Native Ink Press

Welcome, Angela Johnson!

Angela Johnson, Children’s Editor Intern – Native Ink Press

Angela is an educator, editor, writer, and poet. She received her Masters of Fine Arts and Masters of Science in Education in New York City where she worked as an elementary school teacher. Her classroom was always filled with literature and she learned earlier on in her tenure that she wanted to edit/write children’s books. Angela has been an editor for two years, and currently works as a freelance writer and poet.

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Submissions Now Open for 2017!

It’s that time of year again! Ink Smith Publishing has opened submissions for 2017! Genres accepted can be found on our website: www.ink-smith.com/submissions. We love fantasy, so if you do not see your specific fictional genre listed, we encourage you to submit to us anyway. There are so many fiction genres (particularly hyper-specific genres) that we cannot list them all.

But, please note, we do not accept non-fiction or children’s (12 years and under) titles at Ink Smith. For non-fiction/children’s titles please submit to Native Ink Press. Guidelines and requirements apply to Native Ink Press as well.

Submission Guidelines

Submissions will be accepted January 1 – July 30 each year, with a closed reading period beginning August 1. 

  • Novellas must be 30,000 to 50,000 words and novels must be at least 50,000+ words.
  • No fan fiction.
  • No short stories.
  • Manuscripts must be polished. No first drafts or incomplete manuscripts.
  • Manuscripts that you submit cannot be previously self-published.
  • No attachments in the email.
  • No manuscripts on first query. *We will request your manuscript if we are interested in moving forward.*
  • No non-fiction titles.
  • No children’s books aimed at ages 12 and under.
  • No submissions from outside the U.S./Canada at this time.

Submit Your Book Query

Please follow ALL guidelines below. Submissions not meeting submission guidelines are automatically rejected regardless of the quality of the work submitted.

  1. Title Your email: Query, Your Last Name, Title of Your Book
  2. Cover letter: Tell us about yourself. Please include current address, as we use this to verify that you are currently residing in the U.S. or Canada.
  3. Story information: Genre, Word Count, etc.
  4. Synopsis: no longer than 1 page, please.
  5. Your marketing plan! In the event we move forward with your manuscript for publication, please note that we expect our authors to be active in the marketing of their titles alongside our efforts. Your ideas, opinions and comfort level with marketing tools are essential for us to develop a marketing plan that works for you and your book.
  6. The first three chapters of your story copied and pasted into the body of the email. (NO ATTACHMENTS)
  7. Send your query to submissions@ink-smith.com!

As a final reminder: NOT FOLLOWING GUIDELINES WILL RESULT IN AUTOMATIC REJECTION.

What You Know vs. Branching Out

When I was first starting out as a writer, people constantly told me to “write what you know.” That makes a lot of sense. Writing what you know gives your story a solid basis in reality, accurate reality.

What do I mean by accurate reality? You can create any reality you want as a writer. A world where dogs live on the moon, where people are born with hands as their ears–any world you want. But it has to make sense, it has to be believable. Connection to the reader matters.

One of the reasons people love books, is the idea that it represents someone or something they can connect with in addition to reading for enjoyment. Even though your manuscript falls into the fiction category, it doesn’t mean the entire book is made up. Relationships, people, emotions: they are based in reality.

I came across this conundrum during a class in my master’s program at Lindenwood University. We read the book, Rose Metal Press Guide to Writing Flash Fiction: Tips from Editors, Teachers and Writers in the field. It talked about truths and making sure that when you are writing about certain types of people that you get them accurate. (A great source for writers – in addition to the Writing Flash Non-Fiction edition as well!)

If you aren’t someone who is intimate with the particular group of people you are writing about, than you need to be careful about writing about them. You don’t want to misrepresent their culture just because you felt like writing about them one morning. This goes for any group or culture–misrepresentation does two things: offends the group you are misrepresenting and provides inaccurate information to people who are not familiar with said group/culture.

The basis of belief for Quakers, is that God exists in every person, and therefore should be treated in accordance with that belief. LGBTQ have their own slang, different parts of the U.S. have different accents, it is impolite in some countries to wear your shoes into the house–these facts may seem inconsequential to someone who is on the outside of these groups, but is essential in the representation of the culture.

So, if you are looking to write about the Aboriginals – do your research, make sure you understand their way of life. If you can, submerge yourself in the culture, talk to some of the people. Experience is the strongest learning tool.

Make sure you understand them and their way of life before you write. In essence,  the notion of “write what you know” is 100 percent accurate. You may want to write something new, but make sure you do the research and write the truth!

