cries (Bantam—Winner NY Public Library YA Fiction Award), Celeste Ascending (Harper Collins), and Speak Now (Akashic Books). For more information, visit www.kayliejonesbooks.com