Friday, July 17, 2009

Pittsburgh Small Press Festival Schedule

Thought I would just post the full schedule for The Pittsburgh Small Press Festival as it's posted on their website.

I guess I have two questions which may be out of line-

The first is why an event like this would be scheduled for the summer, a time when a lot of the college students and energy is missing?

The second is why at least a few regional small presses from places like Ohio and West Virginia are not included. Wouldn't it help gain a wider audience and buzz as well as wider opportunities for contacts?

I really love Open Thread Publications Tri-State Chap Book Contest. One almost never sees any attempts to link outside a narrow definition of the Pittsburgh Region.

SPF Expo 2009

The Expo is the crowning event of SPF. It will feature two floors tables of small presses and vendors, as well as a full day of workshops, panels and readings.

The Expo will run from 12-6pm on Saturday, July 18th and Sunday, July 19th. The calendar of events is listed below.

Entrance to the main Expo is free, and a weekend ticket for events can be purchased for only $5!



Small Press, Big Impact?* (followed by Karen Lillis' presentation on the smallpresspittsburgh wiki)
Panelists: Adam Atkinson (Open Thread), Hattie Fletcher (Creative Nonfiction), Savannah Guz (author), Karen Lillis (LDP Distro, smallpresspittsburgh, Words Like Kudzu, author), and Scott Silsbe (The New Yinzer)

Starting a Small Press or Literary Organization
Panelists: Adam Atkinson (Open Thread), Kris Collins (The New Yinzer), Sue Rumbaugh (The Diner Divas), and Edward Simon (Thirty First Bird Review and Press)

Publication Design 101
Panelists: Scott Andrew (Open Thread), Stephen Knezovich (Creative Nonfiction), Deanna Mulye (LPPACS, BatCat Press), and a representative from Encyclopedia Destructica

4pm - 6pm
Bookmaking Workshop
Led by Deanna Mulye and her Bookbinding students from LPPACS



Tri-State Chapbook Reading and Signing
The winners of Open Thread and Encyclopedia Destructica's Tri-State Chapbook Contest read from their chapbooks, launched at the expo: "Cloud Shaped Room" by Matt Anserello (WV), "Life as a Crossword Puzzle" by Noah Falck (OH), and "Aleph in the Cellar" by Colin C. Post

Art & Small Press
Panelists: Scott Andrew (Open Thread), Curt Gettman (Unicorn Mountain), Julia Stein (Juliacks), and a representative from Encyclopedia Destructica

Women in Publishing
Panelists: Nikki Allen (poet), Margaret Bashaar and Laura Davis (Weave Magazine), and Mary Biddinger (Barn Owl Review)

Weave Magazine Writing Workshop
During this workshop we will discuss poetry and flash fiction (under 1000 words). Participants are asked to bring at least 5 copies of their work for feedback from Weave editors and other workshop participants. If you have never been to a workshop before, we will review our workshop format and flow, as well as etiquette. This is a great way to meet other writers in Pittsburgh and get meaningful feedback in a safe setting.

Update-- I can see from the website that publishers from outside Pittsburgh were allowed. Hopefully this will attract more of them in the future.


Adam said...

Hey there!

Thanks for posting our full sched, and no question is ever out of line!

Re: the summer date. Really two answers to this. One is that the Miller Gallery is an incredible venue, and we were able to use it because they don't have exhibits during the summer months.

The second is that we're thinking long-term and want to build SPF into something that could have an outdoor, fair-like component in the coming years.

We're *quite* open to suggestion, though. It was the first one (we hope of many), and the second one's planning will start very soon.

As to the second question, we actually did have non-Pittsburgh presses and orgs, though that's not clear from website - so we'll definitely accentuate that more!

Barn Owl and Burning River are in Ohio, Keyhole is in Nashville, sunnyoutside is in Buffalo, Juliacks is in Los Angeles, and Curious Machine is in Morgantown. We contacted literally every small press we could find in Ohio and WV, and this is who we were able to get out here this time - we're confident that presence will grow, however.

We're glad you like our Tri-State Chapbook Contest. (It's actually ours - conceived, operated, and funded by us. We are very grateful, though, that Encyclopedia Destructica agreed to produce the books for us!) Accentuating an expanded definition of the Pittsburgh region that includes Ohio and WV is actually one of the biggest parts of our mission - hence the contest.

Your comments remind us of a really important point, though: all this means little if we aren't communicating it well enough. We're revising our website BIG TIME in the coming months and would love any feedback.

Thanks for writing us up!

Open Thread Co-Director

Adam said...

Oh - also, I should add that the Sprout Fund enabled us to fund the Tri-State Chapbook Contest, for the sake of complete accuracy!

John Morris said...

Thanks Adam,

I'm really sorry I missed the event. I meant to go but got very tied up with other things.

My personal suggestion is to use the Downtown as a potential venue--there are still a lot of empty store fronts and I think it would offer the potential to integrate it with the city much more.

Suppose you had events and readings in 3-4 store fronts. Perhaps a related exhibit etc. using places like Future Tenant and maybe the Crazy Mocha?

Karen Lillis knows a lot more about this than me.