Happy writing, and happier researching!

 

Connect with me @AndersonCorinne on Twitter!

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing, with an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. She is currently pursuing her MPS in Publishing at George Washington University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing, and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

When You Submit: Follow the Guidelines

Whether you are submitting a poem to a literary magazine, a memoir to an independent publisher or a fantasy manuscript to one of the big five – you MUST make sure you follow all of the submission requirements. This also includes submitting your piece during the time the company is accepting submissions. Some companies, Ink Smith Publishing included, occasionally close submissions for a certain time frame each year to catch up on reading through submissions. Others, like our sister company, Native Ink Press, have rolling submissions, meaning they accept submissions year round.

But remember: Follow the guidelines.

As we sift through the submissions we receive the first thing we note is who followed directions. We do this for multiple reasons; the most obvious is: did this author take the time to read, research and decide upon our publishing company? Not following the submission guidelines, which are normally pretty simple, and for the most part universal amongst publishing companies, is indicative that the author may be either blindly submitting to every available publishing company, or that they do not pay attention to details. Two things that suggest the author is less serious about their handwork than they should be.

The second reason, is because we want to know how an author responds to direction. Each author/publisher/editor relationship is different. You will see authors working with different editors on different kinds of books, different publishers on different genres, etc. When in the editing process, editors will provide feedback, critiques and suggestions on things that may work better for the piece in question. The purpose of the editing process is to make a great idea even better – a project that both the editor and the author are invested in. Without an author who is receptive to change, suggestions and edits, that task is not one that will be possible to complete, at least not easily!

Finally, there are a lot of submissions. There are a lot of authors with great books, and a limited amount of books we can publish per year. If it comes down to two books, one where the author followed the directions perfectly and one who did not; the decision is easy.

Keep in mind, Ink Smith Publishing discards any submissions that do not follow the guidelines – no matter how good the book is, and no matter who the author is. We firmly believe that an author who is serious about their book, about their careers, and about publishing with us specifically – will make sure to follow the guidelines. If you are interested in submitting to Ink Smith Publishing, or Native Ink Press, please make sure to do the following:
1. Review the kind of content we publish
2. Make sure your content fits in
3. Make sure submissions are OPEN
4. Review and follow the guidelines
5. Give us your best!

For more information about Ink Smith Publishing and our submission guidelines visit www.ink-smith.com/submissions. You can also visit www.nativeinkpress.com  to learn more about Native Ink Press’ submission guidelines.

 

 

Connect with me @AndersonCorinne on Twitter!

Corinne is an editor at Ink Smith Publishing, with an MFA in Writing from Lindenwood University. Since her first trip to the library when she was a toddler, Corinne has been collecting books, recommending her favorites and providing commentary on the less-than-stellar. Her belief is that if you have a problem, it’s nothing that a good book can’t solve. She is currently pursuing her MPS in Publishing at George Washington University, editing for Ink Smith Publishing, and hoping that her blog posts here will help writers improve and publish their work.

Ridgewell’s, Available for Purchase Today!

ImageNative Ink Press, an imprint of Ink Smith Publishing of Monrovia, California has just published a fascinating memoir about the storied high-end power caterer, Ridgewell’s, and the three generations of the family that founded and nurtured it through the Depression years, the Second World War, the era of Watergate and Vietnam and into the modern era of ‘inside the beltway’ Washington of today. The story, as told to the author by Bruce Ellis the grandson of the founders, begins with his granddad “Charlie” Ridgewell’s departure from the Isle of Wight, the tiny island athwart the English Channel in the very early years of the twentieth century who, nearly penniless, found a job with the British ambassador’s staff at their embassy in Washington as a ‘valet’. It was through this connection that he met his future bride, Marguerite Cuvillier

(who was later nicknamed “Little Meemaw”)​, herself a recent immigrant from Paris working as a ‘plain cook’ at the French embassy. Mr. Ellis describes the couples early life in the first decade of the last century and how, through wise reasoning and their careful handling of the little money they were able to save from truly paltry earnings (around a ‘pound’ a week or a little more than a dollar a day)​ they started the small business of catering to the well-to-do hosts and hostesses of the greater metropolitan area that have always flirted with the politically powerful and well connected since the time of John and Abigale Adams.

