Posted By admin - 26th February 2013
In this interview series, Monkeybicycle intern David Cotrone will be introduces you to a variety of small press editors and publishers.
This interview was conducted with Erin McKnight of Queen’s Ferry Press.
Monkeybicycle: When was Queen’s Ferry Press founded? What prompted you to want to start it?
Erin McKnight: Queen’s Ferry Press opened its doors to submissions August 1, 2011. As a new mother, I discovered that all of the emotions I’d felt for books as a child came roaring back as I immersed myself in long-forgotten texts; Enid Blyton reignited a dream I’d carried for years. Tending a baby and a press, as it turns out, is congruous.
Mb: At the time, why was Queen’s Ferry—and why is it still—necessary?
EM: My goal was—and remains—for the press to fill a void by publishing only collections of fiction. I’d like for Queen’s Ferry to serve as the venue for eclectic groupings of fine literary fiction.
Mb: What about Queen’s Ferry Press are you most proud of?
EM: Unquestionably our authors. I’m proud that the writers whose work I read and admire think enough of the press to submit their manuscripts—and enough of me to publish their writing! I like to believe that the resulting books represent these authors well, as highly as I regard them.
Mb: What do you look for when you’re open for submissions? What makes a project or manuscript worth taking on?
EM: Quality. Maturity. Confidence. If I find that as I’m reading I am also thinking about how I’d describe the book on its back cover, I’m decided. The manuscripts worth taking on are the ones that I can imagine myself reading and enjoying quite literally hundreds of times.
Mb: What does “indie” or “small press” mean to you? What do you think of such classifications and distinctions?
EM: One word springs to mind: passion. Passionate writers, publishers, and a readership that celebrates this driving force.
Mb: What sets your books apart from the rest?
EM: Although Queen’s Ferry focuses on collections, I like to think of the press’s catalog as suggesting a coherence yet also achieving singularity.
Mb: What’s your favorite part of your job?
EM: Holding a book that was once a manuscript. Saccharine, perhaps, but after countless hours of work it is its own reward.
Mb: For you, why are books so important?
EM: Without trying to sound too esoteric, I think books tell us about ourselves: the selves we were; the selves we want to be. Books keep us in touch with . . . us.
Mb: What other small presses do you admire? Why?
EM: Mud Luscious Press. Dzanc Books (and imprints). Dancing Girl Press. Rose Metal Press. Firewheel Editions. Tyrant Books. I could go on and on. These are some of the presses putting out books that I am anxious to read, and as a publisher I seek to emulate.
Mb: Do you have hope for the future of books?
EM: I do—in this business one has to preserve the hope that people will keep reading! I’d like to see books valued as objects worthy of owning, dare I say collecting?
Mb: Please share anything else you would like to say.
EM: Thank you for this inclusion—your attention humbles Queen’s Ferry.
David Cotrone is from Plymouth, MA. His writing appears in Fifty-Two Stories, The Rumpus, PANK, Paper Darts, Necessary Fiction, Thought Catalog, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, and elsewhere. You can find him at www.davidcotrone.com.