How We Updated Our Mission Statement

In the aftermath of the George Floyd protests last year, our press decided it was time to take more active and progressive steps towards diversifying the books that we publish. In the fall we began investigating and discussing the best way to implement these changes, and in the winter we assembled a team to research and draft an updated mission statement for our press.
Ooligan’s Background
Ooligan Press is a trade press run by the students of Portland State University’s Masters in Book Publishing program. Our press publishes four books each year, which creates learning experiences and fosters growth so that students can enter the publishing industry with both experience and knowledge.
Most of our decisions are made together through a democratic process, whether we are acquiring a new book or voting on a cover. This is a pretty rare process in the publishing industry—and it’s somewhat unique to us—so we wanted the process for updating our mission statement to be just as unique.
Our first task was to have all of our students write a list of several words and/or phrases that they believed should be included in the new mission statement. Regardless of whether or not it was included in the final draft, this allowed the mission writing team to see various trends and learn the values of those who make up the press, which would then be reflected in the updated statement.
Our writing team was composed of eight people who met over Zoom to complete the necessary tasks until a finalized draft was ready to present to the press.
Research
In the winter, we began looking at mission statements from other presses and other facets of the industry such as publishers and printers. Our goal was to analyze a variety of mission statements in order to see what was working and what we could benefit from in terms of structure, rhetoric, etc. This may seem like a fairly obvious step, but this type of research allowed us to see all sorts of language and structures and to consider what would best fit the personality of our organization before we began writing.
We also looked at the slogans used by different corporations. Larger companies tend to focus on their brand and their outward image, so this exercise allowed us to look at effective and punchy copy that used a short number of words.
Rhetoric
One of the most delicate parts of updating a mission statement is choosing your words precisely. While our press had a largely democratic process in the fall, the writing team was responsible for choosing rhetoric that matched the unique identity of our press. We discussed, agreed, and even disagreed, respectfully, favoring words like “equity” and “inclusion” over the more simple and overused “diversity.”
Structure
Another important part of the process was finding a way to simplify our press into its key parts, to really figure out who we are and what we represent in this industry. We felt that the most pertinent aspects of our press were the student-run and Pacific Northwest aspects, but we also wanted to add in a third idea of publishing diverse authorships.
We also looked at the structure of other mission statements, paying particular attention to word count and paragraph breaks to figure out how to most effectively organize our ideas.
Concision
Mission statements are most successful when they are focused and to-the-point. A writer who is submitting their manuscript is going to read dozens of mission statements, so we wanted ours to be under one hundred words in order to keep readers engaged, while still allowing them to get an understanding of who we are.
Pledge for Inclusivity
Our main focus, which I’ve been hinting at, was to add the idea of publishing diverse authorships so that we can demonstrate our progressive values as students. This has been an emerging part of our identity as a press, and we wanted this value to be stated clearly, without being buried behind our other goals. We want other publishers to know that this is what we are going for moving forward.
Team Writing
After our research and discussion near the end of winter, we finally began writing as a team. Team writing can be quite difficult, but we set out with concrete goals and tasks in terms of rhetoric, structure, concision, and our goal for inclusivity.
Our first meeting was very discussion-oriented, and before our second meeting, I compiled the most prominent points from each writer into a draft. When we met the second time, we discussed, tweaked, and played with the format until we had several versions of the same mission statement.
An advisory board of faculty members decided on one of these versions. After we presented it to the press, we allowed each student the chance to vote on the mission statement, and it ultimately passed. We are so excited to release it later this year!
The End of A First Step
Clarity, brevity, and utility were our main goals in updating our mission statement, and our group is incredibly proud of the work we’ve done. In moving towards our values of inclusivity, however, the mission statement is just the first step. Updating our mission statement is at the core of things that Ooligan Press wants to accomplish in terms of shaping literature and the publishing industry, and our work is still cut out for us.

Announcing THE STEP BACK by J.T. Bushnell

Ooligan Press is excited to announce its spring 2021 title, The Step Back by J.T. Bushnell! The Step Back will be Bushnell’s first published novel. He is originally from Sisters, Oregon, and currently lives in Eugene, Oregon, with his family. Bushnell earned a BA in journalism from Linfield College and an MFA in fiction from the University of Oregon. He has taught writing and literature at Oregon State University in Corvallis since 2007. Bushnell’s short fiction has also appeared in Passages North, Mississippi Review, Iron Horse Literary Review, North Dakota Quarterly, Meridian, Flyway, Monkeybicycle, The Greensboro Review, and other literary journals. His writing about fiction appears in Poets & Writers, Fiction Writers Review, and The Science of Story.