 

 From the birth of the company and its struggles to keep up with the shifting power scene in and around the nation’s capital to where the company is today some 86 years later Mr. Ellis lays out the labor of love that he, his identical twin Jeff, and his father and grandfather before them experienced. This book is a tribute to the concept that service, properly understood, is perhaps THE way to manage any business. In other words they took what they knew about the life of a servant and brought that lesson to a business that actually sold service. The company was to serve every White House from Harding to Obama and, astoundingly, made money every year it was under the guidance of the founder and then his son-in-law and then his grandsons. He tells how his grandfather, Charlie, made it his business to become close to the most powerful and influential people who, in turn, lived among and entertained the most powerful and influential people. He goes on to relate how his father, a Depression era boy from the hills and farmland of Boone, North Carolina became a close friend of President Harry Truman and Marjorie Meriwether Post, at that time the world’s richest woman. Names like Mrs. Post. Evelyn Walsh McLean (the owner of the Hope Diamond), Perle Mesta (The Hostess with the Mostess), Gwen Cafritz, Elizabeth Taylor, Nelson Rockefeller, George Herbert Walker Bush and on and on the power people of politics, entertainment and business all came to rely on Ridgewell’s.
Bruce notes that as the family expanded so too did the business. From it’s simple beginnings on a downtown street in the basement of a townhouse with two employees in just three generations the compay grew to over 150 full time staff and more than a thousand ‘outside’ service personnel from maitre d’s to bartenders, wait staff, etc., You’ll follow that growth with stories such as how the company took control over its own destiney when, during his father’s management, the company had to rely on an outside kitchen to provide the food component. Recognizing this situation could not continue because of the inherent lack of control Bruce and twin Jeffery in the very early 1970’s had the company relocated to suburban Bethesda Chevy Chase where a complete catering operation was set up with kitchens, warehouse, sales and administration could overseen by the family.
Ridgewell’s is a great story filled with vignettes that will delight the reader and surprise some with the concept that managing a business has much the same dynamics as raising a family. True humility, absolute honesty, commitment to principle and guided by a generosity of spirit is the formula, according to Mr. Ellis that worked at home and at work.

Project Keepsake is released today!

Native Ink Press is celebrating the release of their first book!

Project Keepsake is now out for sale in both paperback and ebook format!

If you are interested in writing your story for the next book in the Project Keepsake series check out :http://www.projectkeepsake.com/write/

You can purchase Project Keepsake at:

http://www.nativeinkpress.com

Amazon

barnes and Noble and other major retailers.

 

Synopsis:

Amber Lanier Nagle has always been interested in keepsakes-a glass bluebird, a pocket knife, a dime-store locket, a faded fishing lure, a dented cake pan, a model train car, and so many others.

“Why do you keep this?” she asks. “Where did it come from?”

And then she listens as the stores and memories pour out. Project Keepsake is Nagle’s crusade to collect and publish the stories that transform simple, everyday objects into priceless keepsakes. Told in first-person by both seasoned and aspiring writers, each story in the anthology is unique, yet each reveals common threads that connect us all and celebrate the glorious human experience.

“I hope the book inspires you to write your own keepsake story.” –Amber Lanier Nagle

February’s Giveaway Winners Are…

February’s book release giveaway is over and it is time to announce the winners!
Drum roll please!!!!!

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Winner of the paperback version: Heather MacNaughton

Winner of the Book Lovers Tote: Melissa Stoltz

Winners of the bookmarks:   Ben,  Hesper Fry, Julie Kitzmiller 

Winners of the eBook version:  Tobi Helton, Tina A Myers,  Tony L Smoaks,  Bill Hewitt,  Sara Morrison, Gary Vanicek

All the winners have been contacted! If you see your name here and you haven’t received an email from me please send me an email at ashley.howie@ink-smith.com.

Thank you to everyone who participated in this giveaway! We hope to see you at our imprint Native Ink Press’ February book release giveaway along with our next March giveaway. Follow The Inkwell and Quill to stay up to date, or sign up for our newsletter at ink-smith.com

 

 

Where to start…

 

Where to start?

A question I know authors ask themselves as they begin a new book with the white empty pages taunting them.

So I ask myself as I start a new series of blog posts on Inkwell and Quill, where do I begin… Where to start?

I believe that this is the most “intimate” you can get with a any company, inside the mind of the person behind the curtains. I know here on WordPress that I am not alone as I write my posts. There are plenty of other editors that have blogs about writing, publishing and their company. My goal in writing on Inkwell and Quill is not only to promote the hard work of our authors and editors, but to help out other authors, writers and maybe even gain a few new readers.

I would love to get conversations going, have people ask questions about this industry and help those that I can.