The Step Back is a work of literary, coming-of-age fiction about Ed Garrison, an eighteen-year-old Californian who is about to begin college in the fall of 2000. A lover of basketball and dogs, Ed originally plans to attend UC Berkeley, but when his mom announces she is leaving his father and moving across the country to live with her new girlfriend, Ed begins to fall apart. He decides at the last minute to attend the far less prestigious Sequoia College instead, hoping that he can walk on to the school’s last-place, D3 basketball team and retain some sense of the community he is leaving behind. But, in a moment of hesitation, Ed loses his shot at playing college ball and slowly becomes unmoored, unable to connect to his classmates, refusing to communicate with his mother, and losing touch with his friends and—more importantly—his father and brother at home.

As Ed navigates college life, he encounters a series of failed romantic relationships, struggles to find intellectual inspiration, and develops a passion for distance running, all while struggling to regain the sense of home he lost when his mother left. In order to grow, Ed must face his own cruelty and selfishness, and he eventually finds that certain bonds are impossible to break, no matter how neglected.

Told with breathtaking imagery and imbued with compassion, The Step Back examines the loneliness that sometimes accompanies the transition from adolescence to adulthood, which can take a true reckoning to overcome. The novel addresses concerns prevalent to its setting in the early 2000s in ways that still feel relevant today including homophobia, sexism, substance abuse, class, and toxic masculinity.

The Step Back is due to be released in May of 2021, and it will be the first work of literary fiction from the press in over two years. This makes it a special challenge for the 2020 and 2021 Ooligan cohorts and an exciting opportunity to work outside of the genre fiction the press has published recently.

More coverage of The Step Back will be available as the project develops.

The Indie Presses of Portland

In Portland, there’s an independent press for every sort of project you can imagine. More importantly, each press has a unique mission statement that will help you, the writer, find the best match for your personal and creative goals. Let this guide to local indie publishing houses help you decide where to submit your next piece.

  1. Tin House: Although they were part of the literary world for years beforehand, Tin House officially became an independent press in 2005. Tin House publishes fiction, nonfiction, and poetry, as well as out-of-print and underappreciated books. Titles include Ursula K. Le Guin: Conversations on Writing by David Naimon and Ursula K. Le Guin, Pretend We Are Lovely by Noley Reid, and Mostly Dead Things by Kristen Arnett.
  2. Overcup Press: Overcup specializes in nonfiction books with a strong design element, including books on travel, art, literary nonfiction, and design, as well as epicurean titles. Their titles include Volcanoes, Palm Trees & Privilege: Essays on Hawai’i by Liz Prato, 99 Ways to Make a Pipe: Problem Solving for Pot Smokers by Brett Stern, and The Tall Trees of Portland by Matt Wagner.
  3. Perfect Day Publishing: Perfect Day Publishing has been an indie press in Portland since 2011. They focus on emotional stories in the form of literary nonfiction, essay collections, and memoir. Titles include Stranger in the Pen by Mohamed Asem, What About the Rest of Your Life by sŭng, and Yeah. No. Totally. by Lisa Wells.
  4. Microcosm Publishing: Microcosm Publishing began as a record label in 1996 and has transformed into a press that focuses on building skills, exposing hidden stories, and fostering creativity through nonfiction books and zines about self-improvement, gender, and social justice. Recent titles include Chainbreaker Bike Book: An Illustrated Manual of Radical Bicycle Maintenance, Culture, and History by Ethan Clark and Shelley Lynn Jackson, Coping Skills: Tools & Techniques for Every Stressful Situation by Faith G. Harper, and The Practical Witch’s Almanac 2019: Expanding Horizons by Friday Gladheart.
  5. Forest Avenue Press: Forest Avenue Press was founded in Portland in 2012 and largely publishes adult literary fiction related to Oregon and the surrounding area, focusing on works that involve activism or that put new twists on fairy tales and folktales. Titles include Parts Per Million by Julia Stoops, Queen of Spades by Michael Shou-Yung Shum, and The Hour of Daydreams by Renee Macalino Rutledge.
  6. Future Tense Books: Future Tense Books began in Spokane, Washington, in 1990, briefly moved to Arkansas, and settled in Portland in 1992. This press focuses on publishing the work of groundbreaking authors in the form of novellas, story collections, and novels that go in unexpected directions. Titles include I Don’t Think of You (Until I Do) by Tatiana Ryckman, Liar: A Memoir by Rob Roberge, and Pretend We Live Here by Genevieve Hudson.
  7. Burnside Review: Burnside Review, formed in 2004, puts out a journal issue every 9–12 months in addition to publishing full-length books of poetry and chapbooks through their contests. When their submissions are open, they accept fiction and poetry to be published in their journal. Titles include Such a Thing as America by Sarah Blackman, The Volunteer by Andrew McAlpine, and MEOW by Mark Baumer.

And, of course, there’s our very own student-run Ooligan Press.

Inspired yet?

What’s All the Hullabaloo?: A Perspective on Trigger Warnings

We at Ooligan press are incredibly excited about the recent release of The Gifts We Keep by Katie Grindeland. This is the book my project team has worked to publish. It’s set in the Lake Oswego, Oregon, area and follows various members of a family struggling to deal with their grief over past tragedy. The book struggles with topics of mental health, sexuality, family dynamics, and suicide. As our team has worked to bring this beautifully and deliberately conceived piece of fiction into the world, we have wondered what readers will take away from the novel; what they’ll enjoy; and how they’ll feel about what happens. Every person bringing a story to life wonders how the audience will react, but do they all think of the possibility of a bad reaction to their work? I don’t mean a bad reaction like, “Gross, I hated it.” I mean a reaction like, “This brought back traumatic memories or thoughts in a way that affected my mental and emotional health.” Do we, the storytellers, have a responsibility to warn our audience about subject matter that could cause that kind of distress?
That’s right. I’m talking about trigger warnings.
What is a trigger warning? What does it do? According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a trigger warning is “a statement at the start of a piece of writing, video, etc., alerting the reader or viewer to the fact that it contains potentially distressing material (often used to introduce a description of such content).”
Trigger warnings have been surrounded by a lot of controversy as they’ve been adopted by various institutions and media. Much of this controversy has approached trigger warnings as an example of political correctness run rampant, such as the widely read Atlantic cover story “The Coddling of the American Mind” or the Vox story “I’m a Liberal Professor, and My Liberal Students Terrify Me.” These responses see trigger warnings as a tool for people to use to avoid ideas and values that they don’t agree with and demonize them as a form of censorship.
According to the article “A Short History of Trigger Warnings” by Nick Haslam, Professor of Psychology at the University of Melbourne, the concept of a trigger warning has evolved from its original intention, which was to protect vulnerable people who have experienced trauma, such as violence or sexual abuse, from material that might trigger intrusive thoughts and flashbacks that they quite literally have no control over. He claims the concept of a trigger warning has expanded to anything that might cause offense, disgust, or feelings of discomfort, such as “vomit, spiders and insects, slimy things, food, eye contact, pregnancy.” Whether material like that requires a trigger warning is a debate for someone else another time. However, it’s important to remember what and who trigger warnings existed for in the first place—people who have experienced trauma or mental illness for whom being unexpectedly confronted with certain materials may put them in danger of a harmful psychological response that they are not in control of. The issue is one of accessibility. To someone who has not experienced trauma or mental illness, a quick note before a movie or in the front matter of a book stating that viewers should be aware of sensitive material may be an annoyance, but to someone who has, that warning could, figuratively or literally, be a lifesaver. It allows someone who might be affected by the material to either prepare themselves or remove themselves from the situation. Is the minor inconvenience to one group more important than the well-being of the other?
I hope that readers of The Gifts We Keep by Katie Grindeland appreciate the elegance of the writing, the nuance of the characters, and the effective use of atmosphere. I also hope that our readers have the opportunity to enjoy this and other works we produce in a safe and informed way. And I, personally, don’t mind a little inconvenience if I can help make that happen.

Books, Beer, and Bettering a Manuscript: How Ooligan Press Brews a Bestseller

Ooligan Press, local author Jeff Alworth, and the Craft Brew Alliance have teamed up to bring you Ooligan’s next title: The Widmer Way: How Two Brothers Led Portland’s Craft Beer Revolution. The book, out March 26, explores the rise of Portland’s own beer titans: Kurt and Rob Widmer. From modest beginnings hand-delivering kegs out of an old Datsun to partnering with Anheuser-Busch InBev, from begging for customers to sample their wares to sponsoring the Timbers and the Blazers, the two brothers have never lost their status as local boys made good.