So with that being said. I will start with this since it has just popped into my head:

I can’t express how excited I am for the coming year. We really have some great authors at both Ink Smith Publishing and Native Ink Press. Of course I will be writing a few posts in the future regarding several authors and their recent or upcoming magazine articles.

But I am very excited to find out if we will be at this years WonderCon in Anaheim California from April 18th-20th. If we do attend we will be in the small press section. Like past book fairs, we will have our catalog of books there along with freebies and our mobile store. It should be a lot of fun! So fingers crossed…

Concluding my first post short and sweet:

I hope I can help those lost on this crazy journey of book publishing whether you are a published author, self-published, looking for a publisher, or just getting started. It’s not an easy journey, but when you have someone to do it together with, it suddenly becomes an adventure.

Project Keepsake Book Release Giveaway

I must admit this book release is not one to miss. Some of the prizes to win are quite incredible. The writing journal presented by the author Amber Lanier Nagle is beautiful and I wish I could win it myself, but I can’t. So I hope someone who loves it as much as I enters daily to win this gorgeous gift. Not to mention other great prizes which include a paperback version of the book, ebooks, the blue bird on the cover and of course the journal. There are several ways to enter, but you can tweet daily about the giveaway along with posting on your blog about the giveaway. This is also Native Ink Press’ first book release! I could not be more excited.

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In Project Keepsake, Amber Lanier Nagle shares fifty-five stories behind the objects people gather and display proudly on shelves or stow away in dark closets—a bluebird paperweight, a pocket watch, a quilt, a locket, a piece of furniture, a cake pan, a scrap of paper, and other sacred items. Each story breathes life into the inanimate objects. A few years ago, Nagle began writing stories about her own keepsakes to preserve the histories surrounding special items in her home. She encouraged friends and family members to write stories about their keepsakes, too, and they did. And so, the project was born. Her book, Project Keepsake, has three simple goals: to prompt aspiring writers to put their pens to paper and try their hands at writing, to cultivate a renewed interest in storytelling, and to record the many stories associated with keepsakes and mementoes. She hopes that Project Keepsake finds its way into your hands and inspires you to tell the many stories of your own keepsakes. For readers and fans who are hesitant to try to write their own stories, Nagle offers a chapter titled, “Writing About Keepsakes,” including tips and examples. Here are a few of her tips:

Identify a Keepsake—look around your house, on your shelves, in your drawers, in your closets, and in curio cabinets until you find something that has a special place in your heart. Brainstorm—start with a blank sheet of paper and just start writing everything that comes to your mind about your keepsake. Don’t worry about making it sound good at this point. Just get your thoughts on paper. Where did it come from? How long have you had it? What does it look like? Why is it significant to you? Organize your Thoughts—Some writers use outlines to organize all the elements of a story, while other people prefer to draw bubble diagrams to help map it out. Put Pen to Paper—Using the notes from your outline or bubble diagram, write your story. Revise and Polish—Look at your opening paragraph and make it stronger. Make sure your subjects and verbs agree. Check spelling, capitalization, punctuation, and grammar. Replace weak verbs with stronger verbs. Add a dash of dialogue. Revise Again—Put away your story for about two weeks. Don’t think about it. Then, take it out and read it as if you are reading it for the first time. Keep revising your story until you are happy with it.

Enter the giveaway for Project Keepsake today and be entered to win free books and great prizes!

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/6860333/

Native Ink Press’ Ridgewell gets a title and a new release date

For those of us not located in the North Eastern part of the United States, Ridgewell Catering is a prominent catering company that was founded by two immigrants in love during the early 20th century. They built an empire with their purple trucks catering for celebrities, presidents and those who could afford the famous purple truck to be outside their home.

For the past few months, the title has just been Ridgewell on Native Ink’s website. Well, that should be changing soon. Our now “more official” working title is to be:

PURPLE REIGN
Ridgewell’s
The true story of a family, their tiny ‘start-up’ and the startling voyage they made in just three generations from servants to the titled to the most recognized service business in America.
This book fascinated us as it takes you through the process of immigrating to America, finding a job, fitting in and starting one of the largest catering companies on the east coast.

Our new release date will be the latter part of April 2014.
I am very excited to finally have something more concrete to present our readers and those who have been anticipating this book. If there is anything I learned from fiction vs. non-fiction is that 6 months from signing a contract to publication isn’t enough time. Our authors need more time than those who write fiction. It’s simply food for thought. Our first release is on the cusp of being pushed back to March or our original April release will be moved up to March. We will let everyone know as we work things out!

The official page on Native Ink Press’ website