Along with our newest title, I would also like to introduce myself. I’m the project manager for this book, and I am lucky enough to see the project from acquisition through to its publication date. Often, project managers at Ooligan Press acquire a project, get the book up and running, and then hand it off to their successors when graduating from the program, or join the project partway through. For The Widmer Way, we decided on an accelerated publication schedule, which means that the book is going from manuscript to finished product in just one year’s time and that my team and I get to see the complete production. I was chosen to train as a project manager a mere six days prior to Ooligan unanimously voting to take on the book, and my training turned into a crash course of meetings, scheduling, and management.

Once the book was acquired, my trainer and outgoing 50 Hikes manager TJ Carter and I sat down with Ooligan’s department heads to plan out the production schedule. Marketing, social media, acquisitions, digital, design, editing, and our team members all came together to prioritize the schedule and decide where to begin.

Our first priority was, obviously, the manuscript. We called for volunteers (as it was spring break) to do a developmental edit. As Jeff is an experienced author, we started out in good shape, but still needed to spend some time polishing. A developmental edit offers (often significant) changes to the structure, narrative, and language of a manuscript. Our editing team collaborates and offers a letter with our proposed changes to the author, who then makes certain edits and returns the manuscript, often for another round of developmental editing. For The Widmer Way, after one round of developmental and line edits, we were ready to move on to copyediting.

At Ooligan, we often do a heavy, medium, and light round of copyediting. This is where we make more granular changes, rather than sweeping developmental changes. We look for clarity and accuracy, all while maintaining the author’s voice as much as possible. As this is a nonfiction title, we also took this time to do some fact checking and gathering of sources for the information presented in the book.

All the while, my team was hard at work on the nitty-gritty, behind-the-scenes, no-one-knows-this-stuff-happens-at-publishing-houses tasks. A marketing plan was developed, complete with our wish list of events we hoped to participate in, social media strategy, and the industry-specific details like BISAC codes. We also used this time to create the beautiful cover you now see, courtesy of our own design department head, Jenny Kimura. Covers are voted on by the entire press body, much in the same way we acquire our books. Everyone has a chance to be heard and give their input as to how the design should develop.

In the months since, we’ve completed editing, are zeroing in on completing the interior design and proofreading (wherein we look at the aesthetics of the words on the page, rather than the words themselves), and are in the process of requesting reviews from major publications. In the next term, leading up to the March 26 publication date, we will be designing the ebook, recording the audiobook, and planning an amazing launch party to celebrate the long, difficult, exciting, frustrating, and rewarding road of turning an idea into the next book you pick up at Powell’s.

Book Sales, Or Math for English Majors

Sit in a room full of English majors long enough, and you will eventually hear someone groan, “Ugh… math.” The topic may be differential calculus, or how to split the tab, but the sentiment is always the same. Why, the lover of words bemoans, do we have to take a break from talking about books to do things with numbers?

But perhaps your high school algebra teacher told you, as mine did, that math is everywhere. As an adult, I’ve been gratified to learn that she wasn’t pulling one over on a room full of fourteen-year-olds. Math is not only in calculus complexities and restaurant bills, baking and budgets; it can also be found in nature, arts and sciences, and even books. Because those English majors currently dividing their pizza into dollars and cents also bought the books they stayed up too late reading last night. They probably also bought the stack of books currently sitting on their nightstand, and the other stack that’s waiting on the bookshelf beyond that. Publishers know which of their books are in those stacks, and they use that information to make decisions about every part of their publishing process.

This may seem obvious. Publishers create products, so of course, sales are their guiding principle. However, as with other creative industries, workday conversations are often framed differently. During the editorial process, we talk about making the book the best version of itself. During design, we talk about reader appeal, and throughout marketing, the focus is on helping the book find its audience. One of the only places we explicitly talk about sales is during the acquisition process when we are gauging the sales potential of a new project.

Large publishers have the luxury of sales staff—entire departments that do the math of book people. Here at Ooligan, our small teaching press, we have to collaborate and integrate our understanding of sales figures and production into our learning curve.

This time last year, my colleague Elizabeth and I were in training with our publisher’s assistant predecessors, an educational process that memorably included an afternoon (little did we imagine it would be the first of many) kicking up dust in a basement room full of beautiful books. That was the first time I remember wondering, “How many books are there?”

Now, a term spent packing up our basement storage room has better equipped me to understand Ooligan’s inventory, a new interface has introduced me to the movement of books through our distribution, and I’ve received crash courses in royalties, returns, and special sales. These spreadsheets and sales reports may not be the glamorous editorial pursuits or intricate design work we pictured publishing to be, but they keep the wheels turning through every part of the publishing process.

50 Hikes Photo Contest: Win a Wearable Sleeping Bag from Poler!

Planning a hike or two this spring? Turn your hiking photos into a chance to win an excellent prize!

Ooligan Press is holding a photo contest to spread the word about our new book, 50 Hikes in the Tillamook and Clatsop State Forests. After hitting the trail, share your beautiful hiking photos with us for a chance to win a Napsack wearable sleeping bag from Poler. Can’t decide which hike to go on? Pick up a copy of 50 Hikes online or at a bookstore near you. See the rules below to find out how to enter.

Rules:

  • Must upload a photo from a hike in an Oregon forest

  • Use this hashtag: #50hikesphotos

  • Tag @ooliganpress

  • Limit one entry per person per day

  • Entries accepted only on Instagram

Contest lasts from Friday, May 18 through Sunday, June 3.

The *winner, chosen at random, will be announced on Monday, June 4.

*Winner must be in the United States

Ooligan in the World

Here at Ooligan Press, our managers, project teams, and department specialists put countless hours of work into creating the books you see on our list. From acquisitions and editing through design and marketing, our talented colleagues sit in meetings together discussing strategies and best practices, take those conversations home to create something wonderful, and then return to our meetings the following week to do it all again.

It’s a deeply effective learning process, but there is one important piece of book birthing that it doesn’t account for: the immensely rewarding experience of bringing our books and our authors out into the world and watching them shine.

From intimate readings to established conferences and book festivals, we’ve spent a lot of time over the past few months arranging opportunities for the world—or at least our Pacific Northwest corner of it—to meet our books and their authors. There have been plenty of volunteer schedules to fill, promotional marketing and social media posts to plan, and boxes of books to cart to and fro. In return for that work, we’ve watched our authors delight and charm audiences while their books are admired, applauded, and carried away to new homes. So where in the world have we found Ooligan authors this fall?

Brian K. Friesen’s At the Waterline was published last May, and this summer found Brian and his family embarking on a book tour across Oregon and Washington, culminating in late summer with a much-anticipated reading at Portland’s book mecca: Powell’s Books. Later this fall, Brian also joined awarding-winning fellow Oolie author Eliot Treichel at the Audubon Society of Portland’s Wild Arts Festival, “a celebration of nature in art and books,” where both were featured authors.

Meagan Macvie’s The Ocean in My Ears entered the world in the beginning of November to glowing reviews from such industry giants as Kirkus Reviews, Publishers Weekly, Book Riot, and School Library Journal‘s Teen Librarian Toolbox. It even made it onto a Bustle list of “The 11 New YA Novels You Need To Watch Out For In November 2017.” With her book generating so much enthusiasm, we’ve loved watching Meagan do the same. She began the fall season with a panel appearance at the Montana Book Festival, where she talked about picking a publisher and the advantages of going with a small press. At this year’s Pacific Northwest Booksellers Association (PNBA) conference, Meagan was invited to participate in an evening “Sweet and Greet” event where she signed advanced reader copies of the book and connected with regional authors and booksellers. Then, the big send-off: we celebrated Meagan and the launch of The Ocean in My Ears with 90s trivia and lots of laughter.

Meagan wasn’t our only representative at PNBA. Ooligan Press also staffed a table at this two-day conference, showcasing our books and chatting with booksellers, librarians, and other publishers about our work. Both first and second year students are given the opportunity to attend events such as this and to begin testing the waters of networking and business-to-business marketing.

Ooligan and our authors have had an action-packed fall, and it all built up to the main event of the season: Wordstock. Meagan, Brian, and the Ooligan Press team all attended Portland’s most anticipated book festival to indulge ourselves in all things literary. Brian and Meagan both had pop-up readings in the Portland Art Museum’s American Art Gallery and signed copies of their books for eager readers at Ooligan’s table. Later in the afternoon, Meagan taught at the sold-out workshop Writing YA Fiction: Bringing Young Narrators to Life on the Page, helping budding writers hone their skills. All throughout the day, you could find the smiling faces of Oolies around the festival. Students staffed our table, attended readings and panels, perused the aisles of booksellers, and even staffed other publishers’ tables as part of their various internships. Wordstock also, as it does every year, turned into an unofficial reunion for Ooligan alumni. Graduates flocked to the table to pick up copies of books they worked on during the early stages of development and to catch up with old friends.

Ooligan has been spending a lot of time out in the world over the past few months, and now we are turning our focus inward as we prepare to move out of our current offices in early December.

Sales Kits: Introducing a Book to Bookstores

Fall was a long, blustery term for the Three Sides Water team. It’s a traditionally busy time for publishers, as it’s one of the big acquisition seasons—but for us, it was the season of sales kits, final copyeditng, and interior design. But mostly sales kits.

You may have heard of sales kits in the past; several Ooligan blog posts mention them, and a few, such as this post about our title The Ninth Day, discuss sales kits in-depth. Nearly five years have passed since that blog post, however, and the sales kit process has changed a bit, too. The general idea behind them remains the same: a sales kit is a package of information about a book that is sent to your sales representatives, or the people who convince bookstores to stock your book. Every Ooligan sales kit contains an info sheet about the press, a two-page tip sheet about the book in question, a press release for the book, an excerpt or chapbook, and some fun collateral to brighten your sales reps’ days. That said, assembling a sales kit from start to finish is a bit more complicated than it sounds.

Where the Ninth Day team finished their sales kits in eight hours or so, we took longer. Much longer. These days, our sales kit materials are fully designed with Adobe Creative Suite. The chapbook alone easily took four hours to design, proof, print, and assemble. On top of that, we designed the press release, a postcard, and a double-sided bookmark (mostly to show off our lovely yet still unfinished cover design, above). One of the biggest challenges with so many designed pieces was sticking to a unified style that could be used across all our artifacts. We stuck to the same color palette, but some of the fonts had to be swapped out on occasion.

Including writing, proofing, designing, researching, and printing our collateral, we spent anywhere from eighteen to twenty hours working on the sales kits. In the end, we have 114 tidy packages ready to be opened by our sales reps. The representatives will use the included materials to talk about Three Sides Water and convince booksellers to stock it in their stores. We can’t wait to see where Three Sides Water ends up. Perhaps it’ll be in your hometown? Look for it in stores on May 1, 2018!

Three Stories, One Cover

Ooligan’s summer term is almost over, and for the Three Sides Water team, that means wrapping up the cover design and starting work on the book’s interior. We began work on the cover way back at the beginning of spring term, nearly five months ago, and it’s a joy to see our efforts come to fruition. Three Sides Water posed several design challenges the team members hadn’t encountered before.

The first challenge was how to design one cover for three different stories that are essentially novel-length. The team wanted to avoid prioritizing one story over the others; each story spoke to us in different ways, and we knew each story would pull in different audiences. We also wanted to avoid a collage-like cover, as our recent YA novel Seven Stitches had a collage cover. We decided to request covers that didn’t depict any one setting from the stories, favoring a more general “Olympic Peninsula” feel.

We researched current cover trends in literary fiction and identified elements that would work for Three Sides Water, keeping the book’s themes of place, longing, and independence in mind. We also called attention to overdone cover themes and design elements: one of the first things the group decided was to avoid any depiction of water, as well as the color blue. (Have you seen how many blue books Ooligan has published? It’s almost embarrassing.)

Once the design brief was complete, a call for designers went out to the whole press. Ooligan differs from traditional publishing houses in many ways, but the cover design process is perhaps the most obvious divergence. While larger presses might have a few designated cover artists or a design firm they contract, Ooligan’s covers (and books) are designed 100% by students. Many enthused designers heeded the call. Round one of our cover process saw twenty-six designs. Some potential covers were improved upon; some were eliminated. Eight unique designs (and many variants of the designs) participated in the semifinals, after which only three remained.

The three finalists were all unique and highlighted different aspects of the book the designers loved, but the design that won over the staff paid homage to the Olympic Peninsula in general and managed to incorporate elements of each story without relying on a collage aesthetic. It was a difficult and drawn-out process, but we have high hopes for this cover and can’t wait to show it to the world.